News

Participants in the Division and Hope course were treated to a masterful address by Fr. David Neuhaus, SJ as he presented the 2016 St George’s College Peace Lecture. Fr. Neuhaus chose a bold topic: Division and Hope in the Holy City, The Role of Christians in the Israel/Palestine Conflict.

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St George’s College Jerusalem offers a unique opportunity for sabbatical programs.

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St George’s College is pleased to announce that the Revd Dr Hector Patmore has accepted the Dean’s invitation to serve as the Director of Studies from the beginning of 2017.

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British Regional Committee of St George’s College, Jerusalem

Annual Lecture in the UK 2016

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We are delighted that Fr David Neuhaus, SJ has accepted the Dean’s invitation to deliver the 2016 St George’s College Jerusalem Peace Lecture.

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We have some exciting programs lined up for early 2017.

We begin the year with the inaugural offering of the Jerusalem Ministry Formation program, but this will be followed by a series of rich opportunities for pilgrimage and study at St George’s College Jerusalem.

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Our new web site is now online.

As always with such a project, some work still remains to be completed as we implement our integrated online strategic with a single user account for the Library, our SGC Online digital classroom, the web site, our registration system, and the online payment system. However, we are delighted with the progress made so far.

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The College is pleased to offer hospitality to visiting scholars who can benefit from a short period of residence in Jerusalem while they pursue their personal research projects. This is a valuable gift we can make to to the life and mission of the wider Church. In return, these guest scholars enrich our community life as they share their wisdom with students and staff of the College.

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St George’s College is seeking a suitable person to serve as Chaplain for 2017/2018.

This is a volunteer role, with no stipend or other allowances paid. The College provides accommodation and board, as well as a return airfare for the Chaplain and their spouse.

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During August Dean Greg Jenks has been on an extended visit to Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

While he did not visit every place named on the map above, he did get to Auckland, Brisbane, Grafton, Hamilton, Melbourne and Sydney.

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Businesses, churches, colleges, and schools all know the power of a well-crafted web site. We have a new web site coming online soon and we are eager awaiting its launch …

Effective use of social media is one of the critical elements in our 2016–2020 strategic plan. The new web site will harness the power of social media, as well as offering our global community a more integrated online experience.

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St George’s College is pleased to announce that Dr. Toni Fisher has been appointed as the Curator for the Benshoof Cistern Museum in the grounds of the College, and will be responsible for the care of the Dr. Joseph P. Free Dothan Collection which is hosted in the museum.

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We are delighted to welcome John and Hazel Reese from the UK as they join our community in September. John will be serving as our Chaplain until the end of May, and we look forward the many gifts they will bring to our community of hospitality and pilgrimage.

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Haaretz (15 August 2016) reported the recent discovery of another first-century synagogue in the Galilee, and the first in a rural setting.

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Australian priest and academic, the Very Reverend Canon Dr Greg Jenks, commenced as Dean of St George’s College, Jerusalem in November 2015. To celebrate his appointment—being the first from our region—the Australia & New Zealand Regional Committee agreed to underwrite a full scholarship for an ordination candidate from an Anglican seminary in Australia or New Zealand to attend a Palestine of Jesus course at St George’s College.

Ordination candidates were invited to tell the committee why they would value making a pilgrimage to Israel / Palestine through St George’s College.

The committee awarded the scholarship to Ms Bronwyn Pagram (pictured). She is currently an ordination candidate in the Diocese of Brisbane.

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During August, the Dean will spend a couple of weeks in Australia and New Zealand, with events in several major centres: Auckland, Brisbane, Grafton, Melbourne and Sydney.

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Work is underway to launch a new web site with a modified registration process for students. The new site is expected to go live from mid-September and we should have more details in the next newsletter.

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The Edmond and Patricia Browning Library at St George’s College Jerusalem now offers online public access to its catalog.

The library is named in honour of the 24th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Edmond Lee Browning, and his wife, Patricia Browning. Bishop Browning died on July 11 at his home in Dee, Oregon. He and Patricia were great friends of the College and generous supporters of the Library. The College community extends our condolences to Patricia Browning and her family at this time, and continues to give thanks for the courageous spiritual leadership given by Bishop Browning to the church.

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As part of a major upgrade to the Library software, the catalog is now available online for the first time. This means that anyone with an Internet connection can now search the Library collection. The next step in the upgrade of the Library’s services will be to offer access digital books and journals for alumni of the College—as well as clergy and lay leaders from across the Province of Jerusalem and Middle East.

The Library portal will be integrated into the new College web site to be launched in mid-September, but in the meantime you can access the temporary login page, pictured here.

