Episcopal Diocese's relationship with an Ambridge seminary
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One question facing the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh is its relationship with Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, which remains chartered as an Episcopal seminary although it dropped "Episcopal" from its name several years ago.
Founded as an evangelical alternative to liberal Episcopal seminaries, its graduates filled local pulpits and some Episcopalians blame it for hostilities that led to the diocesan split. Archbishop Robert Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America, the former Episcopal bishop of Pittsburgh and leader of the rival Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, is a vice-chairman of its board.
But Trinity graduates continue to have prominent roles in the Episcopal diocese, the Rev. Scott Quinn among them. On Tuesday he was among three candidates questioned about the seminary.
Rev. Quinn spoke well of the education he had received there, but said that after his decision to remain in the Episcopal Church, "I feel I am not welcomed" on campus. He called the idea of a diocesan ban on Trinity graduates "ridiculous."
"That's just like saying any other discriminatory thing," he said. "But if the people there want to be part of the Episcopal Church, they have to understand it is a diverse group."
The Rev. Michael Ambler called Trinity "an amazing resource." The Rev. Ruth Woodliff-Stanley said it "plays a very important role" in the Episcopal Church's spectrum of seminaries. Both praised Trinity graduates they knew, but questioned whether Trinity would accord them the traditional bishop's seat on its board.
"Assuming I would have a seat on the board, I would very much look forward to finding out what the path forward would be to step into a strong and constructive relationship," Rev. Woodliff- Stanley said.
The seminary gave the Post-Gazette a statement saying that a board seat depended on the person elected: "Our consideration of any candidate for the board of trustees, including the new bishop of Pittsburgh, is based upon how well that person lines up with our core commitments. We have enjoyed a strong relationship with the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh since our founding in 1976 and we intend to continue this relationship into the future."
Ann Rodgers: firstname.lastname@example.org
First Published March 25, 2012 8:09 pm