In this season of Thanksgiving, I am reminded of the psalmist who calls us to “give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 107:1). Today, I give thanks to God for big dreams.
Five years ago, we undertook a holy experiment to reimagine theological education for a new era.
We launched the MDivX program—an accelerated, two-year Master of Divinity degree with year-round classes and concurrent internships—not knowing where it would lead.
Today, I am thrilled to be able to quote my colleague Ken Reynhout, director of institutional effectiveness, assessment, and research, in saying:
Our data demonstrates that students can be formed for ordained ministry in 24 months.
These promising results provide a new roadmap for delivering an academically rigorous, theologically grounded seminary education that meets the needs of today’s church and tomorrow’s leaders.
We have invited the ELCA bishops in early December to a conversation about what we learned. We’re already at work considering how these lessons will shape and strengthen our curriculum going forward.
One of the lessons I’m holding is to be bold in our imagination as we respond to the Holy Spirit’s call.
As we enter this Advent season of watchful waiting, let’s give thanks for big dreams—and for God’s faithfulness today, tomorrow, and always.
Peace and grace,
Robin J. Steinke, President