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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Listen to it all (just under 24 minutes).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Adult Education * Theology Seminary / Theological Education Theology: Scripture
You can imagine how my heart raced. I was told that the amount exceeded $500,000 – an unheard of sum in those days. (It actually ended up being well above that – but read on.) There was just one hitch: The man had insisted in his will that the money go only for the seminary education... [under conditions we could not honor].
Still, I didn’t want to let go of an obvious windfall. When the board finally met, they debated the pros and cons, and I made the case for it as best I could. But quietly, I did have my misgivings. When one of our trustees, a bishop, said, “This has the smell of sulphur about it,” I realized the die was cast: We could not accept the gift.
Read it all.
Young people are being given a taste of life behind the dog collar with the launch of the Church of England Ministry Experience Scheme (CEMES), run by the Ministry Division.
The scheme, which began with a pilot phase...this September in four dioceses, is a one year programme of theological teaching, practical experience and personal development for young people aged 18-30 who are considering future ministry in the church. The scheme was set up to encourage more young people to consider being involved in ministry and focus on the nine criteria used in the selection of clergy.
The scheme is currently being run in the dioceses of Sodor and Man, Newcastle, Peterborough and the Stepney area of London. Ministry Division are working with 15 more dioceses interested in the scheme, with a view to provide a CEMES programme in every diocese.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Designed to inspire a passion for academic theology and encourage students towards studying theology at university, the event was attended by 150 A-level students from Church of England secondary schools and was opened by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres.
The Bishop of London kicked off the event by speaking of his personal journey into theology and towards God as a result of his own family's experience.
Read it all.
An African bishop, whose appointment as dean of a foundation at Dartmouth College was rescinded over his past comments about homosexuality, has been named a fellow at a Massachusetts divinity school.
Bishop James Tengatenga of Malawi will serve as a Presidential Fellow at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge for six months starting in January 2014, the school said in a statement on Monday.
Read it all.
A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Purves received degrees in philosophy and divinity from the University of Edinburgh, and a Th.M. from Duke Divinity School. His Ph.D. is from the University of Edinburgh. Purves came to the US in 1978 and was ordained by Philadelphia Presbytery. He served as minister of the Hebron Presbyterian Church, Clinton, Pa., until 1983, when he was called to join the faculty of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Purves has a long list of publications, both books and articles, academic and popular. His books include The Search for Compassion: Spirituality and Ministry, Union in Christ (with Mark Achtemeier), A Passion for the Gospel (with Achtemeier), Encountering God: Christian Faith in Turbulent Times (with Charles Partee), Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition, Reconstructing Pastoral Theology: A Christological Foundation, The Crucifixion of Ministry, and The Resurrection of Ministry.
The Jean and Nancy Davis Chair of Historical Theology was established at Pittsburgh Seminary in 2013.
Read it all from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and make sure to see who founded the chair--a great story.
For members of St. Michaels (Charleston, S.C.), there is a rare treat in store… Peter will be attending a book signing as part of the release of his latest book From Dry Bones: Reflections on an Unpredictable Life. In his new memoir, Peter takes us behind the scenes of his life—a life of tireless work for the Lord, filled with twists and turns, and a resume of Christ-focused efforts that can be attributed only to a man filled (and energized) by the Holy Spirit. - See more at: http://www.stmichaelschurch.net/peter-moores-new-book-special-book-signing-sunday-november-17th/#sthash.dd99qK3m.dpuf
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Culture-Watch Books * South Carolina * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Vice Chancellor of University of Ghana (UG), has advocated massive investment in the manufacturing industry in Africa to boost the economy and create more jobs.
He said an African country that does not create jobs would always be dependent on other countries who would in turn demand the enforcement of their own policies which may not be the best for the country.
Prof Aryeetey expressed the view at the second of two series of the 7th Archbishop LeMaire Memorial Lectures on the theme: "The Changing State in Africa and Christian Leadership," at the Christ Church Anglican Cathedral in Cape Coast.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Corporations/Corporate Life * International News & Commentary Africa Ghana * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Seminary / Theological Education
The Certificate of Anglican Studies aims to help the student deepen in the knowledge of Anglican belief, practice, worship, and spirituality.
This certificate is only awarded with the successful completion of either the M.Div. or M.A.T.S. degree through Beeson Divinity School. Certain courses completed within those degree programs also count towards the C.A.S and are outlined below. Some of the courses that satisfy the requirements are taught exclusively in January and Summer terms.
Read it all.
There is also a sacramental, and even an institutional dimension to the church’s unity. Paul specifically connects the trinitarian unity of the church to the sacrament of baptism: “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5). Paul also writes: “he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ”(Eph. 4:12). In Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer, he speaks of the distinctive role that has been given to the apostles and their successors: “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (John 17:18). Jesus also prays, “I do not ask for these only, bu also for those who will believe in me through their word” (v. 20). If all that talk about truth and love speaks to the Evangelical dimension of the church, then truth and love are embodied concretely in the church in its catholic dimensions. There is no church without sacraments and gathered worship. There is no church without an ordered ministry that continues the task of the apostles.
And, finally, the unity of the church has a missional purpose. The church is distinct from the world, and yet has a mission to the world. In the concluding words of Jesus’ prayer, he states the purpose of the church’s unity. On the one hand, the church is distinct from those who are not the church. Jesus says: “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am of the world” (John 17:14). At the same time, Jesus also prays that the church may be one for the sake of the world: “that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (v. 23). The church’s call is to let the world know of the love with which the Father and the Son love each other, the love that dwells in the church because the church is one with Christ, and the church is the body of Christ, the body whose head is Christ, the body that grows so that “it builds itself up in love” (Eph. 4:16). And the world will not know of this love if the church is not one, and if the members of the church do not love one another.
That is a very brief outline of the theology of the church that we find in the readings in Ephesians and John’s gospel. This outline has a lot in common with the different understandings of the church that I mentioned earlier. A church whose unity is grounded in the truth and love of the Trinity will be a church where the word is rightly preached and the sacraments rightly administered.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Preaching / Homiletics * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations * Theology Ecclesiology Seminary / Theological Education
Not long ago, United Theological Seminary (UTS) in the Dayton, Ohio area was just another declining, has-been mainline seminary, facing ominous financial hardships, dominated by Scripture-demoting theological liberalism, and reflective of so much of what was wrong with its shrinking sponsoring denomination, the United Methodist Church. The former seminary of the Evangelical United Brethren (which merged with the Methodist Church to form the United Methodist Church in 1968) was founded by Bishop Milton Wright, father of the famed Wright brothers.
Today, the school is a very different place than what many alumni experienced. It is now explicitly committed to a high view of biblical authority, “the historic Christian faith,” “the cultivation of holiness,” and “the renewal of the church.” Rev. Dr. Wendy Deichmann, UTS’s president since 2008, openly associates with the Confessing Movement within the United Methodist Church, an evangelical caucus group with which IRD’s UMAction program has worked closely over the years. Applicants for faculty positions must be explicitly committed “to the historic Christian faith.”
God has clearly been blessing this new direction under the leadership of President Deichmann.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Methodist * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General Senate * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Seminary / Theological Education Theology: Scripture
“Because of our unique witness and commitment to introducing our students to the historic English choral tradition, with its rich and varied approach to change-ringing, the gift of these magnificent bells will enhance our work and common life together,” said Canon Joseph A. Kucharski, professor of church music.
Change-ringing is common in England, where there are more than 5,000 towers, but there are fewer than 50 such towers in the United States.
Read it all.
On October 9, 2013, Judge Thomas H. Ortbal of the Adams County Circuit Court entered a final judgment against ECUSA and its (no-longer-existent) "Diocese of Quincy". The judgment decrees and declares that the Anglican Diocese of Quincy is the sole owner of its real and personal property, including approximately $4 million in its bank accounts that has been frozen ever since ECUSA first wrote a letter to its bank in January 2009.
In order to keep the funds frozen, ECUSA had filed a motion to stay enforcement of the judgment pending its appeal to the Fourth District Court of Appeals. It also filed a motion to substitute, in place of its former "Diocese of Quincy", the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, into which the former Diocese of Quincy merged ecclesiastically effective September 1.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Quincy * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Seitz asks, "If a new liturgical rite, a new metro-political PB, and probably a new constitution (in the case of TEC, reinforcing a new polity) are now part of the agenda of the new season, will dioceses and parishes be permitted to do what has been done up until this new time, as the church inhabited this time and space previously?" I think the recent history of the Diocese of South Carolina, as well as several other dioceses, has already given us an answer to that question.
