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Creating Seminary Alliances: Perspectives, Pitfalls and Possibilities

American seminaries have been facing increasing financial pressures as enrollment declines and costs increase. A number of struggling seminaries have sought to form alliances, but often find the obstacles too difficult to overcome. Robert E. Cooley, a leading expert on theology school governance, reported in 2009 about his experiences helping theology schools form alliances, and provides a checklist for theology school boards considering an alliance in his article, "Forging Partnerships," available from the archives of In Trust magazine.

In Trust also offers several other resources and articles about mergers, partnerships and alliances, including the story by William R. MacKaye about two Lutheran schools — Seabury Western Theological Seminary and Bexley Hall Seminary — that not only concluded a successful federation, but found that the experience opened them up to far-reaching questions about their mission and method. In "Coming to the Table," MacKaye explores seminary mergers and the renewal Seabury and Bexley Hall experienced through their merger process. 

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