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.