When I read Seitz' statement, "Let justice and mercy kiss each other, as conservatives are permitted to remain on familiar trails, while the larger Episcopal and Anglican bodies in North America forge ahead where they believe God is calling them. If in time they part ways, at least it could happen in a spirit of charity and loving-kindness," I feel as though I am reading something written in 1998, not 2013.
If in time they part ways??? Hello? There is already a parting of the ways....
Read it all.
Do ministers of congregations need to go to seminary?
Not that long ago, historically speaking, this was a perfectly fair question. Today, it’s becoming a point of debate again....
What is changing is a movement in two directions with a single, general effect. On the one hand, nondenominational churches are springing up, with many of the larger, or “megachurch,” institutions having no affiliation with a denominational certification body. Therefore they have no specific requirement for a bachelor’s degree or Bible college certificate of one sort or another. Each non- or undenominational congregation can hire whom it chooses, and even ordain or not ordain as seems right and proper for its history and sense of tradition.
Read it all.
In 1995, Mark Noll opened his The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind with an unflattering observation: "The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind."
Now, almost two decades later, has anything changed? In a new roundtable video, three Christian higher education presidents—Michael Lindsay, Albert Mohler, and Philip Ryken—consider evidences of a recovered and maturing evangelical mind in the years since Noll's landmark work.
"We're no longer trying to prove ourselves, trying to get a seat at the table," observes Lindsay, president of Gordon College in Massachusetts. "I think evangelicals have demonstrated they can do the highest level of scholarship in fields like history, philosophy, and sociology."
Read it all and watch the video also.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Mary MacGregor, who heads the diocese’s Iona School, said programs like theirs and the Bishop Kemper School are what the church needs. She noted that in the Diocese of Wyoming, one of the Iona partners, 90 percent of their priests are bivocational. And the need for local education programs will only grow, she said.
“This is the movement that is going on in the church. There will be more internal schools in the Episcopal Church,” she said. And while quality content is essential, it isn’t the only requirement, she said. “We have to have a mix of quality, accessibility and do-ability.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Mr. [Daryl] Walters is a graduate of one of the most unusual prison programs in the country: a Southern Baptist Bible college inside this sprawling facility, offering bachelor’s degrees in a rigorous four-year course that includes study of Greek and Hebrew as well as techniques for “sidewalk ministry” that inmates can practice in their dorms and meal lines.
There are 241 graduates so far, nearly all lifers who live and work among their peers. Dozens of graduates have even moved as missionaries to counsel or preach in other prisons.
But Burl Cain, the warden since 1995, says the impact has gone well beyond spreading religion among the inmates. He calls the Bible college central to the transformation of Angola from one of the most fearsome prisons in the country to one of the more mellow, at least for those deemed to be cooperative. Watching men quietly saunter from open dormitories to church, many with Bible in hand and dressed in T-shirts of their choice, it can hardly seem like a maximum-security facility, although multiple daily lineups for inmate counts are a reminder.
Read it all.
(Please note that this is a follow up to this article posted on the blog September 22--KSH).
A Methodist minister who resigned her pulpit last year after deciding that she was no longer a believer, and who was recently hired by a humanist group based at Harvard to help build congregations of nonbelievers throughout the country, has acknowledged fabricating aspects of her educational background.
The former minister, Teresa MacBain, whose crisis of faith was described in the On Religion column last Saturday, claimed she had earned a master of divinity degree from Duke University.
She had also listed that degree in the résumé she submitted to the Humanist Community at Harvard in the course of being hired as director of its Humanist Community Project. In addition, she had made references to the degree in previous public statements, some of which were reported online.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Education Media Religion & Culture * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Secularism * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Seminary / Theological Education
(Please note: you can see basic information about this conference there)--KSH.
Toronto: The Archbishop of Canterbury has laid out his vision for a reformed and renewed Anglican Communion during an address delivered last week at Wycliffe College of the University of Toronto.
The Anglican way forward was through a church whose mission and message had a concrete impact on the real world of modern men and women. But this church was not merely a vehicle for good works, but one that took a wholly Christ-centered approach to theology and was grounded entirely in the New Testament.
In an unscripted address via Skype to the “Back to the Anglican Future: The Toronto Congress 1963 and the Future of Global Communion” Conference held on 18 September 2013 Archbishop Welby acknowledged the impact of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s ideal of the Church as “Christ existing as community” as his guide.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
[You may find here]....the cross-examination of ECUSA's expert witness on its polity and history, Dr. Robert Bruce Mullin, who testified all day on both April 29 and April 30 of this year. His cross-examination by Alan Runyan, ...[counsel of] the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina under Bishop Lawrence, is a case study in how to break apart a structure into which every effort has been poured to make it appear as solid.
That cross-examination (on behalf of the Anglican Diocese) was followed by a further and well-honed cross-examination by Talmadge G. Brenner, the Chancellor for Quincy, on behalf of its bishop, the Rt. Rev. Alberto Morales, whom ECUSA had named individually as a counter-defendant in its counterclaim in the case. (That is what comes of suing people personally -- they get their own attorneys, who have the right to participate fully in all aspects of the trial.)
Read it all (courtesy of A.S. Haley).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Primary Source Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Quincy TEC Polity & Canons * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Education History Law & Legal Issues * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Fred Bahnson’s first bit of advice when he started planning a church garden eight years ago came from an elderly tobacco farmer who grabbed a handful of soil, rolled it around in his fingers and shook his head:
“You don wohn fahm heah,” he said in his deep North Carolina drawl.
Those were not the only discouraging words he received as he planted and cultivated one of the earliest and most successful church gardens, 20 miles north of Chapel Hill....
Read it all.
The position carries two titles: President and Dean of Berkeley and Associate Dean of Yale Divinity School. As such, states Rev. Carlsen, “We believe this represents an extraordinary ‘both/and’ leadership opportunity. On the one hand, to lead a highly respected Episcopal divinity school, and on the other, to be part of the leadership of YDS with its ecumenical perspective, superb academic resources, global reach and reputation within one of the word’s finest research universities.”
Carl Anderson, Chair of the Berkeley Board of Trustees, in a letter to the Berkeley community, expressed his gratitude for Dean Britton’s eleven years with the seminary and appreciation for the Dean’s many and important contributions… “to the life of the school, the quality and qualifications of our graduates, and Berkeley’s stature and standing within YDS, Yale University and The Episcopal Church.”
Read it all.
Their latest annual report is there and their website is here.
Realism is used to dismiss pacifism and to underwrite some version of just war. But it is not at all clear that the conditions for the possibility of just war are compatible with realism. At least, it is not clear that just war considerations can be constitutive of the decision-making processes of governments that must assume that might makes right. Attempts to justify wars begun and fought on realist grounds in the name of just war only serve to hide the reality of war.
Yet war remains a reality. War not only remains a reality, war remains for Americans our most determinative moral reality. How do you get people who are taught they are free to follow their own interests to sacrifice themselves and their children in war? Democracies by their very nature seem to require that wars be fought in the name of ideals that make war self-justifying. Realists in the State Department and Pentagon may have no illusions about why American self-interest requires a war be fought, but Americans cannot fight a war as cynics. It may be that those who actually have to fight a war will - precisely because they have faced the reality of war - have no illusions about the reality of war. But those who would have them fight justify war using categories that require there be a "next war."
Pacifists are realists. Indeed, we have no reason to deny that the "realism" associated with Augustine, Luther and Niebuhr has much to teach us about how the world works. But that is why we do not trust those who would have us make sacrifices in the name of preserving a world at war. We believe a sacrifice has been made that has brought an end to the sacrifice of war.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Culture-Watch History Military / Armed Forces Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military * International News & Commentary Middle East Syria * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Seminary / Theological Education
See what you make of it.
Many have mourned theology’s separation from the Church, but in the last 30 years we have witnessed resurgent efforts to reconnect academic theology to its ecclesial roots. The Scholar-Priest Initiative stands in this vein, endeavoring to be the servant in the background of Rembrandt’s picture: to do everything in our power to reintegrate theology back into the life of the parish; to rekindle theological vocation and imagination; in short, to welcome theology home.
The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada face three intractable and seemingly unrelated problems: the double bind of ordained parochial leadership, the diminishment of theological discourse in parish life, and the overall decline of North American theological education.
First, while debates rage on whether and to what extent North American Anglicanism is in decline (and what to do about it), we suffer from an undeniable and debilitating double bind in our parochial leadership. In the Episcopal Church nearly 40 percent of congregations operate without full-time, permanent ordained ministers. Our churches — ever increasingly, it seems — simply cannot afford full-time clergy. Many dioceses have accordingly found themselves with a glut of ordained ministers. Several have suspended their discernment processes because they already have too many unemployed and underemployed priests. We have an overabundance of well-trained, capable priests. We have too many congregations in need of priests. We need to somehow connect the dots.
