By Helen Kennedy, Director of Accreditation
The Seminary Board of Directors approved a strategic plan for the Byzantine Catholic Seminary at its May 18, 2021, meeting. The new plan will lead the seminary’s strategic initiatives through the end of the current decade.
The Director of Accreditation, Helen Kennedy, was responsible for providing the oversight of the strategic planning process along with her participation with a Steering Committee consisting of the Rector, Fr. Robert Pipta, the Academic Dean/Director of Intellectual Formation, Fr. Christiaan Kappes, and the Director of Human Formation, Fr. Joel Barstad. A strategic planning committee consisting of formation, administrative and support staff, faculty, and seminarians
, was charged to identify where attention should be directed for the seminary for the next ten s years. They were encouraged to develop strategic goals to 1) give attention to specific areas identified by the A.T.S. (Association of Theological Schools) for needed growth with encouragement not to lose sight of the seminary’s recognized achievements, 2) identify institutional goals to strengthen the foundation of the seminary for the next generation, and 3) create specific goals and action steps to respond to A.T.S. requirements to respond to three required reports addressing areas of needed improvement. These included enhancing institutional development, improving information technology resources to train faculty in the use of instructional student learning platforms, and developing a plan to eliminate barriers that exclude or deter people that live with a disability.
A draft of the strategic plan was shared in the spring of 2021 with all the constituents of the Seminary (faculty, staff, seminarians, administrators, board of directors, and an external ad hoc group of graduates). Their comments, thoughts, and reactions were solicited realizing the importance of their opinions on a plan that would affect the Seminary for the next ten years. When the vetting process was completed and appropriate revisions were made, the plan was submitted to the Board.
The strategic plan includes eight goals. Each goal includes objectives as well as corresponding action steps to be accomplished:
Goal 1: To articulate and promote a new vision for the Seminary’s Community of Aspirants.
Goal 2: To develop a D.Min. degree program for seminarian and MAT-Chaplaincy graduates.
Goal 3: To enhance technology resources.
Goal 4: To enhance faculty recruitment and develop a succession plan.
Goal 5: To create an Academic Journal.
Goal 6: To create an institutional development strategy essential to developing financial resources for the ongoing plans of the Seminary.
Goal 7: To develop a plan for a more welcoming, hospitable, accessible, and prayerful Seminary.
Goal 8: To develop a marketing outreach program.
The Seminary has always had to adapt to the needs of the faithful, the seminarians, and its students.
With the acknowledgement that the next ten years may be challenging for the Church, this plan includes actions step to adapt to the needs of the faithful. The plan includes action steps for outreach and engagement with parishes as well as the consideration of ways to equip lay parish leaders. With the challenge of the viability of many Eastern Churches, the Byzantine Catholic Seminary wants to do nothing less than support any strategic initiatives that will heal, grow, and revitalize the Church. The Strategic Plan can be found here on the Seminary website.