SCUPE (our original name) was formed in 1976 when three Chicago pastors, Ray Bakke, Bud Ipema and Bill Leslie, convinced that seminaries were not teaching their students to address the issues of the urban context—its politics, economics and social conditions—decided to create a curriculum to do so themselves. What emerged was SCUPE - the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education.
Over the years, SCUPE taught thousands of seminarians who do effective ministry in different parts of the United States and around the world. SCUPE’s specialization in the discipline and method of Urban Contextual Theology made its courses attractive to many seminaries.
Convinced of the need to get beyond the “white-normativity” in the theological discourse in the United States, SCUPE developed specialized programs in African-centered and Latino/a-centered theological education that paved the way for SCUPE to base its instruction on global theological paradigms. Its attention to theologies that embrace a wide diversity of people—particularly in terms of its cultures, religions, economic conditions and sexual orientations— paved the way to focus on pluralism as a core-value.
Following an eight month-long strategic planning process in 2015 to prepare for its second forty years, SCUPE has decided to take its teaching method and expertise to scale. SCUPE did this by identifying competent leaders in particular communities and in networks across the world, giving them the tools to organize and teach in order strengthen and expand the global movement towards pluralism. This is the best contribution SCUPE can make to building a just and peaceful world.
The result of our effort in a bold new direction we call:
The OMNIA Institute for Contextual Leadership
To better understand what we're about, browse this website and feel free to contact us. We believe great things are happening! Perhaps you will discover how you can play a part.