2 Seminaries End Merger Talks

April 22, 2011

Tough financial problems and limited enrollments have led a number of seminaries in recent years to merge or collaborate in new ways. On Thursday, two seminaries that had been in discussions of a possible merger announced that they were calling off the talks. The two seminaries are the Meadville Lombard Theological School, a Unitarian Universalist seminary in Chicago, and Andover Newton Theological School, an American Baptist and United Church of Christ seminary outside of Boston. Meadville Lombard issued a statement in which officials said that the institution was stronger financially now than when the merger talks started, and so was well positioned as an independent institution. The statement attributed the end of the talks to "issues related to governance and finances." Andover Newton's statement cited "institutional complexities that rendered partnership infeasible at this time." At the same time, Andover Newton noted that it is moving ahead with plans for Hebrew College to share its campus and cooperate on many programs -- while the two institutions maintain their separate faiths.

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