President and provost offer update to the seminary community
A “State of the Seminary” convocation was held for the Fuller community at the Pasadena campus on Monday, February 7, led by President Richard J. Mouw and Provost C. Douglas McConnell. In attendance were staff and faculty from across the seminary, including those from regional campuses.
Dr. Mouw shared how a recent study undertaken by Fuller, the “Seminary of the Future” project
, has yielded important new ways of looking at theological education for the years and decades to come. A variety of groups were gathered for this project—from pastors in Africa to alumni working in business and the arts—to discuss what kinds of equipping they would want to see from seminaries in the future.
Out of these conversations came three important priorities for Fuller going forward, Mouw explained: first, “strengthening the core” of Fuller’s work—classical theological scholarship—while simultaneously encouraging “creativity at the edges”; second, rethinking Christian vocation and all it entails; and third, engaging “a visual age”—one that involves new modes of communicating and learning—“while still holding firm to the written Word of God.”
Provost McConnell then shared a financial update, and discussed ways the seminary must address the economic challenges all institutions of higher learning currently face. “The distribution and delivery of education is changing,” he stressed; “this is an important time to think strategically about our work.”
It is important to remember and to communicate to others, both Mouw and McConnell noted, that Fuller plays a key “behind the scenes” role in the work of other institutions. When one looks at the local church, parachurch organizations such as World Vision or Young Life, and countless other agencies and institutions, “you’ll find Fuller alumni in leadership,” said Mouw. “Fuller is a hidden presence behind all these fine institutions. We are a strong force, but an invisible force.”
A time for questions and responses followed, with discussion on such topics as diversity at the seminary, openness to engaging new opportunities, and future modes of fund development.