Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What's in a Denomination? 1

Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University--that is quite a mouthful.  You can tell from the word "seminary" that it is a place to train ministers on the graduate level.  It is a place of education and training.

It is located "at Indiana Wesleyan University"--at least that is where its main offices and its main onsite classrooms are.  It is there where can find most of its faculty.  That is where you will soon find the "seminary building," its central hub, if you would.  Thus far, however, we have found the greatest demand for seminary education online.  If the traditional onsite seminary is struggling to find individuals who can move to their campuses for three years, the desire for training "on the job," in location out there where people are already doing ministry, is strong.  Indeed, it is like a torrent welled up and longing for release.

Indiana Wesleyan University is a broader place of learning.  It has a traditional undergraduate campus and residential student population.  It has a massive adult program with many different degrees offered both at dozens of sites in Indiana and nearby states, as well as around the world online.  This existing infrastructure has made it possible to have a seminary that can survive economically.  

Finally, the words "Wesley" and "Wesleyan" show up prominently in our name.  This name locates us as a seminary in the Methodist tradition, a tradition that traces back to an eighteenth century English minister named John Wesley.  The Wesleyan tradition, as it is called, has a certain flavor that colors the kind of seminary education you receive at Wesley Seminary at IWU.  The next few pages aim to give you some sense of exactly what that flavor might be...

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