Strategic Planning

New Brunswick Theological Seminary



The name of this corporation shall be The New Brunswick Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church in America, herein after referred to as the Corporation.



New Brunswick Theological Seminary is a teaching institution of the Reformed Church in America, called by God to be a servant of the whole church of Jesus Christ.

The Seminary’s mission is to continue the ministry of Jesus in our time and place by enabling persons to translate their calling and gifts into faithful Christian ministry.

Calling, Identity and Mission (insert)

Called in Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, New Brunswick Theological Seminary participates in God’s own laboring to establish God’s reign on earth.

Rooted in the Reformed tradition and centered in its trust of God’s sovereignty and grace, the Seminary is an inter-cultural, ecumenical school of Christian faith, learning, and scholarship committed to its metro-urban and global contexts.

Our mission is to educate persons and strengthen communities for transformational, public ministries in church and society. We fulfill this mission through creative, contextual, and critical engagement with texts, traditions, and practices.



The General Synod of the Reformed Church in America, or its successor by any merger or consolidation, shall be the sole member of the Corporation for all purposes of the corporate statutes of New Jersey. The General Synod of the Reformed Church in America, acting in accordance with the governing law, shall exercise all rights granted to members by the laws of New Jersey.



Sec. 1    The General Synod, as the sole member of the Corporation, reserves to itself the responsibility of developing, enacting, publishing, reviewing, and amending the standards for the preparation of candidates for the office of Ministry of Word and Sacrament within the Reformed Church in America.
Sec. 2     The General Synod entrusts to the Board of Trustees of New Brunswick Theological Seminary all authority and power necessary for the proper oversight and direction of the Seminary, as well as the control of its finances, securities, and property.
Sec. 3     The Board of Trustees shall assume responsibility for providing the Seminary with such property and buildings; faculty, administration, and information resources; equipment and supplies as are necessary for the effective accomplishment of the Seminary’s mission.

Page 1 of Constitution and Bi-laws

Proposed Strategic Directions

Grounded in the hope that is ours because God’s reign has already begun on earth, the Seminary Community humbly commits itself to these strategic directions:

1.    Our commitment to forming new generations of healthy, spirit-filled, biblically grounded, theologically wise leaders will invigorate congregations, ministries, and communities toward greater faithfulness to God and neighbor.
    a) The Director of Supervised Ministry will cultivate relationships with revitalizing congregations and new church starts to serve as Supervised Ministry sites;
    b)The Dean of the Seminary with the faculty will make explicit throughout the curriculum that processes of parish revitalization and change require deep biblical, theological, and practical wisdom, personal passion, and a commitment to life-long, integrated learning;
    c)In our desire to form pastors who are emotionally, psychologically and spiritually healthy, the Dean of the Seminary and Dean of Students with the faculty will provide more opportunities for students to discover and participate in varied disciplines of spiritual nurture, learn and practice self-care, and find their voice and passion. Possible developments may include more opportunities for worship and the cultivation of the spiritual life, participation in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), psychological testing, and the inclusion of therapists/counselors/spiritual directors on Seminary staff;
    d) The Dean’s Office will offer programs for congregational leadership development in partnership with congregations.

2.    Our commitment to the metro-urban context will permeate our existing degree programs and institutional life, and lead to the creation of non-degree programs and educational offerings that will strengthen metro-urban ministries and communities.
    a) The Dean of the Seminary, working with the faculty, will provide opportunities for the entire faculty, present and future, to become conversant in the basic schools of thought related to metro-urban ministry in terms of both content and method;
    b) The Dean of the Seminary, working with the faculty, will develop and implement a Certificate Program focused in urban ministry in partnership with (urban) congregations and/or existing initiatives, potentially with a local two-year college;
    c) The Director of the D. Min. Program will foster a network of metro-urban pastors to be a community for teaching, learning, and action. This network will focus on the expertise and experience of our D. Min. graduates and regional metro-urban pastors.

