Not Closing

I spent a long time in a conference call with home base in Evanston yesterday afternoon, and among the aspects of that call that struck me, the most forceful was the very firm insistence that Seabury is not closing. I’m passing that along to you, because you may otherwise be tempted to reach an incorrect conclusion when I indicate that Seabury will not admit a new class of incoming students this year; Seabury will try to arrange that current students can complete their degrees at other institutions; Seabury will no longer offer a 3-year residential M.Div. (they might try to offer a different kind of M.Div, program — that’s up in the air); and, unstated but clearly implicit in current goings-on, some people will have to lose jobs. I would guess off-hand that “some” will end up pretty close to “many.” (Since I didn’t receive the faxed official Executive Board motion, and don’t have the approved talking points in hand, I may be slightly in error on one of these elements of the picture; if so, I’ll correct myself as soon as the error comes to my attention.)
 
You may imagine that I have a lot to say, and a lot of strong feelings, about this turn of events. In the interest of not complicating the Dean’s and Transition Committee’s work, though, I’ll withhold further comment. On the other hand, if I seem dazed, somewhat anxious, maybe a little grouchy, incongruously teary, or (as right now) persistently headache-y, I apologetically beg your indulgence.

11 comments / Add your comment below

  1. You and all the community at Seabury will certainly remain in my prayers. I visited there during last year’s Prospective Studnet Days, subscribed to your blog shortly after, and had been looking forward to enrolling there either this fall or the next – I found it to be a magical and wonderful place, and had a strong sense of calling to attend there. But alas, it appears God has provided a different path for all of us… certainly, many prayers are ascending your way…

  2. You — and the entire Seabury community — are in my prayers. I hope that this rupture opens up new possibilities, and that in whatever dying there is also new life…

  3. Holding you, your family, and Seabury in the light of my concern and love today with optimistic confidence that you will continue to make a profound and positive difference in our world, that through your writing, teaching, and example the love of God as you know Him will always shine on those around you, helping you share His gift of grace and make the world a better place.

  4. Thanks, everyone. There’s not much to do, at this point; if I understand things correctly, a special committee is conducting intensive deliberations on what way forward to pursue. Its options are confidential for the time being. I can’t think of an option that keeps faculty and staff on board without students; even if we merged with another institution, we wouldn’t be bringing a lot of students with us — maybe hardly any. I don’t envy the committee that’s trying to cook up a viable future, but then my own position is not precisely enviable either.
     
    Right now, as always, friendly support probably matters most of all — for which I thank y’all again. I’ll have more to say when I can.

  5. As an alum of the class of 1979, this is a time of great sadness for me. Anything I could do to help?

    FWH+

  6. Here at Seabury we remain in a state of shock after the Wednesday announcement. The powers that be are scrambling to make sure we can all get the courses we need to finish our M.Divs. The board does not seem to understand that worry about collecting credits is not the source of our grief and anger right now. Most of us agree that we came to Seabury to live in a community which took formation and worship very seriously. The prospect of losing that stuns us.

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