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Jun  2012 19
New Mission and Identity Statements

Phillips Theological Seminary Announces New Mission and Identity Statements 

Tulsa, Okla., June 19, 2012 – Cultivating vital communities, vital conversations, and the public good are at the heart of a new strategic plan approved by the board of trustees at Phillips Theological Seminary. The plan builds upon PTS’s reputation for educating leaders for service in both congregations and the wider community and includes both new public statements and new programs to reach a broader audience.

The new identity statement reads: Phillips Theological Seminary offers theological education dedicated to learning the way of Jesus in order to cultivate vital communities, vital conversations, and the public good.

PTS’s newly stated mission is to learn and teach how to be: attentive to God; responsible biblical and theological interpreters; faithful individuals and communities acting with God to transform the world.

When asked why the seminary made these changes, PTS President Gary Peluso-Verdend responded, “The world of graduate theological education for ministry is in the midst of a radical change. At PTS, we’re reimagining the seminary enterprise. We will continue to educate candidates for professional ministry. In fact, we’re devoting considerable resources to re-thinking the coursework and outcomes for the master of divinity degree, focusing on how to cultivate vitality in conversations, in local places of service, and in the broader public. But we are also widening the conversation circles for PTS.”

As expressions of the commitment to engage broader audiences, PTS is introducing two new programs this Fall and has created options for non-degree students within current course offerings.  

The Interreligious Understanding program is designed to facilitate broad-ranging conversation among adherents of different religious traditions.  PTS aims to prepare individuals for life and work in religiously diverse communities. Visit www.ptstulsa.edu/interreligious for more information. 

The FaithLife Connections (FLC) program is a topical, weekend lecture and workshop series where PTS faculty members will present Friday night and Saturday morning at a local congregation in each of 7 locations. FLC will be offered twice per year over a 3 year period. 

The PTS faculty has also opened selected courses in Biblical Languages, Biblical Studies for non-degree students. In addition, a General Studies graduate certificate is available. The new public statements and programs are the first fruits of a strategic planning cycle, in which the seminary’s board has been engaged since February 2011. The new language for the statements was developed after input from faculty, staff, students, alums, clergy and seminary friends.  Over the course of several months the statements and goals were then drafted and revised before being approved by the PTS Board of Trustees on May 11, 2012.

The new mission and identity statements and strategic goals are available on the seminary website, as well as a question and answer session with President Peluso-Verdend.

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