3.    Our commitment to practice faithful stewardship of all of our resources will enable the seminary further to grow and flourish within the mission of God.
    a) The President and Director of Development will secure, through annual, major and planned gifts, as well as grants, the financial resources that enable the Seminary to meet its short and long term goals, and to develop and implement an investment plan that secures the financial strength of the seminary and its ability to continue its mission through the vagaries of the economy.
    b) A Board Task Force will explore and finally propose ways to leverage our property in service of our mission.
    c) The Board’s Investment Advisory Committee will explore and propose a policy that enhances our commitment to socially responsible investments.
    d) The Director of Finance and Administration will audit and alter our present practices to reflect our care for the earth and its people, and, should the Seminary engage in new construction, we will commit to a high standard of sustainability.

4.    Our commitment to be responsive to our context will result in strategic relationships with for-profit and non-profit institutions within our region for the sake of understanding and prophetic engagement.
    a) The President, with the Board of Trustees and Faculty Council, will further develop our strategic relationships with key institutions in the metropolitan area, especially Rutgers and St. Johns Universities, learning about the work of local agencies, community development corporations, and charitable organizations, partnering with them when possible, and encouraging corporate missions which will include a commitment to social justice and the marginalized.
    b) The President and Dean of the Seminary, in cooperation with the Board, will create a team to include both internal and external constituents, for the purpose of engaging in environmental scanning that will annually be brought to bear on the Board’s development of the Seminary’s Strategic Plan.

5.    Our commitment to theological learning and scholarship will result in clear identification, encouragement, support and dissemination of our faculty’s contributions to significant scholarly and public discussion.
    a) The Dean of the Seminary, with the Faculty Policy and Planning Committee, will review the Faculty Handbook and other practices and programs of the school aimed at identifying, encouraging, supporting and disseminating the work of the faculty in public and scholarly discussion, in ways that will permit measurement of success.
    b) A faculty team will explore the feasibility of creating a Seminary journal that will encourage scholarly and public discussion by faculty, alumni/ae, staff and students that reflects the Seminary’s values and commitments.
    c) The faculty will gather at least annually to share plans for and progress in academic research, writing, collaboration, and publications, and communicate this to the Board of Trustees.

6.    Our commitment to provide broader access to theological education calls us to explore and implement greater use of technology in our teaching, student services, alumni/ae and church relations.
    a) The Dean of the Seminary, with the faculty, will explore and begin to implement broader use of technology in our present classes so that we might integrate teaching and learning across our two campuses, and reach new constituencies through our degree and non-degree programs.
    b) The Dean of Students, with the Faculty and Administrative Councils, will develop policies and implement training so technology can be used to strengthen communication and community within the Seminary.
    c) The Dean of Students and Director of Development will seek to better use technology in sharing our story with potential students, our alumni, supporters and constituent communities.

7.    Our commitment to relate to and learn from the global church will create a seminary eager for the gifts of many nations and cultures; and our graduates’ sense of self and call, and their understanding of God’s world will be enlarged.
    a) The Dean of the Seminary, with faculty and administration, will collaborate with churches, seminaries and agencies in Korea, Southern and Central Africa, the Netherlands, regions of the Middle East, the Caribbean, Central and South America, either directly or by partnering with U.S. organizations which are already engaged in programs of global education, ministry and mission. A key goal of these partnerships is to cooperate with the global church in addressing issues such as poverty, the plight of women and children, HIV/AIDS, genocide, the emergence of post-colonial societies—issues of social justice and shalom;
    b) The Dean of the Seminary, with the faculty, will ensure that global biblical/theological/ministry perspectives are included throughout our curriculum;
    c) The President and Director of Development will seek funding to fill our new faculty position in global Christianity with responsibility to teach in the areas of missiology (domestic/global), mission history, the reality of world-wide Christianity, as well as the gift and prospect of immigrant churches in the U.S.
    d) The Faculty Personnel and Policies Committee will develop a multi-faceted plan for regularly including international theological professors in our teaching and learning, including a projection of resources needed to support the plan.

