Saskia Sassen, known for her leading research on the "global city," speaks of a large complex city such as New York as a frontier zone where the meeting of people from different worlds enables new "possibilities" to occur. Bound up with the cross border flows of the global city, the diverse cultural embodiments of the Church in one geographical area become what historian Andrew Walls calls an "Ephesian Moment."
As a result of immigration, New York has perhaps the greatest diversity and density of Christianity from around the world to be found in any single city. As such, New York offers us new ways of understanding our urban world, and new possibilities of what it means to be the church.
Our calling is to walk alongside ministry leaders and bi-vocational pastors, particularly those whose routes into ministry have not included access to traditional programs of theological education. We focus on practices of ministry for the peace of the city, including how to see and listen to God in our urban world. We enable people already in ministry to remain in context so that, at strategic points in their week, ministries and journeys, they can join us in a different sort of learning community.
Seminary becomes walking together as pilgrims in the city, sharing life and ministry. It means our feet, as Fr. Emmanuel Katongole describes, are in the real world. And this is how we serve the theological life of the city.