Rev. H. Sharon Howell, President of Saint Paul School of Theology, and Kansas Wesleyan University President and CEO Matt Thompson, Ph.D., and have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a 3+3 theological studies undergraduate-graduate program.
The agreement is thought to be the first of its kind to be established between a United Methodist-based university and a United Methodist seminary.
Under this arrangement, Kansas Wesleyan students would condense the four-year course of study for the Christian Ministry major into three years, followed by the completion of the three-year Master of Divinity degree at Saint Paul School of Theology. This allows students to prepare for ordination and entry into the ministry in six years instead of the usual seven, while earning them both B.A. and M.Div. degrees.
“This collaboration will allow us to continue to serve the United Methodist Church, preparing people for ministry and service with a phenomenal partner,” said Dr. Thompson, who explained that the two barriers to a Ministry degree are time and money. “By condensing the time required to complete both degrees, the joint program provides a cost savings, which should open the door for many people to answer the call.”
“Saint Paul School of Theology is thrilled to be in this bold, new academic collaboration with Kansas Wesleyan University,” said President Howell. “We are eager to offer students an opportunity to enjoy their initial three years of undergraduate work at KWU, and then easily move into the M.Div. program at Saint Paul. It has been a joy to work with President Thompson to address our mutual concerns of time and money for students who are being called to leadership across God’s church and world. This is an amazing moment for KWU and Saint Paul.”
The distinctive Christian Ministry major at Kansas Wesleyan University prepares students for full-time ministry in an environment that encourages the interaction of faith and learning. It combines a practical in-the-field internship experience under the guidance of mentors in full-time ministry with coursework in four core areas: Bible; Religion and Philosophy; Ministry; and Educational and Social Sciences. In addition, the university has a robust campus ministry program, including Tuesday Night Alive weekly worship and a young adult discipleship pilot program of Upper Room Ministries. Learn more at www.kwu.edu/ministry.
The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) at Saint Paul School of Theology prepares graduates for ministry in the church, chaplaincy, not-for-profit work and other forms of religious leadership. The M.Div. is required for ordination by many denominations and is among the requirements in the primary track toward becoming ordained as elder in the United Methodist Church. This graduate degree develops students as theologians who are able to understand the biblical, historical, and doctrinal traditions and the ecclesial practices of the Christian heritage. They learn to lead and minister sensitively in diverse contexts, to integrate practical skills and academic competencies, and to grow in maturity and reflective faith through continuing study and a life of justice and intentional spiritual formation for leadership in ministry. More information at www.spst.edu.
Saint Paul School of Theology – Established in 1958, Saint Paul School of Theology is a United Methodist seminary, located in the Greater Kansas City area in collaboration with The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection and in Oklahoma City, OK, with the collaboration of Oklahoma City University. While students are predominantly United Methodists, the student body represents more than 20 denominations each year. Saint Paul is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS), and by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), and is approved by the University Senate of The United Methodist Church. Learn more at www.spst.edu
Kansas Wesleyan University – Founded in 1886. Kansas Wesleyan is a liberal arts university affiliated with the United Methodist Church, and accepts students of all faiths. KWU provides a rigorous academic liberal arts education in its undergraduate and pre-professional majors and its MBA degree. Signature programs among the 50-plus degree options are Emergency Management, Criminal Justice, Nursing, Christian Ministry, Teacher Education, and Environmental Studies and Community Resilience. Learn more at www.kwu.edu.