The ULCO Federation of Christian Theological Seminaries will merge with the Global Missionary Center (GMC) in Boston on Nov. 15. This was preceded by a centralization of all courses and classes controlled by the GMC. All foreign branches had been closed in the course of the modernization of the theological teaching program and were centralized in the United States. As part of this far-reaching renewal, the e-learning services became massively increased and updated.

A new theological giant

In a further step, the majority of the ULCO Federation of Theological Seminars has now decided to enter into a firm relationship with the GMC Boston.

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This will create a new force at several locations in the United States and on the internet, making them a big theological player whose special feature is not to charge tuition fees.

No tuition-fees

Theologically, the ULCO seminaries complement other educational institutions run by the Global Missionary Center in many different ways. In particular, the training of lay people in the field of biblical studies and advanced studies for pastors of smaller congregations have so far not been a strong focus of the GMC. In cooperation with ULCO, many of the group's theological seminars now offer such learning opportunities. "We complement each other like the pieces of a puzzle," said Dr. Ari Samaria, Chairman of the Board at the Global Missionary Center.

A narrow ballot

The vote for a cooperation of any kind with the ULCO Seminaries was nevertheless very narrow. In the Christian Church Central Committee, which sustains the GMC, the resolution was adopted by a majority of one single vote.

Since the ballot was so close and the worldly leader of the Christian Church International did not exercise his right of veto, it was decided to evaluate the cooperation after 6, 12 and 24 months.

The land of the free

"Despite the narrow majority in our central committee, the professional merger of ULCO and GMC has once again made it clear that the United States of America is a country of religious freedom. I don't know of any other nation where such an important process would have been possible so smoothly," Lukas Emanuel, director of Christian Church International, told CNA-NY news agency.

First initiative for Pakistani Christians

One of the first actions initiated jointly by the GMC and the coordinators of the ULCO Seminaries was a call to support endangered Christians in Pakistan. In this context, it was demonstrated that the more missionary approach of the GMC and the teaching tradition of the ULCO Seminaries work together harmoniously.