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Capital University, Trinity Lutheran Seminary Announce Intent To Reunite
Driven by an uncompromising commitment to shared mission, Capital University and Trinity Lutheran Seminary announced their intent to reunite, renewing a promise that began 187 years ago. At separate meetings held this month, the boards of Capital and Trinity approved a resolution expressing their mutual commitment to pursue reunion.
“As presidents, we are aligned in pursuing this reunion for the good of our students, past, present and future, and for the sake of the world. We believe that together, we can best educate and equip change agents with the moral, intellectual and spiritual compass required for meaningful lives, purposeful careers and transformative ministry,” Capital President Beth Paul and Trinity President Rick Barger said in a joint statement.
As Capital University and Trinity Lutheran Seminary make plans to reunite, this Q&A can help explain the institutions' commitment to a renewed connection and shared mission.
The intent to reunite is a bold action taken in a world of unprecedented challenges that include widening socioeconomic gaps, climatic change, consumerism and a rising tide of racism, sexism, hate and fear. In this world, mission-driven higher education must be visionary to create a new future by preparing leaders and citizens who are ethically and spiritually grounded, intellectually prepared, diverse and inclusive, courageous and creative and focused on social change within the root causes of these profound challenges.
Likewise, in a disrupted higher education marketplace, small- and mid-sized tuition-dependent universities and seminaries face growing constraints. Capital and Trinity are uniquely positioned in this moment. Together, the institutions can more fully serve as a powerful force for good through transformative higher education.
Capital and Trinity have led together – for 129 years as one institution, and 58 years as neighbors. They were united, with a shared mission to provide transformative education for meaningful lives and ministry, from their founding in 1830 until 1959, when the newly formed American Lutheran Church directed the institutions to separate. Capital and Trinity have continued to function autonomously side by side, but with like vision and purpose. The church since has changed its policy, creating an opportunity for a reunion of Capital and Trinity. This intent to reunite is driven by a belief in the imperative of Trinity’s mission, which is an expression of Capital’s mission. This reunion not only restores what was together until 1959; it also adds the shared gifts and rich heritage brought by Hamma Divinity School, which joined with Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary to form Trinity in 1978.
Reuniting Capital and Trinity also provides the opportunity to define and implement a sustainable business model focused on four key strategies:
These four strategies, complemented by the schools’ physical proximity just across the street from one another, will facilitate a successful reunion.
Today, as Capital is aligning behind a renewed connection to its purpose, Trinity is enjoying a time of great momentum rising from its strategic plan, prospective student interest and its For the Sake of the World appeal.
A transition team will be formed to study, develop and implement the right reunion plan. Work is under way, and will continue throughout the academic year. It’s anticipated that a formal agreement that honors the institutions and all stakeholders — existing and future — will be finalized for approval by both boards by mid-summer 2017, with implementation to follow over the next two years.
About Capital UniversityLocated in the Columbus, Ohio, community of Bexley, Capital is a private four-year undergraduate institution and graduate school that transforms lives through higher education. Our relevant liberal arts core and deep professional programs are delivered in a demanding, hands-on environment by internationally renowned professors who care deeply about engaging students in and out of the classroom. This high-impact learning gives students the knowledge, focus and experience they need to become purposeful leaders in their communities, their fields, and their world.
About Trinity Lutheran SeminaryTrinity Lutheran Seminary, located in the Columbus, Ohio, community of Bexley, is a pioneer in forming pastors and leaders for today’s challenges and today’s world. Trinity’s outstanding cadre of theological leaders and high academic standards are complemented by contextual learning, in both the community and around the nation, providing an exceptional higher education experience. The seminary has been recognized as one of 10 exemplary seminaries in the U.S. by the Carnegie Foundation. Trinity’s vision is one of inclusivity, community, and anticipation, grounded in the hope of the empty tomb.