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To Whom it May Concern, 
As a current student at Columbia Theological Seminary, and more importantly as a follower of Jesus, I write today to state my support for the International Students. Over my past three years at CTS I have learned so much and am more prepared for ministry than I was when I arrived. I credit this learning and growth in large part to the fact that I was able to learn from, and alongside faculty, staff, and students from around the world. International students without a doubt make CTS a better institute of learning, and I believe that the “strategic realignments” have disproportionately hurt our international community. I understand that budget cuts are a part of life and can be painful. However, to continue to market CTS as a seminary that values diversity while denying the voices of the international students here on campus is nothing short of exploitative. I stand in solidarity with the International Students and urge the President's Council to act upon the proposed solutions that the international students have set forth. My prayer for Columbia Theological Seminary’s future is that we are an institution that truly does welcome a diversity of God’s children from around the world, creating a community that reflects God’s kingdom. I believe that we are at a critical crossroads, so I ask the question to those who hold the power- are you willing to make space at the table for our international students to create that beloved community you all so often preach about? 

Bethany Apelquist


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