Non-Degree Theological Studies
For Students in Special Circumstances
Modular, Flexible, Supplemental
At the request of and with the support of the Sewanee bishops, the faculty of The School of Theology has developed a non-degree, basic course of theological studies for candidates for ordination who have special circumstances. This includes those who will be worker-priests in very specific missional contexts, those who will serve small congregations in remote locations on a part-time basis, and others who, in the judgment of the bishop, need only a more limited introduction to theological studies to ground the ministry in which they are already engaged.
It is the understanding of the dean and faculty that persons who are identified for this program by a diocese of The Episcopal Church are those who are being called to serve in very particular, limited environments, nearly always on a part-time basis, and who are persons whose principal income will be derived from non-ecclesiastical sources. In no way does the dean and faculty understand this program to be a substitute for the normative formation of candidates for ministry by the pursuit of a master of divinity degree, nor is this program to be construed as a program in Anglican Studies for those whose theological formation for ministry has taken place in non-Episcopal seminaries or in other denominations. This “academic boot camp” track is part of a larger process of formation established by the diocese.
The need for all priests to be able conversation partners with their bishop and fellow presbyters in the defined areas of ministry as set forth in the canons of the church was factored into the course. The seven canonical areas of ministry are typically spread over a master of divinity curriculum with adequate time for reflection and integration. This program provides a basic classroom engagement with the seven canonical areas so that each student will be grounded in the primary questions, concerns, and resources of each canonical area. While the breadth of the Christian tradition will be always considered, the particularities of the Anglican tradition and The Episcopal Church will always be emphasized.
- The academic component represented by the modules outlined below and provided by The School of Theology.
- The practice of ministry component designed and provided by the diocese.
- The designation by the bishop of a mentor who will meet regularly with the student for supervision, reflection, and coaching.
*The office of contextual education of The School of Theology has resources to assist the diocese in creating components 2 and 3 above.
- Each student will participate in two modules per year for four years.
- Learning will take place in both residential and online formats.
- Normally a module will begin in January during a one-week residency in Sewanee. During the residency, students will be introduced to the requirements of the course and immediately begin working with the course content. Time for personal consultation with the faculty will be provided in addition to regular opportunities for prayer and worship, fellowship and conversation, and personal study time.
- The January residency will be followed by regular online work designed uniquely for each module. Students will be connected online to the instructor and fellow students. This provides an opportunity for asking questions, discussing particular topics, and clarifying assignments.
- The module will conclude with a two-week residency in Sewanee that overlaps with the summer advanced degree program. Scheduling the program in this manner makes use of the summer worship schedule in the Chapel of the Apostles, and the opportunity for fellowship and engagement with seasoned clergy who are in Sewanee for advanced degree work and continuing education.
- A student may enter into the four-year cycle of modules at any point.
- At the end of each module, each student will receive a written evaluation of their work and a copy of the evaluation will be sent to their bishop.
Module 1. Old Testament and Preaching
Module 2. New Testament and Preaching
Module 1. Church History, including Episcopal Church history and polity
Module 2. Theology, including sacramental theology
Module 1. Ethics and Anglican Moral Theology
Module 2. Contemporary Society and Christian Witness
Module 1. Pastoral Theology
Module 2. Prayer Book and Liturgy
Admissions and Fees
Because of the wide variety of backgrounds anticipated in those who will participate in the program, the decision to participate in the programs rests solely with the bishop of the diocese from which the student comes.
The School of Theology will send a reminder to all bishops in October of each year to register the students they anticipate will begin the program in January.
Tuition for each module is $1,250, or $2,500 for each year. This is exclusive of food, lodging, and transportation. Costs of the program will be borne by the diocese from which the student originates. Whether the diocese passes the bill along to the student, to the parish the student serves, or in some other manner shares the cost of the program is solely at the discretion of the sending bishop.
The deadline for registering for the 2013–14 session is Dec. 16. Please contact Sandra Brock for details.