Second, there is a disconnect between theological discourse and parish life....
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Theology Pastoral Theology Seminary / Theological Education
LIMITED RESOURCES: A printed one-volume annotated Bible and a printed 1979 Book of
Common Prayer but no electronic or Internet resources.
Throughout history, communities have maintained their identity by passing on their traditions (stories, laws, songs, prayers, etc.) from one generation to the next. One of the tasks of a priest specified in the ordination rite is to be a teacher, an educator who passes on and interprets the tradition. The following texts are from the propers for education in the BCP (931):
Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 20-25 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
In no more than 750 words, taking into account the historical, literary, and theological background of each passage, briefly identify the important highlights of the tradition – the
community’s “story” -- to be passed on to the following generations of the community to which the passage is addressed. (NOTE: Your answer should demonstrate an understanding of the historical, literary and theological contexts of these passages. It should not include a detailed exegesis of the texts.)
In no more than 750 words, briefly summarize at least two biblical traditions that you consider most important to be passed on to the next generation in The Episcopal Church, drawing on the material you have presented in Part 1 and any other relevant biblical texts. Provide a rationale for each of your choices, including an example of a situation in the contemporary church where this tradition would be especially pertinent and useful.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Theology Seminary / Theological Education Theology: Scripture
When Congress overwhelmingly approved a measure last month to relieve spiraling student debt, churches probably didn’t realize the problem hits closer to home than expected—many pastors are leaving seminary and divinity school with tens of thousands of dollars in loans.
“It’s becoming a huge issue,” said Bill Wilson, president of the Center for Congregational Health. “I’ve heard of totals approaching $60,000. I had one resident who showed up with $40,000 between school and credit cards.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Stewardship * Culture-Watch Education Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Economy Personal Finance * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Seminary / Theological Education
If preaching is central to Christian worship, what kind of preaching are we talking about? The sheer weightlessness of much contemporary preaching is a severe indictment of our superficial Christianity. When the pulpit ministry lacks substance, the church is severed from the word of God, and its health and faithfulness are immediately diminished.
Many evangelicals are seduced by the proponents of topical and narrative preaching. The declarative force of Scripture is blunted by a demand for story, and the textual shape of the Bible is supplanted by topical considerations. In many pulpits, the Bible, if referenced at all, becomes merely a source for pithy aphorisms or convenient narratives.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Seminary / Theological Education Soteriology Theology: Scripture
Jean Bethke was born on Jan. 6, 1941, in Timnath, Colo. (population 185), a farming town north of Denver. She was the oldest of five children of Paul and Helen Bethke, descendants of German immigrants from Russia, and grew up in nearby Fort Collins, Colo., where her father, a schoolteacher, principal and later school superintendent, had moved the family.
When Jean contracted polio, she and her mother moved to Denver for treatment. Her mother worked at the hospital to be nearby and helped Jean get back on her feet despite a prognosis that she would never walk again....
Dr. Elshtain said she took on [the task of her book “Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World”] for both intellectual and personal reasons. She wrote the book, she said, “because I have been provoked by much of what has been written and said about terrorism and our response to it; because September 11, 2001, reminded me of what it means to be an American citizen; because I come from a small people, Volga Germans, who would have been murdered or exiled had they remained in Russia rather than making the wrenching journey to America.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Philosophy Religion & Culture * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Bexley Seabury is an innovative federation formed by the Episcopal Church’s two Midwestern seminaries. Ferlo says the pairing “with the Bexley site with the masters of divinity program and the Seabury site with all of these possibilities for leadership training, seems to be a really great combination.”
Read it all.
Jean was one of the indispensable voices of cultural and political sanity in the post-sixties. She cared deeply about the common good, and she recognized that faith, family, and patriotic solidarity ennobled the lives of ordinary people. So she found herself defending those loves, often setting herself against the academic establishment and its dissolving ideologies. It required determination and courage, both of which Jean had in large, very large, measures.Read it all (and I recommend taking the time to peruse the comments as well).
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Education Religion & Culture * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Seminary / Theological Education
This summer was no 'vacation' in the traditional sense as I worked to complete over 370 hours to fulfill the Summer Ministry Intensive but I loved every hour. Most of those hours were spent working with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI) community in Kampala, Uganda....
I felt bringing a pastoral care framework in an attempt to re-write exclusive theological narratives in Uganda would be effective because the country is overwhelmingly religious. In the most recent census, only 0.9% of as the population identified as non-religious while 82.6% identified as Christian. This "on the ground" reality of religiosity has been a breeding ground for Western Evangelical missionaries' importation of homophobia and transphobia with few dissenting voices. As a Christian convicted in the belief that God loves and affirms the lives of queer and trans people, I felt called to bring that news here.
In Uganda it is commonly believed that homosexuality is a Western phenomenon, yet a brief history of the country makes it evident that homophobia, not homosexuality, is the Western import. For this reason, I believe the first step towards change is a new theology.
Read it all.
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) * Culture-Watch Globalization Sexuality * International News & Commentary Africa Uganda * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Seminary / Theological Education Theology: Scripture
The North American Lutheran Church (NALC) has chosen to partner with Trinity School for Ministry to create a “Seminary Center” for the training of future NALC pastors. In a nearly unanimous vote on August 8, 2013, the Convocation of the NALC took action to establish a new North American Lutheran Seminary (NALS). This seminary will not be a degree granting institution, rather, it will partner with existing accredited seminaries to provide sound theological education for NALC students. Trinity will soon welcome a new NALS Seminary Director to its Ambridge, PA campus to oversee the formation of NALC students, whether at Trinity or at one of the Houses of Study that will be developed throughout North America.
Lutheran students will earn a degree from Trinity School for Ministry, taking the core courses required in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) curriculum. For some courses they will take Lutheran alternatives taught by NALC professors to ensure a solid foundation in confessional Lutheranism.
Read it all.
More than 130 years after it was founded opposite St Peter's Cathedral, St Barnabas' Theological College is coming home to North Adelaide.
The college is planning a $1.3 million building behind the Anglican Archbishop's historic home, Bishop's Court, in Palmer Place.
Construction will start in October ahead of an opening next July.
Read it all.
Our hope is that [in your theological education] Scripture becomes the keyboard of the imagination, the ordering structure of all the various notes we play in our lives. It is common to hear that order can only be imposed from without, that it is inherently oppressive to the originally free self, that true human freedom is to be unconstrained by order, and that the best ethic is one in which we refrain from claims to know the right or healing order of life. But order is in fact fundamental to Christian understanding. Chaos is neither the rule of God’s creation at its heart nor of new creation in Christ, as Christians ought to know from Genesis and the letters of Paul. No more could an entirely disordered keyboard yield beautiful music than chaos could lead to freedom and a well-lived life. The imagination that works freely and creatively is the one that has been ordered scripturally—a keyboard of virtually endless combinations and beautiful configurations that are the patterns of Christian life. Since speaking of a “scriptural imagination” is not necessarily a common way to talk, however, it makes good sense to explain what we mean.
By imagination we do not mean so much the capacity for certain kinds of play that we have in abundance as a child and often lose as we age, or a distinct area or activity of the brain that corresponds to creativity, fantasy, and the like. Imagination, rather, means more the way the total person is involved in interpreting and being in the world—the part we actively play in constructing a vision of life for ourselves and for others.
Imagination in this sense is thus not something that exists only in our heads or is used only for particular activities such as artistic depiction; it is also practically dense, or lived.
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Worship4Today - a course for worship leaders and musicians, successfully tried and tested in the Diocese of Sheffield over several years - is being rolled out nationally from this week.
Compiled by Helen Bent and Liz Tipple, Worship4Today: Part 1: Laying a Firm Foundation tackles the priorities identified in the Liturgical Commission's Consultation of Evangelical Anglicans: a need for theological training for songwriters and worship leaders in local churches, and for musical training and effective formation in worship leading for ordinands. Trialed in 100 churches, it has already been the catalyst for new church services, a new congregation and two new children's choirs, and provided an essential boost for many flagging choirs and music groups.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
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St Mellitus College, founded in 2007, offers on-the-job experience as well as theology.
The numbers attending church on Sundays may be falling, but an innovative new college to train Anglican clergy has already attracted 500 students, making it the newest and one of the largest in the country.St Mellitus College, which started in 2007, opened the doors of a new building in November. It is the first training college for clergy to focus especially on leadership, and to combine theology with on-the-job experience in churches, youth centres, homeless shelters and Christian work in the inner cities.
