Jesse C. Fletcher Seminary seeks to answer the challenges of theological education in the 21st Century. We believe that in a postmodern cultural context, ministers must be educated, equipped and empowered to function with compassionate sensitivity to our pluralistic culture. Therefore, we place a high value on creative, inclusive, and generous partnerships with a variety of like-minded organizations.
RAISING AUTHENTIC LEADERS
A reality of our present age is that people yearn for real community. By embracing practical ministry as a founding principle, Fletcher Seminary will equip ministers who can lead more authentic and community focused churches and ministries.
ADDRESSING GAPS IN THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION
Fletcher is committed to address the fundamental gaps in current theological education in San Antonio, South Texas and the international community. Deborah Gin writes that The Association of Theological Schools surveyed 940 graduates about their lack of training to meet the ministry demands. Ten of the top fifteen rated needs included: administration, counseling, leadership, active listening, communication skills, interpersonal competency, finance, formation, conflict resolution, and intercultural competency (Colloquy Online, September 2018). Fletcher will weave these competencies into our core curriculum giving our students and graduates practical skills needed to be highly contextualized ministers.
Through helping our students connect theological academics with practical ministry leadership skills, we believe our graduates will be prepared to lead churches that embrace a more robust view of the Priesthood of all Believers. Moreover, practical theology and leadership skills training, when woven into theological education, provides students with the tools needed to lead churches to boldly explore God’s truth in Scripture with intellectual integrity (Bible Freedom), and to lead churches that truly live into their own unique contexts and convictions (Church Freedom).
A GLOBAL/ECUMENICAL OUTLOOK
Fletcher Seminary aspires to be the premier 21st Century seminary focused on providing challenging theological education, spiritual formation, practical preparation for ministry, and continuing career growth for global ministry. Fletcher will accomplish this goal by preparing servant leaders academically and vocationally for the diverse ministry needed for global ministry. Fletcher will provide transformational student-centered learning experiences in the church, community, and the world through unique cooperative learning opportunities such as non-profit training and business development. Fletcher will have an inclusive culture for all those called to and exploring a call to ministry.
As an affordable seminary with rigorous academics that is open to all people and all Christian denominational affiliations, Fletcher will provide a unique model in South Texas. One of the gaps in theological education in South Texas is there is no seminary that fully welcomes moderate and progressive students, and no seminary exists with a truly ecumenical makeup. There is also no seminary in South Texas presently embracing a robust view of religious liberty – even welcoming interfaith and multicultural perspectives. Fletcher believes that strong partnerships that cross old denominational lines will become critical for theological education to thrive.
Fletcher’s Board and professors will reflect the students we wish to attract from a variety of backgrounds and theological perspectives, life experiences as well as racial and ethnic diversity. We hope to offer courses on World Religions and invite local interfaith persons to collaborate with the seminary in a variety of ways to raise awareness and promote solidarity for compassion and unity.