New interreligious model of Andover Newton & Meadville Lombard seminaries appalauded

Hindus have welcomed reported plans of two leading seminaries, Andover Newton and Meadville Lombard, to form a new interreligious theological institution for educating religious leaders for service in a pluralistic world.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that religion was the most powerful, complex and far-reaching force in our society, so we must take it seriously. And we all knew that religion comprised much more than our own particular tradition/experience.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that in our shared pursuit for the truth, we could learn from one another and thus could arrive nearer to the truth. As dialogue brought us reciprocal enrichment, we would be spiritually richer than before the contact.

This as-yet unnamed innovative theological university will be reportedly established on June 15 next by Andover Newton Theological School of Newton Centre (Massachusetts, USA) and Meadville Lombard Theological School Chicago (Illinois, USA). Other seminaries will also be sought as partners and it will respond to the growing complexities of a multi-faith society and will serve seminarians of all religions, and seeks to strengthen their faiths and identities  not water them down.

Established in 1807 and affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the American Baptist Churches USA, Andrew Newton claims to be Americas oldest graduate seminary and the nations first graduate institution of any kind and Rev. Dr. Nick Carter is its President. Founded in 1844, Meadville Lombard identifies with the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations with Rev. Dr. Lee C. Barker as President.

Andrew Newton has included courses like "Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam" and "Love and Compassion Across the World Religions" and runs Center for Interreligious and Communal Leadership Education with Hebrew College. One of its alumni translated the entire Bible into Burmese. Meadville Lombard "serves students who are seeking to become leaders in our interreligious, multi-cultural world". Both offer Doctor of Ministry besides other programs.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.