The Board of Directors of Bexley-Seabury Seminary recently voted to end their 17 year partnership with Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus and consolidate all of their programs in Chicago beginning in Fall 2016.
In a letter to seminary stakeholders, the board communicated;
This change next year will bring to a close a 17-year collaboration with our M.Div. program partner, Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus. The current agreement with Trinity will conclude with the Spring 2016 term. We are pursuing possibilities with two promising partner sites, both of which would offer increased opportunities for low-residency and online learning at the master’s degree level. We look forward to reporting specific details in the next several weeks.
Our long collaboration with Trinity Lutheran Seminary has been grace-filled and a testimony to the wisdom of the “Called to Common Mission” agreement between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Episcopal Church. Still, the Task Force found, and the Board agreed, that operating from one site will spur focus, energy, creativity, and efficiency.
At the invitation of Trinity President Rick Barger, President Ferlo and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean Tom Ferguson attended the Trinity Board of Directors meeting in Columbus on Saturday, November 7 to relay our Board’s decision. They conveyed our community’s deep gratitude for all that the Bexley Seabury-Trinity partnership has accomplished and for the opportunity to experience two faith traditions coming together to live one Gospel.
This new initiative would be designed to provide full tuition and expenses for a limited number of M.Div. applicants recruited particularly from under-served communities, making master’s-level training for ordained ministry possible for students who might not otherwise afford the cost of seminary preparation and for whom full-time residency is not an option.