Partnerships: A System of Theological Education

January 7, 2019

Collaboration is a vital aspect of being on mission with God.  As an organization focused on developing servants for participation in the kingdom mission, Sioux Falls Seminary is firmly committed to collaboration.  For too long, theological education has been separated into various sections of the Church.  Seminaries, churches, ministry organizations, clinical training processes, and more have been operating separately from one another.  At Sioux Falls Seminary, we believe theological education should be a system in which multiple partners participate in the holistic development of individuals.  We are committed to developing kingdom-minded people for service in the mission of God.  Partnerships are essential to that process.

Over the next several weeks, we are going to highlight a few of these partnerships and meet a few people and share a few stories along the way.  We will look at four different types of partners.  In each case, we will learn a bit about the partner organization and see how the partnership creates unique opportunities for students.  From new ways to look at church-based theological education to interesting intercultural programs, our partners are breaking new ground, and we are blessed to collaborate with them.

As I noted in a previous post,
“Sioux Falls Seminary has worked diligently to develop a system of theological education that functions as a platform for (rather than the source of) a participant’s journey of discipleship.  Instead of trying to build, control, or wall-off every aspect of one’s journey, we partner with churches, nonprofits, ministry training organizations, and other kingdom-minded ministries to create an integrated system of theological education in which all components enhance the others.

Yes, that means we might ‘lose’ money that might have otherwise come our way.  Yes, that means that participants in this journey might be exposed to something outside of our traditional approach to a given theological discipline.  Yes, that means that other organizations might take advantage of this approach and seek to exploit it for their own benefit.  Yes, that is what we think it looks like to give away power and prestige.  Yes, giving away power and prestige is part of what it means to be a follower of Christ.”

Theological education flows from the local church, the body of Christ.  As we see in scripture, each part of the body is needed.  Sioux Falls Seminary is but one piece of the body.  As a result, we are compelled to develop partnerships and to find ways for others to flourish.


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