Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 79th General Convention authorize establishment of a committee to carry out an investigation related to the work detailed here. This committee would be empowered to study and make specific recommendations regarding the restructuring of the relationship between the General Convention and those leaders engaged in theological formation, including the Episcopal seminaries. Its work would also include:
Exploring the sharing of resources among the seminaries
Reviewing the structure and relationship of other judicatories and their seminaries (especially ELCA)
Consulting with the Association of Theological Schools regarding accreditation
Surveying Bishops and diocesan Commissions on Ministry to determine their needs for theological education
Reviewing seminary budgets and curriculum
Surveying the student bodies to determine size and diversity
Considering the possibility of elected/appointed representation of the General Convention on seminary boards of trustees
Providing funding from the General Convention budget to be allocated for the work of seminaries
Exploring how and where theological education and formation for ordination are being pursued throughout the Episcopal Church beyond its accredited seminaries including the exploration and review of local and alternative formation programs
Exploring/reviewing theological formation for lay leadership
The committee would report regularly to the Executive Council between conventions and submit a final report to the General Convention 2024. An Interim Report would be provided to General Convention in 2021.
The committee, appointed by the Presiding Officers, would be comprised of: two (2) bishops, two (2) priests/deacons, two (2) lay persons, one (1) dean of students/academic dean, one (1) seminary president, one (1) member of Executive Council and one (1) staff representative/consultant from the Episcopal Church.
Much of this committee’s work would be carried out through online communications vehicles, however there would be periodic in person meetings. Seminary presidents/deans might meet in person to discuss strategies. Committee members might meet with the boards of Episcopal seminaries and various non-Episcopal seminaries. The committee may also convene a gathering of seminary representatives and students during the triennia.
Whereas, as we move into a time of evangelization and clarification in our branch of The Jesus Movement, having a coherent vision and mission for all seminaries will help strengthen the formation and education of lay and ordained leaders. And whereas a coherent vision assumes close working relationships with all seminaries so that we can appropriately steward all available resources to meet the needs of the Church in the 21st century, the Committee to Study the Relationship between General Theological Seminary and the General Convention recommends establishment of this committee.
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