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  • May 22, 2009

    The Boston Consortium


    Sorry to be absent for a few days.

    I had a delightful mini-retreat this week at St. Anselm’s Abbey on South Dakota Avenue NE.
    I have gone their from time to time to make my annual retreat.
    It is always good to pray with the monks, to have some quiet time and to do some spiritual reading.
    I strongly recommend retreats!

    Subsequently I had a few minutes to take a look a the Bulletin of the Boston Theological Institute, a Consortium like ours in many ways. They are celebrating their 40th anniversary.

    I would note two things:

    1. My counterpart, Dr. Rodney L. Petersen, Director of the BTI, has his usual interesting column.
    What struck me about this one is the following:

    “But the Zero-Sum option is no option for theological education: The Zero-Sum option says that it is impossible for one party to advance its position without the other party suffering a corresponding loss. This is theological prejudgment. A negative-sum solution says that the pie is shrinking and in the end, the gains and losses will all add up to less than zero. This, also, is not an option: Religion is, worldwide, a growth industry.”

    He goes on to say that the only option for theological education is positive-sum thinking.

    We believe in divine grace.

    2.In the same issue of the Bulletin is the 40th Anniversary Address give by Dan Aleshire, Executive Director of the Association of Theological Schools [ATS]. He notes that Consortia increase educational capacity at very modest costs. He says:

    “Effective consortial structures are one of the greatest bang-for-the-buck investments theological schools can make, and most of the schools still have at least a buck.”

    This is as true here as in Boston.

    A happy Memorial Day.