Commencement celebrations at CTS this spring are about more than mortar boards and matriculates. The seminary is also celebrating the commencement of a new CTS Vision.
Read the entire document: A Strategic Vision for CTS (PDF).
Below, CTS President Matthew Myer Boulton elaborates on the Vision Document recently approved by the CTS Board of Trustees.
I write with good news!
On Friday, May 3, after a rich and substantive discussion, the CTS Board of Trustees unanimously approved the CTS Vision Document (also approved by the CTS faculty earlier last month).
The Vision Document’s role is to help us set the direction of our journey together over the next two or three years. If CTS is a sailboat, this document helps us define the direction in which we want to sail. Precisely how we get there will depend on the next stage: planning and implementation, which now begins in earnest. As you well know, however, no “implementation stage” can be wise and well done without a clear vision to give the journey direction and purpose. Accordingly, the approval of this Vision Document is a major milestone in CTS history, and one well worth celebrating!
I want to thank all the faculty, trustees, staff, and students who contributed gifts of time, talent, ideas, and insight to this year-long vision process. As a result of this work, we now not only have an approved Vision Document, we also have a dossier of ideas and recommendations, including the reports from the faculty-trustee collaborations on ecclesiology, pedagogy, community, and recruitment, as well as the recommendations from the CTS Staff Retreat and the suggestions submitted through email@example.com. This dossier will function as a treasure trove of recommendations as we now turn the corner into planning and implementation. Thank you, one and all – and congratulations!
One immediate challenge is to learn how to get the word out about this important step forward, communicating the CTS Vision in clear, compelling, accessible terms to multiple audiences. For some people and in some circumstances, sharing the Vision Document itself will be the best communication strategy. For many others, a brief, attractive summary of the vision will be the most effective way to start.
Here’s one way to describe the CTS vision briefly:
The world needs changing in a host of ways, and many people are hungry to participate in that change effectively, wisely, and in the light of Christian faith. Call it a passion for changing the world. On the other hand, our own hearts and lives need changing, too, and many are hungry for those changes, and in particular to deepen their experiences of receiving God’s grace, love, and healing touch. Call it a passion for changing your heart. On one hand: action, justice, mission – changing the world. On the other: contemplation, wonder, spirituality – changing your heart.
The CTS faculty and trustees have just approved a vision built around the idea that these two transformations – of the world and of the heart – are deeply, intimately, inseparably connected. They each flow from and into the other, in a dynamic, continuous “figure eight” pattern. And at CTS, we envision an education that moves intentionally along that figure eight, with multiple entry points for different people to get involved and grow. This educational pattern will be characterized by three distinctive accents at CTS, each of which builds upon one of the seminary’s existing strengths: (1) education through the arts, (2) education through intensive, immersive experiences and reflection, and (3) education for and with a wide, diverse range of students. Indeed, we believe this figure eight pattern holds promise for educating future pastors, counselors, and community leaders – as well as many others interested in deepening their faith, their Christian discipleship, and their participation in God’s transformation of the world.
So please do spread the word, celebrate the news – and thank God for a beautiful, collaborative vision toward which we can work together in love and hope!