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Four Presbyterian seminaries among top rated theological institutions

PC (USA) institutions join 31 schools named ‘Seminaries that Change the World’

November 4, 2016

The Center for Faith and Service, based at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago has announced the fourth annual list of Seminaries that Change the World (STCTW). Among the winners are four seminaries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Columbia Theological Seminary, McCormick Theological Seminary and Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. (Photo provided)

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. (Photo provided)

“We are pleased that the many efforts of our students, staff and faculty, and indeed the work of the institution itself, have been recognized as we respond to God’s call to engage in and participate with the transforming work of God’s Reign in our world,” said Union Presbyterian Seminary president Brian K. Blount. “Our commitment to serving God in this way neither begins nor ends with this wonderful recognition, but we are delighted to be counted among such wonderful company.”

STCTW highlights a select group of seminaries and divinity schools offering innovative courses, programs, and opportunities for students seeking to engage in social justice and service work while in seminary. This year’s list includes 31 institutions, representing a broad range of theological and political perspectives.

The Rev. Wayne Meisel, one of the architects of the AmeriCorps program and founder of the Bonner Scholars program, created STCTW four years ago to act as a resource for service-minded young adults looking for ways to grow spiritually. Meisel, who now serves as the executive director of The Center for Faith and Service, explained, “At some point I learned that for many people, their faith inspired, sustained and deepened their commitment to community service and social justice. So I began a journey of looking for institutions where these individuals could connect their faith and service. The result is this list.”

The 2016-2017 List of Seminaries that Change the World includes:

  • Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
  • Bethany Theological Seminary
  • Brite Divinity School
  • Calvin Theological Seminary
  • Candler School of Theology (Emory)
  • Central Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Christian Theological Seminary
  • Claremont School of Theology
  • Columbia Theological Seminary
  • Drew Theological School
  • Duke Divinity School
  • Earlham School of Religion
  • Ecumenical Theological Seminary
  • Fuller Theological Seminary
  • Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • Hartford Seminary
  • Iliff School of Theology
  • Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
  • Luther Seminary
  • McAfee School of Theology (Mercer University)
  • McCormick Theological Seminary
  • Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry
  • The School of Theology at the University of the South | Sewanee
  • Union Presbyterian Seminary
  • Union Theological Seminary in New York
  • University of Chicago Divinity School
  • Vanderbilt Divinity School
  • Virginia Theological Seminary
  • Wake Forest University School of Divinity
  • Wesley Theological Seminary
  • Yale Divinity School

As part of its selection process, the Center looks for schools that are providing significant scholarship support to students engaged in community-based social justice or service work. Innovative degree programs, field education internship opportunities, issue-based courses, and alumni job placement are also considered.

“So much of the talk about theological education and the church is shaped by a narrative of decline, but that is not my experience with our divinity students,” said Gail O’Day, Ph.D., dean and professor of New Testament and preaching at Wake Forest School of Divinity. “The Center for Faith and Service has recognized the positive energy and passion that seminary students can and do bring to the pressing issues of our day and [tell] a story of transformation and possibility that points a way forward for religious leaders and religious institutions.”

In collaboration with schools that are part of Seminaries that Change the World, the Center is sponsoring Theological Education Week, October 26–November 1, 2016. Through this initiative, the Center will reach out to career service offices to offer programming and resources that educate career service professionals and undergraduate institutions about the new landscape and opportunities available through theological education.

Gregg Brekke, Reporter, Presbyterian News Service, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Today’s Focus: Presbyterian Seminaries

Let us join in prayer for:

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Staff
Dr. Philip Wingeier-Rayo, Associate Professor of Evangelism, Mission, and Methodist Studies
Eric Wall, Assistant Professor of Sacred Music
Dr. Suzie Park, Associate Professor of Old Testament

Columbia Theological Seminary Staff
Dr. Raj Nadella, Assistant Professor of New Testament, Director of MATS Program
Dr. Stanley P. Saunders, Associate Professor of New Testament
Dr. William P. Brown, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament

McCormick Theological Seminary Staff
Frank Yamada, President
Jennifer Ould, Assistant to the President and Dean of the Faculty

Union Presbyterian Seminary Staff
Brian K. Blount, Union Presbyterian Seminary
Carson Brisson, Associate Professor of Bible and Biblical Languages
Rodney S. Sadler Jr., Associate Professor of Bible

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Danny Hutchins, PMA
Todd Ingves, BOP

Let us pray

Loving God, thank you for providing communities in which we can learn and grow in our faith journey. Strengthen our commitment to give hope to displaced people and to build relationships across international boundaries as we work to change our world. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 51; 148
First Reading Zephaniah 3:8-13
Second Reading Revelation 17:1-18
Gospel Reading Luke 13:31-35
Evening Psalms 142; 65

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