University Senate Approves New Collaboration between Sioux Falls Seminary and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
On January 26, 2018, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Sioux Falls Seminary received approval from the University Senate of The United Methodist Church to engage a pilot cohort of United Methodist students in the Kairos Project, which offers a competency-based master of divinity program, at Sioux Falls Seminary. Garrett-Evangelical will provide a portion of the Kairos Project curriculum including courses required for ordination in The United Methodist Church, as mandated in The Book of Discipline.
The Kairos Project is designed for master of divinity distance learning students already actively engaged in ministry and/or who desire to integrate their faith and work. It facilitates flexible learning through contextually integrated educational moments and adaptable assignments. With the exception of intensives on the main campus each October and April, course work is completed in context.
“The collaboration between Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Sioux Falls Seminary on the Kairos Project is a huge step forward for high quality, accessible theological education in the Dakotas-Minnesota Area,” said Bishop Bruce Ough, who oversees the Dakotas-Minnesota episcopal area of The United Methodist Church. “As an area, we are committed to raising up and developing indigenous, fruitful, adaptive spiritual leaders. We have discovered that disciplined contextual learning is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal. I am grateful to the University Senate, Garrett-Evangelical, and Sioux Falls Seminary for their vision, courage, and support.”
The pilot collaboration between the two seminaries will support 20 United Methodist students in the Kairos Project and will be periodically assessed by both schools as students’ progress through the program. “Our partnership with Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is a great example of what theological education can be when we think about it as a system of partnerships between churches, denominations, seminaries, and kingdom-minded organizations,” said Greg Henson, president of Sioux Falls Seminary. “We are excited to see what God will do through this partnership.”
Garrett-Evangelical was among the first seminaries to offer all six United Methodist studies courses in an online format. These six courses, now made available to students in the Kairos Project, will explore topics critical to the contemporary church through a variety of perspectives and voices and equip students for congregational leadership in the 21st century. The courses are designed and taught by United Methodist faculty members, including senior faculty members in the fields of United Methodist studies, evangelism, liturgy, theology and mission, and church leadership.
“I am delighted to receive the support of the University Senate for our experimental collaboration with Sioux Falls Seminary,” said Dr. Lallene J. Rector, president of Garrett-Evangelical. “It ‘blesses’ an opportunity for Garrett-Evangelical and the Senate to learn more about contextually oriented, competency-based education. While Garrett-Evangelical has led the way in online formats of United Methodist Studies courses, we also know that evolving new ways of delivering accessible theological education are not only in demand but are necessary.”
Sioux Falls Seminary is on the move, providing systems of theological education and integrative counseling that are accessible, affordable, relevant, and faithful. Now recognized as one of the most innovative seminaries in the nation, Sioux Falls Seminary is helping change theological education and how it is done both in North America and throughout the world. To learn more, go to sfseminary.edu.