“It’s the same pattern as business schools or the way doctors are trained now,” says Graham Tomlin, the college dean. “Previously those training for the ministry went to a full-time residential college. Now they can spend time in parishes as lay workers while coming here part of the week and on several residential periods a year. Or they continue in their jobs as doctors or bus drivers while training part-time for the ministry.”
As a result, St Mellitus, a joint project by the dioceses of London and Chelmsford, has seen a surge of applications from the start, with 110 full-time ordinands and around 400 lay students. A survey showed that three quarters of the ordinands would not have considered going into the church, or would have done so much later, had this work/study pattern not been available.
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About 41 percent of master’s of divinity graduates expect to pursue full-time church ministry, down from 52 percent in 2001 and from 90-something percent a few decades ago, according to the Association of Theological Schools, the country’s largest such group.
Americans, particularly young ones, are becoming less religiously affiliated, and many see churches as too focused on internal politics and dogma and not enough on bettering the outside world. Institutional religion doesn’t have the stature it once did, and pastor jobs are fewer and less stable.
The skepticism about religious institutions has led to a broadened concept of what it means to minister. Like Allen, seminary graduates today use the words “ministry” and “calling” to describe their plans to employ their understanding of theology in a new career or to use their degrees to bring more purpose to what they are already doing. And seminaries are busily trying to accommodate them, creating new degrees for careers in such areas as urban ministry and psychology.
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Judge then, young Gentlemen, into what depths of degradation the race of young ministers to which you are to belong must sink, if you not only remain deaf to the voice of conscience, to the admonitions of history, and to the strivings of GOD'S Spirit, but also to the voice of your age and of your country, which is calling you to high and noble things in your ministry. To go forth from this most highly-honored seat of sacred learning in our Church, with low attainment and without studious habits—to enter upon your ministry in this energetic and driving age, without zeal and perseverance—and to place yourselves upon the great missionary field which our Church presents from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, without being animated by the missionary spirit—how certain the fall, how deep the dishonor, how terrible the curse, to which you must inevitably be reduced!
The fathers, the clergy, the friends of the Church, look with increased anxiety and greater hope to each successive class graduating from our theological seminaries. They have a right to expect better scholarship, as the ability of teachers, the number of books, and the aids to study are daily increasing. And surely, as the wants of the Church are better known, and the extent of the missionary field, both at home and abroad, is better understood, they have a right to anticipate a great increase of missionary zeal. A young clergyman, some twenty years ago, might have made many a reasonable excuse for his lack of that holy, self-sacrificing zeal, a want of which would now be utterly inexcusable. What! shall young men just commissioned to the holy office, be deaf to the calls of their country, of the Church, and of her Divine Head, to make full proof of their ministry, and sink down into criminal listlessness, or addict themselves to unworthy worldly pursuits? What! when the cry of souls ready to perish is borne on every wind, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south, shall they take counsel of their love of ease, their taste for human literature, or of their worldly-minded friends, and refuse to go to any part of the missionary field to which GOD shall call them?
Remember, young Gentlemen, that the great Head of the Church has placed you under influences more favorable for the formation of a high ministerial character, than with others has been the case perhaps for ages. You may, if you will, unite in yourselves more learning, more pious active zeal, more of a spirit of humility and prayer, than any of your predecessors, it may be, since the Apostles' own times. What you may become, the Church, the world, the Saviour of man-kind, [14/15] all expect that you will become. And yet this kind goeth not forth but by prayer and fasting. You cannot even succeed well in your studies without prayer. Much less can you grow in humility, and in a spirit of benevolence and self-sacrifice without much and fervent prayer.
Read it all from the Bishop of Kentucky, Benjamin Bosworth Smith.
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I stand before you not in any way a self-made man. I have been a product of a lot of people who have loved me and poured into me in a way that is transformed my life, not only as a small child, but as I’ve grown as an adult, and I would be remiss if I didn’t share . . . with you about that, in the hopes of leaving you with what I feel could be something that you could take and remember in an effort to make a difference in the lives of other people, which you inevitably will be called to do in some capacity.
So to that end, I got to a place where I was in my life about six years ago where I was at the end of myself. I have spent some time — I became a Christian when I was 13, but I didn’t have the follow-through that I needed — but nonetheless I found myself in the fall of 2006 at the steering wheel of a car with all the windows rolled up and a garden hose attached from the muffler to the passenger-side window in the hopes of ending it all. Why? Because I had done some things in my life and come to a place in my life where I had realized that I had made a lot of mistakes, and not only had I made a lot of mistakes, but I had been the victim of some things that are tough to wrap your arms around, a Christian or not. So I was in that place and I was about to turn the key and I really felt the Holy Spirit saying, “R.A., I’m not done with you yet. Don’t do that.” Like literally those words: “Do not do that.” And so as lonely as I felt in that moment at the steering wheel of a Chevrolet Cavalier, I never felt truly alone. I think there’s something to be said in that.
I share that with you and I’m vulnerable with you in this moment because I really believe that God has called me to be here for a reason. I do believe in divine appointments, I believe this is one of them.
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Theological education is a deadly serious business. The stakes are so high. A theological seminary that serves faithfully will be a source of health and life for the church, but an unfaithful seminary will set loose a torrent of trouble, untruth, and sickness upon Christ’s people. Inevitably, the seminaries are the incubators of the church’s future. The teaching imparted to seminarians will shortly be inflicted upon congregations, where the result will be either fruitfulness or barrenness, vitality or lethargy, advance or decline, spiritual life, or spiritual death.
Sadly, the landscape is littered with theological institutions that have poorly taught and have been poorly led. Theological liberalism has destroyed scores of seminaries, divinity schools, and other institutions for the education of the ministry. Many of these schools are now extinct, even as the churches they served have been evacuated. Others linger on, committed to the mission of revising the Christian faith in order to make peace with the spirit of the age. These schools intentionally and boldly deny the pattern of sound words in order to devise new words for a new age — producing a new faith. As J. Gresham Machen rightly observed almost a century ago, we do not really face two rival versions of Christianity. We face Christianity on the one hand and, on the other hand, some other religion that selectively uses Christian words, but is not Christianity.
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But then the Lord asks, “Do you love me?” It seems an odd question for Jesus to ask. We can’t help but wonder if some redactor got it wrong. Or perhaps some failure in communication may have taken place; someone must have misheard Jesus’ conversation with Peter. It was probably the person who counted the fish. We are not even sure we can trust John to have gotten it right. The disciples have been with the resurrected Jesus, but they go on fishing? They go back to the ordinary life they had prior to following Jesus? It seems unimaginable.
Moreover, Jesus is not supposed to ask Peter -- or us -- to love him. His job is to love us. In spite of our failures to be faithful disciples, in spite of our confusions about what it means to be Christian, in spite of our prideful presumption that we are our own creator, in spite of our sins, Jesus is supposed to love us.
Is that not the heart of the gospel? -- “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.” This passage from John seems to have gotten off script; we are to be assured of Jesus’ love for us, and not the other way around....
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President Paige Patterson made the recommendation to the board to end tenure at Southwestern, one of six seminaries affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
Following Patterson's recommendation, Charles E. (Eddie) Miller, a trustee from Nevada and director of missions for the Sierra Baptist Association in Reno, made a motion stating, "Believing that the majority of trustees of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary agree in principle with the cessation of tenure for this institution, I move that the Bylaws and Policies Committee bring revisions to cease future extension of tenure to the fall 2013 trustee meeting."
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At first, Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., could see itself as exempt from the economic forces shaking seminaries and theological schools nationwide. Luther is the biggest seminary for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States. Among its peers, it had a reputation for being innovative. Individual donors continued to give, and its local area -- in one of the country’s most Lutheran states -- was supportive.
Last fall, though, it all came crashing down. Enrollments were dropping. The seminary found it was running multimillion-dollar deficits, spending down its endowment and relying on loans. In December, its president, the Rev. Dr. Richard Bliese, resigned, as the seminary’s board began to look at options to trim at least $4 million from the seminary’s $27 million annual budget.
The results were announced...[not long ago]: layoffs for 18 of its 125 staff members, many effective within a few weeks; the voluntary departure of 8 of 44 faculty members at the end of the academic year, who will not be replaced; the termination of a master’s program in sacred music; and the decision to no longer admit Ph.D students for at least three years.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Stewardship * Culture-Watch Education Religion & Culture * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Lutheran Methodist Presbyterian United Church of Christ * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Almost half a century ago, the Episcopal Church Foundation’s Pusey Report foretold, among other things, consolidation and radical change among the denomination’s theological seminaries. Such change is finally upon us. Several schools in the United States and in Canada have closed, a number are alive in name only, and others in each country approach their demise. Several years ago I was surprised to hear that a majority of Episcopal ordinands had attended none of the established 11.
