I hope that all of you, whether you are a current GTF student, alumni, faculty member or friend, have had a rewarding and enriching year, a year in which you have seen your personal ministry make a positive impact on your community and our world. One thing that we all have in common is our shared interest in service and ministry, however we define “ministry” in our own lives. Many within the GTF community are ordained and in parish settings as priests, ministers, rabbis or imams. Many others are lay people or educators, counselors or deacons, musicians or administrators. The GTF community, as wonderfully diverse as it is, has two very important commonalities: our shared belief in the value of our own ministry in the world, and our belief in the ability to improve our current ministry through continuing education.
The administrative staff and Board of the Graduate Theological Foundation are dedicated to the goal of providing our students access to the highest quality educational experiences, tailored to fit each student’s unique needs. In 2013 we have launched new programs and improved upon already existing programs in an effort to achieve this goal. We have added new members to our faculty, a faculty of 74, representing a vast array of religious affiliations, nationalities, and areas of academic expertise. The GTF has continued to grow its Graduate Center for Pastoral Logotherapy, offering graduate degrees in Pastoral Logotherapy at the D.Min., Psy.D. and Ph.D. levels. We have created an online Tribunal Studies program to complement our on-site Tribunal Studies program (a partnership with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles) for those interested in either the Master of Tribunal Studies or the Doctor of Tribunal Studies degree. We have expanded our e-tutorial offerings and we continue to offer on-site GTF Institutes for those interested in residential coursework. And, as we have for the past 20 years, we continue our affiliation with the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education’s Theology Summer School, as well as our affiliation with the Centro Pro Unione in Rome.
Looking back over the work of the GTF community in 2013, I see much to celebrate! In May of 2013 the GTF had 91 graduating students, students who will use their educational experiences at the GTF to inform and enhance the ministry they are engaged in within their communities. These 91 graduates join over 2,000 GTF alumni worldwide who believe in their ministry and its ability to make a difference in their community and in turn, to positively impact the greater world community. As we at the GTF reflect on 2013, we recognize our successes, we acknowledge our room for growth and improvement and we applaud the inspirational students, alumni and faculty with whom we are so fortunate to be able to work. Thank you for being a part of our community.