By Richard Pryor III
As one of the four goals of the Stronger Truer Sewanee campaign, many Episcopalians donated to support Sewanee’s School of Theology (SoT) with the goal of “Educating Tomorrow’s Church Leaders.” With $16.8 million of the $25 million needed already raised, the campaign seeks to hit three main goals: moving the School of Theology to central campus in the area currently occupied by the Bishop’s Common, bolstering financial aid and scholarships for seminarians, and increasing support through the Beecken Center for programs to help the laity of the church.
The new School of Theology building will include an atrium, study terraces, an auditorium, and classrooms with the newest technology. The building has been designed by Wier Boerner Allin Architecture of Jackson, Mississippi. A ‘fly-through’ video of the planned building is available on the Stronger Truer Sewanee website.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. J. Neil Alexander, Dean of the School of Theology, noted that the money for the Beecken Center will be used to support their current programming. The Beecken Center currently supports Education for Ministry, a distance learning certificate program in theology; Living in the Green, a program about discerning calls in the church; Summa, a theological debate society for high school students; Invite, Welcome, Connect, an evangelization ministry used in many Episcopal churches; as well as programs for instructing inter-faith volunteer disaster chaplains.
The end goal of moving the SoT back to central campus is still a few years away. The programs currently housed in the Bishop’s Common will have to be relocated around campus in the planned “Distributed Commons.” For example, the Sewanee Outing Program will move to the planned Wellness and Recreation Commons.
The campaign’s final goal is to bolster the financial aid and scholarships the SoT can give out. By increasing the help that the SoT can give students, they can reach more students. Alexander noted that there is an “enormously loyal and growing constituency of people who want to invest” in Sewanee.
Pull Quote: The campaign’s final goal is to bolster the financial aid and scholarships the SoT can give out.