Bexley Seabury Seminary, known to many as the “Seminary Beyond Walls,” has recently evaluated its general approach to educating its seminarians. Like most educational institutions facing the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, the seminary has been considering the way it is poised to best meet the needs of its students. Unlike many traditional schools, Bexley Seabury delivers the majority of its content via online learning. However, most students typically spend a few weekends per semester attending on-campus, residential intensives. In response to ongoing uncertainty about the feasibility or advisability of travel, Bexley Seabury has cancelled all in-person residencies through the Spring 2021 semester. This move to an all-online format represents a change in delivery method only, and not in the set of classes that will be offered.
The Rev. Dr. Micah T.J. Jackson, Bexley Seabury’s president, said, “I’m grateful to be affiliated with such a nimble and resilient seminary which is uniquely positioned to provide The Episcopal Church with first-class theological education and ministerial formation in a time when online learning is needed more than ever. We already have the infrastructure in place to continue doing what we do best. Rather than wait to make a late decision down the road, we are acting now to preserve our students’ ability to continue their programs without disruption and to give faculty time to prepare their courses properly.”
Therese DeLisio, Academic Dean, applauded the decision and stated, “We have such a talented and dedicated faculty and staff here at Bexley Seabury. We go the extra mile for our students. Though we won’t be gathering in person, our curriculum is highly relational, flexible, and adaptable. Our students can be confident they will continue to receive the superior education they’ve come to expect at Bexley Seabury.”
Jaime Briceño, Director of Admissions and Recruitment, had this to say: “Bexley Seabury is ready to come alongside you in your spiritual journey wherever you are. If you choose Bexley Seabury to be your formation and discernment partner, we will do everything we can to ensure your education won’t be derailed by the inability to gather in person. We value access and affordability and try to make our programs as flexible as possible even in our current situation. We have rolling admissions for Fall 2020 and are ready to welcome you to our community as soon as possible. Let’s connect soon so we can talk about your options.”
When asked why the ultimate decision was made to change the plans this early on for the next academic year, Dr. Jackson responded, “Right now we have the opportunity to be both missional and strategic; the wait-and-see approach is neither. Bexley Seabury is an institution of leaders, equipping the next generations of leaders, and we’re ready.”