"Hold to the standard of sound teaching" (2 Timothy 1:13, NRSV). For more than fifty years, the Mercer School has heeded Paul's advice to his disciple Timothy. In its early years the School served as an alternative to residential seminary education, adhering to a pattern of theological education taught at the graduate school level. Mercer was able to answer the need for more educated clergy to fill the growing churches following World War II.
As times changed, the focus shifted to providing an educational program for those called to ordained ministry late in life. As church growth stabilized, as lay participation in the liturgy increased, as models of education changed, as the need to form non-stipendiary vocational deacons moved to center stage in the twenty-first century, Mercer's offerings shifted to accommodate these changes in our Christian life.
Now, as we begin a new academic year, we are focusing more closely on preparing those who are called to lay or ordained ministry in arguably the most diverse diocese in the Episcopal Church. But as those answering this call decline in number, and as many new clergy find themselves serving congregations with declining material and financial resources, our School has adapted. Our "new normal": Once-monthly face-to-face sessions, blending class meetings with worship and spiritual formation and direction in community; use of distance learning technology (our Scripture teacher is based in Scotland!); programs to develop and enhance clergy and lay leadership skills. "Hold to the standard of sound teaching".
All of this review and planning work has taken place while Mercer was mobilizing to host the variety of other programs we offer on a regular basis: Safe Church, Racial Reconciliation and Awareness Program, Church Leadership workshops for vestries and parish treasurers, Eucharistic Visitor training, etc. Added to these activities are new programs in congregational development, stewardship, and other areas of ministry and pastoral support. More detail is found in our Mercer Catalog.
Welcome to our new year! Join us!
Dr Ted Gerbracht Diane Muscarella
Director of Academic Program Director of Operations