8.    Our commitment to interfaith and inter-religious dialogue will equip our graduates to foster cooperative relationships and engage in shared public action with our neighbors in synagogues, mosques, temples, and other religious communities.
    a) The Dean of the Seminary, with the faculty, will provide opportunities for the entire faculty to understand and grow in their experience of interfaith and inter-religious dialogue.
    b) The Dean of the Seminary, with the faculty, will reflect this commitment throughout the curriculum and encourage students to develop relationships with persons of different faiths or religions. This may happen, for example, through participation in CPE, having faculty persons from other religious traditions teaching with us, or offering Supervised Ministry placements in synagogues, mosques and/or temples.

9.    Our commitment to confront sexism in the Seminary, church, and society, as an expression of God’s mission will equip our graduates for ministries that foster gender justice, and equality, address the concerns and welcome the gifts of women.
    a) The Dean of the Seminary, with the faculty, will provide opportunities for the entire faculty to understand the complexities of gender identity construction (masculine and feminine) and to discern the presence of and harm caused by sexism in the Seminary, church, and society.
    b) The Dean’s Office will develop mentoring programs for women students, and cultivate Supervised Ministry sites with female supervisors for both male and female students;
    c) c) The Dean of the Seminary, with the faculty, will include throughout the curriculum attention to the gifts, perspectives, and concerns of women so that both male and female graduates are equipped to engage in ministry with and for women.

10.    Our commitment to confront racism in the Seminary, church, and society will equip our graduates for ministries that foster racial justice, equality, and reconciliation. The Seminary’s Anti-Racism Transformation Team’s report embodies this commitment:


New Brunswick Theological Seminary Anti-Racism Plan

I.  Background and Philosophy of the Plan

A. Proposed New Brunswick Theological Seminary’s Constitutional Identity Statement

Called in Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, New Brunswick Theological Seminary participates in God’s own laboring to establish God’s reign on earth.

The Seminary, centered in the Reformed tradition, is an inter-cultural, ecumenical school of Christian faith, learning, and scholarship committed to its metro-urban and global contexts.

Our mission is to educate persons and strengthen communities for transformational, public ministries in church and society. We fulfill this mission through creative, contextual, and critical engagement with texts, traditions, and practices.

B. Background to the Anti-Racism Plan

The seeds of racism are deeply embedded in the intellectual history of Christian theological education in North America, and NBTS claims no immunity. Founded by the Reformed Church in America in 1784 as “the first in theological education,” the Seminary did not enroll its first African-American male until 1876, its first Asian until 1882, its first woman until 1969, and its first Hispanic until 1974. Confessing this bleak history, it is only fitting that we take the lead to reverse the racism that is our inheritance by working to fulfill the institutional identity statement above as we continue to provide theological training to a more richly diverse student body.

Given that each person’s understanding of racism is different, a common definition for the purposes of this plan is essential. For this document and the processes it initiates, racism is to be understood in the American context as the misuse of institutional power (whether intentional or not) to support white privilege. It is within this context that the New Brunswick Anti-Racism Transformation Team understands its call, mission and values.

C. Call of the New Brunswick Anti-Racism Transformation Team (ARTT)

As a community that has been reconciled with God and with one another in Christ, through the Spirit, we are called to manifest God’s ministry of reconciliation.

D. Mission Statement

Our mission is:

  • To discern, recognize and dismantle systemic racism in every aspect of NBTS’ life
  • To confess and repent of our individual and collective complicity in racism, and to give and receive forgiveness
  • To embrace curricular practices that celebrate, explore, and sustain the Christian traditions, experiences, perspectives, and cultures of our constituencies
  • To educate persons and strengthen communities for anti-racist public leadership and ministry and
  • To enable the Seminary to embody and bear public witness as God’s beloved community.

