A Letter From the President
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Over the last many years, Meadville Lombard has sought to create a vibrant ministerial formation process that is relevant for service in the 21st century while updating our facilities and assuring financial stability. In the necessary experimentation to reach our dreams we have sometimes stumbled, but always with a determination to strengthen this school and ultimately serve Unitarian Universalism through the ministers we prepare. Two years ago, with the Meadville Lombard TouchPointSM model of theological education fully introduced, our relocation to the South Loop completed, and economic sustainability realized, we felt we were at a brief resting place, a plateau from which to look backward with satisfaction and forward to new initiatives that will build on our success.

So I was taken by surprise by how emotionally affected I was when all that we had accomplished was decisively affirmed by the official letter I received from The Association of Theological Schools last week.

The ATS Board of Commissioners reaffirmed our accreditation for a full period of ten years, to spring 2023 and approved our four degree programs. That was wonderful news in and of itself. But then the letter went on to rave about what we have done here, encouraging us to maintain:

"The collaborative process engaged by the school's leadership...[that] has established for this seminary a unique niche in graduate theological education..."
"...an imaginative curriculum that is creatively delivered to a distinctive audience."
"The new sense of nimbleness that has led to an amazing turnaround over the last decade...",
"...an agile model that is mission-driven, market-sensitive, and monetarily sustainable."

My sense of gratitude is enormous. I am so proud of our Provost Dr. Sharon Welch and our awesome faculty, our small but amazingly efficient administrative staff, and the distinguished UU leaders who have served as our trustees over the years of tough decisions and brave initiatives. And I am also deeply grateful to all of you: our alums who daily prove the value of a Meadville Lombard education by your ministries, our supporters whose confidence is registered by your generous donations, and our students who have always believed in our future.

If you want to read the entire text of the ATS letter, you can find it here.

This is a great day for Unitarian Universalism as we celebrate Meadville Lombard as a seminary that is indisputably recognized as a leader in theological education - the way it should be!

Sincerely,

Lee Barker

President and Professor of Ministry