The overarching purpose of the Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative at Lexington Theological Seminary is to enrich our support of African American, Latinx, and Catholic students by creating meaningful education and financially sustainable opportunities for them to earn a graduate-level theological degree, including a Master’s degree, through Competency-Based Theological Education. The program is guided by three interconnected goals:
Goal I – Designing an educational path and credential that contextualizes the ministry training and needs of African American, Latinx, and Catholic students to serve in their communities and beyond.
- Develop new curricular pathways for underserved communities to create theological programs that are contextually appropriate and theologically relevant to the issues and needs of the communities of faith these students come from and the congregations and communities where they might serve.
- Evaluate curricular content form the Certificate in Hispanic Ministries (CHM) and Certificate in African American Ministry (CAAM) programs to determine what student gaps are present and then design competency exams to fill in educational training gaps.
- Develop a bilingual core curriculum for graduate level Latinx students.
Evaluate new Catholic Studies curriculum, continue to revise as needed, and recruit students.
- Develop the project management portion with participation of selected community non-profits.
- Expand capacity – in content, methodologies, and perspectives of what is taught.
There will be a fully operational and credible graduate-level theological degree path for African American, Latinx, and Catholic students that is pedagogically contextualized and congregational, and project based.
Goal II – Creating an institutional culture that intentionally welcomes, appreciates, respects, and celebrates differences in language, race, gender and sexual orientation, ethnicity, economic background, and theology while remaining faithful to the wisdom, mission, and vision of LTS.
- Identify where new partnerships with African American, Latinx, and Catholic communities can be fostered at an institutional or personal level.
- Create ongoing opportunities to assist administration, faculty, and staff with accessing and expanding their cultural, pedagogical, administrative, and theological knowledge so they can learn to “speak in difference.”
- Create ongoing opportunities to increase intercultural awareness and competence for the LTS community – students, faculty, staff, Board of Trustees, and others.
We envision that our work and study environment is such that students, faculty, and staff learn to value a diverse environment. To this end, the Seminary has invested in laying the groundwork for a campus that respects Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).
Goal III – To build and rebuild relational capital with congregations and institutional capacity that engenders long-term financial support of clergy education and the Seminary in a Congregational Stewardship program.
- Engage leaders from 75 churches, selected from congregations and pastors participating in the Thriving in Ministry Initiative, Thriving Congregations Initiative, and those serving as Accountable Ministry sites for
- LTS students. These 75 congregations will engage with the Seminary around the questions of mutual stewardship of the ministers’ educational costs, continuing education, and our shared responsibility to support and educate clergy and laity. Twenty-five (25) of the 75 churches will be from underserved communities.
- Assist students to assess their financial health and well-being (student loan, consumer debt, etc.) to help them and their church make decisions about ways to support the students’ educational goals.
- Engage leaders of the Catholic Diocese of Lexington to expand our mutual financial support of the Catholic Studies Program.
LTS will build partnerships and expand resources to create financially sustainable educational opportunities for students.
DEI Resource List
The Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative seeks to more fully develop diversity, equity, and inclusion into the life of our institution. As part of this process, a DEI Resource List has been compiled that includes books, articles, videos, documentaries, and podcasts. This resource list is one small way of seeking to respond to this goal and help us think more deeply and respond more intentionally to issues related to inclusion and hospitable environments.