The School of Theology is first and foremost as the name implies, a school. So we take academics very seriously. The educational enterprise is at the heart of what we do. We have a heavy core curriculum. If you look at other seminaries within the Episcopal tradition, University Divinity schools, and free-standing seminaries, many of them will not have as many core requirements. We tend to think that there's a certain body of knowledge that folks need to master in order to go serve the Church as an ordained person, or as a lay person with the master of arts (M.A.). We will make sure that you have plenty of Bible, Theology, Church History, and Ethics. If you’re on an ordination track you'll get into more applied fields: Preaching, Liturgics, Contextual Education are venues where we get to help you pull the threads together, to integrate the classroom learning that you've gotten in the pure academic disciplines with the lived experience of congregations and folks in parishes. If you’re an M.A. student, you’ll choose your applied coursework or follow one of the concentrations.
We like to ask students to do a lot of thinking, and certainly a fair bit of writing. This is a chance for you to be exposed to a variety of new documents and sources, to learn how to read primary source documents, original texts. The Biblical text, to be sure, but what the early Church fathers and mothers wrote, and other folks all the way down to our day, and then to analyze them. To try to make sense of them on your own and then be in a classroom setting with other folks who have also been looking at those same sources.
A lot of learning also happens in seminar courses, and those in some ways are the most fun because there will be a handful of folks gathered around a table with a professor, typically having read a couple of documents that are primary source and then wrestling with that text, debating with each other, and emerging with a greater understanding than if they were reading off by themselves.