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Seabury and Bexley Form Partnership

Theological center in the Midwest offers full continuum of education

COLUMBUS, OHIO, February 11, 2011—At a joint meeting at Trinity Lutheran Seminary yesterday, the joint trustee consultation of Bexley Hall in Columbus, OH and Seabury Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, ratified a joint operating agreement to begin immediately and extend through June 30, 2012. During that time, a joint trustee committee will draft proposals for a permanent partnership between the two Episcopal seminaries.

Read more: Seabury and Bexley Form Partnership

Luce Foundation Awards Grant to Seabury

EVANSTON, ILLINOIS, September 14, 2010—Seabury Western Seminary has received a $40,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation’s theology program to support the development of a strategic alliance with Bexley Hall Seminary, Seabury’s interim President Robert Bottoms announced today.

Read more: Luce Foundation Awards Grant to Seabury

Seabury Western and Bexley Hall Status Report on Potential Partnership

Status Report on Potential Partnership, May 2010

It is the nature and gift of institutions to find ways of changing to meet what the future needs, whatever that turns out to be. The future will be multidirectional, and schools will reflect more varied and variegated educational forms than they do now. I am convinced, however, that among these many changes, theological schools will have a recognizable presence in the future, that their educational capacity will be enhanced, and that they will be educating ministers and priests, lay persons working in parishes and congregations, and persons who long to learn in depth about the faith that gives them life.


--Daniel Aleshire, The Association of Theological Schools, October 2008


Background:   2007-2010 at Seabury and Bexley Hall

As ATS Executive Director Dan Aleshire was writing these words, both Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and Bexley Hall Seminary were making the kinds of changes he described. Bexley Hall graduated its final class of students at its Rochester, New York campus in 2008 and directed the entire focus to its three-year residential MDiv program on the campus shared with Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. Seabury-Western, meanwhile, declared financial exigency in 2008, emerging in 2009 as SeaburyNEXT, a seminary in Evanston, Illinois, offering the DMin degree, Anglican Studies courses, and a variety of programs to provide laypeople and clergy with enrichment and lifelong learning.

Today Seabury and Bexley stand as examples of what theological seminaries can become when they “meet what the future needs.” Both schools are financially sound, property-free, and positioned for the future. Antony Ruger, senior research fellow at Auburn Seminary’s Center for the Study of Theological Education, says, “Commendably, each school has secured a sound financial basis for its mission.  The balance sheets are thoroughly healthy and the budgets are responsible. Despite their small size they have financial viability and a solid platform for growth.”

Even as they have emerged from recent change as sturdy, viable institutions focused on the changing needs of the wider church, both Bexley Hall and Seabury recognize that they may be able to become even stronger by deepening their strategic partnership with each other. As this partnership is being explored, both schools have also affirmed the central importance of their existing partnerships, including Bexley Hall’s MDiv program in Columbus in partnership with Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Seabury’s DMin programs in partnership with Church Divinity School of the Pacific and the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS), and Seabury’s library shared with Garrett Theological Seminary.

Read more: Seabury Western and Bexley Hall Status Report on Potential Partnership

Media Contact

Rebecca Wilson
Canticle Communications


Bexley Seabury In the News

In Trust: Coming to the Table

The New Year 2013 magazine of In Trust, an organization committed to strengthening boards and governance in North American theological schools, profiles the Seabury and Bexley federation. The story is titled "Coming to the Table: Building on a shared missionary heritage, two Episcopal seminaries carefully chart a way forward."

Read the article.

Dean Ferguson on Fasting in Christianity and Judaism

Tom Ferguson was recently featured on All Sides with Ann Fisher, a local NPR show in Columbus. Listen to a 13-minute segment to hear him talk about fasting in Christianity and Judaism.