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Message from Martin B. Copenhaver, President

Martin B. Copenhaver, President

"Deeply rooted in Christian faith, and radically open to what God is doing now, Andover Newton Theological School educates inspiring leaders for the 21st century."
—Andover Newton’s Mission Statement

It is a joy to welcome you to Andover Newton!  Our new mission statement reflects the vibrant life and passionate commitments of our school.

We are “deeply rooted in Christian faith.”  Andover Newton was founded more than two hundred years ago for the education of Christian ministers.  That makes Andover Newton the nation’s oldest graduate theological school.  In fact, we are the oldest graduate school of any kind in North America.  We are proud of our history—and particularly proud of the ways that history has always pointed toward the future.  This has always been a pioneering school,  responding in new ways to changing circumstances.  And it is still true today.

So our school may be two hundred years old, but our thinking is not.  We are a forward-leaning school that is “radically open to what God is doing now.”  Clearly, God is doing a new thing in our time and we seek in every way to equip leaders for this new day. 

Our recently re-designed curriculum is organized around competencies needed for effective ministry in a time of change.  Although our academic program is second to none, the Hill on which Andover Newton sits is no ivory tower.  As one alumnus put it, “At Andover Newton we train actual pastors.”  We are also proud to educate leaders for life-changing ministries in a wide variety of settings outside the church.

We have one of the leading interfaith study programs anywhere. Our vital partnership with Hebrew College and Rabbinical School, our campus neighbor, is a true gift to us.   The interfaith relationships fostered through our CIRCLE program help transform proximity into true community.   And now, Andover Newton and Hebrew College have been able to deepen our interfaith commitments through the teaching and leadership of a Muslim Scholar,  jointly appointed by both schools.  This is something new and historic.

I am confident that, as you explore our website further, and particularly if you have an opportunity to visit our beautiful campus, you will be inspired by what you see and hear.  And that is fitting, because we see our mission as “educating inspiring leaders for the 21st century.”  The word “inspiring” means “to share the Spirit with others.”  I am convinced that our hurting world needs more such inspired and inspiring leaders.

One Andover Newton student recently commented, “I came to Andover Newton persuaded that the church is dead.  I spent the whole year seeking some kind of confirmation of that conclusion.   Instead, I keep feeling a sense of pull toward the new life that everyone at Andover Newton is talking about.”

God is doing a new thing in our time.  There is a pull toward new life.  At Andover Newton you will not only be inspired to hear about that new life—you will also be prepared to inspire others.

Can you see why I am so enthusiastic about our school—our history, our mission, our future?

Martin B. Copenhaver
President
Andover Newton Theological School