Friday, April 03, 2009


The Board of Trustees of Indiana Wesleyan University today unanimously approved the founding of a Wesleyan seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University!

It had already approved the offering of an MDIV and we had received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. We will now, however, house that MDIV within a new seminary that will, Lord willing, have its own building in the next three years.

None of the criticisms of seminaries apply to this new seminary:

1. You don't have to move somewhere for three years.
In fact, you don't have to move at all. You can do the degree in four years (three in an accelerated format) mostly online while coming to campus for two weeks a year in August.

2. You have to be at least part time on staff at a church (20 hours a week).
So gone are the criticisms of impractical, ivory tower learning away from the real world. You're taking your church to seminary. And if you mess up, it's not a grade on the line but your job.

3. Spiritual formation is wed to practical and theoretical formation.
Each semester is accompanied with a 1 hour spiritual formation course that makes sure you are not emptying your heart while you are filling your head.

4. Bible, theology, and church history are integrated with the practice of ministry.
The Donatists--who were they? I bet most seminary students don't remember or care. In this curriculum, you'll learn about them while studying how to handle church splits.

5. When you take into account scholarships, it will be one of the cheapest seminaries around--especially for Wesleyans.

We've already accepted our first students. It's looking good already to fill up the 30+ spots we have allotted for the first cohorts this Fall.

Interested? Email:


Dave Smith said...

Amen and Amen.

Mark Schnell said...

Great news! I don't know if we should require seminary or not but I hope that this will lead us to the day that seminary will be the norm for our pastors.

Any word about the name? I seem to remember some talk about the name being more inclusive for the whole denomination than simply Indiana Wesleyan Theological Seminary.

I know it's way early but I'm assuming you are dreaming of DMIN's and academic MA's in the future too.

Ken Schenck said...

We had long assumed that the name would be Wesley Seminary. However, we are investigating, again (sigh), whether this name is too close to two other institutions with similar names. :-)

Yes, I fully expect that there will eventually be a DMin and I have already put feelers for an academic MA along the OxBridge model where beyond some basic competencies, a student sets their own course of study (e.g., an MA in the writings of N. T. Wright or on the doctrine of penal substitution) in conjunction with a mentor who meets with such a person regularly and assesses their progress in their pre-approved course of study. I haven't made the official proposal yet... after all, we've just restructured the entire university yesterday!

Keith Drury said...

After being pregnant for so many years it is a joy to see the live birth!

Will Riddle said...

This is exciting! Are you going to pursue the ATS accreditation?

Ken Schenck said...

We plan to apply for ATS accreditation next year. Our MDIV is already accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

One thing I haven't mentioned much is that we are starting with over 200 students, since our MA program immediately becomes part of our seminary. We have been graduating MA in ministry students for decades.

Look for grand opening announcements such as the name on October 2!