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Union of historic institutions effective June 30, 2024

Roberts Wesleyan University & Northeastern Seminary Unite Operations

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Roberts Wesleyan University and Northeastern Seminary have received approval by the New York State Board of Regents to combine the two institutions effective June 30, 2024. This collaborative alliance, authorized by the board of trustees in the university’s Vision 2030 Strategic Plan, will streamline operations and governance to form a single institution that reflects a shared history and mission to provide comprehensive Christian education anchored in the liberal arts alongside a theological education that prepares women and men for ministry in the church and the world.

While governed by a shared board of directors, Roberts Wesleyan and Northeastern Seminary have historically operated as separate educational corporations and legal entities. Over the next several months, leadership teams from both institutions will work to ensure a seamless transition, aligning academic offerings, campus resources and administrative functions under a common heritage and the leadership of President Rupert A. Hayles Jr.

Northeastern Seminary’s work will continue as an embedded seminary within the university and will provide a consistent theological course curriculum led by expert faculty. Students currently enrolled in the seminary will not experience any disruption with their intended degree programs, and the agreement sets the stage for expanded academic offerings and new opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, spiritual enrichment and community engagement. Students will also have improved access to campus resources, including financial aid, scholarship opportunities, student services and administrative functions.

“As these historic entities unite, it presents the next era of transformative education for the institution,” Hayles said. “Under a shared Free Methodist foundation, we have a unique opportunity to focus on common faith-based goals while delivering an exceptional educational experience for all students. Northeastern Seminary’s longstanding tradition of theological education and Roberts Wesleyan University’s commitment to academic excellence have paved the way for this synergistic partnership that will redefine educational possibilities.”

Roberts Wesleyan University has continuously evolved since its founding as a seminary in 1866. Today, as New York’s leading university for character education, the school offers more than 100 wide-ranging undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs to prepare thoughtful, spiritually mature, service-oriented people who will help transform society. Founded in 1998 as a distinct graduate school of theology located on the Roberts Wesleyan campus, Northeastern Seminary has grown to offer Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, Doctor of Ministry and graduate-level certificates to prepare individuals for faithful, effective ministry to the church and the world.

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About Roberts Wesleyan University

Roberts Wesleyan University is New York’s leading university for character education. Committed to the development of the whole person, the institution is focused on student growth through Christ centered education, transformational learning and service to others. With more than 1,600 students and a tradition of excellence since 1866, the university strives to inspire students to transform themselves and the world, and offers over 100 undergraduate, graduate and adult degree completion programs taught by high-quality, supportive faculty. Roberts Wesleyan University also has two doctoral programs in clinical/school psychology and occupational therapy. Redhawks Athletics intercollegiate sports teams compete as members of NCAA Division II. For more information, visit

About Northeastern Seminary

Northeastern Seminary is where the unchanging essentials of biblical and historic Christianity are combined with a responsive attitude toward contemporary culture. Christ-centered men and women of different ages, ethnicities and denominations attend graduate classes towards an advanced certificate, master’s or Doctor of Ministry degree and gain the theological understanding, spiritual formation and proven skills necessary for effective ministry to the church and the world. For more information, visit