More Than Technique
Being a practical seminary means more than providing ministerial technique. For instance, while one may have great technique as a preacher, questions need to be asked about interpretation, the traditions of the church, theological claims, figuring out what needs to be preached. SWW provides the theological basis for a creative understanding of God's reign and mission, and the congregation's role in God's promised and preferred future.
More Than Reading
Students progress as far and as fast as their interest motivates them. While we read from contemporary studies and theological works, students also become familiar with a wide array of works from our fore-bearers in the church through history. But reading is not the goal. Each course is designed to provide a foundation for ministry engagement in one's own setting. Homework is concrete, specific, and practical rather than abstract, general, and hypothetical.
More Than a Talking-Head
Courses are designed for conversation. With a firm commitment that God's Spirit is among the people of God, class sessions are interactive, conversational, and multi-perspectival. Not everyone needs to come to the same theological conclusions, in fact, the co-teachers often interact, sometimes disagree, but always trust each other. In the past, co-teachers have taught each core course representing Reformed, Holiness, and Anabaptist traditions. Students are encouraged to enter into theological dialog, and even debate.
More Than Academic Credit
While each class has ongoing assessment, we do not worry about grades. Our curriculum is designed to meet the expectations of several denominations including Episcopalians, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Mennonite, Nazarene, American Baptist, United Church of Christ, and others. The curriculum is designed to provide trained clergy. Therefore, SWW do not generally convert to transferable credits to theological schools and seminaries.
More Than "Taking a Class"
SWW is about forming Christian community. Class is about forming a community of learners and practitioners. The courses create community with denominations by incorporating the credentialing curriculum that supports the churches and denominations within which they seek to serve. the curriculum covers:
- Church history
- Biblical studies in the Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament
- Practical ministry skills, including Preaching, Education, Worship, Pastoral Care, and Evangelism
- Systematic theology and theological studies
- Polity, administration, and congregational leadership
The full cycle of curriculum proceeds through two years. Each year, three courses are offered on a fall, winter, and spring schedule; and a summer book reading.