Library-OPAC

During August the College kitchen and the Cathedral Guest House dining room will merge to form a single catering service for the Cathedral Close.

This moves reflects the harmonious relationships being enjoyed across the Close, and is designed to offer all our guests—whether students at the College or pilgrims at the Guest House—a richer experience while they are with us.

For the College, it means we have much improved amenities for meals, including the receptions at the commencement and the end of a program. The beautiful gardens of the Guest House will offer a relaxing environment for casual conversation before and after meals.

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Sharing the Guest House dining room also means that our students mingle with the pilgrims staying at the Close. This will enrich the experience for our students, while giving the College much greater visibility within the Cathedral Close.

As part of the transition, the Guest House kitchen will be upgraded and—best news of all—our amazing chef, Yousef Arbeed, will be in charge of the unified catering services. He will have his hands full during the August summer shutdown as the College kitchen is decommissioned and the new arrangements take effect.

We look forward to the fine dining experiences that Yousef will continue to offer our guests in the years to come.

 

 

On Tuesday, 26 July 2016, our Palestine of Jesus program devoted an entire day to a very small area of the Old City.

We began with a visit to the Haram Al-Sharif (‘The Most Noble Sanctuary’). This is the third holiest site in the Islamic world and one of the cultural glories of Jerusalem. It is always a privilege for our students to be welcomed to the Haram as guests of the Waqf, the Islamic trust that cares for the site, and today was no exception. However, it was lovely to see the scaffolding in the Dome of the Rock had been removed following completion of the restoration work previously underway.

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[Inside the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem.]
Following our visit to the Haram we went back in time with a visit to the excavations under the ‘City of David’ which have revealed the advanced engineering achievements demonstrated in the complex water system developed by the Jebusite rulers of Canaanite Jerusalem in the middle of the second millennium BCE. We were also able to explore the modifications to that ancient system made in the time of the Jewish king, Hezekiah around 700 BCE. Many of the group took the opportunity to walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, which still conveys water from the ancient Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam.

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[The ancient Canaanite water cistern, Jerusalem.]
Finally, we visited the excavations below the Haram where the contours of Herod’s Jerusalem from the first century can still be seen. The day ended with reflections led by our Visiting Professor, Dr. Peter Walker, on the ancient steps leading to the great plaza of the Second Temple.

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[On the steps of the Herodian temple, Jerusalem.]

On Monday, 25 July, we were glad to welcome our dear friend and former Engineer, Mr Samir Khayo, for a visit to the College. Samir had come to the College to assist us with advice on the care of the Benshoof Cistern Museum, but his visit also provided an opportunity to renew friendships and form new ones.

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From left to right: Simone Qumri (Librarian), Elen Habash (PA to the Dean), Rana Khoury (Finance and Operations Manager), Greg Jenks (Dean), Samir Khayo, Toni Fisher (Curator, Benshoof Cistern Museum).

 

A coin which Ibrahim Abu Rakbeh (from St George’s Bazaar across from the College in Nablus Road) recently asked the Dean to read for him has proved to be rather interesting.

Here is what the coin looks like:

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The official description of the coin, which was issued by Constantine I in 330–333 CE to commemorate the founding of his new capital, Constantinople, reads as follows:

18 x 19 mm. 3.0gm. OBV: VRBS-ROMA [City of Rome] Roma, helmeted, wearing imperial cloak. REV: She-wolf with circle on shoulder standing left with twins (Romulus and Remus); above, two stars. In ex. SMTSE (Signata Moneta, Thessalonica, 5th factory) [RIC VII Thessalonica 187]

In case it is easier for you to view, here is an example of an identical coin from the same mint:

VRBS ROMA Thessalonica 187

It is interesting to note that 5 years after the Council of Nicea, Constantine is still issuing a coin that celebrates the myth of Rome’s founding by one of the two boys that had been abandoned in the forest but survived when suckled by a she-wolf.

The myth exists in several versions, including this one from Plutarch ca. 75 CE:

There was an oracle of Tethys in Tuscany which Tarchetius consulted, and received an answer that a virgin should give herself to the apparition, and that a son should be born of her, highly renowned, eminent for valour, good fortune, and strength of body. Tarchetius told the prophecy to one of his own daughters, and commanded her to do this thing; which she avoiding as an indignity, sent her handmaid … the waiting-woman was delivered of two boys, whom Tarchetius gave into the hands of one Teratius, with command to destroy them; he, however, carried and laid them by the river side, where a wolf came and continued to suckle them, while birds of various sorts brought little morsels of food, which they put into their mouths; till a cowherd, spying them, was first strangely surprised, but, venturing to draw nearer, took the children up in his arms. Thus they were saved, and when they grew up, set upon Tarchetius and overcame him. [Plutarch, ca 75 CE]

More on the Romulus and Remus legend here.

