Moving Forward Together
Announcing the Union of Taylor Seminary and Sioux Falls Seminary:
Stepping Boldly into the Future
Taylor Seminary and Sioux Falls Seminary are stepping boldly into the future of theological education by coming together to create a first-of-its-kind, bi-national system of theological education.
After nearly five years of ever-deepening partnership, Taylor and Sioux Falls are entering a formal union wherein both schools will be governed by the same board and will share one accreditation, one staff, one faculty, and one mission.
Through this union, the institutions will leverage the Kairos Project to provide affordable, accessible, relevant, and faithful journeys of discipleship that can lead to certificates and degrees at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels.
What is the Kairos Project?
With over 500 students, 1,000 mentors, and nearly 70 faculty members spread out across four continents, 30 countries, 4 provinces, and 30 states, the Kairos Project has become one of the largest, most diverse, and most innovative systems of accredited theological education in the world.
Students in the Kairos Project engage in a journey of discipleship that prepares them to thrive in their vocations as they join God on mission. People from all walks of life are engaged in Kairos. Pastors, lawyers, doctors, nonprofit executives, fighter pilots, missionaries, church planters, and more are pursuing degrees that were once out of reach for them. Through this union, Taylor and Sioux Falls will expand the opportunities available through the Kairos Project. In fact, a fully- accredited bachelor’s degree and a research-level doctoral degree will be available starting this fall!
One Mission, Renewed Heritage
Looking toward the future, Taylor and Sioux Falls Seminaries are grateful for the work God has done in and through them. The schools will faithfully honor the past as they fully appreciate and embrace the future God has in store. The unique heritage and identity of both schools will continue to be honored and celebrated even as God calls Taylor and Sioux Falls forward into a remarkable new journey.
One way to honor the past is by retaining both institutions. In Canada, business will continue to be done as Taylor Seminary and in the United States as Sioux Falls Seminary. Faithful followers of Jesus have invested much time, energy, and resources in both of these institutions. It is important to remember this heritage and bring it forward into the future.
Another way of honoring the past is through a commitment to offer undergraduate education once again. The vision is to launch an undergraduate program that is affordable, accessible from anywhere around the world, relevant to a student’s vocation, and faithful to the unshakeable truth of God’s word. The prayer is that this opens doors that have been closed for many years. Through this union, the seminaries are a bi-national system of education, a North American Baptist college and seminary, that can serve the North American Baptist (NAB) Conference.
While honoring the past, the schools are fully embracing the future. God has much in store. Taylor and Sioux Falls are excited to be moving forward together, united around God’s mission, their NAB heritage, and their shared passion for serving the Body of Christ.
Exciting Next Steps
As an exciting first step, the seminaries will launch the Kairos Development Network, an innovative approach to collaboration wherein partners from around the world can work together to develop servants for participation in the Kingdom mission. Comprised of schools, churches, ministries, and other kingdom-minded organizations, the Network will share resources, ideas, and learning in order to make the Christ-centered development of people more affordable, accessible, relevant, and faithful. More information about the Network’s first partners will be announced next week!
If you’d like to stay up-to-date on what is happening at Taylor and Sioux Falls, please subscribe to periodic email updates here.
This article has also been published on the Taylor Seminary (taylor-edu.ca/union) and Sioux Falls Seminary (sfseminary.edu/union) websites. If you have questions or would like to talk with someone at one of the seminaries, please contact David Williams at Taylor Seminary (email@example.com) or Greg Henson at Sioux Falls Seminary (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Taylor COVID-19 Response
Taylor’s plan for reopening the campus is as follows:
- Effective September 1, the General Office will be open from 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Tuesday-Friday for the fall semester. Other times to do business in the General Office are available by appointment only by contacting Ai Hayashizaki at (780) 431-5201 or by email at email@example.com.
- The campus (including the Reading Room, conference room, and the Commons) is available by appointment only. Students wishing to be on campus may make appointments to do so through the General Office. This is the best way to fulfill our obligation to sanitize our space after someone, as per the current AHS guidelines.
