Church Relations


SYNOD OF LIVING WATERS

COVENANT BETWEEN THE SYNOD OF LIVING WATERS OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (U.S.A.) AND TUSCULUM COLLEGE

  1. PURPOSE
    The purpose of this covenant is to define the nature and scope of the relationship mutually agreed to by Tusculum College and the Synod of Living Waters of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
  2. HISTORY OF THE RELATIONSHIP
    Tusculum College is the oldest college in Tennessee, the twenty-eighth oldest in the nation, and the oldest coeducational institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Tusculum College was founded by the Presbyterian Church. A Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Hezekiah Balch, established Greeneville College, which was chartered on September 3, 1794. In 1818, Tusculum Academy was established by another Princeton graduate and Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Samuel Doak. In 1844, Tusculum Academy became Tusculum College. In 1868, the two colleges consolidated on the Tusculum campus under the name of Greeneville and Tusculum College, and, in 1912, the name was officially changed to Tusculum College. Throughout the over two hundred years of its existence, Tusculum College has had a continuing relationship with the Presbyterian Church.
  3. NATURE OF THE COLLEGE
    Tusculum College takes seriously its heritage as a daughter of the Presbyterian Church. The liberal arts tradition with which the name, Tusculum College, is uniquely associated was formulated by Cicero at his academy in Tusculum, Italy, and brought to East Tennessee by Samuel Doak by the way of the College of New Jersey (Princeton University). The tradition emphasizes smallness of size and closeness of faculty-student involvement, both within and without the classroom in order to cultivate citizenship, character and practical wisdom among members of the College community. That tradition is very much in keeping with the heritage of the College through its founding by Presbyterians with an emphasis on the formation of strong Christian character as an essential ingredient of citizenship and practical wisdom. Tusculum College is committed to strengthening its relationship with the Presbyterian Church so that the College can bring its services to the Church, and the Churches can learn of and benefit from the distinctive mission and education offered by Tusculum College. In the curriculum of Tusculum College and through opportunities for worship and service, the College’s Presbyterian heritage will be highlighted. Specific examples are included in the section on “Responsibilities Under the Covenant.” The College wants religious studies to occupy a central place in the general studies curriculum in order for students to study the religious and biblical heritage of the country in the context of larger issues of humankind. Tusculum desires its heritage as a Presbyterian college to be woven throughout all that the College does, not just through a prescribed set of courses that every student is required to take. Tusculum College seeks to instill in its graduates a sense of the world in which they live and to develop skills to make sound decisions that are based on the common good. In short, Tusculum wants to graduate students who not only do well, but do good. An important part of Tusculum College’s educational mission is to recruit a fertile mix of students from different ethnic, national, racial, cultural, religious, and geographic backgrounds. Learning from fellow students resulting from such a campus cultural mix is an essential part of fostering an emphasis on practical wisdom. Active discussions of different perspectives on life resulting from varied cultural experiences enhance each student’s maturation and understanding of the world culture in which they live. Such diversity of student background should be actively used to enrich the educational environment of the College.
  4. PARTIES TO THE COVENANT
    The Parties of this covenant, Tusculum College of Greeneville, Tennessee, operating under its governing board, the Board of Trustees, and the Synod of Living Waters, operating as a governing body, are separate entities. They are independent, neither being controlled by the other. They are, however, interdependent in that they must work together to accomplish their common purposes.
  5. RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER THE COVENANT
    1. Tusculum College affirms its commitment to:
      - offer a program of quality education in the liberal arts and sciences with the concept of the wholeness of life as interpreted by the Christian faith;
      - conduct an educational program in which a large majority of the faculty are Christians, while insisting on freedom of inquiry for the faculty and students;
      - create a campus climate in which the Christian faith is reasonably and persuasively presented without undo pressing for acceptance;
      - maintain a campus minister and a set of course offerings in religion;
      - require religious studies of all students;
      - offer opportunities for corporate worship for the entire campus community;
      - provide opportunities for the exploration of the relationship between religion and other facets of life, while preparing students for Christian service in all walks of life;
      - establish standards of excellence and maintain accreditation by appropriate academic associations and agencies;
      - share in the development of professional and lay leadership for the church;
      - serve as a host for Church courts and their agencies, providing leadership and facilities for conferences, retreats, workshops, and training sessions for Church groups and offer services to the Church such as supply ministers and special programs of sacred music and drama;
      - provide opportunities for continuing education for Presbyterian ministers;
      - refer to its Presbyterian heritage in all of its literature;
      - use College educational resources to enrich the churches, such as a theologian in residence;
      - effectively recruit persons of racial and ethnic diversity to serve on the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, and support staff as well as in the student body;
      - demonstrate active concern for social justice and human mercy among the entire campus community, fostering a keen spirit of volunteerism;
      - maintain Christian governance and leadership by maintaining the practice that a large majority of trustees and administrators be Christians;
      - make every effort to insure that the President of Tusculum be a Presbyterian;
      - provide the Synod an Annual Report, and other such reports as may be considered useful
    2. Synod of Living Waters affirms its commitment to:
      - undergird the College spiritually by praying for its leadership, faculty, students, and friends;
      - promote understanding of the educational opportunities offered at the College through Synod publications;
      - promote attendance at the College by encouraging youth in the Synod to consider enrolling as students;
      - offer a source of ministers and laity as speakers for regularly scheduled chapel services, retreats, and conferences at the College;
      - encourage presbyteries and churches to consider holding some of their conferences, retreats, meetings, and training events in the College facilities periodically;
      - encourage individuals, congregations, and presbyteries within the bounds of the Synod to provide unrestricted financial support of the College;
      - provide financial support for the College by regular benevolent giving in accordance with an objective funding formula developed by the Synod’s Division for Synod Ministries;
      - provide annually for the receiving of a report from the College, with such details as may prove useful for purposes of promotion and funding support;
      - publish an Annual Report of the College in the Minutes of Synod.
  6. MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING AND ACCOUNTABILITY
    1. Board of Trustees of Tusculum College Realizing the importance of its relationship with the Presbyterian Church, the Board of Trustees of Tusculum College commits itself to:
      - maintain a standing committee of the Board of Trustees on church relations. The Committee would have as its primary responsibility the continuing review and development of the College’s relationship with the Church;
      - insure that at least two members of each of the three classes of trustees of Tusculum College would be Presbyterians from within the Synod, with special emphasis given to members of churches in the presbyteries of Holston and East Tennessee;
      - establish a Council on Church Relations composed of equal number of ministers and laypeople. The Council on Church Relations would have as its primary responsibility strengthening the relationship between the College and the Church.
    2. Disposition of Property
      If Tusculum College should ever cease to operate as an institution of higher learning, the Board of Trustees, in accordance with the Charter of the College, will determine the disposition of property.
    3. Accountability and Communication
      Both parties agree to provide regular and formal channels of communication to insure accountability and to address issues of mutual interest and concern.

