News from the Hill March 11, 2011 | back to index
BOSTON – In a bold and transformative move, the Boston Theological Institute (BTI), a consortium of nine schools of theology and divinity schools in the greater Boston area, is welcoming Hebrew College including its Rabbinical School, Newton, Mass., as a full member effective January 1, 2011.
BTI’s decision to include a Jewish school whose purpose, in part, is to ‘bring forth deep human wisdom and the divine creative spark that lie within our ancient sources’ will add, according to BTI Board Chair and President of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, Dennis Hollinger, “an additional rich educational dimension to the consortium.”
The Boston Theological Institute was formed in 1968 following the ecumenical impetus brought on by the Roman Catholic “Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican” (Vatican II, 1962-1965) to share educational resources and pursue common goals in an opening era of Christian ecumenical exchange.
Hebrew College is an interdenominational Jewish institution, which describes itself as ‘a pluralistic community of Jewish learning and leadership, engagement and creativity.’ Its educational goals include Jewish professional studies, adult learning, and youth education. The College is in Newton Centre adjacent to the campus of Andover Newton Theological School and already enjoys shared activity with Andover Newton as centered on the much emulated CIRCLE Program in interfaith learning.
“We are extremely pleased to be the first Jewish College and Rabbinical School to become a member of a consortium that seeks to foster interfaith learning and to strengthen interfaith relationships, BTI, while fully supporting our mission of traditional Jewish education,” said Daniel L. Lehmann, president of Hebrew College.
According to Rodney L. Petersen, BTI’s executive director, “the decision to welcome Hebrew College’s application for full membership into the consortium marks an effort on the part of BTI to enter fully into the world of inter-faith education and to see it as beneficial to the development of vital, vibrant religious leadership for the 21st Century without loss to its deep ecumenical commitments.”