E. Values Statement

In fulfillment of our mission, we commit ourselves to these values:

  • We value the abundant human and material resources that God provides and commit ourselves to be thankful and to use these resources carefully and wisely
  • We value the gifts God has given to every person who participates in the life and work of the Seminary and commit ourselves to be a safe learning institution in which the gifts, critiques and other contributions of students, faculty, administration and staff are encouraged and received, whatever their institutional power, roles and responsibilities
  • We value our common call to serve God together, as groups and individuals, and commit ourselves to cooperation and collaboration in our institutional life so as to nurture creativity and foster new ideas and perspectives
  • We value God’s call to grow in understanding differences, confronting our prejudices, and committing ourselves to engage in difficult conversations with intentionality, respect, openness and transparency
  • We value the many ways of knowing and forms of wisdom—received and emerging—that God grants to humankind, and commit ourselves to engage in critical, appreciative, and creative inquiry and praxis
  • We value our cultural diversity as a gift from God, and embrace God’s shattering of socio-cultural hierarchies in Jesus Christ. Therefore, given our history as an institution shaped by white privilege, we commit ourselves to be a community in which individual and institutional accountability to all people, especially people of color, is intrinsic to our life and work
  • We value the hope that is ours because God’s reign has already begun on earth; and commit ourselves to fostering visionary, compassionate and faithful leadership.

II. The Anti-Racism Transformation Team

A.   Composition
 The Anti-Racism Transformation Team will represent the broad diversity of NBTS’ community and constituencies, and will include at least the following:
  • 4 members of the regular teaching faculty (full or part time)
  • 3 administrators
  • 2 staff members
  • 2 current board members
  • 3 current students
  • 3 alumni/ae
  • 2 Seminary supporters not included in the categories above.
B.   Terms of Membership
 The term of team membership will be for 3 years, renewable for a second term. Members’ terms will be staggered so that roughly one-third will rotate off each year.
C.   Recruitment of Members
 The Leadership Team (see page 5) will identify and solicit new members who share the Seminary’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist institution.
D.   Responsibilites
  • Organize itself for the work required for the Seminary to become an anti-racist institution
  • Participate in regular meetings to facilitate team reflection (see page 5)
  • At the request of the seminary community, respond to situations in which there may be tensions or problems related to race
  • Provide guidance and consultation to the seminary community in matters of race and power in its efforts to be an anti-racist institution
  • Develop in-house training to support new members, and facilitate opportunities to participate in formal training in: understanding and analyzing systemic racism; and organizing and planning strategically (e.g., such as that provided by Crossroads at the Team’s inception)
  • Oversee implementation of the ARTT action plan (see pages 6-11).

E.   Communication
 Communication and a common vision are essential to the effectiveness and transparency of the Team, as well as to the building of trust. All decisions and plans are to be communicated to the entire Team via email, meetings, and posting to the institution’s website.
F.   Support
 The Team seeks to encourage and care for its members. The means by which this is done varies, but may include:
  • Worshipping together
  • Socializing together
  • Learning about the self-interests of “the other” (one-on-ones)
  • Praying for one another, the work of the Team, and for the Seminary as a whole
  • Raising and discussing the feelings and conflicts that arise within the Team, and how to address the related “chaos” that is likely to occur within the seminary community during the transformation process.

G.   Decision Making
 Decisions will be made by the Team as a whole unless the Team has delegated a decision to a sub-group. Decisions will be made by consensus (not to be confused with unanimity), voting only to help inform the level of consensus that has been reached.

The Team (and its subgroups) will engage in the practice of asking three questions before making decisions:
  1. Does this decision advantage whites?
  2. Does this decision disadvantage people of color?
  3. How will the Team be held accountable for the implementation and the results of this decision?

H.   Ongoing Research and Analysis
 The Team will engage in ongoing review and deepening of the analysis of systemic racism within the institution and its history and its impact on people of color, whites, and the community as a whole. As we are increasingly open to our internalized racist oppression, internalized racist superiority, and the racism within our institution (be it intended or unintended), we will be in a position to refine and adjust our strategic plans and their implementation so as to best assist the institution in its journey to become an anti-racist institution, and to fulfill its mission in the kingdom of God.

