Trinity School for Ministry

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Trinity School for Ministry
Trinity School for Ministry in the Spring.jpg
Established 1975
Type Private graduate institution
Religious affiliation Anglican
Dean Justyn Terry
Academic staff 14
Admin. staff 25
Students 150 on campus/100 online
Location Ambridge, Pennsylvania, USA
Campus Small Town
Colors Blue and Gold
Nickname Kneelers
Website www.tsm.edu

Trinity School for Ministry (TSM), also known as Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry (TESM), is an evangelical seminary in the Anglican tradition located in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh. It is generally associated with the Low Church (evangelical) wing of Anglicanism.

History[edit]

In the mid 1970s, several prominent evangelical-leaning Episcopal clergy and lay leaders became disillusioned with what they considered the liberal theology and "theological relativism" of the existing Episcopal seminaries. Some members of this group had been involved with the charismatic movement that began in the mid-1960s in some parishes, while others, many associated with the Fellowship of Witness, held to a more traditional Anglican Evangelicalism. These advocates for conservatism in the Episcopal Church of the United States began to meet and plan a new seminary with a curriculum based on orthodox Protestant theology and evangelical principles.

In 1976, Alfred Stanway, a retired Australian missionary bishop to Tanganyika (present-day Tanzania), accepted the call to become the first dean of TSM. Beginning with 17 students and meeting in rented space, Trinity held its first classes in September 1976. Stanway served for two years before retiring. His successor, John Rodgers, oversaw major growth during his 12-year tenure. In 1989, William C. Frey resigned as Bishop of Colorado to become the third dean and president. In 1996, Peter C. Moore, a founding board member and noted evangelical leader, became the fourth dean and president.[2] Paul F. M. Zahl was elected Trinity's fifth dean in 2004. He stepped down in May 2007, and Rodgers came out of retirement to serve as Interim Dean and President for one year. Trinity's Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, the Rev. Justyn Terry, was named the school's new dean, effective August 2008.

In 2007, Trinity dropped the word "Episcopal" from its name on some of its publications and printed materials. The school's official name, however, remains unchanged. The modification was made in acknowledgement of the growing number of realigning Anglican bodies sending students to the seminary, including the Anglican Church in North America, the Anglican Mission in the Americas, the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, the latter two of which are sub-provinces of the ACNA (see Anglican realignment).

Trinity has "board members, faculty, staff, students and alumni on both sides" of movements to realign.[1] Trinity remains, however, an independent institution, neither owned nor controlled by any diocese, parish or province. It remains a member of the Episcopal seminaries.[2]

Trinity now serves 150 full-time and part-time students on its campus in Ambridge and 75 more in online degree programs. Many former professors have become bishops in the Episcopal Church or other Anglican bodies around the world.

Vision, purpose and values[edit]

As of 2011, Trinity's Vision & Values Statement is as follows:[3]

Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry is an evangelical seminary in the Anglican tradition. In this fractured world, we desire to be a global center for Christian formation, producing outstanding leaders who can plant, renew and grow churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ. To this end we are forming Christian leaders for mission.

The values that undergird this vision are:

1) Evangelical and Anglican identity: We stand in the great Anglican Evangelical tradition that is rooted in the primacy of the scriptures and the doctrine of salvation by grace alone through faith alone, and which is foundationally expressed in the classic Book of Common Prayer.

2) Welcoming evangelical, charismatic and catholic streams: We welcome students and faculty who long for a church that is evangelical in faith, catholic in order, alive in the Holy Spirit and committed to mission. We have a vital commitment to students from the Episcopal Church and from other Anglican jurisdictions both in North America and abroad. We also welcome students from other Christian traditions.

3) Serving the Church: We are committed to serving the Church by preparing men and women to be leaders for its mission, its renewal, the planting and growth of congregations, and the proclamation of the never-changing truth in an ever-changing world.

4) Excellent teaching and scholarship: We hold high standards of excellence in teaching and scholarship, believing that these will further both personal maturity and practical effectiveness in mission.

5) Deep formation in community: We value the deep formation in Christian ministry that is possible in the residential degree programs of the school. In addition we believe in being flexible and innovative in providing theological education by extension with a global reach through the internet and off-campus classes and conferences.

6) Being a school of discipleship: We believe that the discipleship of the whole person is essential preparation for ministry. We commit to foster in all our seminarians – men, women, single, married, married with children – spiritual and emotional maturity, integrity, grace, and holiness of life.

7) Lifelong learning: We are committed to building a lifelong community of learning among our graduates and other Christian leaders aimed at constantly improving their knowledge and ability as servants of Jesus Christ and His Church.

8) Trusting God’s provision: We believe that “money follows ministry,” and therefore are accountable to our partners in ministry for careful stewardship of God’s money. We prayerfully rely on God’s provision and the generosity of His people in providing quality theological education at a reasonable cost for this and future generations.

Evangelical leadership[edit]

Founded by leaders of the evangelical wing of the Episcopal Church, TESM has become a central player in the renewal movement in the ECUSA. Although the seminary professes not to discriminate based on theological perspective, the over 1000 graduates who currently serve as clergy and lay leaders are overwhelmingly evangelical.[citation needed] Some of the, alumni, faculty, and trustees of the school have been among those who support conservative theology within the ECUSA, advocating historic views on matters such as the virgin birth, deity of Jesus, and the literal resurrection of Jesus, as well as moral stances such as opposition to abortion and homosexuality. Some of the graduates of this institution have also assumed leadership positions within the Anglican realignment movement and are no longer practicing clergy of the ECUSA.[citation needed]

Although unquestionably evangelical, the seminary includes students, faculty, and staff from among evangelical, charismatic, and Anglo-Catholic wings of Anglicanism, as well as members of other Christian denominations.

Academic information[edit]

TESM is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada[4] and is a charter member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.[5]

Degree programs[edit]

  • Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)
  • Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
  • Master of Arts in Religion (M.A.R.)
  • Master of Arts in Mission (M.A.M.)
  • Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.)

Diploma and certificate programs[edit]

  • Diploma in Anglican Studies - available on campus or online
  • Diploma in Christian Ministry - available on campus or online
  • Certificate in Christian Ministry

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Mark J. Lawrence, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina[6][7]
  • John Miller, Bishop in Anglican Mission in America
  • Charles Gaikia Gaita, Retired Bishop of Diocese of Nyahururu, Anglican Church of Kenya
  • Wilson Turumanya, Bishop of Bunyaro-Kitara, Anglican Church of Uganda
  • John Rucyahana, Bishop of Shyria, Anglican Church of Rwanda
  • Hector "Tito" Zavala, Bishop of Chile, Iglesia Anglicana de Chile (Anglican Church of Chile), Primate- Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de América (Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America)
  • Enrique Lago, Pastor of Iglesia Providencia, Iglesia Anglicana de Chile (Anglican Diocese of Chile)
  • Sadock Makaya, Bishop of Diocese of Western Tanganyika, Tanzania
  • Elias Chakupewa, Bishop of Tabora, Anglican Church of Tanzania
  • Ben Kwashi, Archbishop of Jos, Anglican Church of Nigeria
  • Alpha Mohamed, Bishop of Rift Valley, Tanzania
  • Abraham Nhial, Bishop of Aweil, The Episcopal Church of Sudan [8]
  • Ann B. Davis, former actress
  • Shirley Rollinson, retired Chair of the Department of Religion, and Professor of Greek at Eastern New Mexico University.[9]

Notable current and former faculty[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°35′37″N 80°13′48″W / 40.593605°N 80.229968°W / 40.593605; -80.229968