KANSAS CITY, Mo. (SPST) – The Saint Paul School of Theology Board of Trustees gave a green light to a collaboration with The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in nearby Leawood, Kan., for a new type of theological education. The board met Aug. 17 to discuss the future vision of the seminary.
Following the meeting, Saint Paul President Dr. Myron F. McCoy shared the following words about that vision. “Our vision is to create a nationally recognized, vibrant, innovative locus of theological education aimed at preparing leaders for congregations and faith communities in the changing culture and emerging field of mission; providing learning around the practice of ministry for clergy and lay learners that is characterized by excellence. The vision is a Saint Paul School of Theology that offers theological education without being encumbered by its own bricks and mortar. The vision is a seminary decentralized: First at Oklahoma City University, then at the Church of the Resurrection, with the hopes of looking at other locations, reaching out across the jurisdiction, the United States, and even the globe.”
The Saint Paul Board of Trustees moved forward with a letter of intent outlining educational programs, governance, and space and time requirements. The document formally signifies that the United Methodist-related seminary can move forward in meaningful negotiations with the Church of the Resurrection. It clearly states that both institutions will remain separate entities.
According to a school news release: “The relationship with the Church of the Resurrection will be a collaboration, not a merger. Saint Paul School of Theology remains a freestanding seminary accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, the Higher Learning Commission, and the United Methodist University Senate.”
McCoy said Saint Paul will continue to be a seminary for the local church, educating leaders, both lay and clergy, as well as being on the forefront of developing theologically informed, vital congregations. Saint Paul will incorporate the practical wisdom of pastors and lay church leaders into its educational programs. In a release from the school, leaders said, “confronting the challenges of the church and the educational world, Saint Paul is moving forward with a new model. It is in the seminary’s DNA to be innovative, take risks and try new things.”
Both institutions will be in negotiations during the next several weeks. If formal documents are approved by both institutions, the seminary began offering courses at the Church of the Resurrection Leawood campus this fall semester of 2013.