Chicago Theological Seminary, home to Bexley Seabury

Adapted from a Bexley Seabury statement

On Sept. 27 Bexley Seabury received authorization from the Illinois Board of Higher Education to offer an enhanced, low-residency Master of Divinity program at its new Hyde Park/Woodlawn campus beginning with the January 2017 term.

Bexley Seabury previously offered a residential MDiv program in Columbus, Ohio. Like the seminary’s Doctor of Ministry and Diploma in Anglican Studies programs, the Bexley Seabury MDiv is already accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

The shift to a low-residency MDiv makes it possible for students to pursue seminary without having to relocate, leave their jobs, or disrupt ministerial and other responsibilities. Most of the seminary’s courses are hybrids that combine face-to-face sessions — scheduled for three weekends in three months or for one-week intensives in January or June — with online learning. Through the seminary’s relationship with Chicago Theological Seminary, students also have the option to take many courses entirely online.

One distinctive enhancement to the Bexley Seabury MDiv is the expansion of field education from a one- or two-semester program to a highly contextual five-semester internship. Communities of Learning and Formation, established in and with the MDiv candidate’s local parish, will provide a new model for collaborative teaching, learning, and formation in the field.

“We understand our new Master of Divinity program as a whole new way of living out our shared ministry as the priesthood of the baptized,” said the Rev. Roger Ferlo, Bexley Seabury’s president. “We will be partnering with dioceses to shape the spiritual formation process for their ordination candidates, and also include local leaders as active participants. I am thrilled to put this new program into motion.”

Bexley Seabury’s enhanced MDiv program also includes courses previously reserved only for doctoral candidates. They include courses that draw on family systems theory and asset-based community development strategies, as well as a signature course in community organizing for people of faith, a mainstay for DMin studies at Bexley Seabury since 1999.

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