The Oikonomia Network is pleased to announce that Covenant Theological Seminary has become an ON partner school. We anticipate a fruitful partnership with a school that has much to offer our community.
Covenant is already well known to many in the ON as the denominational seminary of the Presbyterian Church in America. When the ON formally began in 2010 with small projects at ten schools, Covenant was among that inaugural class. This year, president Mark Dalbey was one of the ON’s inaugural individual faculty partners. A number of ON leaders, such as steering committee member Donald Guthrie (himself a former Covenant faculty member and a participant in its original ON project) and ON director Greg Forster have had opportunities to partner with Covenant around issues of vocation, whole-life discipleship and economics.
Covenant’s commitment to the importance of these issues has been developing over a long period of time. Theology professor Michael Williams writes that Covenant took the initial steps in this direction two decades ago:
Covenant is committed to a curriculum that seeks to introduce students to the storied and transformative revelation of God’s Word that intends to call the people of God into faithful image bearing in the world for the sake of God’s kingdom mission. As part of that commitment we installed a vocational discipleship course titled Calling, Vocation and Work some twenty years ago. While it existed until now as an elective for many of our master’s degree programs, in the fall of 2018 it will become a core requirement for all master’s degree programs, except for the MAC.
The integration of faith and vocation, of serving Christ in every domain of life, informs our pursuit to bring our students into meaningful contact with practitioners in fields as diverse as veterinary medicine, farming and emergency responders.
Although our network includes some schools whose faculty tend to be Reformed, Covenant becomes the first confessionally Reformed school in the ON. Alongside our schools with confessional standards ranging from Wesleyanism to Pentecostalism to the Baptist Faith and Message, as well as more broadly evangelical institutions of many kinds, we rejoice to live in a unity-in-diversity and diversity-in-unity grounded in the love of the triune God poured out on us in Christ by the Spirit. When it comes to whole-life discipleship, fruitful work, economic wisdom and human flourishing, we have much to learn from one another.
Schools are invited to become partners of the ON by the ON steering committee. This follows a relational process of mutual discernment, focused on the ON’s student outcome goals, in which we ask one another how partnership with the ON can help a school accomplish its educational mission. Feel free to contact us with questions.