Make Your Gift Today
Bequests are often the first and easiest deferred gift a donor can make. In planning your estate, you should remember that an outright bequest to General Seminary, as well as certain bequests in trust, are not subject to estate taxation. A bequest should always be drawn up with the advice of an attorney. A bequest to General Seminary can take any of the following forms:
- A specific bequest of a dollar amount or of particular securities or other property;
- A residuary bequest of all or a portion of your estate, after the payment of specific amounts to other beneficiaries;
- A contingent bequest to take effect only in the event that the primary beneficiaries under your will die before you;
- A testamentary trust, which takes the form of a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust or a Charitable Remainder Unitrust, the corpus of which will be paid to General Seminary upon the death of the trusts income beneficiary.
In order to make a bequest, one must have a will. Everyone should have a will, regardless of the ability or desire to make a charitable bequest. Having a will confers the inestimable peace of mind that one?s estate will be distributed according to personal wishes and not by the laws of the state. Once a will is drawn, bequest intentions are easy to make or amend, and donors often find they are able to make a more significant estate contribution to a beloved institution than may be possible in outright fashion during life.
Bequests: Sample Language
The following language may assist you and your attorney in preparing a bequest.
To make an outright bequest of cash, securities, or other property by designating a specific dollar amount, a particular asset, or a fixed percentage of your estate to the Seminary to be used for its general purposes:
"I give, devise, and bequeath to The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, a non-profit educational institution located at 440 West 21st Street, New York, New York, the sum of $________ [or a description of the specific asset], for the benefit of The General Theological Seminary for its general purposes."
To make an outright bequest for a specific purpose:
"I give, devise, and bequeath to The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, a non-profit educational institution located at 440 West 21st Street, New York, New York, the sum of $_______ [or a description of the specific asset], for the benefit of The General Theological Seminary to be used for the following purpose: [state the purpose]. If at any time in the judgment of the Trustees of The General Theological Seminary it is impossible or impracticable to carry out exactly the designated purpose, they shall determine an alternative purpose as near as possible to the designated purpose."
To leave the residue portion of your assets after other terms of the will have been satisfied:
"All the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, I give to The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, a non-profit educational institution located at 440 West 21st Street, New York, New York, for its general purposes."
To make a contingency gift, so that the Seminary will receive a portion of your estate if your named beneficiary does not survive you:
"I devise and bequeath the residue of the property, real and personal and wherever situated, owned by me at my death, to [name of beneficiary], if [she/he] survives me. If [name of beneficiary] does not survive me, I devise and bequeath my residuary estate to The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, a non-profit educational institution located at 440 West 21st Street, New York, New York, for its general purposes."
For further information, please contact
Director of Development
SINCE IT'S FOUNDING IN 1817, A TRADITION OF GENEROUS PERSONAL PHILANTHROPY HAS SUPPORTED GENERAL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY'S MISSION of forming and educating leaders for the church in a changing world. The first Episcopal Seminary in the United States, General continues to live into its mission through a community centered on worship, spiritual formation, fellowship, and social justice.
General Seminary is funded by voluntary gifts from our alumni/ae, individuals, parishes and dioceses that are committed to the life-changing work of theological education, an experience that is intellectually rigorous, liturgically comprehensive, and spiritually grounded in Anglican worship and community.
Your gift, of any size, contributes to the spiritual and community health of General Seminary, and is one of the strongest means of supporting the formation of our scholars and ensuring the future of theological education in New York City.
If you prefer to make a gift by check, please send it to "The General Theological Seminary"
c/o The Office of Institutional Advancement, 440 West 21st Street, N.Y., N.Y. 10011
WAYS TO HELP
Direct Giving - Online or by Check
After clicking the "Donate Now" button, you'll be taken to a secure site where you can select one of these options on the donation form (see the pull-down menu "Program designations"). If you choose to pay by check, simply write your selection in the memo line.