This myth clearly had currency well into the beginning of the Byzantine period, and it may have been in Luke’s mind as he prepared his “orderly account” of the birth of Jesus for his high-placed Roman addressee, Theophilus.

As Luke tells the story, there are two boys who share similar miraculous signs: John and Jesus. In the biblical account they are cousins rather than siblings, but the Lukan infancy narrative may still have evoked the legend of the founding of Rome. When Luke addressed his elite Roman Christian audience represented by the ‘most excellent Theophilus’ (Luke 1:4), he was not so much seeking to describe the birth of Jesus as to celebrate the significance of the Christ Child.

One of these two boys—and Luke clearly indicates that it is Jesus, not John— is destined to establish the empire of God (basileia tou theou in Greek), to bring peace, and to be the Savior of the world. Again, this evokes the traditional imperial claims to be a son of God (F DIV on Roman coins), the Saviour (SERVATOS in Latin, soter in Greek) and the guarantor of peace (PAX). Luke is proclaiming the divinity of the Christ Child, as well as his destiny as the ruler of the empire of God. This is powerful ‘public theology’ that engages with and challenges the assumptions of privilege and power.

Note: I acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Peter Lewis in Australia in confirming my interpretation of this coin and also advising of the identity of the mint where it was issued.

July looks like a busy month for us all at St George’s College Jerusalem.

On July 4, two parallel programs will depart from the College campus for very different destinations.

  • One group of students will head for Jordan, where they will spend five days exploring sites as diverse as the ancient baptism site at Bethany-beyond-Jordan, the Byzantine map at Madaba, the world heritage site of Petra, the ‘martian’ landscapes of the Wadi Rum, the Roman city of Jerash, and the Crusader fortress of Ajloun.
  • Around the same time another group of students will head to Nazareth which will serve as their base for four days as they explore the Galilee, after which they return for another five days based in Jerusalem.

Meanwhile work on our new web site, including a new integrated registration system, is proceeding at pace. Early design work has already been completed, and we hope to be in testing mode before the end of the month. If all goes to plan the new site will be ready for release in early September. Stand by for updates on this critical project!

On July 18 we welcome a very large group for our Palestine of Jesus program, to be co-led by Dean Greg Jenks and Dr Peter Walker. We have around 40 registrations for this program, and most of them are ordinands from the UK. In a sense this is the test run for the Jerusalem Ministry Formation Program that will officially launch in January 2017. We deeply appreciate the support of the St George’s College Jerusalem Trust and the Jerusalem and Middle East Trust which has enabled us to offer several bursaries to participants in this program.

A final note. Our subscriber list has now grown to more than 800 people. Thank you for your interest and support as we seek to serve God and our world as the Anglican Center in the Holy Land.

We have an excellent array of programs scheduled during the last third of the year, so please make them widely known—or come and join us for the program that most touches your heart. You will be most welcome as a pilgrim student in our community of hospitality and reconciliation.


Palestine of Jesus (Year of Matthew) | Sep 6–15

Palestine of Jesus (Year of Matthew) | Sep 19–30

Palestine of Jesus (Year of Matthew) | Nov 15–24

Palestine of Jesus (Christmas & Epiphany) | Dec 28–Jan 6

Palestine of Jesus is the most popular course offered by St George’s College and is offered several times each year. The program combines biblical and historical studies with pilgrimage to selected sites connected with the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection. This  course will include days in Galilee, based in Nazareth so there are opportunities to engage with the ‘living stones’ of the Palestinian Christian community. There will also be visits to Bethlehem, Jericho, Masada and Qumran, as well as pilgrimage sites in Jerusalem and a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

Each offering of this program is adapted to reflect the church’s liturgical year, or the special needs of particular pilgrimage groups. These programs will be the first time we focus on Matthew as part of this rotation.

The Gospel of Matthew—which is really a revised and enlarged edition of the Gospel of Mark—offers a unique perspective on Jesus. The author of this gospel pays special attention to Jewish traditions to communicate the significance of Jesus for mixed communities of Jews and Gentiles living outside of Palestine. This gospel preserves many unique traditions about Jesus, as well as having a special interest in issues to do with the Jewish Torah, the inclusion of gentiles, and the dynamics of sustaining our community life as disciples. This makes the Palestine of Jesus–Year of Matthew a course with special relevance for today’s multi-faith world.