In the face of this dire climate, the Episcopal seminaries’ effort at cooperation did not touch on core tasks; similarly in 2010 in the Anglican Church of Canada, when all the stakeholders were gathered in Montreal, the life-and-death institutional issues had to be bracketed and left aside. Simultaneous with a major reordering of our parishes and dioceses, this is a turning point for theological education, but we should not expect some grand compromise or new deal. This is as it should be, since the network of schools was never planned systematically. The remedies sometimes float about as well-meaning generalizations: diversity, lay empowerment, the missional. True enough, but such themes do not get to the heart of the matter....
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Listen to it all from the parish in which I serve, Christ Saint Paul's Yonges Island, South Carolina, this past Sunday.
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Many of the men in seminary chose to become priests after the eruption of the sexual abuse crisis, at a time when the choice to become a priest is increasingly mystifying to many. Some of their friends and families were wary; others were encouraging.
“It’s pretty obvious, even for us, the situation is not really all sunshine. It is a tough time that we’re entering,” said Jun Hee Lee, a 25-year-old seminarian from Brooklyn. “Patience, perseverance in prayer and courage — having that faith and hope in our Lord that the trueness of the Gospel will prevail, the truth will overcome."
--From a good article in yesterday's New York Times.
My admiration is unbounded for clergy who persist in proclaiming the gospel in the face of the resistance that the world throws at them. But I found too many clergy who allowed congregational caregiving and maintenance to trump more important acts of ministry, like truth telling and mission leadership. These tired pastors dash about offering parishioners undisciplined compassion rather than sharp biblical truth. One pastor led a self-study of her congregation and found that 80 percent of them thought the minister’s primary job was to “care for me and my family.” Debilitation is predictable for a kleros with no higher purpose for ministry than servitude to the voracious personal needs of the laos.--Christian Century, the February 4, 2013 edition (emphasis mine)
Most people in mainline churches meet biblically legitimate needs (food, clothing, housing) with their checkbooks. In the free time they have for religion, they seek a purpose-driven life, deeper spirituality, reason to get out of bed in the morning or inner well-being—matters of unconcern to Jesus. In this environment, the gospel is presented as a technique, a vaguely spiritual response to free-floating, ill-defined omnivorous human desire.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Seminary / Theological Education Theology: Scripture
Shared yesterday at the Mere Anglicanism Conference--check it out.
Dr. Diogenes Allen, a distinguished scholar in the field of the philosophy of religion, and the Stuart Professor of Philosophy emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary, died on January 13, 2013, at the age of 80 in hospice care at Chandler Hall, Newtown, Pennsylvania. He joined the Seminary faculty in 1967 as associate professor of philosophy, and became a full professor in 1974. He was named the Stuart Professor in 1981. He retired and was named Stuart Professor Emeritus in 2002.
Allen was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on October 17, 1932. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Kentucky in 1954, and went on to study at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He earned a B.A. (1957) and later an M.A. (1961) from Oxford. He earned the B.D. (1959), the M.A. (1962) and the Ph.D. (1965) from Yale University. His thesis for his Ph.D. was titled “Faith as a Ground for Religious Beliefs.”
Before joining the Princeton Seminary faculty, he taught at York University in Ontario, Canada, from 1964 to 1967. He also was a visiting professor at Drew University and at the University of Notre Dame during his career....
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Our vision is for the gospel to be recognized as public truth again. We want to see Christians owning the gospel in all aspects of their lives, and demonstrating its positive impact at all levels of society—individuals, communities, sectors, and the entire marketplace of ideas.
Our mission is to take the gospel public. Through our research and our grounding in the calibre of theological education found at Regent College, we aim to provide and embody fresh, reliable, and well-informed expressions of the gospel that reveal its truth, necessity, and relevance to all spheres of public life....
Check it out thoroughly.
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Instead of reposting the texts of all the questions which I had by email, I see Tom Ferguson already has them all posted, so I will link to him--KSH.
Here is question two and you can find all the rest of the questions there (scroll down if necessary).
Set 1: Liturgy and Church Music
Limited Resources: A printed one-volume annotated Bible; a printed 1979 Book of Common Prayer; a printed Book of Occasional Services; a printed Lesser Feasts and Fasts; the printed Enriching Our Worship volumes; a printed Holy Women, Holy Men; and printed authorized Episcopal hymnals. NO electronic or Internet resources.
Create a liturgy for a nature-oriented event in your pastoral context. You may imagine any such situation: for example, the planting or harvesting of crops, the blessing of a fishing fleet, the planting of a community garden, the reclaiming of land after a natural disaster, or the blessing of animals.
1. In a well-organized essay of approximately 750 words:
A. Give the pastoral reason for the rite;
B. Explain the theological understanding of creation that informs your liturgical design.
2. In another essay of approximately 750 words:
A. Outline the celebration, explaining why you structured it this way and why you chose the liturgical texts, readings and music, showing how your choices conform to the rubrics of the liturgical books listed above;
B. Describe the roles of the members of the congregation, including the liturgical leaders;
C. Describe the liturgical choreography (the movement of the assembly, including the liturgical ministers) and the use of space.
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Before you look see if you can name the seven areas on the exam, then read it all (page 2 of pdf).
In the wake of the Newtown school shooting, I’ve been asked to comment since I am a theologian by profession and the author of a book on the problem of evil, Can God Be Trusted? Faith and the Challenge of Evil (Oxford, 1998; 2nd edition IVP, 2009).
Most of what I have to say is in that book. But I’ve posted remarks here in the past that are relevant to this incident, so I’ll just list them here in case they can be of use to you
Read it all and follow and peruse all the links.
The Anglican Church of Canada should be prepared to be “turned inside out” and to be a church that gives birth to a Spirit-led “people’s movements at all levels,” said the Rev. Dr. Christopher Duraisingh, a noted South Indian theologian.
Duraisingh, who is a professor at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., spoke about mission at the meeting of the Council of General Synod (CoGS) during its meeting Nov. 15 to 18.
Duraisingh was invited to help CoGS members reflect on what direction the church might take in response to its ongoing challenges with diminishing revenues and declining membership. He will also be the keynote speaker at the July 2013 Joint Anglican-Lutheran Assembly in Ottawa.
Read it all.
I hope the question got your attention, it certainly did that for me. Dan Kimball, Cheryl Sanders, and Winfield Bevins all have some thoughts in response--read it all.
[Lamin] Sanneh acknowledges a debt to the missionary schools that unintentionally introduced him to a desiccated version of Christian faith, and he tells how as an earnest young man he wandered from pastor to pastor, desperately seeking baptism, only to be deflected by missionaries who had compromised mission in their uneasy accommodation to Islamic culture. The story would almost be humorous if it were not so sad. Yet even the account of the missionaries’ rebuff is less painful to read than the account of what he received at the hands of liberal, mainline North American pastors who had long before enmeshed themselves in their culture by reducing their ministry to caregiving rather than conversion. As for many frustrated would-be converts in our age, it was easier for Sanneh to find Christ than for him to find Christian community. Eventually he became a Catholic while at Yale.--Will Willimon in a review of Lamin Sanneh's new Summoned From the Margin (Eerdmans, 2012), Christian Century, the October 17th, 2012 issue, page 53 (emphasis mine)
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He schooled himself to change—a long, slow transformation. Once, leading a [Youth for Christ] YFC camp in a remote Sri Lankan village, he decided that years of study had finally made him ready to lead music in the Sinhala language. Afterwards, he stumbled into an informal gathering of young YFC volunteers. As he entered, he overheard them laughing at his Sinhala singing and mimicking him.
He lived simply. YFC salaries were based on family size and experience, not on position. Fernando made no more than others, and he made sure his home and lifestyle were in no way intimidating to the most simple village people who might visit.
Not only did he change, his teaching changed. Considering the prevailing liberalism, he began to teach about the supremacy of Christ, a difficult and controversial message in a country where most religions are pluralistic. He was convinced that without belief in hell and the unique power of Jesus to save, Christians lost the urgency of witness. "I still preach about [those topics] in the West," he says, although the rise of Pentecostalism means that they are no longer pressing issues for the Asian church.
Read it all (emphasis mine).
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A scientist who gave up his job in alternative technology to train as a vicar stars in a new TV series starting next week.
Marcus Zipperlen from Penparcau, Aberystwyth, is one of a number of trainee priests who were followed around for a year by the cameras at St Michael’s College, Cardiff. His journey will be featured in Vicar Academy on BBC1 Wales starting on Monday 15 October.