III. Internal Organizing of the Team

The Team will organize itself to model new ways of being and living into the vision of NBTS as an anti-racist institution, including transparency, accountability to all people (especially people of color), and commitment to the principles of anti-racist transformation.

A.   Leadership
 ARTT will designate a Leadership Team of five (5) members to serve a period of no more than 3 consecutive years. The Leadership Team will include the two caucus leaders (see section C. below) and three other members selected by the Team, and will consist of individuals reflecting the broad diversity of the NBTS community. Responsibilities of the Leadership Team shall include:
  • Planning team meetings
  • Preparing the annual budget
  • Facilitating and advancing the work of the Team between meetings.

B.   Leadership
 The work of ARTT will be delegated to various subgroups as needed. The subgroups will report their plans and progress to the Team as a whole and incorporate feedback. Both leadership and membership of the subgroups are expected to consist of both whites and people of color, and to represent multiple constituencies within the Team (see Team Composition, page 3), unless the Team recognizes that it is not possible/essential for the work of the subgroup. One such exception is the caucus groups described below.
C.   Refection Meetings
 ARTT will regularly hold three types of meetings to facilitate team reflection. What is discussed within these groups is confidential except by consensus of the group.
  1. White Caucus: White members of the Team will meet together to address the ways in which they have been privileged and socialized to expect and accept their privileged status, known as internalized racist superiority (IRS), and to develop an anti-racist white identity.
  2. People of Color (POC) Caucus: Team members who self-identify as people of color will meet together to address the complexity of their socialization to accept and live out inferior roles, known as internalized racist oppression (IRO), and to develop an anti-racist POC identity.
  3. Post-Caucus Team Meeting: The Team will meet to share what has been learned through caucusing, to develop an anti-racist team identity, and to develop and implement strategies for NBTS to become an anti-racist institution.


The Team has identified five stakeholder groups with which it hopes to partner over the next five years in the work of transforming NBTS into an anti-racist institution.

A. Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is charged not only with ensuring that New Brunswick Theological Seminary survives, but also that it thrives throughout the twenty-first century. As part of this effort, the Seminary, through the Board, has committed itself to being an anti-racist institution.

To this end, the Anti-Racism Transformation Team will work with the Board over the next three years (2009-2011) to:

  • Develop and proliferate the Board’s understanding of the meaning and impact of institutional racism, and the ways in which racism exists within the institution
  • Conduct one-on-ones with members of the Board, and encourage board members to do one on-ones with one another in order to identify an anti-racist interest of members and to promote further understanding of anti-racism
  • Assist the Board in identifying and addressing the ways in which its composition and processes perpetuate institutional racism
  • Examine and adjust existing policies and programs, and scrutinize new ones, to ensure that they do not advantage those who are white and/or disadvantage people of color
  • Establish means by which it can be better aware of the ways in which various constituencies of the seminary community experience institutional racism
  • Develop and implement the means by which to measure, evaluate, and ensure the progress of NBTS in becoming an anti-racist institution
  • Lead the broader church and society with whom we interact in the direction of being anti-racist
  • Facilitate formal training of Board members from each new class of Board members
  • Report to the full Board at each meeting through a standing committee of the Board concerning progress on this action plan.

B. Students

ARTT’s Student Stakeholder group will encourage continued involvement of students in our work of anti-racism, in order that they may become advocates for constructive anti-racist activity in the community.

Toward this end, the Anti-Racism Transformation Team will work with the student body over the next two years (2009-2010) to:

  • Engage NBTS students in open forums to discuss some of the key concepts underlying anti-racism and what that means for the Seminary
  • Engage NBTS students in activities associated with anti-racism work
  • Expose students to a multicultural worship model and engage them in a discussion concerning multi-cultural worship
  • Engage students in an examination of the diversity already present at the Seminary.

