Drew Theological School Encourages Impactful Action
By Taylor Smith
Grounded in the Wesleyan/Methodist tradition, Drew Theological School is a leading seminary in Madison, N.J., offering four unique master’s programs and two doctoral programs.
According to its website, Drew Theological School is seeking “believers, activists, seekers, thinkers, counselors, preachers, teachers, poets, and dreamers who value thinking and action.” Founded in 1867, the school originated as a means of providing theological education for Methodist Episcopal ministers. Modern-day students and faculty are a diverse group with the desire to impact people’s lives for good.
The Theological School is centered around Seminary Hall in a wooded region of Madison referred to as “The Forest.” Craig Chapel and a variety of technologically-equipped classrooms connect Drew students and professors to the world at large.
Through Drew’s distinctive emphasis on the importance of experience and service, the Seminary prepares graduate students to flourish both professionally and personally. In addition to churches and agencies, Drew facilitates student work in urban communities, such as New York City, Newark, and Philadelphia. The PREP program (Partnership in Religious Education in Prisons) enables Drew students to study alongside incarcerated persons in one of two prisons located within driving distance from the school. The many field education programs give Seminary students the ability to receive a subsidy for national and/or international service of their choosing. Ph.D. and master’s students may also serve as teaching assistants during their time at Drew. In these ways, Drew Theological students garner both real world and intensive academic study experiences.
What also sets Drew apart from other seminary programs is its issue-integrated academic course offerings. Recent examples include Mass Incarceration, Economic Justice, and Religious Activism; Christianity and Ecology; Ethics and Technology; Saints, Sages, and Democratic Subjects; and The Kin-dom of God and Social Change.
The Masters of Divinity degree at Drew “emphasizes the ability to question structures and traditions to end practices of dehumanization, and the wisdom and skills to mobilize diverse communities for societal transformation.” All MDiv students participate in international travel and service. The Master of Arts degree gives Drew students the opportunity to research and do field work in the following areas: Religion and Ecology; Africana Studies; Women/Gender/Sexuality Studies; Arts/Creativity/Imagination; and Social Justice.
In terms of student engagement, caucuses rooted in particular modes of social justice are diverse and plentiful on the Madison campus. Also, the Theological School Community Garden gives graduate students the chance to connect their faith and their food through the practice of gardening, farming, cultivation, and nourishment.
To explore further opportunities in religious and social leadership at Drew, visit http://www.drew.edu/theological-school/.