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Re: [HoB/D] TESM letter from Paul Zahl

XXXXXX, I would exercise extreme caution in drawing conclusions about complex
matters from the rhetoric of a dean's fund-raising letter -- regardless of
the seminary whose dean is writing it.

I am troubled by your asking, in this context, whether TEC still accredits
TESM.  I hope that TESM still wants TEC accreditation.  We would be poorer
as a denomination if TESM were not one of our alternatives.  I hope that
TEC's accrediting agencies focus on the merit of the scholarship, not on
conformity of theology or polity.

In all of the criticism I have ever heard of TESM, I have never heard anyone
suggest that its professors are inept or that its academic standards are
awash.  Quite the contrary:  I have heard that TESM's standards are high and
that several TESM professors are first-rate. As is often true when an
institution or a people feel embattled, TESM students bring a fervor to the
enterprise of theological education that is sometimes missing when students
think less is at stake.

Surely at some point every TEC seminary worth anything has felt, "We can no
longer identify with the Episcopal Church."  Have you not had such moments?
I have, and I love this church enormously.

Besides VTS, should not the dean of any of our seminaries fear running out
of funds?

I hope that I can be as faithful to my progressive convictions as Dean Zahl
is to his.  I hope that he and I both can be spared a church made strictly
in our own image.

The proper response to Dean Zahl's fund-raising letter is for each of us to
write a check and send it to the seminary each mosts respects.

Let us compete in doing good and in loving one another.

Newark deputy

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