      1. Tusculum will provide Synod with a report of the campus ministry program and activities of the College in its Annual Report and other significant documents.
      2. The Synod will provide Tusculum with copies of its Minutes of Synod meetings and other significant documents.
      3. The Synod through its Division for Synod Ministries and the College through the Sub-Committee on Church Relations of its Board of Trustees will see that the terminology and status of this covenant is kept current.
      4. The text of this covenant shall be printed in the Minutes of the Synod of Living Waters, and references made to it in appropriate publications of the Synod which highlight our Church-related colleges.
      5. This Covenant between the Synod of Living Waters (PCUSA) and Tusculum College shall be summarized in the Tusculum catalog and made available to members of the administration, faculty, staff, and to other constituencies as deemed appropriate.
      6. The President of the College shall be responsible for seeing that all provisions of this covenant regarding the institution’s responsibilities are presented to the Board of Trustees.
      7. The Synod Executive shall be responsible for seeing that all provisions of this covenant regarding Synod’s responsibilities are fulfilled.
      8. The College shall inform the Synod of its other formal or informal covenant relationships with other governing bodies or church bodies. It is understood, however, that no provision of such covenants will be in conflict with the provisions of this covenant.
    4. Review and Amendment of the Covenant
      1. This Covenant shall be reviewed every five years by a team composed of at least two persons appointed by the Synod’s Division for Synod Ministries and the Sub-Committee on Church Relations of the College’s Board of Trustees. It is expected that the President of the College will be present for such reviews.
      2. Special review of the covenant relationship can be initiated either by the College or Synod. Review by appropriate committees of the College and of Synod may be needed if major forthcoming decisions change the nature of the covenant.
      3. This Covenant may be amended or renewed by action of the Board of Trustees of Tusculum College and the Synod of Living Waters.
  7. FORMAL APPROVAL
    This Covenant shall be effective upon formal approval by the Board of Trustees of Tusculum College and by the Synod of Living Waters, and signed by the Moderator and Stated Clerk of the Synod and by the Chairman and Secretary of the College’s Board of Trustees.This Covenant recognized the possibility that Tusculum College may develop other covenant relationships with other governing bodies of the PCUSA or with other church bodies with which our denomination is in correspondence.