- The NEOS library system will be resuming operations beginning in September. The courier service will pick up/drop off books at Taylor on Wednesday and Friday mornings. To renew or get your library card this year, please email Ai Hayashizaki (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the following information: Name, Student ID number, Mailing address, Phone # and Email address. She will be in touch with you to arrange a time to take your photo and pick up your card.
- The Vanguard Library will be available in a limited capacity to students, Monday - Friday 9am - 4pm. There may be a later evening or two/week added later in the term. Seating is reduced and physical distancing will be required by all studiers, regardless of relationship outside the college. Please check in at the desk as soon as you enter the library to be assigned a seat. Wear your mask in the main areas of the library. You can remove it once you are seated. Please do not change study spaces. The Library will be closed 11am-12pm Mondays & Tuesdays and 12pm-1pm Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday for cleaning. Check back here for the most recent information and updates regarding the Vanguard library.
- For more library information, click here to be redirected to the library page.
This content was updated: September 2, 2020
The School of Women in Ministry Partnership
At Taylor Seminary we believe it is important for theological education to be a system of interconnected parts. That is to say theological education is something that requires seminaries, denominations, local churches, ministry leadership training programs, and more to work together. By working together we are able to more fully represent the Kingdom of God and more fully embrace the unique value each partner brings to the journey of theological education.
As a result of seeing theological education as a system, Taylor Seminary works hard to develop partnerships with kingdom-minded ministries who are passionate about developing followers of Christ for the call God has placed before them. One such partnership is with the School of Women in Ministry.
Originally developed by Pamela Heim in the United States for women involved in leading women’s ministries, The School of Women in Ministry was launched in Canada in 2002. Since the first Canadian school in Langley, BC, over 100 women from a range of Christian denominations and diverse ministries across Western Canada have graduated from the program. Below is some exciting news about the program, shared by Christa Eisbrenner, the Dean of the School of Women in Ministry.
After some years without a Canadian program, the School of Women in Ministry is being relaunched for the Canadian context in partnership with the Baptist General Conference of Canada, Taylor Seminary, and Sioux Falls Seminary. This international movement has been traveling around the globe to places like Switzerland, France, USA and has just wrapped up it’s first school in Mongolia. Plans for future schools in Japan, Romania and Uganda are also underway! But first, the School of Women in Ministry will be here in Alberta, with live feed satellite sites in BC and Manitoba!
In most career positions, there is an expectation of professional development that is either required or expected. Yet, within the church setting, we have a host of volunteers who have little or no training for the ministry in which they serve. Many women currently involved in church programs long for coaching and training opportunities; others are hesitant to become involved as they feel unprepared for a leadership role. If the church is to fulfill Christ’s mission, women want and need excellent training to increase their competence and confidence in ministry. The School of Women in Ministry is specifically developed to offer an affordable, accessible and applicable way to meet these needs.
To fit into the lives of busy women, we meet in the classroom on six Saturdays over an 18-month period. Those six class days follow an essential overview for anyone who wants to grow in spiritual formation, biblical knowledge and ministry training. In between class days students will complete assignments that are relevant to their lives and ministries, as well as a ministry project of their own design. Students will stay in community through online forums, as well as meeting with a professional Christian life coach to help the student discern how their learning and practices are unique to their lives. This model of learning has strong parallels to the Kairos Project, a global network of theological education with hubs at Taylor Seminary and Sioux Falls Seminary. We are proud to offer a partnership with Kairos that empowers students from the School of Women in Ministry to use this training towards a certificate or masters degree!
It’s an exciting opportunity to be involved with real-world, applicable learning for busy women who desire that God would use them where they are – or in a new way! The School of Women in Ministry is an equipping ministry that is designed to teach and encourage women in the areas of theology, church history, service, leadership, and ministry work with the goal of using their gifts in service to Christ; both within the church and community.
The school exists to serve the church by equipping, training and supporting the women in the body of believers to serve with more vigour, intentionality and effectiveness than ever before.
- How would your church be impacted by women who were equipped and excited to apply the Word of God more infinitely within their lives, and the lives of those around them?
