As we begin a new fiscal year and approach a new academic year, I am grateful for all the interest you’ve shown and the support you’ve given our school in recent months.
MTSO is very much alive and well. While churches and communities are finding their way through unprecedented times, we are at work preparing leaders who will share in that work in the years ahead. Seldom has our mission and approach seemed more pertinent.
In early May, I shared my take on our school’s social-justice focus and relevance to faith communities as we respond to realities illuminated and exacerbated by COVID-19. Protests and witness for racial justice that have transpired across the nation since I wrote that message further convince me that our mission and social-justice commitments are profoundly relevant.
What we do is important, so getting our approach to education in this new environment right is crucial.
At this midsummer point, our preparation for offering simultaneous on-campus and online learning in the fall is well under way. I previously shared our plans for MTSO Campus Extend. The changes to the physical campus in support of this new approach are nearly complete, with furniture rearranged, room capacities dramatically reduced, one-way traffic patterns established in hallways, and signage guiding our individual efforts to interact safely. About 70 percent of fall classes are currently scheduled for the hyflex format, with thorough course design and preparation continuing through the summer.
Of course, we will continue to monitor the best available public health and scientific advice and will act swiftly if plans need to change. We certainly hope to have some students gathered in campus classrooms, joined by others in virtual space, but we will move fully online if conditions warrant it. We made the adjustment well in March and can do it again if that is what is needed to function safely and responsibly.
The preparations we’re making this summer will serve us well in the months and perhaps years ahead. I am grateful for your continued prayers and support. Please be in touch with your thoughts or questions.
A call for updates
Alums, what's new with you?
The upcoming issue of The Story Magazine and Annual Report will share news about big events in the lives of our alumni, and we'd like your news to be a part of it. Please take a moment to update us on any adventures and milestones you've experienced over the past year.
It’s easy to share your news and update your contact information at www.mtso.edu/update.
Our Alum News is an ongoing record of the meaningful lives MTSO’s alumni are leading. Thanks for your contribution to it.
We request the wisdom of pastors
As members of the extended MTSO community are aware, preparation of individuals for Christian ministry and support of those already serving are central to our school's mission and identity.
Toward that end, we are in the planning phase for a grant opportunity that will help the seminary connect with pastors who lead congregations that serve communities of color and pastors serving small-membership churches. Our goal is to help them thrive in congregational leadership and thus enhance the vitality of the congregations and communities they serve.
We invite pastors to help us with this research by taking a survey about your work as a pastor. We want to listen to insights you have as a professional.
Please follow this link to take our online survey.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom as we embark on this promising initiative.