    To achieve these ends, the Team formulates the following plan of action:
  • Address NBTS anti-racism efforts during Orientation (August 2008)
  • Host two forums each at the New Brunswick and New York campuses (Term A and Term B, Fall Semester 2008)
  • Schedule focus groups with leaders of student organizations on campus (i.e., AOBS, KOSAN and SSI, end of September/early October 2008)
  • Identify interested students to engage in focus group discussions (Spring 2009)
  • With the Director of Chapel plan and present four worship services that models multi-cultural approaches to worship (Fall 2008)
  • Engage with the Introduction to Worship (WP301) class on the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches taken at these worship services (Fall 2008)
  • With the Dean of Students schedule, plan and implement cross-cultural meals.
The activities would be repeated as needed in the Spring Semester 2009 and the 2009-2010 academic year.

C. Faculty

There are five distinct faculty groups at NBTS: 1) Resident faculty; 2) Affiliated Faculty; 3) Adjunct Faculty; 4) Supervisors in the Field; and 5) the St. John’s Faculty teaching courses taken by NBTS students. Each of these groups has different roles and identities and investment in the institution and teaching. All share an interest in teaching and helping to shape the theological landscape in the present and future.

The Anti-Racism Transformation Team will work with the faculty over the next three years (2009-2011) to:

  • Commit to training one to two members of our faculty in each subsequent class of team members
  • Add an ARTT agenda item to the regular Faculty Council meeting docket so that the work of ARTT is always before the decision makers
  • Engage the affiliated and adjunct faculty in multiple educational experiences each year around topics relevant to an anti-racist identity
  • Provide both initial anti-racism training in the supervisor’s course, Foundations in Supervision, and one continuing education event per year at no charge for all supervisors in the field
  • Pursue grant opportunities through the Wabash Center and other organizations for the purpose of faculty education and discussion
  • Institute an annual summer meeting for all faculty and engage the faculty around pressing pedagogical issues, beginning in summer 2009
  • Meet biannually with the St. John’s faculty concerning our shared visions of teaching in an anti-racist NBTS.

    To achieve these ends, the Team formulates the following plan of action to work with distinct faculty groups
  • Provide Anti-Racism Training for the new Director of Supervised Ministry as soon as possible
  • Hold two colloquies per year and a portion of the Fall Faculty Retreat to be dedicated to ongoing full Faculty Council discussions concerning racism in America and especially as a pedagogical focus at NBTS
  • Add ARTT to the Faculty Council agenda so monthly updates can be given to all of the curricular decision makers
  • Conduct annual summer meeting of all faculty for the purpose of introducing and reflecting on the work of ARTT. Resources will be discussed and “swapped” via the web. In future years, we will engage in more in-depth sharing about our pedagogical strategies and techniques further strengthening our bonds as educators at NBTS
  • Pursue grant opportunities for this program from the Wabash Center
  • Meet with St. John’s faculty, establishing biannual contact. The initial meeting will include a program of shared presentations or a presentation by the New Brunswick campus faculty concerning the work of anti-racism
  • Develop (with the Director of Supervised Ministry) a training course for supervisors in the field on issues of anti-racism
  • Provide a Continuing Education event focused on an anti-racism learning. This event will provide CEUs (Continuing Education Units). The fee will be waived for supervisors.

D. Tributary Churches and Groups

Definition: Key churches and groups that send students to NBTS who are important both to our mission and to our anti-racism initiatives have been identified as Tributary Churches. Criteria for selection include:

  1. The number of students sent to us by each church
  2. The church’s financial support to the Seminary
  3. The opportunity for program partnership with a specific congregation or congregations
  4. Those that would seek a voice in our anti-racism efforts.

