Lee Hinson-Hasty is coordinator for theological education and seminary relations in the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the PC (U.S.A.). Through his work Lee hopes to capture and share a more expansive view of theological education, of church leadership and of vocational discernment as he sees through the eyes of some exciting Presbyterians in and related to seminaries.
September 18, 1985 the Executive Committee of what was then the Council on Theological Education and now the Committee on Theological Education formed a sub-Committee on Mission Cooperation. Jack Stotts who was the first Mission Cooperation chair. That was the same year he moved from being President of McCormick Theological Seminary to being President Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, a testimony to mission cooperation among PC(USA) Seminaries itself! Other Theological Education greats like James Costen, Heath Rada, Randy Taylor, and Barbara Wheeler sat on that first committee.
We now call that committee Interschool and Mission Cooperation and it continues to do great work in PC(USA) theological education. Cooperation and partnership with the PC(USA) and among the schools is alive and well. Presidents, Deans, and Directors of Doctor of Ministry, Communications, Development, Admissions, Supervised Ministry, and others meet regularly and collaborate often. They work on projects together that are serving the church better and leading in the academy.
For example, a longtime and highly evaluated cooperative project is one where students register and pay tuition at their PC(USA) seminary and take a one week January course on "Leadership in the Connectional Church" here in Louisville. National staff leaders work directly with seminarians from a variety of schools and together to gain an understanding of the theology, mission, structure, and programs of the PC(USA) and how to exercise effective congregational leadership in the context of a connectional church. (Seminarians register now!)
A new cooperative project is up and running now, a virtual PC(USA) Seminary Tour. Led by the Admissions officers at our Presbyterian Seminaries, this website will offer a live online event next Tuesday, October 9th for those interested in exploring or helping other explore a call to seminary. I hope I will “see” you there!
The website for the tour and live event is www.seminarytour.org. Notice it is named in the singular! So I wonder when we talk about our Presbyterian Seminaries as “crown jewels” of the PC(USA), if we could consider them in the singular? Let’s hold them up and turn them around and admire the beauty of this “jewel” from every angle!
Lee in Louisville… getting ready for the October 23-25 meeting of COTE.