Bishops Kill Seminaries Inquiry

Seminary of the Southwest

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald

Bishops have defeated Resolution A007 that proposed investigating how Episcopal seminaries operate in areas from budgeting to sharing their resources. But during their discussion July 9, some sent seminaries a message: the Episcopal Church needs more from its seminaries.

“I don’t think we should fool ourselves that our seminaries are serving the church for what we need,” said Georgia Bishop Scott Benhase, because they are not doing enough to train clergy who also work jobs outside the church.

Bishop Greg Brewer of Central Florida said Episcopal seminaries are not doing enough to train graduates to start entrepreneurial ministries.

“I raise serious questions about whether our seminaries have connected” with those needs, Brewer said.

Other bishops said they support Episcopal seminaries in the adaptive work they are doing. Texas Bishop Andy Doyle applauded Seminary of the Southwest’s partnership with Iona School of Ministry, which trains working laypeople to serve as bivocational clergy.

In other business, bishops approved Resolution A033. It provides support for expansion of Episcopal Youth Event programming to include a regional 2019 event in Panama for Spanish-speaking youth and young adults. The resolution comes with a $150,000 request for funding.

So far in the 79th General Convention, the Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance has received funding requests that exceed available funds by $18 million, according to a July 9 update from the Committee on Safeguarding and Title IV.


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