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News Release

Moravian Theological Seminary initiative will increase diversity

Receives grant from E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation

(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) – Moravian Theological Seminary received a grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation to implement an initiative that will attract more minority faculty and students to its degree and outreach programs.

The Seminary will use the $80,000 grant to bring a multicultural ministry specialist to the campus for one academic year as well as offer scholarships to eight area minority pastors. Directed by the scholar in residence, these pastors will attend regular seminary classes and participate in a seminar which will explore the changing religious and ethnic composition of the Lehigh Valley. Based on this study, the pastors would work with the seminary to create ways in which regional clergy and lay leadership of minority congregations can engage in theological education. Scholarships will also be provided to promising leaders of local ethnic congregations who want to pursue an education in theology.

The Seminary has recently begun its search for a scholar in residence, pastors, and scholars. Community outreach efforts include visiting pastors of color to discuss opportunities at the Seminary. An open house will be held at the Seminary in the coming months as well as follow-up meetings to explain the program, to begin to define perceived leadership needs of area congregations, and to identify and recruit pastor/scholars. The fall of 2003 will feature the first semester of the program while the spring of 2004 will include the second semester conclusion of the program.

E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania provides grants in support of graduate theological education.

For more information, contact Steve Simmons, director of continuing education, at (610) 625-7868.