Among others, there are four main ways in which the name change will benefit us.
First, the name Hartford International University for Religion and Peace deepens our mission and accurately reflects the new strategic plan and the range and quality of our graduate and certificate programs, executive and professional education, religion research, and global and community partnerships.
Second, the adoption of international university in our name represents a logical next step for the institution and will help to expand our market both in the United States and overseas.
Third, the term international university is synonymous with higher education worldwide, whereas in many cultures, the word “seminary” is equated with an institution that trains Christian clergy. Many international Muslim and Jewish students may not consider Hartford Seminary as an option simply because of its “seminary” label. This was confirmed in various conversations with and surveys of international students.
Fourth, we already operate more as an international university than a seminary, and our name should reflect that. The term “university” is considered to be more academically rigorous. External research conducted with prospective students indicates that students overwhelmingly correlate “international university” with a wide variety of programs and initiatives, more opportunities for global involvement, a better quality of educational experience, prestige and more marketable graduates.