Made by an independent company, Presentable, Vicar Academy shadowed several full-time students, (“ordinands”) from St Michael’s College – Wales’ only theological college – who came from all corners of the country.
Read it all.
[Finally, let me say a word about]... the wider world. Peter Berger has stated that secularization, far from being an inexorable product of modernity throughout the world, is more or less confined to Western and Central Europe and what he calls “an international cultural elite.” In the rest of the world vibrant religious cultures are the default position, not the exception. I see this gap between secularized cultural elites and global religious traditions as potentially one of the most dangerous things in our world. The consequences need to be thought about, especially since research universities like ours recruit most of our faculty and students from Berger’s secularized minorities. We need to know about this gap, how it works, and what its consequences are.
Stephen Prothero has stated that “The United States is one of the most religious places on earth, but it is also a nation of shocking religious illiteracy”—even among college students. We have already paid a heavy price for this ignorance, and we dare not let it go unattended. We have serious work to do at Harvard and beyond to improve religious literacy in this country and in the wider world.
Finally, a flashback to Northern Ireland in 1969–70. That was the year I went to Queen’s University Belfast as a young undergraduate. I was a typical child of the 1960s, more interested in sport, music, and girls than understanding the religious and political dynamics of my own culture. All hell broke loose in Northern Ireland in those years, with hundreds of people a year dying in violent incidents in the early 1970s. Like Prothero’s religious illiterates, I really didn’t know what was going on. I should have. I vowed I would find out. That’s why I’m standing here today. Religious illiteracy matters; we ignore it at our peril. Let’s take it on.
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At its May-June meeting, the college council of the College of Emmanuel & St. Chad in Saskatoon made the decision to suspend college operations effective June 30, 2013. Working with other college stakeholders, the council will develop a plan for restructuring Emmanuel & St. Chad, which since 1967 has been the official accredited theological college for the ecclesiastical province of Rupert's Land.
According to Terry Wiebe, college principal, the college sold its historic buildings to the University of Saskatchewan in 2006. It has since been renting space in the Lutheran seminary and using its chapel.
“This decision, which was not easy, was made only after carefully considering the current financial condition of the college, the ongoing decline in student enrolment, and the current and projected costs of operating the college,” said the Rt. Rev. James Njegovan, bishop of Brandon and college council president, in a statement.
Read it all.
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In 1948, his career as scholar and teacher took a leap forward with his election as fellow and tutor of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he could exhibit his talents in a more formidable academic setting. He swiftly became known as an inspiring New Testament tutor, forming a tutorial "circus" with JR Porter, the Oriel College Old Testament specialist, and Dennis Nineham, the brilliant young chaplain of the Queen's College, to teach doctrine. With Nineham, Evans gave a memorable series of lectures on the Gospels and the Jesus of history, while not neglecting his pastoral duties.
It was always likely that Evans would be offered a chair; after 10 years at Corpus, he was appointed to the Lightfoot professorship at Durham. However, despite relishing its historic character, he never really settled in the city and the chance to return south came in 1962 with his becoming professor of New Testament studies at King's College London, where he remained for the next 15 years, teaching and lecturing and continuing his challenging and questioning approach to the New Testament.
In 1977 he retired to a bungalow in the village of Cuddesdon, Oxfordshire, a stone's throw from the theological college, where he was a frequent and honoured guest. The death of his wife in 1980 was a grievous blow, but he continued to live positively, tending to the students and staff of the college and keeping a host of friendships from earlier days. To one visitor, at age 98 and over a pub lunch, to the inquiry "What's it like being 98, Christopher?" he replied: "Part of you feels that you shouldn't be here."
Read it all (another from the long queue of should-have-already-been-posted material).
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(Pr) The Most Reverend Robert Wm. Duncan, Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America and Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, will visit the Kentucky campus of Asbury Theological Seminary on September 25, 2012. Duncan will speak in chapel and participate in lunch and a talk-back session with students, faculty and administration immediately following chapel.
The Anglican Church in North America unites approximately 100,000 Anglicans in almost 1,000 congregations across the United States and Canada into one Church. Asbury Seminary’s President, Dr. Timothy C. Tennent, said, “We are honored to host Archbishop Duncan on our Kentucky campus. He is an extraordinary Church leader, and his devotion to mission and church planting inspires us.”
In 1972 Duncan was ordained a deacon and then a priest. Early in his ministry, he served the Chapel of the Intercession in New York City, Christ Church in Edinburgh, Scotland and Grace Church in Merchantville, N.J. He was also assistant dean of The General Theological Seminary in New York City, Episcopal chaplain of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and rector of Saint Thomas’s Episcopal Parish in Newark, Del. In 1992, Duncan became canon to the ordinary for Bishop Alden Hathaway in Pittsburgh. In 1995 he was nominated from the floor and elected bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. In 2009, he was elected Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America and immediately made a call to plant one thousand churches (Anglican 1000) in five years. Duncan was a driving force in the creation of the Anglican Relief and Development Fund, a multi-million dollar enterprise for which he continues to serve as president.
Over the years a number of you have asked who are the key influences in my life, especially those who have formed me as a Bible teacher and theologian. I always confess that I am not a scholar of the Bible but I am a lover of the Bible. I have studied with great Bible scholars so I know the difference. There are a handful of scholars that have shaped me in ways I am still trying to understand. I will identify the top three with which I have studied and the books or theologians they introduced me to that continue to inspire me.
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The Rev. John Liebler, an Episcopal priest, lost his faith in an ironic place: seminary. Studying for the priesthood in the late 1970s, Liebler was inundated with a theological liberalism that left him believing that Christianity, and all religion, was just a mirror we hold up to our own wishes rather than a window through which we see true spiritual realities. After a few years pastoring, he finally realized his spiritual emptiness.
We asked Liebler, who now leads St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Fort Pierce, Fla., about how he returned to faith, and why he believes orthodox Christians urgently need to reclaim liberalism.
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Responding to a need to preserve and promote theological training in the Catholic Tradition as Anglicanism has received it and giving tangible expression to St. Paul's exhortation to be "united in mind and thought" (I Corinthians 1:10), Nashotah House Theological Seminary and St. Stephen's House, Oxford will sign "Strengthening the Bonds of Affection: A Mutual Covenant for Ministry" in Oxford on the evening of 4 October 2012.
The Covenant, the first of its kind, pledges the efforts of both seminaries to the work of mutual ministry and prayer, including: calling for the adoption of a joint mission statement, a sharing of prayers, programs and seminarians and the creation of a mutual sabbatical structure. The signing and witnessing of "Strengthening the Bonds of Affection: A Mutual Covenant for Ministry" will take place at St. Stephen's House in Oxford at six o'clock in the evening and will include a Solemn High Mass and reception afterwards.
"Both St. Stephen's House and Nashotah House share a common and rich ancestry, emerging from the Catholic Revival of the nineteenth century," said the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., Nashotah House Dean and President, "and by working together we can be a monumental blessing to our Church and to our world." The Rev. Canon Robin Ward, Principal of St. Stephen's House, considers the opportunity invaluable and historic, saying, "St. Stephen's House and Nashotah House are the preeminent Anglo-Catholic seminaries serving the Anglican Communion today, and affirming our common heritage while seeking new ways to expand our vision together will plant seeds that, by God's grace, will produce fruit - fifty, sixty and even a hundred fold."
Many people think that being a Christian – especially during our more festal seasons such as Christmastide – is the silver-lining, that is, the lucky charm to an abundant life in an otherwise lifetime of pain and suffering.
Christianity-lite®, as I’m keen to call this mind-set, is marketed – particularly in the world of mega-church evangelicalism – as the ‘feel good about yourself’ religion of the moment that, like a rabbit’s foot tucked in the proper pocket, is the ticket to paradise on earth, or, at the very least, is an amulet bestowed upon all who earnestly seek wealth, happiness and really white teeth.
Being a christianette, which is really what this movement produces, means adoring those indispensable talismans hidden deep in the treasure chest of our prideful self, the ego and the Western god of individual choice. Hubris is the withered fruit this movement produces.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Christmas * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
This September, Emmanuel College will launch a new program that its creators hope will revitalize theological education.
Founded in 1928 and associated with the United Church of Canada, Emmanuel College is a constituent college of Victoria University in the University of Toronto.
The two-year Teaching for Ministry (TFM) program has been made possible by a $500,000, five-year grant from the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. It will produce “scholars…uniquely prepared to teach the next generation of the church’s ministers,” said a statement by Mark Toulouse, principal of Emmanuel College.
