A new partnership between New York’s Trinity Church Wall Street and the city’s Union Theological Seminary will see international students receive a year of academic training and faith formation. Six students from China and India will form the first cohort in the 2018/19 academic year. They will receive “advanced theological study that prepares them for some forms of teaching, enhancement of ministerial practice, focus on a specialised function of ministry, or doctoral level study” under the new Trinity Union Fellows Program.
Trinity Church Wall Street has provided a $750,000 USD (approximately £570,000 GBP) grant for the programme, to fund student expenses, including English language courses and living stipends. Union and Trinity are working with sister institutions in China and India to identify applicants for the programme.
In a joint statement, the church and seminary said that the students “will participate in all facets of worship” at Trinity “as well as learn about the committee structure and governance of the church. Students will discover how Trinity’s core values of faith, integrity, inclusion, compassion, social justice and stewardship guide the church in fulfilling its mission.”
“A key aspect of Trinity Church’s mission is to help train and develop church leadership,” the church’s Rector, the Revd Dr William Lupfer, said. “This program will provide an opportunity for international students to immerse themselves in the rigorous academic environment at Union, as well as the community life of the growing congregation at Trinity Church, providing a well-rounded experience for these future Christian leaders.”
He continued: “We are excited to be partnering with Union Theological Seminary, which has a long and well-respected history of educating international students to act as catalysts in their communities and their churches.”
The President of Union Theological Seminary, the Revd Dr Serene Jones, added: “Union is committed to cultivating a new generation of international scholars and global faith leaders, and we are thrilled to partner with Trinity in this endeavour. This programme will expand and strengthen Union’s longstanding partnerships with Christian seminaries in China and India. In today’s world, theological education is, at its best, global in reach and intercultural in scope.”
This article was corrected on 23 October. The original version mistakenly referred to Unity Theological Seminary.