Wilmore, KY  May 10, 2013

Asbury Theological Seminary will create the “Office of Work and Economics in the Wesleyan Tradition” with a grant of $102,500 from the Kern Family Foundation.  The Seminary anticipates a five-year relationship and ongoing annual funding with the Foundation.

The Office will be housed jointly in the School of Theology and Formation and the E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism.  It will work across each department and school in the Seminary to advocate for faith, work and economics as an integral framing of Christian influence in society, enhancing the existing work of the Master of Arts in Christian Leadership, the Master of Divinity specializations, and the Center for Lay Mobilization (CLM).

The Office will utilize a strategic combination of research, publication, education, and collaboration to achieve its five objectives:

  • Expand curricular and co-curricular opportunities for graduate theological students to engage with issues related to work, economy and culture through mentored field placements, coursework, research and seminars.
  • Produce scholarly work that is broadly accessible on relevant marketplace topics, such as Wesley and economics, economic development as a means of empowerment and evangelization, and moral leadership.
  • Disseminate community-based, graduate-level research on topics such as religiously influenced leadership ethics.
  • Create learning opportunities for parish-based clergy, marketplace leaders, and academicians to explore together faith, work and economics.
  • Develop high-impact, easily accessible multi-media resources to capture and distribute the resulting work of the project to new constituencies.

The Office will be governed by a five-member Faculty Committee and guided by a 20-member National Advisory Council.   Asbury Theological Seminary has many initiatives and partnerships already in place, such as Seedbed.com, an online teaching and training platform that includes daily digital content (print, video, and audio), and the Seminary Stewardship Alliance, a consortium of 24 theological seminaries that explores aspects of faith, sustainability, and creation care.  These and other initiatives and partnerships will be enhanced by cooperation with the new Office of Work and Economics in the Wesleyan Tradition.

“A few years ago a survey was done of parishioners across America asking them if they had ever heard a sermon on work, “ said Asbury Seminary President Timothy Tennent.  “The surprise was that very few had ever heard the topic of work addressed in a sermon, even though the majority of our lives is spent at work.  I am delighted that the Kern Family Foundation has the vision through this grant to help us integrate faith and work in the Wesleyan tradition.”

Established in 1999, the Kern Family Foundation of Waukesha, Wis., invests in the future through support of programs that promote values, education and innovation.  The Foundation aims to effect systemic change through broad-impact, long-term initiatives.

About Asbury Theological Seminary:

With multiple campuses, Asbury Theological Seminary is an interdenominational graduate school of theology committed to teaching the unchanging truth of historic Wesleyan Christianity through the most dynamic means available.  Asbury Seminary offers a variety of academic degrees, including the master of arts, master of divinity, master of theology, doctor of ministry and doctor of philosophy in intercultural studies and biblical studies.  Total current enrollment nears 1,600 students, representing 91 denominations and 44 countries.  For more information, please visit asburyseminary.edu.