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[A]...bleak view of the future is misdirected. First of all, solid theological education, steeped in the classical disciplines, has a long history; so does low-quality religious education by unaccountable schools offering credentials to the lazy and unqualified. Churches and future ministers know the difference. The technological revolution may empower dumbed-down schools, but no more so than the dubious correspondence programs of the past.
And not all online ministerial education will be suspect—just as first-rate universities like Stanford and Harvard are exploring ways to offer classes online to a wider audience, so too will solid seminaries. Churches and future ministers will know the difference there as well. I suspect that the next generation will find what the seminary I serve has seen: online programs supplementing rather than supplanting the life-on-life classical theological education.
More important, the sorts of questions raised by student debt and ministerial career instability may help reattach ministerial education to its real-world moorings: education with churches in mind, not just theology. In order to train ministers, Protestant communities must abandon the current system in which future pastors discern, almost in isolation, a call from God and then seek out training ad hoc.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Globalization Science & Technology Young Adults * Economics, Politics Economy Personal Finance * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Workers who claim they were fired by the Episcopal Church's oldest seminary after more than two decades of service have taken their protest to the streets — erecting a giant protest rat in front of the building.
The five maintenance workers say they lost their jobs at the General Theological Seminary late last month.
The workers, who are all members of the Service Employees Union 32BJ, had been with the seminary for decades, but said they were given letters on Thursday, July 27 notifying them that their jobs would end on Tuesday, July 31.
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KIM LAWTON (Managing Editor and Guest Anchor): There has been an outpouring of interfaith sympathy and support for the US Sikh community after last Sunday’s attack (August 5) at a temple near Milwaukee that took the lives of six worshipers. In what officials called an act of domestic terrorism, a gunman with neo-Nazi ties opened fire as local Sikhs—or “sicks” as some adherents call themselves—had gathered for a worship service. Religious groups across the spectrum condemned the attack. Many communities held prayer services and vigils to remember the victims and to pray for religious tolerance. Groundswell, the social action initiative of Auburn Seminary in New York, gathered thousands of messages of hope and healing for Milwaukee’s Sikh community. They called the project “We Are All Sikhs Today.” Groundswell’s director, Valarie Kaur, who is Sikh, delivered the messages in person. She joins me now from Milwaukee.
Valarie, thank you for being with us. Why did you feel it was important to bring these messages?
VALARIE KAUR (Groundswell, Auburn Seminary): Well, ...this is a tragedy not just for the Sikh community, but for all Americans, and I know that many Americans were hungry to express their love and support in some way.
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Filed under: * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Violence * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Inter-Faith Relations Other Faiths * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
John McCardell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the South, announced today, June 26, the appointment of the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, Th.D., D.D, H’02, as Dean of The School of Theology. Alexander will assume the role of dean on Aug. 1, 2012. He succeeds the Very Rev. William S. Stafford, who retired on June 30, 2012, after serving in that position for seven and
“I am delighted to be able to continue my working relationship with Bishop Alexander in this new role,” said McCardell. “The years we have served together as chancellor and vice-chancellor have been enormously productive for the University, and his numerous strengths are a perfect match for The School of Theology, which is poised to grow and embrace future challenges.”
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The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith warned June 4 that Mercy Sister Margaret Farley's 2006 book, "Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics," contains "erroneous propositions" on homosexual acts, same-sex marriage, masturbation and remarriage after divorce that could cause confusion and "grave harm to the faithful."
In a notification signed by U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada and approved March 16 by Pope Benedict XVI, the congregation said the book "is not in conformity with the teaching of the church" and "cannot be used as a valid expression of Catholic teaching, either in counseling and formation, or in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue."
Sister Farley, who taught at Yale University Divinity School from 1971 to 2007 and now serves as Gilbert L. Stark professor emerita of Christian ethics, is a past president of both the Catholic Theological Society of America and the Society of Christian Ethics.
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(I thought of this when I was reading the previously posted article. It is only very slightly edited from its orignial form as a post on the blog in 2004--KSH).
Andrew Adam covers an absolutely taboo topic with some helpful comments, including this truth:
One of the problems at the seminary level is that very few people preach a half-decent sermon in their first dozen, two dozen, perhaps hundred sermons. Overall, the standard of preaching in the Episcopal Church is pretty low, so some people preach sermons that aren’t nearly as bad as the average; but most folks need more than three or four practice sermons in seminary to make significant strides toward fluency and grace in preaching.I [Kendall Harmon] would submit that the question ought to be why the Episcopal Church is not repenting over our pitiful preaching. Most Episcopal preachers today think they are terrific, and in most cases they aren't good at all, or worse than that.
The Episcopal Church in my view has no outstanding preachers, zero, none, nada. It is why in a movement like Promise Keepers there are no ECUSANS who are part of the preaching program. Someone like T.D. Jakes ought to be considered a possible model for great preaching, yet in a diocese I know well when one of my friends mentioned him a bishop said : "Who is that?"
Preaching simply isn't a priority in ECUSA, and our system gives us the fruit of that.
If you want to see what I consider a typical Episcopal sermon look at this.
Note: an openly heretical beginning invocation, he tells us mostly what he does NOT believe, but when it comes to being constructive, he is extremely weak. In terms of Scripture and the Tradition we have little. In terms of organization it is merely o.k. The application is pitiful if it is there at all.
Yet: if I gave this sermon to many ECUSANS I bet they would say it was pretty good. A lot of people in ECUSA consider that priest to be a solid preacher!
Good preaching has three parts: it is biblical, it is organized, and it applies the Bible to the lives of those listening. 90% of Episcopal sermons I listen to do not even meet those three criteria which is what is needed to GET OUT OF THE STARTING BLOCKS toward being a good sermon (never mind a great one).
Let me conclude with two points. We do have a few--a very few--preachers with potential. I think John Howe is a very good preacher, and Paul Zahl can be quite good when he is on. Among those slightly younger, Russell Levenson...[is a] good preacher...who may develop into [a] very good [one]....
But I would counsel those who want to learn of great preaching to drink heavily from better wells. Go listen to Tony Evans or T.D. Jakes or Jack Heyford for at least a year. If you want Anglicans listen to John Stott sermon tapes, or those of Michael Green.
And repent and pray for better preaching, and for better preachers, in ECUSA. Heaven knows we need them--KSH.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops * By Kendall * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Leighton Ford famously described Christian leadership as: learning to be led by Jesus; learning to lead like Jesus; and learning to lead people to Jesus. This is what we hope to do at OTC. We want to equip people to be confident in the person and the work of Jesus Christ.
We believe that the biblical Gospel still ‘works’, that it is in fact “…the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16 ESV). So we want to equip individuals to humbly but boldly preach and teach the gospel and the whole counsel of God. We hope to equip people for leadership in a local church that sees the whole world as their mission field. Our College is located in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, which is itself a very rich mission field.
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Staff and students at Wycliffe were told last week that Principal Richard Turnbull is to take a leave of absence from the Hall. The Council wishes to make it clear that the Principal has not been dismissed. The Council and Richard are now in ongoing discussions over his future role at Wycliffe, with Vice-Principal Simon Vibert assuming the position of Acting Principal. We have every confidence in Simon, and in the rest of the staff, to ensure continuity and the efficient functioning of the Hall during this time.
The outcome of the discussions with Richard will be communicated to staff and students in due course. However, our overriding priority is to ensure Wycliffe remains unequivocally committed to equipping men and women as leaders, preachers, church planters and evangelists in the mission of proclaiming and living the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, with a deeply biblical understanding of the nature of the Kingdom of God.
At its Baccalaureate Service on May 11, 2012, Trinity School for Ministry announced the appointment of two new professors of New Testament, Mr. Wesley Hill and the Rev. Dr. Peter Walker. Both of these new Faculty members will begin teaching in the fall of 2012.
Mr. Hill is a PhD candidate from the University of Durham, UK where he also received his Master of Arts. He has international teaching experience and comes to Trinity with glowing references. He already has several publications including Washed and Waiting.
Dr. Walker holds both a PhD in New Testament from Cambridge University, UK, and a DPhil from Oxford University, UK. He has taught for many years at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, UK.
