updated: 1/17/2014 11:17:13 AM
Indianapolis-based Christian Theological Seminary President Matthew Boulton says the school will have to make some "difficult" changes to deal with shrinking enrollment. The institution says its new sustainability plan includes "generous and appropriate" voluntary separation packages for faculty members.
January 17, 2014
Indianapolis, Ind. -- Today, at the direction of its Board of Trustees, Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) announced a multi-pronged sustainability plan to preserve the school's current fiscal strength and enable it to begin a dynamic new chapter in its nearly 160-year history of visionary theological education. "We're in a time of transition in higher education, particularly in theological education, and many seminaries have been forced into even more difficult and painful decisions because they waited too long to respond," said J. Mark Mutz, Chairman of the CTS Board of Trustees. "We decided to act now, while still strong, and to change in response to a changing church and world."
With this in mind, the Board has directed and authorized CTS administration to implement the following sustainability plan:
(1) Reallocate resources toward innovative recruiting of graduate students and other learners, focusing especially on new constituencies;
(2) Continue progress on enhanced CTS fundraising;
(3) Offer faculty members generous and appropriate voluntary separation packages in keeping with their valued service to the seminary;
(4) Explore creative partnerships with appropriate institutions; and,
(5) Continue to design and reconfigure seminary programs with financial sustainability in mind.
Like other seminaries, CTS faces new realities in 2014, both on campus and in the surrounding world. The shifting North American religious landscape calls for new programs and educational formats. While CTS' student body is now half the size it was 20 years ago, the school's faculty size has not changed during that time, resulting in a student/faculty ratio that has reached an unsustainable level. Higher education is in significant transition, creating new opportunities for innovation and partnerships.
"Change is always difficult, especially when it impacts the lives of longtime beloved colleagues," said Rev. Dr. Matthew Myer Boulton, President of CTS. "It is fitting that we take time, with heavy and grateful hearts, to honor their contributions, even as we look ahead to what long-term financial strength and stability will mean for Christian Theological Seminary. The Board's actions will result in enhanced student scholarship programs and recruitment initiatives, increased capacity to financially support the educational innovations of our faculty, more robust community engagement, and the ability to properly care for our beautiful campus. Most importantly, however, this plan will result in a new and sustainable path for CTS into the twenty-first century, enabling us to accomplish our mission – to form disciples of Jesus Christ for church and community leadership to serve God's transforming of the world – for generations to come."
About Christian Theological Seminary
Located in Indianapolis, IN, Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) is a fully accredited ecumenical seminary, open to all, affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It offers eight graduate-level degree programs, including programs in theology, ministry, and counseling, with specializations in ministries that emphasize the arts and programs for lifelong learning. More than 30 denominations are represented among CTS faculty, staff, and students. Additional information about CTS is available at www.cts.edu.
Source: Christian Theological Seminary