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News from the Hill May 26, 2009 | back to index

Andover Newton opens talks with Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

Andover Newton Theological School announced on May 26 that its Board of Trustees has approved initiating discussions with the leadership of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRCDS) located in Rochester, NY.  The discussions will explore the feasibility of combining the resources of these two historic institutions in a manner which will maximize efficiency, sustain their legacies and advance a common educational mission.

Nick Carter, president of Andover Newton and a graduate of CRCDS, acknowledged that although the process to bring these two institutions together will require discussion and negotiations, “Andover Newton and CRCDS are natural partners.  What motivates us is the conviction that our respective institutions, students, alumni and communities they serve would be enriched by the combined resources of these two outstanding schools of theology.”

Citing the many benefits of a partnership, President Carter stated, “The distinctive character of both institutions would be preserved and strengthened, expansion of the breadth and depth of the curriculums would yield instructional vitality and excellence, and significant administrative efficiencies would be realized with all students having access to a world class education and preparation for ministry in an ecumenical and denominationally diverse environment.”

In expressing his enthusiasm regarding the possible partnership, President Carter went on to say, “As a result of the rich history and pioneering spirit which has characterized both Andover Newton and CRCDS, this joint venture may usher in a new model for graduate theological education.  What is being announced today places both institutions on the path of discovery and opportunity.”
The CRCDS Board’s decision was also driven by a commitment to strengthen and expand the School’s educational mission and act in accord with the School’s heritage. “Today the landscape of theological education is marked with unprecedented change.  In entering these talks, our shared goal is that both of our institutions become more agile, vibrant and better able to prepare transformative leaders for the new horizons of ministry in the 21st century,” stated Eugene C. Bay, president of CRCDS.

If a partnership is established, the schools would have a combined endowment of approximately $40 million and an enrollment of 450 students.  Andover Newton and CRCDS are both accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

About Andover Newton Theological School

Established in 1807, Andover Newton Theological School is the oldest graduate theological school in North America and is recognized for having created the model which has become standard in almost every seminary in the US.  Andover Newton is served by a distinguished faculty and known for its commitment to pastoral ministry, praxis-oriented theological education and preparing men and women for what it calls “border-crossing” ministries.  As one of the premier seminaries in North America, Andover Newton is also a pioneer in field education and interfaith leadership development.

About Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

CRCDS is an institution that possesses a deep commitment to progressive and prophetic theological inquiry, authentic scholarship and biblical faith; all in the tradition of the Social Gospel.  Founded in 1817 and a presence in Rochester since 1850, CRCDS is a graduate professional school conferring Doctor of Ministry, Master of Divinity and Master of Arts degrees.  CRCDS’ long and proven commitment to the Social Gospel, Black Church Studies and the Program for the Study of Women and Gender in Society and Church is demonstrated in the lives of former faculty member, Walter Rauschenbusch renowned worldwide as the “Father of the Social Gospel” and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a graduate of Crozer Seminary 1951, Marjorie Matthews, United Methodist Bishop, the first woman to be elected bishop in any denomination and Howard Thurman, theologian, author and civil rights pioneer.