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  • August 24, 2006

    Crossin’s 10 Points for New Students

    I rarely see my boss these days, at the beginning of the year–he’s out at the Consortium schools’ orientations, inviting new students to become involved in Consortium activities.

    Here’s a handout that he gives to all new students, Crossin’s 10 points. It contains both practical information and the philosophical/theological rationale that underlies all the Consortium’s work of ecumenical theological formation.

    Crossin’s Ten Points
    For New Students in the Consortium

    May they all be one.
    Father, may they be one in us,
    As you are in me and I am in you,
    So that the world may believe it was you who sent me.
    [John 17:21]
    1. The Consortium website [www.washtheocon.org] has up-to-date information on events, course listings for the next semester, newsletter items, and links to all school Web Sites and libraries. The Consortium Blog [http://crossininthemorning.blogspot.com] will give more of a flavor of week-to-week life in the Consortium.

    2. Consortium students can enroll in courses in the other member institutions while paying the tuition to her/his home institution. The Registrar of your institution must receive your cross registration form. (Please consult your school’s cross registration guidelines. While you cannot register online for Consortium courses—you must go through your Registrar—you can find course listings and procedures on the Consortium website.)

    3. Students can use the member libraries. To use the library of another institution a student will need a form [easily provided] from his/her own library and a valid I.D.

    4. Ecumenical and interreligious knowledge and sensitivity are becoming increasingly important for ministry–in preparing interdenominational couples for marriage, in providing spiritual guidance to those not of one’s own tradition, and in responding to agreements forged by the Christian traditions.

    5. While some are saying, “All Christians are the same”—the Consortium Schools are saying that the traditions are profoundly different. We are saying that for the ecumenical future, we will need more than superficial theological knowledge. We are saying that, to be truly ecumenical, we need to understand our traditions so well, so deeply, that the commonalities will become clear and new insights will emerge.

    6. The Consortium member schools often require each Master’s degree student to take a course in another Christian tradition. The Deans of the schools prefer that these courses be taken at the campus of another school to attain a fuller experience of the other tradition. Students often take several courses in the Consortium. In our 1996 survey, a random sample of graduates of Consortium schools said that—in light of their ministerial experience–they wish they had taken more courses in the Consortium.

    7. The Consortium sponsors several annual events. These are free and open to all students. Details are available on the Consortium Website.

    • The Annual Consortium New Student Orientation sponsored by the Student Board will take place on Thursday, September 7 from 4:00 to 9:00 at Catholic University in Caldwell Chapel. There will be a prayer service at 4:30 followed by dinner at a local Catholic religious Community and a discussion.
    • The Consortium Student Board sponsors an Ecumenical Essay Contest in the Fall Semester. There are cash prizes and the possibility of publication. Please check the Consortium website for details.
    • International Student Event—each year the Student Board seeks to sponsor an event open to all students that is an opportunity for international students to meet each other and their colleagues in the Consortium.
    • A Prayer Service and Reception marking the Week of Prayer for Christian February 12, 2007 at Virginia Theological Seminary. The Consortium Ecumenism Awards will be given to Bishop Mark Dyer of VTS and to Archbishop Vsevolod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

      8. The Consortium newsletter will be coming to you by email. This is part of our effort to ‘become completely electronic.’

      9. Each school has two representatives on the Consortium Student Board. These representatives can inform you about upcoming events and can give you insights about courses offered on their campuses. The Consortium office is always available to provide information to you (202-832-2675.)

      10. Let me ask you to pray for the ecumenical work of the Consortium that we may continue to be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

      Rev. John W. Crossin, OSFS, Ph.D.
      Executive Director
      Friday, June 30, 2006