What do we hope our changes will enable?
The enterprise of theological education faces vast and rapid upheaval that mirrors our social and religious milieu. Some churches now see lower commitment and participation, with challenges for how to prepare those best able to lead such groups. For both churches and seminaries, assumptions about basic facilities or core programs are being rethought. We must now explore what is truly required in order to carry out our educational mission, while not inadvertentily discarding forms of community that support discipleship. This is the moment to invest in our commitment to becoming an equitable school, so that our institution teaches the lessons of leadership, sustainability, and justice that our students can then embrace and share in ministry. For such a time as this, we will persist along paths of faithful formation that can make us a more dynamic learning community.
"Institutional life is undergoing rapid transformation across sectors – not just theological education and not just in the United States. Our strategic plan does not shy away from the tremendous pressures driving these changes and places us in a strong position to move from sustainability to strength."
2021 Priority Initiatives of Dynamic Formation Theme
Antiracism Team: Receive, affirm, and endorse the upcoming recommendations from the seminary’s Antiracism Transformation Team pertaining to representation, voice, structure, hiring, and related items, as actions committed to dismantling institutionalized white supremacy
Authentic Diversity: Examine, prioritize, and implement the “Recommendations for theological education and leadership” from the ELCA Task Force for Strategic Authentic Diversity final report, including periodic public reports that demonstrate accountability and progress
Program Viability: Accurately identify and assess the actual opportunity costs for various seminary programs (academic and otherwise) in their current form and implement strategic decisions to achieve sustainability, adaptation, or discontinuation of these programs
Redeveloped Facilities: Pursuant to board directive, secure a firm to explore redevelopment of main property/facilities, including careful reconsideration of our educational space needs as well as resolution of emerging challenges in ways that mutually benefit the school and the community