Introduction to the Bible Lands | Oct 4–11

Introduction to the Bible Lands / Southwark–Zimbabwe Linked Dioceses (Restricted Registration) Nov 4–11

Introduction to the Bible Lands | Nov 27–Dec 4


Introduction to the Bible Lands is the entry-level course offered by St George’s College. It is ideal for a parish pilgrimage, as well as intentional shared pilgrimage programs for dioceses or special interest groups.

In biblical times the land of greater Palestine included several distinct societies: Ammonites, Arameans, Canaanites, Edomites, Greeks, Israelites, Judeans, Moabites, Philistines, and Samaritans. The Bible mentions many more varieties, including Hittites, Hivites, Jebusites, and Perizzites. What they all had in common was their presence in this land.

The land sustained them and shaped their lives. Their stories which have become our sacred texts are grounded in the hills and plains, the rivers and the wadis, the seas and the deserts of this land between three continents.

In this short course you will experience selected highlights from the so-called ‘Fifth Gospel’—the land of the Bible. It will change the way you read the Bible, and reshape the way you live your life.


The Living Stones: Peace, Reconciliation and the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem | 14–23 October

The Living Stones course provides an in depth overview of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem set within the larger context of indigenous Christianity in the Holy Land. The course visits the local parishes, educational institutions and medical centers of the Episcopal Diocese located in Israel and Palestine. The Living Stones course emphasizes opportunities for engagement with local Christians through worship, hospitality, group discussions and individual conversations. Course participants will experience the blessings of local Christians, while learning of the acute challenges facing todays Holy Land Christian. Opportunities for partnership will be presented.

Our ministries serve to sustain and strengthen our Christian presence as we teach respect and concern for all people, bringing hope to many, regardless of faith, where the light of hope is often dim. With a dwindling church membership due to emigration caused by local strife and economic hardship, the ministry here has moren than the usual challenges. The maintenance of the historic Arab Christian prensece, the ‘living Stones’,  is vital therefore to the future stability of the region as we put our faith into action, “loving our neighbors as ourselves.”


Division and Hope in the Holy Land: Learnings from Rome and Jerusalem | 25 Oct–Nov 1

This course will focus on Christian diversity and ecumenism, within the unique context of Jerusalem with its rich mixture of Christian communities. The program will combine sessions that explore the ecumenical councils and the historical divisions of the church, with visits to several of the 13 official churches in Jerusalem, opportunities to participate in varied liturgies, as well as visits holy sites and charitable institutions. The course will address the main issues in the ecumenical dialogue, the challenges shared by Christian churches today, the differences that divide, and the hope for greater strength in unity. The program includes two nights in Jordan, which is an integral part of the Holy Land. Numbers are restricted to 20 persons.
The course falls within and celebrates the 50th anniversary year of the foundation of the ACR in 1966.  It will be led by Archbishop David Moxon, Director of the ACR, and Canon Gregory Jenks, Dean of St George’s College. The course team will include Dom Henry Wansbrough and Bishop Jonathan Goodall, with input from other staff of the College and local scholars.

 

 

 

 

SGC Dean SQ 151113During August the Dean of St George’s College Jerusalem, Canon Greg Jenks, will spend several weeks visiting with alumni and church partners in Aotearoa New Zealand and in Australia.

This will be the first official visit to his home region since Dr Jenks commenced as Dean in November 2015.

Alumni events are being planned for Auckland, Brisbane, Grafton, Melbourne, and Sydney. Information is being distributed by the local alumni networks, and details of his itinerary will be posted here closer to the time.

For advance information, please email us so we can send you the details for events close to you.

 

The Foundation of St George’s College Jerusalem met over a series of days in late June.

On the first day the Executive Committee of the Foundation met with College staff for a strategic planning workshop facilitated by The Very Revd Ian Markham, Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary. This session was the culmination of a strategic review process extending over several months, with data collected from alumni, church leaders, and staff. The success of the day is partly a reflection of the input by so many people, and especially the excellent role of Dr Markham.

By the end of the day we had a realistic but challenging strategic plan to guide our operations during the next five years.

The plan has five major strategic objectives:

  1. A campus ‘fit for purpose’.
  2. Letting the world know.
  3. Connection through partnerships.
  4. Global center for reconciliation.
  5. Adventurous programs for new audiences.

For each of these five objectives has a one line descriptor and then a set of several specific  outcomes, each with a number of action steps. See the complete Strategic Plan online.

Of course, the success of a strategic plan is in the implementation and not the drafting. All the same, this process has brought together a number of priorities that have emerged from conversations with alumni and other partners around the world in the past six months.

We hope that this planning document will be a useful resource for alumni and friends, as well as a thoughtful base for the Dean to speak from when representing the College around the world.

