NBTS E-Story

New Brunswick Theological Seminary and Payne Seminary Discuss Oldest Seminaries Dream Together

Dr. Leah Fitchue, President of Payne Seminary and Dr. Gregg Mast, President of New Brunswick Seminary, gathered a number of their staff colleagues and alumni to explore how the two institutions could imagine a common ministry in the years ahead. Payne is one of the oldest African American Seminaries in the country and is located on the campus of Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio. New Brunswick, founded in 1784 as the first seminary in North America, is located on the campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

The day long conversation, which took place on April 9th, began with a time in prayer and confession for the ways the theological world, and specifically NBTS, had often been blind to the full inclusion of black candidates for ministry. A number of ideas were then explored as NBTS committed room in its new seminary building to hosting collaborative events. The conversation concluded with both presidents seated and surrounded by all participants who offered prayers for a common vision and sustained efforts. This was clearly the first interchange among many to come as Payne and NBTS committed to serving not only AME candidates in the First AME District, but a broad diversity of leaders and congregations in the New York Metropolitan area.

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