Lexington Theological Seminary is an accredited graduate theological institution of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Consistent with the Disciples’ historic commitment to Christian unity, the Seminary is intentionally ecumenical with students, faculty, staff and trustees of various denominations. The Seminary has been preparing God’s people for the church since 1865.
The mission of Lexington Theological Seminary is to prepare faithful leaders for the church of Jesus Christ and, thus, to strengthen the church’s participation in God’s mission for the world. Lexington Theological Seminary seeks to be a servant of the church preparing God’s people for ministry in congregations through innovative instruction, flexible curriculum, congregational experience and compassionate engagement with the needs of society. The Seminary offers an online program that is competency-based, congregation-centered and developmental in its commitment to prepare people for leadership in congregational ministry. As an integral part of the church, the seminary serves the church as a theological resource and as a center of continuing education for clergy and lay leaders.
The faculty, trustees and ministry partners of Lexington Theological Seminary understand ministry to be both a divine calling and a learned profession. Students enter a 3,000 year conversation about who we are, what we are formed to be and do, what it means to be a people of trust, how to respond to life-altering events, who will hear our silent cry, how we craft questions that deepen the conversation, why we assume that the source of wonder and awe is beckoning us, how we listen and respond to the conversations of other people of trust and of mistrust and why we understand people and the earth to be unfolding mysteries rather than unsolved problems. The Seminary participates in this conversation in partnership with the church and society through interplay of applied knowledge, empathetic concern and spiritual practices. We do this through three primary, interrelated elements of ministry:
- Intellectual – Preparation for ministry requires the development of the intellect with and for the community of faith. This entails understanding study as a form of prayer that shapes and replenishes the community and the ministerial leadership. Intellectual development through such study includes the thoughtful evaluation, judgment and adaptation of texts, traditions, histories and practices of the universal church in its contexts and the development of the ability to relate the gospel to issues of contemporary society.
- Practical– Preparation for ministry also requires that students unite their own unique qualities as persons with specific pastoral and leadership skills, including preaching, leadership in worship, counseling, teaching, administration, exploring a pastoral learning agenda and promotion of individual and social/political transformation consistent with the gospel. Students develop their pastoral identity in a congregation, understanding and facilitating congregational programs as interpretations of a tradition of transformation.
- Spiritual – Preparation for ministry concerns the sources of energy and practices that develop meaningful communities of faith. Ministers-to-be as theologically informed leaders develop a way of being in the world that is informed and replenished by worship, prayer and service. In addition, students study, evaluate and savor the texts, traditions and disciplines of our ancestors’ individual and collective spiritual practices as a form of spiritual midwifery on the way to new life.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Goal 1: Diversify who we are by actively recruiting and retaining faculty, staff and students from historically underrepresented populations
- Goal 2: Diversify what and how we teach
- Goal 3: Promote an equitable and inclusive environment through conducting regular professional development programs, recognizing the benefit of varied perspectives, and tracking progress in DEI efforts
Academic Excellence and Relevance
- Goal 1: Assess, design and implement high quality degree and non-degree programs that meet the evolving needs of the students, the Church and the community
- Goal 2: Maintain and develop curricula and programs that encompass the spectrum of ministry, to better prepare ministers and congregations to continue to be relevant
- Goal 3: Continually assess our educational offerings and programs that support the needs of our constituencies
- Goal 4: Enhance the recruitment and enrollment of mission-appropriate students
Sustainability of Pastors in Congregational Ministry
- Goal 1: Develop programs that will support LTS alumni throughout their time in active congregational ministry, with special focus on the first five years of ministry
- Goal 2: Serve as a relevant resource for supporting congregational ministries and developing lay leaders
- Goal 3: Develop specific offerings for lifelong learning of clergy, drawing on the Seminary’s strengths and leading-edge research initiatives (e.g., bi-vocational ministry)
Financial Stability and Growth
- Goal 1: Grow financial resources through MEF, Endowment, and Grants to ensure long-term institutional stability
- Goal 2: Assess staffing, technology, and facility needs at varying levels of enrollment and mix of offerings to determine scalability
- Goal 3: Enhance and enrich the Seminary’s partnerships with friends, trustees and organizational partners
- Goal 4: Maintain financial equilibrium by balancing the institution’s resources, operating expenses, and facility needs
Continuous Cultivation of a High-Quality Environment to Work, Study and Grow
- Goal 1: Develop an institutional culture that nurtures an ethos of community that encourages envisioning the future
- Goal 2: Recognize Trustees, Alumni, and Congregations as valuable institutional resources
- Goal 3: Align human resources with strategic goals (from technology IQ to diversity to mix of full-time and part-time students and of core and contingent faculty)