On the second day the full Foundation met to receive reports from Archbishop Dawani (Chair of the Foundation), from the Dean and from the regional committees. We also received the formal reports on the 2015 financial year and adopted the strategic plan that had been formulated the previous day.

On the third and final day the Executive Committee met to consider the implementation of the outcomes from the previous two days.

There was a good spirit evident throughout all three days, and the strategic planning process has helped us to form a new shared vision for the future directions of the College.

St. George’s College Jerusalem is pleased to announce a partnership agreement with Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA. As part of this agreement, both institutions agree to hold each other up in prayer, work together to promote a positive vision of the Anglican Communion worldwide, and actively seek to collaborate on mutual learning experiences, such as cross-cultural education programs. This important partnership marks a new era for the College as we continue to grow into what it means to be the Anglican Center in the Holy Land.

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Signing of the new agreement at VTS in May this year.
Signing of the new agreement at VTS in May this year.

 

 

The partnerships states: “Acknowledging the rich experience of partnership we have enjoyed and cognizant of the mutual benefits in our respective communities of such partnership, we commit to seeing our partnership grow and mature and acknowledge that this agreement represents a new era in co-operation for the sake of the wider church.”

The Rev. Melody Knowles, Ph.D., Acting Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary, reflecting on the renewed partnership agreement: “Virginia Theological Seminary has deep relationships in the Anglican Communion. Our relationship and friendship with St. George’s presents opportunities for our community to experience and engage with a unique expression of Anglicanism in a unique setting. I am very pleased we have renewed this partnership.”

The Very Rev. Canon Gregory Jenks, Ph.D., Dean of St. George’s College, said: “This agreement signifies a new era of partnership between Virginia Theological Seminary and St. George’s College. As Dean I am committed to building on past achievements to make SGC a leading center for pilgrimage, reconciliation and study for the Anglican Communion. Institutional partnerships are key to this work. I am delighted that VTS remains one of our closest partners.”

VTS’s Center for Anglican Communion Studies is responsible for implementing the agreement and its director, the Rev. Robert S. Heaney, Ph.D., D.Phil commented, “The presence of Christians and Anglicans in the Holy Land connects us with the very heartland of our faith. With new leadership and a fresh mission focus at St. George’s College Jerusalem, this is an exciting time for VTS to be in partnership with them.”

The new agreement runs for three years, beginning July 1, 2016.

The Library at St George’s College Jerusalem has been a special place for generations of students who come here for a College program.

In addition to books the Library exhibits archaeological materials
In addition to books the Library exhibits cultural items relevant to Biblical Studies.

Often alumni wish they could access some of the Library resources for which they did not have time or energy during their particular program. Soon that will be possible.

Even more importantly, clergy and lay leaders across the Diocese of Jerusalem and indeed through the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, will be able to access valuable theological and ministry resources through our new online services. As our digital collection of Arab language resources grows, it may also be of interest to church leaders in other areas where Arabic is a major language or where Islam is a significant element of their mission context.

Yes, the Library is going online!

The software upgrades have been installed and staff training is currently underway.

We have been assisted with a grant of $5,000 from Bishop Michael Curry, the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. This will cover about one third of the software upgrade costs, and we shall need additional funds for subscriptions of eBooks and eJournals. Gifts from alumni and other friends of the College will be most welcome as we expand the role of the Library within the new mission focus of the College.

By the time everyone is back at their desks after the summer break in August we expect that all system will be operating, and we should even have the first of our digital resources. More news to follow in a later newsletter.

 

ST GEORGE’S COLLEGE, JERUSALEM

STRATEGIC PLAN 2016–2020

 

 

Introduction

St George’s College is a mission agency of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and a precious gift to the global church.

First established in 1920 to serve as a seminary for the Middle East dioceses of the Anglican Communion, the College now serves as an international center for continuing education, interfaith encounter, pilgrimage, and research. We welcome people of all faiths to come and share our programs.

Our mission statement nicely brings together several beautiful elements of our shared vision for the role of the College:

St. George’s College Jerusalem is an Anglican community of education, hospitality, pilgrimage, and reconciliation. Through study, site visits, engagement with the local Christian community, prayer and reflection, lives are transformed and faith renewed.

The College Foundation has identified a small set of strategic directions for the College as we pursue this mission in the next five years:

  • Wider participation from the Anglican Communion worldwide
  • Targeting ordinands and younger clergy
  • Supporting the Diocese of Jerusalem, and connecting with the ‘living stones’ of the local Church
  • Developing inter-faith courses
  • Encouraging lay faith formation
  • Raising the scholarly profile of the College

Within the matrix created by our mission statement and our strategic directions, this strategic plan will assist us to provide realistic but exciting answers to the following key missional questions:

  • What is our mission to (how can we best serve) the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem?
  • What is our mission to (how can we best serve) the wider Church in the Middle East, and also those churches in other societies with a Muslim majority?
  • What is our mission to (how can we best serve) the wider Anglican Communion, and especially at a time when its own sense of identity and mission is so problematic?

