SEI is a school for ministry, not a divinity school (though students are taught by excellent academic specialists in every subject). The diplomas and degrees which students achieve through Common Awards testify to that goal, for they are in ‘Theology, Ministry and Mission’.
The three years of training are about ‘formation’: the shaping of candidates into the missional ministers God calls each of them to be; of becoming ever more conformed to the way of Christ as someone with the particular form of discipleship that is ‘public representative ministry’.
Formation is best done in community. SEI is a very mixed community in terms of age, outlook, churchmanship, calling, background and educational aptitude, and part of the formational task is about learning to value, respect, be generous towards and receive from the other, ‘growing together in unity and love’ as the SEC’s 1982 Liturgy puts it.
Learning to live with difference means being attentive to issues of inclusion. SEI has an Inclusion Officer and a Special Learning Differences (SpLD) Ombudsperson, both of whom ensure that policies and teaching follow best practice as regards accessibility, belonging, inclusion, and the diversification of the curriculum.
But paying attention to issues of equality, diversity and inclusion is the task of each member of the community, staff and students alike. Opportunities are offered at every residential to attend to difference: through the student-led initiative of Bravetalk, through being assigned to a Small Group for prayer and pastoral care throughout the year, and through the various channels of student representation which constitute SEI’s feedback mechanisms.
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