In the Class of 2015! Seminaries that Change the World

Written by Kristina Alvarado
February 25, 2015

Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry has been named in the 2015 list of "Seminaries that Are Changing the World." The distinction published this week on The Huffington Post and on a special microsite online. The recognition comes from the Center for Faith and Service based on the campus of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL.

Twenty-six institutions were named in the list of Seminaries Changing the World, with each institution also agreeing to work together to strengthen and advance theological education in the United States. The Center award is acknowledging some of the most innovative seminaries and schools of theology in the nation, and those that also maintain a series of commitments that are transforming theological education as a discipline. These commitments include: robust financial aid to lessen the student debt burden and co-curricular opportunities around issues that are most impactful to the world today, such as combating homelessness. The seminaries on the list also have alumni with lower educational debt following their education than the national norm, and have diversity both in their learning community and in the communities served by the institution. The seminaries named in the 2015 Seminaries that Are Changing the World not only are committed to transforming the world, and make the connection between faith and service in the curriculum--but also "offer degree programs for a generation of idealists, activists, volunteers and servant-leaders who are committed to community service and social justice."

McCormick is operating under a $450,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, one of the most selective granting agencies in the nation. The grant is designed to build a consortium of institutions that are considered national leaders in responding in innovative and positive ways to the massive disruptive change occurring in the field of theological education, and higher education more broadly.? As part of this consortium, the schools will work together over the next two years to bolster the visibility and importance of theological education throughout the nation, especially educational efforts that link faith, service, and the pursuit of a more just and humane world.? The Director of the Center for Faith and Service, Rev. Wayne Meisel, will be visiting the school and Seattle University campus in the next few months. Details to follow.

Rev. Wayne Meisel remarks:

"The very title, Seminaries that Change the World, is a provocative reminder of what theological education has meant in the past and what its purpose and promise is for the future. The 2015 class of schools has demonstrated a commitment to invite, welcome, support, train and launch individuals into the world as community leaders."

Seminaries in the Class of 2015 include: ?

Yale Divinity School
Andover Newton Theological School
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Bethany Theological Seminary
Brite Divinity School
Calvin Theological Seminary
Emory's Candler School of Theology
Christian Theological Seminary
Columbia Theological Seminary
Earlham School of Religion
Fuller Theological Seminary
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
Hartford Seminary
Illiff School of Theology
Luther Seminary
Lutheran School of Theology
McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University
Princeton Theological Seminary
Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry
Sewanee School of Theology, University of the South
Union Presbyterian Seminary
Union Theological Seminary, New York City
The University of Chicago Divinity School
Virginia Theological Seminary
School of Theology, Wake Forest University
Wesley Theological Seminary

Dean Markuly comments:

"It is rather mind-boggling that our school would get classified in this 'who's who' of seminaries, most of which have enormous endowments, and decades, if not more than a century on us in seniority. Over the past eight years the School of Theology and Ministry has worked hard to diversify our educational programming and student body, become a national leader in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, build a renewed commitment to public theology, and engage the real problems of the world in both our curriculum and educational programming for the community. In the process, we have been trying, like these other institutions on the list, to rethink how to do graduate level theological education at this peculiar moment in history. It is nice to know that others are taking notice and our innovation is inspirational to others. We are really honored to become part of this consortium with some of the most important theological education institutions in the world, and look forward to working together to promote the importance of this form of formation and education for creating a more just and humane world." ?

Visit the "Seminaries that Change the World" website for more info, here

Read the Huffington Post article announcing the list, here