Renewed Partnership with United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
On December 17, the Wilmette Institute renewed its partnership with the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. First signed in June 2017, the agreement allowed Emily Youngdahl Wright, a Minnesota Bahá’í, to pursue a Masters degree in interfaith chaplaincy and include six Wilmette Institute courses on the Faith as part of her degree. Emily is now serving as a hospice chaplain in the Twin Cities.
The renewal became necessary because another Bahá’í, Karen Webb, is pursuing a Master of the Arts degree in religious studies at United. Yet another Bahá’í is considering an interfaith chaplaincy degree as well.
The agreement specifies that the Wilmette Institute will supply detailed syllabi of all its credit courses that relate to the degree. An interfaith chaplaincy degree requires 24 courses and a Master of Arts, 12 courses; up to a quarter of the courses can come from the Wilmette Institute. The course learning outcomes will be aligned with the needs of the degree programs, which will enable the Wilmette Institute to gain additional experience in creating courses for credit. In return, United will reimburse the Wilmette Institute $175 per credit hour ($525 per course) for its expenses.
Unlike the previous agreement, the new partnership agreement does not have an end date, though either party can end it with three months’ notice. It will be reviewed annually, providing a time the partnership can be reconceptualized and further efforts to strengthen it can be considered.
United has a series of Master of Arts programs, in Religion and Theology, Ethics and Justice, and Theology and the Arts, and Wilmette Institute can work with United to develop a Bahá’í focus (involving three courses) for all of them.