Michael Jinkins, President, announced today that the University Senate of the United Methodist Church (UMC) has renewed Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary on the Senate list of approved schools. Dr. Jinkins was notified by letter earlier this week that the Commission on Theological Education had recommended the Presbyterian Church (USA)-affiliated seminary at the Senate’s January 27, 2011, meeting.
“We are honored to continue our long history of serving as a recognized educational setting and resource for ministry for the United Methodist Church. We are humbled and delighted that the University Senate is continuing to express high confidence in Louisville Seminary’s commitment and ability to prepare and train the next generation of United Methodists ministers,” stated President Jinkins, adding that one of the greatest strengths of Louisville Seminary is its ecumenical commitment to “training persons for ministry from a wide variety of theological and churchly traditions.”
“While we are historically a Presbyterian and Reformed school, we welcome students from many denominations,” he said.
For more than 100 years, Louisville Seminary has been preparing Methodist men and women for ordination, pastoral counseling, academic professions, and lifelong ministry. While most of the graduates serve as United Methodist Church pastors, the Seminary also has prepared individuals for ministry as bishops, district superintendents, professors, chaplains, and counselors.
Over the years, most students have come from the Kentucky and Indiana Conferences; however, Louisville Seminary has also attracted United Methodist students from all over the nation, and in particular from Conferences, including Baltimore-Washington, Alabama-West Florida, Tennessee, West Ohio, Pacific Northwest, Western North Carolina, Southwest Texas, and Great Rivers.
The University Senate of The United Methodist Church is an elected body of professionals in higher education created by the denomination’s General Conference to determine which schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools meet the criteria for listing as affiliated institutions. The schools are identified and reviewed by the University Senate as having met criteria for institutional integrity, well-structured programs, sound management, and clearly defined church relationships.
“I am grateful to our exceptional faculty and staff for the teaching, leadership, and support they give in providing the rich learning environment expected in a Wesleyan theological education,” said Jinkins.
At Louisville Seminary, the required Methodist Studies curriculum is part of the Master of Divinity degree program and is available to students in non-degree and other degree programs, including the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and the Master of Arts (Religion) degree. A diverse faculty, including four United Methodist professors/instructors, provides the necessary courses and training as well as guidance for preparation for ministry and placement within the United Methodist tradition.
Professor Dianne Reistroffer, who serves as Director of Methodist Studies and with Dr. Charles Brockwell teaches the required courses in United Methodist History, Doctrine, and Polity, expressed appreciation for all the constituencies who participated in the Quadrennial Review.
“Louisville Seminary receives great support from students and graduates from our wider Methodist family, including the UMC. We are able to work closely with annual conferences and supervising pastors to ensure that our United Methodist students are well-equipped to lead congregations faithfully and effectively,” said Reistroffer.
As a member of the United Methodist Church, Reistroffer added that her denomination “is blessed to have outstanding seminaries like Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary training its candidates for ministry. By God’s grace, our graduates have flourished in ministry. The University Senate’s approval is a testament to the strong and historic bond between the denomination and Louisville Seminary. May God’s grace continue to abound in that ‘blest tie’.”
Louisville Seminary also trains men and women for ministry from other Methodist traditions, including the predominantly African American Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME), African Methodist Episcopal (AME), and African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Churches, all of which have identified Louisville Seminary as an institution for training their respective ministers. Since 2000, 97% of United Methodist graduates and 100% of CME, AME, and AMEZ graduates from Louisville Seminary have received appointments in their respective denominations.