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InDepth – Discussion on Seminary Education

The “Domino Effect” of Student Debt

In an earlier generation, it would seem that the formula for responsible financial decision making was simple:                                       An organization provides honest information                          +   ...
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Pathways to Seminary Education: Clarifying Our Purpose

As a mission-centric organization, we are constantly evaluating and assessing our ability to carry out our mission of equipping leaders for service in God’s kingdom. In this spirit, our Seminary hosted a gathering on October 8, 2019 titled “Pathways to Graduate Theological Education.” An introduction to this event, along with extensive content, can be found...
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Pathways to Seminary Education: A Step Forward

The following entry details the gathering that took place on Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 at Winebrenner Theological Seminary. The purpose of the gathering was to introduce and discuss the merits of new pathways to seminary education. Any interest or questions pertaining to this topic can be directed to Dr. Brent Sleasman, President, at brent.sleasman@winebrenner.edu. Special...
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Pathways to Seminary Education: Invitation to Collaborate

Winebrenner Theological Seminary is actively working to remove obstacles for prospective students by focusing on education that is affordable, accessible, and of high quality.  We have clarified three specific areas for potential collaboration with kingdom-oriented seminaries and ministries to create pathways for students to experience seminary-level education: Advanced Standing We have criteria for students from non-degree/non-accredited institutes (both church-based and...
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Pathways to Seminary Education: A Foundation for Moving Forward

This entry follows immediately from “Pathways to Seminary Education: Introduction.” Three specific assumptions guided our team as we prepared for our Pathways event. Assumption #1: Organizational language and culture matter. There were 36 participants at the event (including Winebrenner staff) and many more who couldn’t be present for various reasons. Of the many seminaries and...
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Pathways to Seminary Education: Introduction

On Tuesday, October 8, Winebrenner Theological Seminary convened an intentionally selected group of like-minded seminaries and educational agencies to assist in finding a solution to further the educational experience of those who have partial undergraduate education.  We called this event Pathways to Graduate Theological Education and were able to meet, in part, due to the...
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From Oppositional to Creative Agenda

As a work in the March 5, 2019 edition of the online journal, New Directions for Higher Education, this article can only be accessed via pdf. Please click the button below to access the article. The entry is written by Winebrenner President, Dr. Brent Sleasman. The image for this entry is from Pixabay and was...
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A Denominational Community of Learners

Communities of learners develop in many ways, though every community has obstacles. Even when students are not all in the same location, participants find new pathways to form bonds as a community of learners (Richardson, Huyah, and Sotto 2019). Even through Zoom (teleconference app), students bond together. Sometimes those bonds run deep. Several months ago,...
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Men of Marion Embrace Change

Change is often so challenging. How do we go about making this work? What’s this going to cost me? What if it doesn’t work? What if people don’t like me? Those concerns are reasonable. But think how you’d feel if you’re a man for whom education isn’t readily accessible? What if you’ve been a Christian...
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Cross-cultural Communities of Learning

Cross-cultural communities of learning in a seminary are rooted in the cross. Ephesians 2:14 tells us that Christ brought peace among various groups. “In his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.” His body was broken for us all. The same passage further explains that the various...
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Community of Learners – Expanding!

Last week marked the beginning of the 2019-2020 academic year. Of the classes meeting, 56% are fully online. We no longer can define the location of a community of learners in terms of building names and room numbers. Students are gathering in Zoom chats, in discussion boards, and on the ground in Findlay, Ohio and...
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A Community of Learners – Part 2

God’s timing is always perfect and often brings about unexpected results. As I wrote in Part 1, I believe that community is best experienced at Winebrenner Theological Seminary when we focus upon being a community of learners. When we posted that article I was unaware that I would sit in a worship celebration over the...
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A Community of Learners – Part 1

As we consider the future direction of Winebrenner Theological Seminary, I want to take a few moments and reflect upon one of our three strategic priorities: our commitment to develop a Community of Learners. Often, when we hear or read the term “community” within a faith context, we see it as a standalone noun or...
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Seminary Education without an Undergraduate Degree: Yes! It is possible.

Are you one of the estimated 46 million Americans who have some college education, but not a completed undergraduate degree?* Have you also spent time or are currently serving in a ministerial or pastoral context? Do you feel God’s call and desire a seminary education, but are uncertain you are educationally qualified? If you answered...
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Why Does the Churches of God, General Conference Value Seminary Education and Our Relationship with Winebrenner Theological Seminary?

Is a seminary education really necessary today? This question arises more than you might think. “We live in a world with Google. Do you really need a seminary?” “The most successful pastors I know didn’t attend seminary. Why do I need it?” These are just a couple of the reasons offered against seminary education that...
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Accessibility

Upon leaving Bible College in 1991, some of my classmates moved to various locations to attend seminary. I went to San Antonio, TX as a youth pastor. Fast forward fifteen years when God started directing me to seminary education. There were no evangelical seminaries in Milwaukee and I was in a ministry position and unable...
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Affordability

Many significant financial changes have occurred at Winebrenner since I arrived in March 2016. Winebrenner’s continued work toward financial stability is not unlike that of other theological seminaries in the United States, including Fuller Theological Seminary (one of the three largest seminaries in the United States according to the Association of Theological Schools) who, in...
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Why does Winebrenner Seminary have trimesters?

I graduated from Winebrenner Theological Seminary in 1999 with a Master of Divinity degree. My educational experience consisted of morning and afternoon courses (all in person), weekly chapel, monthly Student Fellowship meals, and evenings spent either studying or spending time with friends (many were other seminary students). During the summer between our second and third...
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“Pathways” Partners

One of the ways in which Winebrenner Theological Seminary is talking about fulfilling our strategic plan is through the development of collaborative relationships with non-educational contexts, such as local churches and denominational bodies.  To provide a clear identifier for these collaborative relationships, we’ve begun referring to these settings as “Pathways” partners. These settings are distinct...
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Why Accreditation Matters

When I travel for business or leisure, I’m a review reader. My phone has an entire tile filled with travel apps like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google maps for quick access to Google reviews. You see, before I spend my money on a meal or an attraction, I want to know what I can expect. Two-star...
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An Analysis of the Cost of Theological Higher Education

Winebrenner Theological Seminary is launching a new blog series called InDepth that is intended to provide some insight and analysis into where we are, where we are heading, and how we’ll get there.  Although anyone is welcome to read these posts, the entries will be written primarily for our audience of current faculty, staff, administration, Board members, as...
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