Cross-Cultural, Urban, Reformed, Ecumenical

Mission and Goals

Mission Statement:

  • We are a community of learning and teaching, challenged by the Holy Spirit and grounded in God's transforming love for the world in Jesus Christ.
  • We are called to nurture the gifts of women and men for faithful Christian ministry and leadership through rigorous academic study, practical experience and spiritual formation.
  • A seminary of the Presbyterian Church (USA) since 1829 and a progressive leader within the Reformed tradition, we are committed to institutional life, scholarship and ministry that are ecumenical, urban and cross-cultural.


Context, Current Situation, and Vision

The current context of theological education is characterized by many challenges and opportunities. The challenges are well-documented: financially stressed schools; decreasing enrollments; the need for different educational models of delivery; increasing student debt at the undergraduate and graduate level; and the overall decline in religious participation in general, especially among younger generations. Opportunities are also present: increased diversity from faith communities of color; an increasingly innovative culture within higher education; and younger generations committed to justice and service, albeit not always grounded in faith or the institutional church.

For McCormick’s mission to thrive in the 21st century, the seminary will need to live increasingly in to this changing context. By the year 2040, there will no longer be a racial-ethnic majority in the United States. The 2040 vision addresses three trajectories of change that will characterize McCormick’s future: 1) Unprecedented Diversity; 2) Innovation and Technology; and 3) the Next Generation. The seminary will faithfully respond to its current context and proactively adapt to these inevitable forces of change for the future. By doing this, McCormick, a seminary of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), within the Reformed tradition, will continue to train and form leaders for the 21st century church and world in ways that are cross-cultural, urban, and ecumenical.

For the complete statement, download the Strategic Plan 2016-2019