- What if they brought that training back to you and the others in your church?
- What if the women in your church had the confidence and competence to carry out what God was calling them to?
The School of Women in Ministry aims to help answer these questions and more. There’s no telling what could happen when God moves! Be a part of it!
We at Taylor are excited about this partnership and the fact that it is led by Christa Eisbrenner, an adjunct professor here at Taylor. If you’d like to learn more about their program, please check out their website by clicking here. If you’d like to learn more about the Kairos Project, go to www.taylor-edu.ca/kairos!
A New Pathway for Theological Education
Taylor has made an exciting step toward the future into which God is calling us! Upon the recommendation of the seminary’s Vision Task Force and approval of the faculty, Taylor Seminary is now part of the Kairos Project. I (David Williams) couldn’t be more excited.
My enthusiasm stems from the fact that this bold step forward creates a new pathway for theological educational that is affordable, accessible, relevant, and faithful. The life-changing journey of discipleship we call theological education is now available to students who once thought it was unreachable.
The Kairos Project does this by restructuring the educational process around the student’s ministry context, life situation, and learning preferences. It also brings around them a team of mentors to walk alongside them through their journey of discipleship. Let me introduce you to a few students enrolled in the Kairos Project:
I first met Jeremiah six years ago while he was an intern at the Mustard Seed. Jeremiah was finishing his undergrad program at a local Christian university and had a passion for serving those on the margins of society. With a desire to be fully engaged in ministry while continuing his education, Jeremiah attempted to enroll at Taylor. Although he was very bright and strongly motivated, it became clear that his passion for serving Jesus and the pattern of his vocation never seemed to align with a traditional course schedule. Soon his pastoral gifts were recognized by his community of faith and he began to serve on the pastoral staff in a new church plant. Continuing his education seemed to move further and further out of reach: until now! Because of the integrated and contextual nature of the Kairos Project, Jeremiah’s life and ministry context have become the catalyst for his education rather than an obstacle.
Matty came to faith as a teenager in Australia through the ministry of Fusion Australia. His passion for working with young people led him to complete Fusion’s competency-based discipleship and certificate programs. This educational approach fit well with Matty’s natural learning style and it soon became evident that he was a gifted and spirit-led young leader. After joining the pastoral staff at The Father’s House in Bon Accord, Alberta, Matty recognized the need to continue his education. He had a thirst to learn more about his faith and how to best minister to the people he was called to shepherd. However, being in pastoral ministry and living in Bon Accord made attending classes very difficult. On-line classes seemed disconnected from ministry and didn’t fit with his competency-based approach to learning. The Kairos Project created a means by which Taylor could walk alongside Matty rather than requiring him to uproot his life. Its competency-based approach to education is very familiar to Matty. Because of the way learning is situated in his ministry context, Matty can pursue an education he once thought was out of reach!
Janene is a young entrepreneur who, along with her husband, started an electrical business eight years ago, 2 years before becoming a Christian. Her flexible work hours and financial resources provided her what she needed to begin a degree, where she quickly showed herself to be an outstanding student, deeply inquisitive, with a hunger for learning more about her young faith. As her program progressed, however, her interests diverged from the traditional course-based degree model to the Kairos Project where she could fold in the practical work of developing an arts-based ministry for young girls. Kairos allows Janene to continue taking courses while also utilizing her practical work in the field! She has a team of mentors that walk with her providing the structure and feedback necessary to successfully navigate her new path. The Kairos project is perfect for Janene. Designed to give her the freedom and flexibility to follow her interests in the directions that she wants, she was one of our first Taylor students to say YES to Kairos.
Thank you for your participation in the work God is doing in and through Taylor. God is creating exciting opportunities for students to flourish in ways unimaginable even a few years ago. I hope this encourages and inspires you as much as it does us. We covet your continued partnership as we walk the journey God has set before us. I invite you to join us on this journey. These are exciting times at Taylor as God continues to use us to “develop Christ-minded leaders who make a difference in the world.”
By David Williams, President