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United Theological Seminary Partners with Wespath Investment Management

February 08, 2017

United Theological Seminary ("United"), a graduate professional school of The United Methodist Church ("UMC"), announced that it has selected Wespath Investment Management ("Wespath"), a division of Wespath Benefits and Investments, a general agency of the United Methodist Church, to manage its endowment. Wespath seeks to meet client performance objectives through a comprehensive strategy aligned with the values and mission of the denomination.

United’s Board of Trustees hired Wespath following an in-depth review of Wespath’s guiding investment principles, historical performance and fees.

Wespath’s values-based investing aligns with United’s emphasis on transforming the world through faithful discipleship and carries out The UMC’s denominational mission through:

  • active ownership—addressing public policy and engaging with companies to improve performance relating to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues,
  • positive impact investments—supporting affordable housing and community development, microfinance projects and investing in low carbon energy solutions and
  • ethical exclusions—excluding the securities of companies that are not aligned with UMC values as well as those companies believed to be exposed to excessive sustainability risk.

About United Theological Seminary
United Theological Seminary is one of 13 seminaries affiliated with The UMC. United’s mission is to recruit and educate faithful leaders for the mission of Jesus Christ in the world. Founded in 1871 by Milton Wright, father of Orville and Wilbur Wright, the institution is located in Trotwood (Dayton area), Ohio. In 2016, United had over 400 students seeking a variety of degrees including Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Christian Ministries, Master of Theological Studies, Master of Pastoral Theology and Doctor of Ministry. United provides flexibility for students by offering online courses in addition to their on-campus curriculum. The seminary has a reputation for racial inclusivity; over 40% of the student body is African American. Additionally, in 2013 United launched a Hispanic Christian Academy which focuses on educating Hispanic leaders to serve the faith. The current student body has joined United from 37 different states and 15 countries, and represents 39 different denominations.

About Wespath
Wespath Investment Management provides investment solutions for the endowment and pension (defined contribution and defined benefit) portfolios of institutional investors, including foundations, higher education institutions, health care organizations, and churches through a broadly diversified family of daily-priced funds. Wespath's investment process proactively incorporates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors through active ownership practices (engagement and proxy voting) and investments in market-rate community development loans. As of December 31, 2016, total assets under management were nearly $21 billion.