Global Partnerships Team Weighs In With Phase 1 Research

Global Partnerships/Global Realities

Our Phase 1 Report section is starting to reveal how every Project Team is intersected, and working towards the same goal of educating spiritually-rooted changemakers “committed to helping realize God’s promises for justice and well-being for all the earth.” Enriching PSR’s global partnerships, particularly expanding them in Asia, is foundational to the Global Partnerships Team’s vision. Lead by Odette Lockwood-Stewart and coached by Fiona Hovenden, the team stresses that these insights into current “global realities” and how they affect the future of theological education be integrated within and throughout every “educational, financial, facility and technology model” considered and adapted by the new PSR.

The Global Partnerships team identified fourteen key values for its vision, worth quoting at length (with emphasis in original):

1) Mutuality of partnerships in formation and development (adding the bold language to the adopted vision)

2) As a U.S. based partner, spiritual formation, theological grounding, and educating leaders for social transformation requires of us:
a. spiritual, geographic, and cultural humility;
b. knowledge of global realities and theologies;
c. Economic investment at the early stages of the new PSR.

3) Global Partnerships will intentionally include a variety of financial designs:
a. Partnerships with potential for income stream;
b. Partnerships requiring investment aligned with vision;
c. Partnerships positioning us for future;
d. Cultivation of investment from those with interest in social transformation in these regions.

4) PSR will learn and lead and teach Global Partnership across programs and centers: cultural humility and cross-cultural capacity, global realities and theologies, resilience and renewal in anti-racism work and deep understanding of economics.

5) Quality not quantity of regions/sites and affiliations. Attached chart of tiered locations begins with using current relationships and assets to move further in research, piloting and testing of Global Partnerships without prohibitive initial financial investment.

6) Utilize denominational and NGO partners already on the ground (UCC, MCC, DOC, UMC, WD, CWS, WSCF) around the world as links to communities of social transformation, and potential sources of students and revenue. International alumni, students, scholars, faculty relationships are also assets for these links.

7) Aligned with vision of new PSR.

8) Building and sustaining right relationship is an essential component of global partnerships and positioning PSR for emerging leadership. Ongoing research and flexibility also needed as partnerships develop.

9) Creative combinations of digital and face-to-face pedagogies.

10) Hospitality will require maintaining some facilities for hosting and housing.

11) Global realities (demographic shifts in state and US and world) will guide our partnership development.

12) Non-duplication.

13) Future leadership of PSR with global ties, reputation, experience, and theologies will be formed and reformed by Global theologies.

14) Academic excellence and social impact through life changing scholarship, research, and immersive learning.

Additional Models

As other Project Teams have found, the host of organizational issues addressed by the CSD are in conversation across the higher ed map. Blum Center for Developing Economies, Rockwood Leadership Institute, and Ashoka Innovators for the Public have already been named in this space by other reporting Teams. In addition to the Blum Center, the Global Partnerships Team noted other of UC Berkeley’s global resources, such as its Religion, Politics and Globalization Program, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Schools of Public Health and Journalism.

The Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme (STETS; based in the UK) was also noted for its online degree and certificate offerings in ministerial and lay training.

Next Steps

One distinguished element of the Global Partnership Team’s research is the recommendation of “tiered locations”, a sort of array for mutual partnerships, contacts, relationships, and links in key geographical locations such as Asia-Pacific, and Central and South America. Forging links to contacts
Africa, Indonesia and Philippines should also become greater priorities. Additionally, the local has not been overlooked.

As the experiences of students, faculty, staff, leaders from other places in the world infuse PSR, this will also change the framing, the arts of leadership and the spiritual practices learned and taught here. Intentional transformation of structures of community and curriculum can facilitate this with intentionality and integration with resources already present in the GTU and the Bay Area.

Read the whole report here (.pdf), and Tiered Locations here (.pdf).

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