Dr. Elías Ortega, President of our Unitarian Universalist seminary, Meadville Lombard Theological School will share worship:
This Sunday, November 7, 2021, at 10am: “Election”
Election, as it is known in political terms, is the work of a democracy. Election theologically is something quite different. It is the idea that God predestined some to receive the divine grace of salvation while relegating others to sin and punishment. Our worship service, in the wake of a challenging political election, will inspire hope in the Unitarian and Universalist theologies that, counter to the doctrine of election, see potential, grace, and salvation as inherent for every soul.
About President Ortega: Dr. Ortega has been serving as President of Meadville Lombard Theological School since July 2019. Prior he served as Associate Professor of Social Theory and Religious Ethics at Drew University Theological School. His primary teaching and research areas are Sociology of Religion, Religious Ethics, Cultural Sociology, Social Movements, Critical Theory, Africana Studies, and Latinx Cultural Studies. Dr. Ortega served on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Commission on Institutional Change and co-authored the report, Widening the Circle of Concern.
About Meadville Lombard: Carrying the Living Tradition of Unitarian Universalism, Meadville Lombard Theological School nurtures learners from diverse faith traditions to embody the collaborative work of liberation through congregational and community leadership.
We honor and draw on the wisdom of the many philosophical, ethical, scientific, and religious traditions that are also concerned with love, justice, and peace, and center interculturality to deepen spiritual leadership formation. In this environment, our students are prepared to be effective in interfaith work as well as antiracism work.
We value creativity and innovation in ministry, for its potential to harness accountability to repair historical wrongs and present injustice. Our concern with social justice isn’t treated as an add-on—it is integrated into our entire curriculum. At Meadville Lombard, we believe that theological education must hone moral imagination and emotional intelligence as well as integrating scholarly excellence into ministry. To be an effective faith leader, one must understand intersectionality and have concrete skills in working for justice in complex ways. Based on our understanding that justice-making and spiritual growth are bound together, our curriculum emphasizes leadership in communities engaged in social movements and prepares students to be effective and accountable leaders in our multicultural world.
Meadville Lombard’s Contextual Learning model utilizes a low-residency curriculum featuring multidisciplinary Signature Courses, mentored internships and supervised site placements, and structured support from faculty and other students.
Students come to our Chicago campus one week per semester (twice a year) for Convocation and course kick-off, creating opportunities for heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul in-person interactions with faculty and other students. Lessons are enriched through learning with dedicated student cohorts, as well as co-curricular activities that allow students to contribute their diverse experience and wisdom to the worship and governance life of the school.