Wesley Seminary agreement assures smooth transition for SWU religion majors

At left are Wesley Seminary President Dr. Colleen Derr, left, and Southern Wesleyan University President Dr. Todd Voss, who signed an agreement that will put SWU religion majors on the fast track toward their seminary studies. At right are SWU Interim Provost Dr. April White Pugh and General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church, Dr. Wayne Schmidt.

Southern Wesleyan University religion majors can move more quickly toward completion of their seminary degree, thanks to an agreement signed with Wesley Seminary.

The signing took place July 13 during the annual conference for the South Carolina District of The Wesleyan Church in Central. This agreement paves the way for SWU graduates to pursue a master of arts in ministry, a master of practical theology, a master of divinity and future programs offered at Wesley Seminary.

"Helping SWU students develop a robust and applied theology is a high priority for us. For some of our students, an accelerated path to seminary is the very best thing we can offer them. Our Division of Religion is thrilled to partner with Wesley Seminary in this exciting curricular pathway," said Dr. Mike Tapper, chair of Southern Wesleyan’s Division of Religion.

“Wesley Seminary is thrilled to be able to partner with Southern Wesleyan University in serving The Wesleyan Church and the Kingdom through preparing ministry leaders for service,” said Rev. Dr. Colleen Derr, president of Wesley Seminary.

“Wesley Seminary is excited to formalize this partnership with Southern Wesleyan University. We are thrilled to provide pathways that help students transition smoothly into their graduate studies while being engaged in full time ministry. This partnership between our institutions symbolizes the strength and unity that characterize Wesleyan theological education as we seek to promote scriptural holiness and shape those God call to full time ministry,” said Dr. Abson P. Joseph, academic dean of Wesley Seminary.

“SWU is excited about this next level option for our ministerial majors, creating a fast track process for high level, seminary bound students. It completes an already robust offering platform for our students to select a path that meets their individual calling and aspirations,” said Southern Wesleyan University President Dr. Todd Voss. Interim Provost Dr. White Pugh assured that “this partnership is only the beginning, and there’s definitely more to come in support of our students’ ongoing educational success with fine institutions like Wesley Seminary.”

Wesley Henson, SWU senior majoring in religion, said, “The chance to receive Wesley Seminary credits as a SWU undergraduate student will save me time, money and energy. It will also help Wesleyan churches by equipping our pastors and leaders much faster.”
According to Tapper, students will be able to transfer as many as 19 undergraduate credit hours toward graduate seminary classes at Wesley Seminary. Additionally, the agreement paves the way for senior SWU students to take as many as 12 graduate credit hours in their final year of their undergraduate program.

Wesley Seminary will celebrate its 10th anniversary Aug. 8.

“I’m thrilled to hear about this articulation agreement between Wesley Seminary and Southern Wesleyan University. I believe it has the potential to significantly prepare the minds and hearts of our Wesleyan students to be a transformational presence all around the world,” said Dr. Wayne Schmidt, general superintendent of The Wesleyan Church.
For details, contact Dr. Mike Tapper at Southern Wesleyan’s Division of Religion at mtapper@swu.edu. The division’s website is swu.edu/religion.