We believe that our community must be one of love, concern, mutual forgiveness, and self-giving, if our graduates are to be gracious, spiritually healthy leaders in the Church. Training for ministry at Trinity thus involves being formed as a member of a Christian community, taking responsibility for the community, being a servant to those God has placed within our care, and learning to be open, vulnerable, and accountable to one’s brothers and sisters.
This is not to say that the community is perfect. We are a gathering of redeemed sinners. We therefore stress mutual accountability among the students and the pastoral oversight of the faculty, and encourage the kinds of fellowship and friendship in which character is refined and tested in Christian charity.
We encourage students and their spouses to work with others to attend to the needs and concerns of the community. Parents with young children have come together to help each other with babysitting and childcare. Students have started and sustained an intercessory prayer ministry; a missions fellowship; chapters of the Order of St. Luke, the Daughters of the King, and the Brotherhood of St. Andrew; discussion groups; and other ministries to the community.
Worship and Prayer
Worship and prayer are Trinity’s foundations. All members of the community covenant to spend time before the Lord in prayer every day. The faculty gather for prayer every week to share their lives and pray informally for one another. Students are encouraged to do the same. Each class day opens with corporate worship, conducted according to the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. Students officiate and preach at Morning Prayer. The weekly Eucharist is a focal point of community worship. Faculty and distinguished visitors preach and preside at this service. Worship usually includes open, spontaneous prayer, and is often accompanied by personal witness. Healing teams are available after Eucharist for the laying on of hands and prayer.
At the Eucharist, students are exposed to a diversity of worship and liturgical styles. Sometimes a special rite of significance to the community is used, such as the rite of the Anglican Church of Kenya.
In addition to the formal times of prayer and worship, faculty and students have created a number of special prayer ministries. A group of students gathers weekly to pray for the needs of members of the community; the contemplative prayer group meets weekly as do women associated with the Order of the Daughters of the King. The Trinity Healing Fellowship holds a healing service, with celebration of the Eucharist, in the Trinity Chapel once a month.
Community quiet days are held once a term, in which the whole academic community goes away for worship, prayer, and teaching, and a time of listening for the Lord’s word. Advisee groups and student-organized fellowship groups are also places of mutual intercession and thanksgiving. Instruction and guidance in prayer is offered through spiritual direction by faculty and local clergy.
Trinity is an academic institution, but one that defines itself as a “school for ministry.” We do not want to be just a graduate school of religion where the gospel is studied but not brought to the world. We want to tie academic work to the service of the Gospel.
The academic program works out this goal in terms of the callings, talents, and interests of the extraordinary diversity of people God brings to Trinity. We offer an array of programs and a variety of possible courses within each program. We also offer an innovative field education program that links study with appropriate field experience.
At the same time, we believe that scholarly endeavor is a ministry, and one crucial to the proclamation of the Gospel in our day. Academically gifted Masters degree students acquire the skills needed for a future advanced degree by working closely with faculty in the research and production of a thesis.
Facilities and Housing
In keeping with Trinity’s chosen lifestyle, the facilities are simple. The campus consists of the Chapel, the Library/Academic building, the Commons Hall, the administration building, the Family Focus Resource Center, and some student housing.
The seminary community meets for Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Eucharist in the Chapel every weekday during the semester. The Commons Hall houses the seminary bookstore, a large common eating area that encourages daily fellowship at meals, and space for conferences, classrooms, suppers, concerts, and other expressions of our community life.
Trinity’s Library has a growing collection of over 100,000 volumes, especially strong in biblical studies and Anglican theology. Librarians help with research and reference questions. Personal computers with access to the Internet are available in the Library for students’ use. The Library participates in a nationwide interlibrary loan system, enabling students to borrow books that are not in Trinity’s collection. Students are also welcome to use the libraries of several universities and theological schools in the Pittsburgh area. Thanks to a major renovation and expansion of this building in 2001, students enjoy spacious, well-equipped classrooms with online access.
In February 2005, we dedicated Trinity’s new 2160-square-foot Family Focus Resource Center just across the street from campus. This new facility contains indoor and outdoor play areas, a meeting room, and a library of children’s literature and Christian family resource materials.
Trinity owns a few apartments and houses for student housing across the street from the seminary. Many students rent or buy houses in the surrounding community. Trinity’s Director of Facilities, Bob Chesky, helps students find housing in the area.
Founded in 1905 and named for the American Bridge Company, Ambridge is a “front porch community” with rich ethnic and religious traditions, and a strong feeling for the importance of family and community.
The area around Ambridge provides shops and services for different lifestyles and budgets. Sewickley, a 15-minute drive from Ambridge, has a community hospital, a YMCA, private schools, Christian bookstore, and several nursery schools and kindergartens. St. Stephen’s, a nearby Anglican parish, runs a nursery school and houses a Christian day school.
Ambridge has been positively affected by the Trinity community. Church of the Savior, a growing mission church planted in Ambridge by a Trinity graduate, began by meeting in our chapel and is now occupying its own building at the other end of town. It has founded a ministry called The Lazarus Center, which offers personal counseling, Christian 12-step programs, and inner healing groups to Ambridge and the surrounding area, also partnering with the School in the Trinity Healing Fellowship.
The Anglican and Episcopal Dioceses of Pittsburgh have parishes in urban, suburban, and rural areas, with a variety of liturgical styles and theologies. They have evangelical, charismatic, liberal, and Anglo-Catholic parishes.
Pittsburgh is a 30-minute drive from Ambridge. It offers a wide variety of sports and cultural activities, many free or inexpensive, as well as opportunities for employment. The Pittsburgh airport is only a 15-minute drive from Trinity.
The Brotherhood of St. Andrew, the Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders (SAMS), the New Wineskins Missionary Network, and Rock the World Youth Mission Alliance have all established their headquarters within a block of Trinity. The Community of Celebration live across the river in Aliquippa. Each of these ministries shares its life and example with the Trinity community and people working in these ministries frequently serve as guest lecturers.