Did @UnitedSeminary Read This Before They Partnered With @CopelandNetwork?

An actual quote from a partner of United Theological Seminary


I must preface this post with an explanation of my official position on United Theological Seminary.

I love this school. I've loved nearly every class I've taken. I've loved nearly every professor I've had. Though I am a non-traditional student, I've loved nearly every moment of student life at the school.

The problem I have – which I've covered before – is with the school's institutional direction.

My concerns began when I learned that UTS would be partnering with Kenneth Copeland. Yes, that Kenneth Copeland. The same Kenneth Copeland who John Piper – a man with whom I share copious disagreements – has called a “founder” of the prosperity gospel.

When I found out that Copeland would be partnering with UTS's D.Min program, I became concerned. Off the record, I was told by a faculty member that the partnership was more about taking advantage of KCM's digital ministries and the learnings that could happen as a result. However, it wasn't long before the school was touting a preaching visit by the televangelist – and expressing amazement at how he helped the school raise $20,000 during his visit.

So far, I'm sure you can see how I can be concerned that a United Methodist seminary is partnering with someone so theologically askew from where they claim to be.

However, my overriding question remains unanswered. How could they have made such a shortsighted decision in the first place?

News about who Copeland is and what his “ministry” is all about is not hard to come by. In fact, I found this article from the New York Times which contains the quote from Gloria Copeland (featured above) and information on the latest investigation in which he and his acolytes find themselves embroiled.

I couldn't find information on how that investigation went, but the fact that this wasn't his first run-in with the Feds should have been a clue to proceed with caution – if at all.

This article dates to '09 – before the partnership officially began – so there is no reason they shouldn't have known this information. Frankly, all you would have needed to do was watch his show for any length of time to decide that a United Methodist seminary shouldn't be partnering – for any reason – with an organization that believes as they do.

Also, I find it troubling that a United official thought a major selling point of Copeland's partnership with the school was that he was able to raise such a large amount of money for the school.

If such a fuss is raised about Claremont's adherence to orthodoxy, why aren't more people paying attention to orthodoxy at United?

The problem – I believe – is that United is experiencing so much commercial success at this time, that no one really cares about how they are getting things done.

As I said, I love being a student at United, and I wouldn't trade it – honestly.

I just wonder when they might make their next Copeland-esque move?



  1. Possibly One of My Last @CopelandNetwork, @UnitedSeminary Posts | Notes from the Pastor's Office - August 22, 2013

    […] previous Copeland posts are here and […]

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