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Dioscesan Gifts Put Wind in Sails for Seminary Relocation

November 8, 2017

Bishop Wright

Recent gifts from the Diocese of Atlanta and Trinity Cathedral of Little Rock have renewed progress on fundraising for returning the School of Theology to the central campus. With the Diocese of Atlanta gift of $250,000, and a gift from Trinity Little Rock of $100,000, the prospect of reintegration of the University’s college and seminary becomes clearer.

“The Diocese of Atlanta is delighted to partner with the University of the South to equip men and women for faithful Christian leadership for the 21st century,” said the Rt. Rev. Robert C. Wright, bishop of the Diocese of Atlanta. Through resources made available by the campaign, the University will move the School of Theology into a new building back to its historic home on central campus and will bolster its financial aid program, ensuring that all graduates begin their ministries with no debt related to their seminary education.

“The leadership of the bishop and Diocese of Atlanta is critical to Sewanee’s future, particularly their support of the expanding work of the School of Theology,” said the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, dean of the School of Theology. “Bishop Wright shares our vision that theological education is the birthright of all of the baptized and the diocese’s support substantially helps us achieve that vision.”

“Personally, I love Sewanee and what it represents: a liberal arts college nested in the Christian faith and Christian church,” said the Very Rev. Christoph Keller, dean of Trinity Cathedral in Little Rock. “I think it is important to be reminded that the Christian tradition can be and has been the home of intellectual inquiry.”

The Stronger Truer Sewanee campaign has a goal of raising $25 million for the School of Theology. Of that, $15 million is dedicated to raising funds for the building and relocation. With about $6 million already committed to the building from all sources, the University is calling on all owning dioceses to make an investment in the future of the Church.

“We believe the renewal of our seminary by returning it to a central position on the University’s campus is a profoundly important step in our being a leader in what Presiding Bishop Michael Curry calls the ‘Jesus Movement,’” says Dean Alexander. “Sewanee is well positioned as a leading educator of a new generation of clergy—a generation we believe isvitally important to the thriving of our movement.”

“For Trinity Cathedral, we take very seriously our investment as a member of an owning diocese,” reflected Keller. “We have long fed from Sewanee, with many cathedral staff having studied there and as a long time site for EfM. The Stronger Truer Sewanee campaign gives us an opportunity to highlight that connection and to make being a part of the owning group more salient.” Keller is also founder of the SUMMA program at Sewanee, a theological debate society for high school students that focuses on enriching faith through intellectual engagement.

If you are interested in a gift that goes beyond current-use dollars, named endowed internship funds begin at the $100,000 level. Named endowed scholarship funds begin at the $150,000 level for the College and $75,000 for the School of Theology.