In August, the Seminary launched its first fully online program, marking a way forward for theological education at Northeastern. Guided by Dr. Nelson Grimm, an online initiative team, and an interim program director, the Seminary conducted four on-site intensives for faculty and staff development, and curriculum refinement, which includes templates and best practices in online pedagogy. With the student experience in mind, we have additional scholarships, a newly created intranet, and a redesigned orientation for online and onsite students to facilitate their success throughout their program.
Ten years ago, the Seminary launched the Centro Hispano de Estudios Teologicos, a two-year certificate program designed to offer Hispanic students the opportunity to receive Bible education in a classroom setting. Led by Dr. Brian Babcock, assistant dean from 1998 to 2008, the program and curriculum were designed to cover a range of topics that would give students the tools to confidently engage in ministry. Under the direction of Frank Burgos (MAT, 02), the program moved from a Spanish curriculum to a bilingual program, to its current configuration as the Center for Theological Studies and its recognition of meeting 30 credits toward a baccalaureate degree at Roberts Wesleyan College. To date, 90 men and women of Hispanic, African American, Asian, and Anglo descent have enrolled and 44 have graduated. Kathleen Phillips (CTS ’16) was recently named the new director.
Northeastern is stepping into a new phase of welcoming those preparing for ordination in The United Methodist Church (UMC). Resulting from building relationships with the world’s largest branch of the Methodist movement, we received approval from the University Senate of the UMC to serve as an authorized seminary for preparing candidates for ordination.