Palmer Theological Seminary Overview of the Curricula
Goal of the Curricula
The ultimate goal of the curricula is to achieve the Seminary’s motto: “The Whole Gospel for the Whole World Through Whole Persons,” that is, to prepare mature Christian leaders who understand the breadth of Scripture and of the Christian heritage, and can interpret and apply them in diverse cultural contexts.
The degree programs focus on preparation for service. Curricular studies at Palmer Theological Seminary aim to inspire students with a passion to advance Jesus’ ministry and with an openness to risk crossing frontiers in evangelism, spiritual formation, and social transformation through holistic, incarnational mission.
Qualities for Christian Leaders: the Educational Outcome
It is the Seminary’s position that effective ministry requires, and therefore its programs must foster:
- personal and social competencies, such as a vital and wholesome relationship with God, self, and others; sensitivity to the Holy Spirit; personal appropriation and affirmation of the Gospel; and a passion for Christian service;
- ministry skills, including relational, pastoral and counseling skills; analytical and interpretive skills; leadership and communication skills; and
- cognitive competencies, such as a thorough knowledge of the Bible and of hermeneutics; a working knowledge of the content and methodologies of the other theological disciplines; the ability to reflect theologically and ethically; familiarity with correlative disciplines and with one’s social context; and the ability to draw upon all of these as resources for ministry.
Palmer Theological Seminary, along with most theological seminaries, is proud of its faculty and of the years of scholarship and experience they represent, each in her or his field of expertise.
In addition to being highly qualified teachers and, in their majority, also either current or former pastors, Palmer Theological Seminary faculty members go out of their way to become advisors, mentors, and friends to their students. In this crucial, formative time for students, the faculty seeks to be available to students for the purpose of facilitating intellectual and spiritual growth.
Because the educational setting is an important aspect of learning, the Seminary seeks to sustain a community characterized by a warm, evangelical atmosphere, a spirit of inquiry, an attitude of openness, and close personal relationships between students and faculty. The Seminary takes seriously the importance of Christian community building.
Statement of Educational Effectiveness
Palmer Theological Seminary’s mission is to preach the whole Gospel to the whole world through whole persons (https://www.palmerseminary.edu/about/mission-motto). To realize this mission, the Seminary is dedicated to educational excellence and has developed a culture of assessment to assure its attainment.
The entire seminary community collaborates in the creation of this culture marked by respect for diversity and for the unique, God-given potential of every student as characterized by assessment as a means to educational excellence rather than an end in itself; assessment that is integrative, multi-dimensional, and cyclical; assessment rooted in clearly articulated goals; assessment that measures the learning process and not just outcomes; assessment that is cumulative resulting in continuous improvement; assessment that expands to incorporate the wider university and educational communities; assessment that drives planning, budgeting and staffing; and finally, assessment that provides essential information to all educational stakeholders.
The value of this educational assessment data inheres in the articulation of clearly defined student learning assessment outcomes and benchmarks by the Seminary’s Academic Program Directors who submit Student Learning Assessment Plans and Reports in June.
Ongoing Assessments and Modifications
A viable theological curriculum must be flexible, continually evolving, and adapting to meet changing needs. To that end, Palmer Theological Seminary regularly assesses needs in ministry, clarifies purposes, evaluates educational effectiveness, identifies areas needing improvement, and devises strategies for enhancing future performance.
- Dual Degree M.DIV./M.B.A. in Organizational Management Program
- Dual Degree MDiv/MA, Theological And Cultural Anthropology
- Dual Degree OpenSeminary M.DIV./M.B.A. in Organizational Management Program
- OpenSeminary Master of Divinity (M.DIV.)
- OpenSeminary™ Master of Practical Theology (M.P.T.)
- Other Educational Opportunities
- Seminary Courses
- The Doctor of Ministry (D.MIN.) in Contextual Leadership
- The Master of Divinity (M.DIV.)
- The Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.)
- The Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) in Latino/a Ministries
- The West Virginia Program