Challenge Grant Launches Innovation in Lay Education

“We are in the midst of a new Reformation,” says McCormick’s President Frank M. Yamada. “We have an opportunity to rethink theological education for the priesthood of all believers, merging ancient wisdom with cutting-edge technology.”

The new McCormick Scholars program, with the launch made possible by a grant from First Presbyterian Church Libertyville, strives to do exactly that by bringing teaching faculty to lay leaders in a congregational setting.

Thanks to a $25,000 challenge grant for the program, plans are underway for members of the McCormick faculty to meet with leaders of the First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville to determine needs, other potential church partners, and next steps for an academic program set to begin in the fall of 2014.

Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Brian Paulson believes that First Church Libertyville’s grant will encourage other churches in the area to contribute to and participate in the program.

"While faithful lay leaders are hungry to go deeper with theological education, the demands of daily life coupled with the expense of Seminary, make it unlikely that they will enroll in Seminary classes. The McCormick Scholars program brings theological education to them, instead requiring them to seek it out.” explains Rev. Dr. Paulson.

“The Church depends on local institutions for its vitality, creativity, and future. McCormick is privileged to work with First Presbyterian Church, Libertyville, and other congregations to ‘equip the saints for the work of ministry and to build up the body of Christ (Eph 4:12),’” says McCormick Theological Seminary’s Interim Dean of Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Deborah Kapp.

About McCormick Theological Seminary

McCormick is one of 12 schools related to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and is an accredited member of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) and is affiliated with the University of Chicago, the Hyde Park Cluster of Theological Schools and the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS). As one of the nation’s most respected seminaries, it celebrates and prepares women and men from all denominations and backgrounds for Christian ministry and service in the year 2040 and beyond, advancing a model of education that is cross-cultural, urban, Reformed and ecumenical.

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