Those three questions remind us to look beyond the survival of the College as we plan our programs and manage our resources. They remind us to think locally, regionally, globally. They invite us to explore mission possibilities beyond the contours of our recent profile.

Most importantly, they invite us to dream God’s dream for the future of St George’s College as a mission agency of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, as a mission theology resource for the Church in multi-faith contexts, and as a center for Anglican reconciliation and renewal worldwide.

Please join us as we translate these plans into reality!

The Very Revd. Dr. Gregory C. Jenks
DEAN

 

Note: This plan was adopted by the Foundation of St George’s College Jerusalem on 22 June 2016. It draws on research and survey data developed by The Very Rev. Dr. Ian Markham, President and Dean of Virginia Theological Seminary, who generously donated his time to coordinate this strategic planning process for the College in the first half of 2016. We also acknowledge the valuable input by alumni, church leaders, and College staff who collected data, contributed to the surveys, and assisted with the processing of the information gathered. The draft strategic plan was fashioned in a seminar on 21 June 2016 and then presented to the meeting of the College Foundation the next day, at which time it was unanimously approved.

 

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE ONE: A CAMPUS ‘FIT FOR PURPOSE’

Aim: To provide an outstanding educational experience in a pleasant residential setting.

Outcome 1.1: Internal reconfiguration of College Building

Goal:               Better catering facilities across the whole Cathedral Close. Better facilities for volunteer staff and visiting scholars. Improved safety for guests and staff. Increased access to Benshoof Cistern Museum

Action Steps:  Implement during 2016/2017. Offer named gift opportunities for major components of the project.

Outcome 1.2: Library Upgrade

Goal:               Clarify focus of library within mission of College.
Technological options for library services.
Efficient use of space

Action Steps:  Develop mission statement and acquisition policy for the Library. Upgrade library software. Professional development for Librarian. Subscriptions to digital books and journals, including Arabic materials.

Outcome 1.3: Upgrade Guest Rooms

Goal:               Enhance the experience of students while on programs.

Action Steps:  Systematic review of all the furniture in all the rooms. Refresh the rooms with preference for new and locally purchased furniture.

Outcome 1.4: College Lobby and Administrative Offices

Goal:               To offer a more welcoming experience for visitors and pilgrims. To create a better working environment.

Action Steps:  Review the College requirements in consultation with key stakeholders and the diocesan architect. Develop plans for improvements. Identify funding. 

Outcome 1.5: New Air-Conditioning System

Goal:               To have a quiet, green, and effective A/C service to the entire college.

Action Steps:  Include replacement of the A/C system in plans for reconfiguration of the College building and/or the additional floors.

Outcome 1.6: Additional Floors

Goal:               Upgrade accommodation to meet current expectation and increase capacity for program participation as well as meeting future needs of the Cathedral Close for staff accommodation with potential for income from rental of small apartments.

Action Steps:  Design work by diocesan architect. Confirm city approvals and engineering certificates. Seek funding through capital campaign.

Outcome 1.7: Technology

Goal:               Suitable technologies for teaching and learning, as well as guest services.

Action Steps:  Identify upgrades needed and integrate with plans for improvements to Internet services for the entire Close.

Outcome 1.8: Cathedral Close

Goal:               Integration of planning for future development of the grounds and buildings for entire Close.

Action Steps:  Liaise with Diocesan Property Manager and Cathedral Dean.

Outcome 1.9: Benshoof Cistern Museum

Goal:               Better use of this facility for teaching and marketing.

Action Steps:  Address water penetration issues. Appoint curator. Renew relationship with family trust. Relocate stored material. Create small visitor center.

 

 

Strategic Objective Two: Letting the World Know

Aim: To review and share the brand, message, and opportunities at St. George’s College, Jerusalem.

Outcome 2.1. Website Upgrade

Goal:               Increase traffic, advertise courses more effectively, and capture program registrations efficiently.

Action Steps: Work with a consultant on a redesign.  Create fresh content, including blogs, images, and video. New workflows to capture registration data for alumni database. Integrate Moodle and Library software for single integrated user accounts.

Outcome 2.2. Social Media

Goal:               Increase awareness of and registrations into College programs, as well as donations to the capital campaign.

Action Steps: Integrated use of Facebook, MailChimp, Twitter and other social media.

Outcome 2.3. Print and Postal Communication

Goal:               To ensure that high-quality print forms of communication are available.

