The Discipleship Project Announcement

Dear CTS Community,

It is my pleasure to announce that the CTS faculty has unanimously approved a new scholarship program tied to a groundbreaking pedagogical approach.

It's called "The Discipleship Project," and it will debut this coming fall. Like any new program, its initial phase will include a process of transition, learning, and adjustment – and I'm writing to let you know the broad outlines of the project, and to enlist your involvement in that learning process.

The broad outlines are these: The Discipleship Project (TDP) is a scholarship program for up to 12 full-time, residential MDiv students at CTS. TDP scholars will complete the regular MDiv curriculum – and in addition to this coursework, they will also meet together regularly with faculty mentors, engage community leaders, and visit vibrant congregations to learn first-hand about what works (and what doesn’t) in Christian ministry today. Each cohort’s third and final year will culminate with an international site visit (to Jerusalem, for example). And for two years following graduation, CTS will support each cohort in staying connected via online networks and periodic reunions.

The educational underpinnings of this project are inspired by Jesus' pedagogy outlined in the New Testament Gospels. The "school" Jesus had in mind was immersed in the world: itinerant, experiential, and grounded in the idea that learning happens best through mission and mentorship. And so that school took the form of a relatively small group of colleagues – the word "disciple" means "student" – learning together with Jesus, and then staying connected with each other in ministry along the way.

To fill out this picture, and to clarify how you can get involved, here are some questions and answers about The Discipleship Project (TDP):

Q: Who will direct the program?

A: During the current spring semester, TDP's planning group is constituted by professors Bailey, Johnston, Seay (TDP's interim director during the first year), and Boulton, with consultation and oversight from academic deans Hearon and Lyon. Please direct any questions you have about the program to Professor Seay at

Q: Who can apply?

A: Eventually, like CTS' current scholarship programs, TDP scholarships will be awarded to incoming applicants seeking to enroll as full-time, residential MDiv students at CTS. For this first transition year, however, current CTS MDiv students near the outset of their program may also apply. Precise eligibility details soon to follow; check the CTS website for updates.

Q: Which degree programs are eligible?

A: For the program's initial phase, MDiv degree applicants are eligible to participate. However, one of the key questions the CTS faculty will be exploring over the months and semesters ahead is whether the program can eventually be expanded to include other degree programs as well.

Q: What is included in a TDP scholarship?

A: A TDP scholarship includes tuition; a stipend ($12K) for use on housing, books, and other living expenses; and required participation in the experiential program described above, a program based on small-group spiritual formation and community engagement.

Q: If I can't or don't care to apply, can I still be involved?

A: Yes. You are invited to join our ongoing assessment and design team. The TDP planning group believes that all members of the CTS community can help us as we think through this new pedagogical model, and we welcome your creativity and input.

Q: Will TDP scholarship funds divert funds from other CTS scholarships?

A: No. In the program's initial years, donor support already secured will supply the funds necessary to run TDP. And at the same time, CTS has already begun fundraising efforts to support future cohorts in the years ahead, with the ultimate goal of becoming a self-sustaining, thriving program.

Matthew Myer Boulton

President and Professor of Theology



The Discipleship Project is one of many signs that a new day is dawning at CTS.  As the program comes into focus over the months and semesters ahead, thank you for your patience, your creativity, and you input.

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