I promised I would post on the Blog my 10 points for new students so that they would be available to all who could not attend my [scintillating] campus talks!
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.
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. Scrolling through 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 the course listing 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 our 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, you 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. Recent conversations with graduates confirm this finding
7. The Consortium sponsors several annual events. These are free and open to all students. Details are available on the Consortium Website.
In the Fall Semester we have:
The Annual Consortium Student Orientation sponsored by the Student Board at Catholic University on Thursday, September 6th at 4:30 PM in Caldwell Chapel. A Prayer Service is followed by dinner at a neighboring religious community for visiting students.
An International Student Event in early November,
A Student Essay Contest on an ecumenical theme. [The winning papers are published and there is a cash award for the winners.]
And in the Spring:
A Prayer Service and Reception marking the Week of Prayer for Christian February 4, 2008 at the John Leland [Baptist] Center at 4:00 PM. The Consortium Ecumenism Awards will be given to Dr. Joan Brown Campbell [UCC/Baptist] former Director of the National Council of Churches and to Brother Jeffrey Gros, former Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
8. 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].
9. This coming January 8 to 11 Christian Churches’ Together, the new, ‘big-tent’ national ecumenical group, will meet here in Washington, One day of their meeting will be devoted to social justice advocacy for the poor. Students will be welcome to attend this day. [The Consortium website will offer more information on this opportunity as it becomes available.]
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.