Action Steps: Review plans for appropriate print and postal resources for those alumni and friends who are not comfortable with online materials. Ensure that the print communication is timely and of high quality.

Outcome 2.4: Cross-cultural customer service training

Goal:               Ensure that all staff at St. George’s College understand the different cultural expectations around communication and hospitality.

Action Steps: Offer appropriate training for all current staff in the College and develop plans for this to be included in the induction process for new staff.

Outcome 2.5: Marketing Intern

Goal:               Secure a young, energetic intern for one year, who is able to focus on marketing.

Action Steps:  Make this a priority for the annual Porter Scholar selection process.

Outcome 2.6: Video Resources

Goal:               Create video resources for use on web site and at alumni/donor events.

Action Steps:  Work with a consultant to prepare storybook and engage video producer.

Outcome 2.7: Capital Campaign

Goal:               Raise funds needed to address immediate building costs and endowments.

Action Steps:  In-principle approval by Foundation; focus on 2020 as centenary of College. Preparation of a feasibility study. Engage a professional consultant to assist with planning and implementation. Develop effective coordination and communication protocols. Budget for extensive overseas travel by the Dean.

Outcome 2.8: Cathedral Visitors

Goal:               More effective promotion of the College for visitors to the Cathedral and Close, as well as pilgrims at the Guesthouse.

Action Steps:  Develop marketing strategies in consultation with Cathedral Dean and Guesthouse manager.

 

 

Strategic Objective Three: Connection through Partnerships

Aim: To leverage connection around the Anglican Communion to maximize the mission of the College.

Outcome 3.1: Diocese of Jerusalem

Goals:             To strengthen our identity as a mission agency of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem.

Actions Steps: Continuing education and professional development for diocesan clergy and lay leaders. Encourage participation by local church members in College programs. Facilitate academic program planning for diocesan ordination candidates.

Outcome 3.2: Regional Committees

Goals:             Develop fresh and collaborate relationships with the regional committees.

Action Steps:  Foundation taskforce to review role of regional committees. Explore new ways for College to support and resource the work of regional committees.

Outcome 3.3: Key Anglican Organizations

Goals:             Foster stronger links with key institutions and networks in the Communion.

Action Steps:  Develop active relationships with Anglican Centre in Rome (ACR), Anglican Board of Mission Australia (ABM), Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA), Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC), Church Missionary Society (CMS), Jerusalem and Middle East Church Association (JMECA), SPCK, TEC Global Mission Department, USPG, etc.

Outcome 3.4: Patron of the College

Goal:               Explore with Lambeth Palace how the Archbishop of Canterbury can assist with the mission of the College.

Action Steps: Work with Mark Poulson and David Porter at Lambeth Palace to encourage the endorsement of certain key activities of the College by Archbishop Justin Welby. Organize a visit to the College by the Archbishop. 

Outcome 3.5: Networks for Continuing Professional Development

Goal:               Work with national organizers and key people in the promotion of professional and continuing education of clergy and lay leaders.

Action Steps: Work with national, provincial and diocesan networks to develop courses that will enrich existing programs for continuing education and professional development. Seek accreditation of existing SGC courses for continuing education points in different provinces as well as in other denominations.

Outcome 3.6 Academic Partnerships

Goal:               Encourage ordination candidates to include a program at SGC in their studies.

Action Steps:  Work with seminaries and theological colleges to promote opportunities for programs at SGC to gain academic credit in national ordination education programs. Collaborate with Rippon College Cuddesdon in the development of a SGC module in the Common Awards program for the Church of England.

Outcome 3.7: Alumni and Friends

Goal:               Cultivate long term relationships with alumni and other supporters.

Action Steps:  Consolidate separate databases to create a single alumni database. Develop SGC capacities for direct digital and postal communication.

Outcome 3.8: Global Diocesan Partnerships

Goal:               Facilitate conversation between the different provinces using SGC as a resource and venue.

Action Steps:  Promote ‘linked diocese’ process for dioceses and provinces around the world. Liaise with Diocesan development office to identify existing and potential partnerships.

Outcome 3.9: Parish Partnerships

Goal:               Encourage parishes to share a connection using SGC as a venue and resource.

Action Steps:  Promote opportunities for ‘parish pilgrimage’ programs. Offer financial incentives for parish groups and returning alumni.

Outcome 3.10: Church Schools

Goal:               Promote SGC programs as a professional development option for educators.

Action Steps:  Promote opportunities for educator professional development programs. Offer financial incentives for school groups and returning alumni.

 

 

Strategic Objective Four: Global Center for Reconciliation

Aim: To serve the city, region, and the world with opportunities to handle difference constructively.

