Anglican Episcopal Community of Learning

The Anglican Episcopal Community of Learning (AECL) at Boston University School of Theology is a collaboration with the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and other interested dioceses, churches, and organizations that wish to network and partner with the School. Its mission is to form a community of students, faculty, and staff dedicated to nurturing and preparing Episcopalians and other Anglicans for future leadership and service in and through the church. The AECL seeks to nurture the next generation of leaders for the Anglican and Episcopal communions, equipping them in both Anglican and ecumenical traditions of Christianity and providing them with curricular and co-curricular opportunities to ground their academic, spiritual, ecclesial, professional, and social-global growth.

This community of learning will be initiated and developed in communication with Episcopal dioceses that are willing to collaborate in developing a program that serves the needs of their students, particularly those students preparing for ordination. The collaboration is initially focused on the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and on others in Provinces I and II; however, the collaborations will be ongoing and will not be geographically or numerically limited. STH plans to communicate actively with bishops, to be actively present in diocesan meetings, and to communicate broadly in Episcopal publications and websites.

The first phase of the AECL will begin in the fall 2017 and includes the following opportunities:

(1) Coursework: STH is committed to placing an emphasis on the hiring of Anglican and Episcopal faculty in its future faculty searches and to offering courses that support students in cultivating proficiency in each of the canonical areas (and especially their integration) required by the Episcopal Church and assessed through the General Ordination Exam (The Holy Scriptures, History of the Christian Church, Christian Theology, Worship, Practice of Ministry, and Christian Ethics and Moral Theology). See http://www.episcopalgbec.org/. We will offer courses to fulfill all of the required canonical areas for Episcopal students on a regular rotation. Current STH Courses suggested for each canonical area can be found here. As in the past, Boston Theological Institute can also serve as a resource for courses. This coming spring, we are especially happy to offer the following courses of interest to Anglican and Episcopal students:

  • (1) Carl Daw, TA811, “Planning for a New Book of Common Prayer” (Christian Worship; Christian Theology)
  • (2) Karen Montagno and Susan Hassinger, STH TC858 Dismantling White Privilege (Christian Ethics and Moral Theology; Practice of Ministry; Christian Theology).

Some of the courses STH regularly offers of relevance to Anglican and Episcopal Studies are:

  • STH TC 819: The Sacraments: Rites and Theologies
  • STH TC 833: Sung Faith
  • STH TC 862: The Liturgical Year
  • STH TC 868: Worship in the Anglican and Wesleyan Traditions
  • STH TH 826: The Reformations

More such courses will be forthcoming as part of this initiative.

All MDiv students require a Mid-degree Review at STH, and this will be customized for Episcopal students pursuing ordination so that the required certification can be completed demonstrating the student’s academic record in the subjects required by the Canons along with a faculty evaluation of that student’s pastoral gifts.

(2) Co-curricular opportunities for communal formation in which Anglican and Episcopal students participate and often take leadership, sharing their traditions with others in the ecumenical community.

  • An Anglican and Episcopal student group
  • Anglican and Episcopal liturgy and daily office (see below)
  • an annual Anglican and Episcopal alumni/ae day
  • an annual Anglican and Episcopal student-led worship service in chapel (together with regular Anglican and Episcopal leadership on the Worship Team and preachers in chapel)
  • Study cohorts for those students preparing for General Ordination Exam.
  • Support and guidance for those in the stage of postulancy pursuing holy orders.
  • Opportunities for learning and discussion with other Anglican and Episcopal students in the Boston area as well as those in diocesan training programs, internships, and other continuing education programs

(3) Contextual education opportunities in Episcopal and Anglican parishes and sites of ministry, coordinated by the STH Office of Contextual Education.

(4) Opportunities for missiological, ministerial, and other research of Episcopal interests in our present research Centers, including the Center for Global Christianity and Mission and the Center for Practical Theology.

(5) Spiritual formation offerings, coordinated by Rev. Dr. Charlene Zuill, the STH Coordinator of Spiritual Life, in collaboration with Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman, Episcopal Chaplain and Campus Minister for the Episcopal and Anglican Community at BU. These include:

  • Morning Prayer — Tuesdays at 8AM in Muelder Chapel
  • Noonday Prayer — Thursdays at Noon in Muelder Chapel
  • Evening Prayer — Mondays at 7PM in Marsh Chapel
  • Eucharist — Tuesdays 12:30-1:00 in Muelder Chapel, and Wednesdays at 5:15PM in Marsh Chapel

(6) Faculty advisors with the requisite knowledge of Anglican and Episcopal traditions and Anglican and Episcopal mentors from among local diocesan leadership who have agreed to collaborate with STH to support students as they work toward achieving the learning outcomes expected by the church. Some of those mentors are:

  • The Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman, Episcopal Chaplain, Boston University
  • The Rev. Dr. Carl Daw, Adjunct Professor of Hymnology, Curator of the Hymnological Collections, Boston University School of Theology
  • The Rev. Dr. Edith W. Dolnikowski, Canon for Ordained Vocations, The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
  • The Rev. Dr. Elise Feyerherm, Priest in charge of Trinity Church in Wrentham
  • The Rev. Dr. Libby Gibson, Chaplain for Academic Formation, The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
  • Dr. Nicolette Manglos-Weber, Assistant Professor of Religion and Society, Boston University School of Theology (beginning Fall 2018)
  • The Rev. Karen Montagno, Director, Congregational Resources and Training, The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
  • The Rev. Dr. James M. Weiss, Associate Professor, Department of Theology, Boston College

Other opportunities to be phased in later:

An Anglican Episcopal Certificate Program: In addition to the offerings that will be fully available in and after the 2018 academic year, faculty will also begin to explore the possibility of a Certificate in Anglican Episcopal Studies either stand-alone or in concert with other degree programs. The Certificate program will be optional for STH students, as they will be able to fulfill ordination coursework requirements within the regular curriculum. Certificate requirements will be developed by STH faculty and deans in collaboration with Anglican Episcopal leaders, but might include for example:

  • Complete at least 3 courses listed in Anglican Episcopal Studies
  • Complete a contextual education placement in an Anglican or Episcopal setting
  • Reflect each semester with one’s faculty advisor and/or Anglican Episcopal Mentor regarding one’s movement through the degree program and certificate requirements, as well as one’s preparation for ministry in the Anglican communion.