Dear Starr King Graduates and Friends,

Warm good wishes to you in this New Year. May 2008 bring advances in healing and hope for our world!

At Starr King we contribute to healing and hope by educating people for Unitarian Universalist ministry and for progressive religious leadership in society. This December, we experienced a record number of applicants for our degree programs and reviewed an exceptionally well-qualified pool of potential students for admission.

Why the upswing in applications to Starr King? The hospitable attention of our staff introduces potential students to the school’s strengths: the extensive involvement of UU ministers in our educational work as mentors and teachers (in addition to the eighteen UU ministers and denominational leaders who are teaching as members of our core and adjunct faculty this year, another dozen UU ministers teach as supervisors of our parish interns); and our priority emphasis on educating to counter oppressions and create just and sustainable communities. (Click here to read our guiding statement for this work.)

Nonetheless, there is still space in our fall 2008 entering class. The application deadline is March 1, 2008. If you know of someone who might be a good fit for us, please forward them this letter or send to our website, www.sksm.edu.

We also offer a unique interfaith curriculum with teachers from the world’s diverse religious traditions and practice an educational creativity that allows for individually designed programs and a rich mix of educational modes (online learning, field work in congregations and community settings, courses at all nine schools of the Graduate Theological Union, global immersion opportunities) through our flexible degree programs and offerings: the M.Div., for ministerial preparation, the M.A. in religious leadership for social change, the GTU/SKSM M.A. for scholarship and teaching; the Seminary for the Laity. (Please click here to see our degree and certificate programs.)

The school’s educational excellence and progressive commitments make it highly effective in preparing people for UU ministry and for religious leadership for society. This month we are mailing catalogs and brochures to all our graduates and all UU congregations. If you know of someone you’d like to encourage toward the UU ministry, or whose gifts and interests suit them to a vocation in religious leadership for social change, talk with them about the strengths Starr King offers. If you’d like copies of our print literature, write us at admissions@sksm.edu, and we’ll be happy to mail materials to you. You also can refer potential students to our website.

Our commitment to excellence in theological education is ever-evolving. This year, we are working on a new design for our educational work and we are engaged in an extensive evaluative review of the school in preparation for our ten year re-accreditation visit from the Association of Theological Schools. Starr King’s board of trustees will be meeting later this month to consider the first draft of our ATS “Self Study”. (Available to read and comment on "here)

The board will also discuss the next steps for implementing our new educational design and review the resources necessary to support our mission and goals. In the changing environment of funding for UU theological education this is a critical component of our board’s long range planning.

Hope for the world comes not from dreaming alone, but from the careful, long-haul work of building institutions like Starr King. Starr King makes a home for hope, a space of hospitality and strength that nourishes and transforms the lives of those whose leadership will make a difference.

I welcome your comments and reflections; please respond to this message by emailing me at rparker@sksm.edu.

    In Peace,
    Rebecca Parker
    President and Professor of Theology

    510 845 6232 ext. 112
    rparker@sksm.edu

To make an on-line contribution to Starr King’s mission click here.

 

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starr king is a member school of the graduate theological union