The Whole Gospel for the Whole World through Whole Persons – this is the motto of Palmer Seminary. As a lived reality, our motto translates to practical theological education in a diverse community, which is rooted in the faithfulness of God, salvation through Jesus Christ, and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. In all our programs, we strive to train workers for God’s kingdom, people who find integration between head and heart, theory and praxis, ideal and reality.
Diversity is one of Palmer’s most treasured distinctives. Whether in our classrooms, administrative hallways, or faculty offices, we sometimes seem more different from one another than alike. But it is in authentic community that our differences find their God-intended expression. It is more than a photograph with different people standing in the same room. It cannot be reduced to a quota to be met for political correctness. Diversity delves into what lies beneath the surface, and finds meaning and growth only in the context of shared lives.
At Palmer, diversity is not an obligation; it is an attraction. People are first drawn to Palmer because of its diversity. Then students, faculty, and staff grow to love Palmer precisely because of the joys and struggles experienced in living and learning together as a diverse community. When the rubber hits the road, diversity inevitably brings out the best and the worst in us. We are challenged to walk the talk. We learn to love one another because of, as well as in spite of, our differences. This is what Christian discipleship and witness are all about.
If this picture that I have just painted makes you a little excited and a little nervous at the same time, this is a good thing. As Jesus told his first disciples in the Gospel of John, “Come and see,” I am inviting you to follow your curiosity and God’s prompting. He may open doors that you never thought you would go through.