Outcome 4.1: Assisting the Diocese of Jerusalem to engage with its Jewish context in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Goal:               Develop Christian theology of Jewish presence in the land. Increased confidence of local church using Old Testament. Promote Jewish/Christian dialogue.

Action Steps:  Offer a series of clergy seminars; develop a Sharing Perspectives program with local Jews and Christians participating; create programs for young Christians and Jewish adults in partnership with the Cathedral.

Outcome 4.2: Draw on the experience of the local church for insights into Christian mission in the context of Muslim majority societies.

Goal:               Develop positive communal relationships. Explore common theological and missional elements. Resources for Anglican communities in other areas with Muslim majority context.

Action steps:   Develop clergy seminars, encouraging local opportunities for Muslims and Christians to share perspectives, and creating programs for Christian and Muslim adults in partnership with Cathedral.

Outcome 4.3: Ordinands and lay leaders from around the Communion.

Goal:               Offer transformative formation experiences in the Holy Land. Enrich theological and ministerial education globally. Invest in the future of Anglican Communion leadership.

Action steps:   Create a Jerusalem Ministry Formation Program (January/July). Develop program pathways with Anglican Communion Office and Canterbury and the St. Anselm Community. Identify funding for participants.

Outcome 4.4: Engagement with Mission Theology project of Anglican Communion Office and Lambeth.

Goal:               Active partner in Mission Theology project. Contribute to renewal and reconciliation in the Anglican Communion. Increase diversity of participants in St. George’s College programs.

Action steps:   Secure an Anglican Consultative Council representative on the Foundation. Host a writing-for-publication conference in 2017. Target the distribution of scholarships to promote diversity in College programs.

Outcome 4.5 Partnership with the Center for Anglican Communion Studies at Virginia Theological Seminary

Goal:               Contribute to the renewal and reconciliation in the Anglican Communion.

Action Steps:  Implementation of the agreement with VTS. Collaborate with CACS to serve global church. Effective partnerships with seminaries around the Anglican Communion. Joint applications to funding bodies. Promote the Scholar-in-Residence opportunities for seminary teaching staff from across the Communion.

 

Strategic Objective Five: Adventurous Programs for New Audiences

Aim: To seek new audiences and connect afresh with old constituencies.

Outcome 5.1: Review Schedule, Calendar, and Courses

Goal:               Offer fresh and relevant programs that serve the mission of the Church.

Action Steps:  Implement Scope and Sequence review of all programs. Use Mar/May and Oct/Nov for the basic large groups. Use other months for the new course options

Outcome 5.2: Develop Interfaith Programs

Goal:               Provide programs that engage interfaith engagement.

Action Steps:  Review curriculum opportunities and create programs that include Muslim and Jewish participants.

Outcome 5.3: Lay Faith Formation

Goal:               Offer lay leaders and lay members of the church opportunities to develop their faith through exposure to the unique context and programs of the SGC.

Action Steps:  Review curriculum opportunities and address priorities for lay formation.

Outcome 5.4: Visiting Professors & Scholars-in-Residence

Goal:               Enrich the learning opportunities for students by active development of existing programs for Visiting Professors, Scholars-in-Residence, and other adjunct staff.

Action Steps:  Promote the availability of these opportunities and schedule visiting scholars.

Outcome 5.5: Effective use of new technologies

Goal:               Enrich the learning opportunities for students and alumni by appropriate use of new technologies for teaching and learning.

Action Steps:  Implement and review the Moodle online learning environment within all College programs. Deploy Moodle as a resource for continuing education of clergy and lay leaders in the Diocese of Jerusalem.

 

 

Seventeen women walked along side biblical storyteller Tracy as she weaved geography, history and scripture to transform the way we understand the women of the Holy Scripture. Dorcas rising  from death came alive on the sandy beach of Jaffa port, Mary Magdalene encountered the risen Christ at the tomb, and Elizabeth felt her son John move in her womb when Mary arrived on the high cliff at Ein Karem.

WOB 2016 Closing reception in bishop's peace garden
WOB 2016 Closing reception in the Archbishop’s Peace Garden

 

As the days together progressed we changed from a program of seekers to a community of sisters in faith.  Cathy started a secret Facebook page for sharing, Lu learned to ring the cathedral bells calling us to evening prayer, Wana’s reading of scripture captured the Holy Spirit hovering around us, and Julia shared her amazing gift of song that God truly blessed.

Our hearts are filled with affection for each other and gratefulness for the profound way our faith journey was transformed in the beauty of women narratives who walked with Jesus and encountered God.

The Rev. Dr. Susan Ackley Lukens
Associate Dean, St. Georges College