- A gift to our Annual Fund, is the "first and best gift" one can make to the Seminary. Annual Fund gifts are applied immediately to those things we care about most -- our academic programs, our distinguished faculty, making tuition affordable for talented seminarians of diverse financial backgrounds, investing in facilities and technology, and maintaining the Close -- our beautiful and historic grounds.
- In all seasons, the Close is uniquely beautiful with the support of the Chelsea Square Conservancy, a special fund dedicated to enhancing our historic gardens and grounds. Gifts to the Conservancy contribute directly to the annual bulb planting, the long-term care of our sixty trees, and the maintenance of our gracious lawns.
- The Friends of the Library actively support The Christoph Keller Jr. Library of the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. Membership helps preserve and expand the Library's collections and advocate for a strong library.
- Established in 1976 The Center for Christian Spirituality educates and forms leaders to offer ministries of spiritual guidance, including spiritual direction. The CCS is grateful to all who care about spiritual leadership in the church and in the world and express their care through a gift to GTS directed to CCS.
- Gifts directed to Scholarship assistance support General Theological Seminary's commitment to attracting persons of academic excellence and true gifts for ministry from wide and diverse backgrounds, regardless of their financial resources.
Stock certificates can be reassigned directly to General Seminary, or they may be transferred through your broker. For detailed instructions, please click here or consult with the Office of Institutional Advancement.
A charitable trust is a useful estate planning tool that allows you to remove assets from an estate, potentially reducing probate expenses and estate taxes, while ensuring the financial well-being of your family and, if providing a significant planned gift.
Gifts of Life Insurance
Paid-up life insurance policies provide an excellent opportunity for accomplishing philanthropic objectives. If the circumstances under which a life insurance policy was purchased no longer apply, you may wish to consider putting that money to work for General Seminary.
Gifts to the Endowment
Leaving a Legacy
A Legacy Gift, also known as Deferred or Planned Giving is an effective way of ensuring General Theological Seminary's future vibrancy. You can make a Legacy Gift to General in a number of tax-beneficial ways. When you make a bequest or contribution of any size in your will, you become a member of The Jacob Sherred Society.
All of us who have studied, taught, worked, and worshiped at GTS are beneficiaries of the generosity and leadership of Jacob Sherred, a prominent architect and vestry member of the early Trinity Parish in NYC. Upon his death in 1821, his bequest secured General Theological Seminary's future. By including General Seminary in their wills, trusts, or other forms of estate planning, members of the Society that bears his name have joined a powerful legacy of philanthropic support to prepare future leaders of our Church.
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Seminaries of the Episcopal Church receive no financial support from the national church. The General Convention of the Episcopal Church, however, has repeatedly resolved that parishes contribute “at least one percent of its net disposable budgeted income to one or more of the accredited seminaries” in support of theological education. This “Theological Education Offering” (most recently reaffirmed by the 2006 Convention) provides core support for each of the eleven seminaries.
The General Theological Seminary was chartered by General Convention in 1817, when church leaders, with a burst of national vision, conceived an institution that would belong to the whole Episcopal Church, where students from all parts of the country would come to receive the scholarly, spiritual, and community formation to serve their church. Since its founding, the support of dioceses, parishes, and missions has been integral to General’s growth. First, the parishioners of Trinity Church Wall Street, who provided the financial underpinning of the nineteenth century renewal of American Anglicanism, also generously supported its new General Seminary.
The faith and dedication of parishioners across the nation continues to provide over 25% of Annual Giving, supporting the spiritual and community health of General and ensuring the formation of both lay and ordained leadership for our church. Now, more than ever, parishes and missions have a critical stake in the quality of men and women who will preach from their pulpits, teach in classrooms, and serve in mission fields.
We are deeply grateful for the support that comes to General Seminary from parishes and urge your congregation to participate annually in the Parish 1% Giving Plan to support the seminaries of the Episcopal Church.