[Bexley Seabury press release] The Board of Directors of Bexley Seabury Seminary Federation (BSSF) has announced that beginning with the Fall 2016 term, the seminary will operate all programs — Anglican Studies, Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry, and Lifelong Learning — from one site, in Chicago. The change, recommended to the board by its Beyond Walls Task Force, was adopted by unanimous vote.
The move will bring to Chicago Bexley Seabury’s Master of Divinity program. Since 2004, the M.Div. degree has been offered in partnership with Trinity
Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio through a collaboration that began in 1999. The current agreement with Trinity runs through Spring Term 2016. Transition planning is underway in consultation with current M.Div. students, so that they can complete their studies on schedule.
“Consolidating Bexley Seabury’s operations in Chicago will bring new energy and focus to our work and, I am confident, will create still more choice and flexibility in course offerings while continuing to provide the kind of rich community life that has been one of the Columbus program’s greatest strengths,” said BSSF Board Chair the Rt. Rev. W. Michie Klusmeyer, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia. “We are proud of, and grateful for what will have been a 17-year collaboration with Trinity Lutheran Seminary. This is a grace-filled and mission-faithful time.”
Bexley Seabury President Roger Ferlo spoke to the ecumenical significance of the partnership, and emphasized the seminary’s commitment to expanding and strengthening its ecumenical reach. “The Trinity-Bexley Seabury alliance demonstrated the deep wisdom of the ‘Called to Common Mission’ agreement, entered into by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Episcopal Church in 2000. Our partnership has shown how two faith traditions can each benefit when we live into the Gospel together,” Ferlo said. “We look forward to deepening these ecumenical ties — a hallmark of the Bexley Hall experience — in the richly diverse theological culture of Chicago.”
The seven-member Beyond Walls Task Force was commissioned by the Bexley Seabury Board of Directors under its 2015-2017 Strategic Plan “to challenge where we are and where we are heading” in fulfilling one of four key plan goals: to increase access to theological education.
“I congratulate the members of our Task Force and applaud their enthusiasm and creativity. Our board is deeply grateful for their work to date, and to come,” said Klusmeyer.