28 Feb 2011 by jill.sims, No Comments »

In the summer of 2001, a group of 40 students, staff and faculty gathered every Wednesday from 4 to 5 p.m. in the small prayer room next to Estes Chapel on the Kentucky campus of Asbury Theological Seminary. They gathered to hear Scripture, to pray and to listen together for the guiding voice of the Holy Spirit. Each time they conferenced together about what the Spirit might be saying to the Church and in our case the Seminary. They recorded their findings. From these sessions emerged a clear and simple direction: Read Scripture Together. The sense of the Spirit was to find a way to gather ourselves around a common text such that it became a constitutional reality in our relationships. From these small gatherings came this Reader you hold in your hand (or see on the screen as the case may be).


The practice of embodying Scripture in communion is at the heart of Asbury Theological Seminary’s Seminarius initiative. This initiative is one component of the Seminary’s PSALM (Pastoral Seasons as Life and Ministry) project, which is resourced by the Lilly Endowment Foundation and seeks to learn and discover the vital practices that sustain pastoral excellence.


Definition and Purpose: Seminarius is the Latin word for seedbed, and it is the word from which we derive “seminary.” Seminarius exists to cultivate excellence of life in ministry through equipping students to establish sustainable practices of Christian formation and growth in wholeness within a seedbed of intentionally formative relationships.

Seminarius shapes Seminary as a season of ministry, a transformational learning experience

  • where the pursuit of knowledge and the practices of spiritual formation live in union;
  • where Christian disciples participate in intentional community, sharing a lifestyle of worship and prayer becoming mercy and justice, and shaping life patterns of health and wholeness;
  • where friendship is cultivated as a core formative practice, both the means and goal of grace in preparation to the end of being sent forth as a well-trained, sanctified, Spirit-filled, evangelistic ministry to spread scriptural holiness throughout the world.

Our expectations:

  • To see students begin to form highly consecrated friendships from early on in their season of seminary and sustain them through the entire Journey.
  • To see less “forced” and more “flowering” accountability in relationships.
  • To see friendship itself become a rich seedbed where the shared practices of a life of grace take deep root and flourish into fruitfulness.
  • To hear stories about friendships still thriving and bearing Kingdom fruit from people who have been out of Seminary for five years.
  • To see persons moving into new ministry contexts with the skills and the heart-aim to pursue and develop these kinds of relationships for God’s greater glory in the world.

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