Marketing and the will of God
"Not long ago, United Theological Seminary (UTS) in the Dayton, Ohio area was just another declining, has-been mainline seminary, facing ominous financial hardships, dominated by Scripture-demoting theological liberalism, and reflective of so much of what was wrong with its shrinking sponsoring denomination, the United Methodist Church."
"Today, the school is a very different place than what many alumni experienced. It is now explicitly committed to a high view of biblical authority, `the historic Christian faith,' `the cultivation of holiness,' and `the renewal of the church.'”
"God has clearly been blessing this new direction under the leadership of President Deichmann."
"United’s tripling of its enrollment in the last four years, with now over 600 students, along with the rapid expansion of its faculty, is all the more remarkable in light of the decline at other official United Methodist seminaries."
The United Methodist Church is deeply concerned with marketing and brand promotion, and it's not surprising when sales and blessings are equated-- despite the many biblical emphases on times of despair and depopulation as times for reunderstanding relationship with the divine anew.
I've been thinking for some time that as other mainline denominations have moved to embrace liberal traditions of openness and acceptance-- and in some cases justice outside the church-- more clearly, The UMC was perceiving marketing value in moving right. For me, this is another data point.