The New President of Fuller Seminary's Vision for Shaping 100 Denominations and 70 Countries
Fuller has done a good job telling its story. Rich Mouw's leadership has done a marvelous job conveying our commitment to civil dialogue and the wider public square. The question now is, if you're forming leaders to build church institutions, how does Fuller demonstrate that that's a legitimate thing? That's where the sense that Fuller is an entrepreneurial institutions and has tried to stay as close to the culture as possible while remaining faithful to the gospel, that it tries and is a very nimble organization in being able to do that.
I hope that will lead us to creative decisions about how we can offer education and training for the church in the real world—the real church in all its diversity and current array of expressions.
Speaking of problems that need creative solutions, one criticism of seminary education is that it costs a lot for a job that pays little and creates a lot of student debt in a highly competitive field. Is there a seminary bubble? What is Fuller doing regarding costs/debt?
I would say without qualification that I think there is a seminary bubble. Student costs are one of the great problems facing every seminary. … It doesn't help people to get a great education and to graduate with an unrealistic debt. We're working very hard behind the scenes, taking those issues with the greatest seriousness. … We're carefully looking at cost structure and our credit demands, trying to figure out how it is that those things can be brought … into greater alignment with the people we're seeking to serve.
As a student of Fuller myself, my own life has been deeply affected by the creativity of Fuller in the season that I was a seminarian. I hope that, in this next season, that same kind of dedication and creativity can be marshaled in such a way that it will continue to be within the power of a Fuller education to change and help people and the world.