This fall begins a new approach to theological education at Memphis Theological Seminary. Last spring, the faculty approved of online paths to both the MDiv and MACM degrees. As we implemented this change, recognizing that online classes are convenient, we wrestled with how to create a community of learning, spiritual formation, and mutual support in the context of online learning.
This year, all students in our online programs will participate in three one-week residencies on campus with their fellow students and professors. Each residency features times for worship together, shared meals, classroom learning, and immersion experiences in the Memphis area.
The first residency, which begins this week, introduces students to theological study for ministry. The second residency features an interfaith/intercultural immersion course such as “Jesus, Jails, and Justice,” “World Religions,” or “Farming, Food, and Faith.” The third residency offers the integrative seminar in which students at the end of their seminary studies gather to reflect together on what they have learned, their plans for ministry, and their ongoing needs for theological study, spiritual formation, and community.
President Jody Hill says, “The plan to transition to online degree offerings is a direct result of our strategic planning process over the last several years. I applaud the leadership of Academic Dean Peter Gathje and our faculty who have engaged in deep discussions and research about how to best balance our desire of flexibility for our students while maintaining academic excellence.”
VPAA/Dean Dr. Peter Gathje states, “The residencies provide all of our students focused time together to engage in conversation and the kind of spiritual formation that can only occur in community. Ministry today requires flexibility grounded in solid biblical and theological study and spiritual formation. These residencies reflect our commitment to help students navigate the flexibility with the guidance of a community of scholarship and spiritual life.”
We are excited to welcome students to campus for the first residency beginning Monday, August 21st, 2023. Opening chapel will be held on Monday at 8:30am and a community meal will be held at noon on that day.
On Friday August 25th, we will have our first intensive for the monthly hybrid program. Chapel will be at 11:00 am that day, and this will serve as opening convocation for the school year. President Jody Hill will be preaching. Following chapel, all are invited to a community meal in Founders Hall.
We look forward to seeing you in this new season of life at Memphis Theological Seminary.