Identified Pastors and Churches
  1. The Rev. Dr. J. Michael Sanders and Fountain Baptist Church
  2. The Rev. William D. Watley and St. James Church, Newark
  3. The Rev. Dr. Reginald Jackson and St. Matthew’s Church, Orange
  4. The Rev. Dr. DeForest B. Soaries and First Baptist Church Lincoln Gardens
  5. The Rev. Dr. Donald Hilliard and The Cathedral International, Perth Amboy
  6. The Rev. Dr. Floyd Flake and Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in Jamaica Queens, NY

Identified Groups
  1. Collegiate Corporation in New York
  2. The Rev. Dr. Hak Joon Lee and Korean Churches in North Jersey and New York
  3. The Rev. Robert Burkin and Elmwood Presbyterian Church
  4. Minister Esteban Santana and the Latino membership at The Cathedral International
  5. The Rev. Ron Owens and NJ Baptists Middlesex Association
  6. Faith Fellowship Ministries, Sayrerville, NJ

The aim of this stakeholder group is to meet with the pastors of identified churches and leaders of identified groups, in order to establish accountability, strengthen our partnerships and/or begin new partnerships. ARTT may assist them with developing anti-racist church leadership or “teaching church” status. ARTT will encourage identified churches and groups to continue to send members called to serve God to our Seminary for ministry preparation, to serve as consultants, and to support us.

To achieve these ends, the Team formulates the following plan of action:
  1. Identify churches and/or denominations from where our students have come, and the churches, ministries or denominations to where our graduates have gone. We will gather data on graduates over a 10-15 year period. We are particularly interested in those students or graduates specific to the tributary churches mentioned above. This research will be conducted jointly by the Alumni/ae Relations Coordinator and the Registrar by January 2009.
  2. With data in hand, meet with the leaders of the Tributary Churches. It is expected that the conversations will be coordinated by the President, the Dean of the Seminary, the Romeyn Professor of Metro-Urban Ministry, and the Director of Development (such conversations are to be held by March 2009). The focus of such meetings will be to:
    • Share the data with them so they will know the impact the Seminary has had on their church and denomination through the preparation of their ministers
    • Ask each of the key churches and groups how the Seminary can be more accountable to them and to their denomination; and
    • Convey that our serious commitment to anti-racism makes NBTS the Seminary of choice for leadership development for their members who seek quality theological education and skills to implement anti-racism programs in their ministries.

  3. 3. Establish an Advisory Committee to the Board of Trustees, comprised of members of the Tributary Churches and Groups to enlarge the NBTS community and to empower participation in the Seminary’s decision-making and initiatives. The Advisory Committee will assess our progress as an anti-racist institution and will hold us accountable to our anti-racism goals. Toward that end, ARTT will:
    • Write a description for the Advisory Committee that includes its charge, goal, role, responsibilities and tenure
    • Revise or re-evaluate the role and responsibility of the Advisory Committee and refine as needed.

E. Reformed Church in America

Because of the deep historic and continuing relationship between the Reformed Church in America (RCA) and New Brunswick Theological Seminary, it is essential that the RCA be aware of the profound and extensive commitment NBTS has made in becoming an anti-racist community of learning and faith. It is proposed that the first and most important way for this to occur is for the new strategic plan of NBTS to reflect this core value and that the new identity, calling and mission statements be consistent with this vision. The approval of the General Synod of the RCA in June 2009 of the statements and strategic plan will confirm that the Team has accomplished this first and essential way of relating to the RCA concerning our anti-racist identity and plan.

To achieve this end, the Team formulates the following plan of action:

  • In preparation for the 2009 General Synod’s consideration of revisions to the NBTS constitution, conduct one-on-one interviews with the following RCA leaders: Carol Bechtel (General Synod President), James Seawood (General Synod Vice-President), and Earl James (RCA Coordinator of Multiracial Initiatives and Social Justice)
  • Invite the RCA's Commission on Race and Ethnicity to hold one of its 2008-2009 meetings at NBTS. We will ask for some time with the commission, to share with them the proposed constitutional changes, in the light of the RCA's own commitments regarding racism and multiculturalism, which are now part of Our Call
  • Request a place on the agenda of the General Synod Council at some point during 2008-2009, likewise to share the proposed changes in the light of the RCA's commitments regarding racism and multiculturalism, which are now part of Our Call
  • Schedule a series of gatherings of groups of RCA almuni/ae of NBTS, to share the proposed constitutional changes and other developments at NBTS, to reaffirm our mutual connection and to cultivate support.
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