Dear Friends of Starr King,
Starr King is experiencing a significant upswing in enrollment. We’ve admitted 45 new students for fall 2008 — an entering class that is younger, more international, and more diverse than usual, with an exciting mix of talent, education, and experience. Nearly a third of the class is in their twenties and the age-range is 22 to 64. Several bring families and children. New students hail from all over the U.S. and the globe: from more than a third of the states in the union and internationally from Botswana, Canada, Senegal, Thailand, and Turkey.
Ninety percent identify as Unitarian Universalists, including several life-long UUs. A significant number have been inspired to come to seminary by their experience with Young Religious Unitarian Universalists. Many will bring extensive understanding as UU lay leaders at the congregational, district and national levels. In keeping with Starr King’s Unitarian Universalist commitment to multi-religious life and learning, the entering class includes practitioners of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Paganism.
The life-work and experience of those we’ve admitted is diverse: college teaching and administration, campus ministry, the Peace Corps, home-making, social work, marketing, business, social justice organizing, military service, youth work, farming, art, and more.
Why Starr King? Students are inspired by the school’s dedication to the real work of ministry, to our progressive approaches to teaching, learning and scholarship, and to education that counters oppressions, creates just and sustainable community, and fosters multi-religious understanding.
Among our three degree offerings, the vast majority of new students will be entering the Master of Divinity program, which prepares people for vocations in Unitarian Universalist ministry. Others will be pursuing the Master of Arts in Religious Leadership for Social Change, or the M.A. in religious studies which we do in partnership with the Graduate Theological Union.
Will all 45 come? It is unlikely. But so far, 26 have said they intend to enroll at Starr King, which would make this fall's entering class one of our largest ever. Many are still in a discernment process, asking themselves difficult questions like whether they will be able to afford coming to Starr King, whether another seminary option would prove to be a better match for their goals, their resources, or their family situations. Our staff will be available to them during this time of discernment.
We look forward to many of them joining us in the fall, and will be doing everything we can — practically and financially — to make it possible for them to fulfill their aspirations for a Starr King education.
How can you help? Remember them in your thoughts and prayers. And remember that practical assistance matters. To contribute to our financial aid fund click here.
President and Professor of Theology
Your comments and reflections are welcome. You may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to send a reply.