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There was a certain style to the RJ [Reformed Journal]'s writing. First some current event or life experience grabbed the writer's attention. Calvin English professor John J. Timmerman recounted a speech he heard by a vice-president of General Motors, launching GM's annual "Parade of Progress." Then the writer exegeted the deeper values driving the topic. The American way of life, Timmerman said, was being identified with an abundance of things. At the dramatic heart of the article, the author put out a tight statement of the core truth at stake. Timmerman, drawing on an enduring Puritan strain, insisted that "the real American sees beyond the means to the goals they should serve." And then the deeper intellectual play commenced, riff upon riff, showing the varied ways the truth penetrates and bounces off the episode.--Joel Carpenter in Books and Culture, May/June 2012, page 5 (my emphasis)
What saved these pieces from becoming tedious or predictable was their playfulness. They were more like jazz than like sonatas. Postwar conservative Protestants of various kinds were re-engaging American culture, but the neo-Calvinists seemed more skilled and confident about this mode of thinking. They were less uptight about making mistakes or straying too close to the boundaries of propriety, patriotism, or orthodoxy. I saw this difference being played out at a remarkable event, "A New Agenda for Evangelical Thought," hosted at Wheaton in 1987. There was a panel of conservative evangelical theologians, including luminaries Carl F. H. Henry and Kenneth Kantzer. How earnestly they labored to keep the conversation rightly centered and bounded, and their body language underscored their efforts. Later came a panel of RJ types: Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., of Calvin Theological Seminary, and Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen and Nicholas Wolterstorff of Calvin College. They were relaxed, making jokes, trying on thoughts and arguments for size, gesturing and improvising freely in a brilliant intellectual jam session.
So the RJ conveyed orthodoxy with a forward view. It was Calvinism as an invitation to a conversation, not as a conversation stopper. It offered mixed feelings about American life, enjoying its bounty and creativity but bristling at its materialism and arrogance. Unlike Sojourners, which started publication as the Post-American, the RJ writers did not accuse the USA of being the main driver of evil in the world. Unlike Christianity Today writers, the RJ crowd readily saw and critiqued American individualism and its lack of regard for the power of history, institutions, systems, and structures.
The Consecration of a new Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa within the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
In an amazing gathering that brought together bishops and archbishops from the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Coptic Catholic Church, and well as representatives of the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, government officials, Ambassadors, prominent writers, and politicians, the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa celebrated the consecration of The Rev. Dr. Grant LeMarquand as a new Area (Assistant) Bishop for the Horn of Africa.
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, together with The Rt. Rev. Michael Lewis (Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf), The Rt. Rev. Dr. Bill Musk (Area Bishop for North Africa), and The Rt. Rev. Ghais Abdel Malek (the retired Diocesan Bishop of Egypt) par-ticipated in the consecration of The Rev. Dr. Grant LeMarquand.
Many people sent greetings, including The Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Dr. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Other representatives from around the Anglican Communion attended, including: Archbishop Robert Duncan of ACNA; Bishop Peter Tasker of Sydney; representatives of The Diocese of Singapore and The Diocese of South Carolina (our companion dioceses); The Diocese of Pittsburgh; The Diocese of Tennessee; The Diocese of Texas; the Honorary Chairman and Secretary of the Egypt Diocesan Association in the UK; Trinity School for Ministry in Am-bridge, Pennsylvania; The Church Missionary Society, UK; and The Church Missionary Society, Australia.
It was very meaningful to have this consecration on 25 April 2012, on the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, the Patron Saint of Egypt, in the presence of the Orthodox churches that were started in the first century by St. Mark. It was also the same day of the consecration of All Saints Cathedral at its present site in Zamalek, Cairo in 1988.
In his sermon, Bishop Mouneer said, “Grant, today you will walk in the steps of St. Frumentius, the first Bishop of Axum in Abyssinia, who was ordained by St. Athanasius, the Patriarch in Alex-andria, here in Egypt in the 4th Century. In this tradition, we are consecrating you an Area Bishop for the Horn of Africa.” He added that we “need to be ready to stand firm in the faith we once re-ceived from the saints.”
Bishop Mouneer reminded Grant that he “will go to harvest the fruit of the seeds that were sown by many great servants of the Lord, including Bishop Andrew Proud who proceeded you.”
He added that “the church in Africa needs to be grounded in the faith and grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ, so that she can replay the role she played in the first millennium in shap-ing the Christian mind. As you know, the church in Africa is growing numerically in an amazing way however, there is a great need for theological education and making true disciples.”
It is worth mentioning that since their establishment, both Episcopal Areas (North Africa and the Horn of Africa) within the Diocese of Egypt, are flourishing and growing. The installation of Bishop Grant LeMarquand will take place at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 27 October 2012, when the church celebrates the Feast of St. Frumentius.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal - Anglican: Latest News Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East * International News & Commentary Africa * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Global South Churches & Primates FCA Meeting in London April 2012 * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Parishes * By Kendall Harmon Family * Culture-Watch History Marriage & Family * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Parishes * By Kendall Harmon Family * Culture-Watch History Marriage & Family * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Ah, ah, ah--no looking or googling. Guess first please, then read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Education * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
“The University should be thinking about what its heart is,” [Sam] Wells said. “If you don’t have a heart, you simply commit yourself to a commodity culture where you are only here to get an investment, a degree.... It’s an impoverished notion of what a university can truly be.” For the Chapel to effectively operate as a church, Wells said that it is important to interact with the people Jesus spent most of his life with—the poor. He tried to accomplish this through outreach to Durham’s more impoverished areas.
“Success is seeing people’s lives change and not just saying so but actually seeing the differences,” he said. “Poverty is a mask we sometimes put on people to [conceal] their real wealth... [but it is important for] a rich person to see how poor they are or for a person coming out of prison to see how rich he is.... That’s what the kingdom of God is about, those kinds of transformations.”
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Education Young Adults * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Seminary / Theological Education
The Reverend Fenhagen served as Rector of several parishes in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and at St. Michael and All Angels’ Episcopal Church in Columbia SC before becoming active in academic settings.
He was Director of the Church and Ministry Program at the Hartford Seminary Foundation.
He was named President and Dean of the General Theological Seminary in New York City in 1978 and retired from there in 1992.
Read it all. You may also find an ENS article there.
The Rev. Roger A. Ferlo compares his new calling as the first president of two federated Episcopal seminaries to helping an internet startup firm. Ferlo, Virginia Theological Seminary’s associate dean and director of its Institute for Christian Formation and Leadership, will become president of Bexley Hall and Seabury-Western seminaries beginning July 1.
“It’s kind of like venture capital,” he said. “I’m 60 years old. This is fabulous. I feel like it’s the culmination of my ministry to take these two seminaries and move them to a new place” of ministry.
The boards of trustees for both seminaries announced March 27 that they had approved the federation in unanimous votes. They will share one budget, one president and one board, but continue in their two locations: Seabury-Western in a building shared with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s national office in suburban Chicago and Bexley in its cooperative ministry with Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio.
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(Blog readers please note that Father Henderson is a 2009 Graduate of General Theological Seminary currently serving a parish in Connecticut--KSH).
I joined a church that valued tradition and yet was engaged with modernity. I joined a church that embraced the timelessness of dignity and beauty. I joined a church that was engaged theologically and reasonably rather than emotionally in issues of doctrine and order. I joined a church that was a true blend of Catholic and Reformed. I joined a church that valued the uniformities of the Prayer Book even as it explored how to plumb its depths in manifold ways. I joined a church that was sacramentally grounded. I joined a church that believed that how we pray says something about what we believe.
Just as when I went to General [Seminary], finding the Episcopal Church was a joy and it felt exactly like where I was called to be. I felt at home and it was a place that made sense because there was a there there.
I am not sure where the there is now.
As I talk to priests too happy to ignore rubrics and ordination vows to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Church because they have decided their sense of “welcome” is more important than the church’s call to common identity,
as I attended a Diocesan Convention at which we sang treacly hymns with narcissistic lyrics,
as I talk to priests in pitch battles in their dioceses about baptizing in the name of the Trinity,
as I attend Eucharists where priests make up the Eucharistic Prayer on the spot (“meal of power” not Body and Blood and “the systems of the world are broken” at the Fraction),
and as I watch the Church one more time hurtle into a divisive squabble, I am feeling profoundly out of place.
The Church that is slashing funding for Christian formation and youth ministry while hurtling toward... “[the Communion of the Unbaptized]” is not the Church I thought I was joining. The Church that has a diocesan convention at which we sing “Shine, Jesus Shine” and ignore the Prayer Book is not the Church I thought I was joining. The Church that is defining sainthood as anyone who has done something good and worthy rather than someone who has done good and worthy things because of their faith in Christ is not the Church I thought I was joining.
Read it carefully and read it all and many of the comments are well worth the time.
A first meeting of representatives of the Anglican Church in North America and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) was held Tuesday, March 27, at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA.
This gathering included representatives from the two denominations, including the leaders of both groups: Archbishop Robert Duncan and Bishop John Bradosky (NALC). The Anglican Church in North America was formed in 2009 as a new Anglican Province in North America. The NALC was formed in 2010 as a reconfiguration of Lutheranism in North America. Both bodies represent a biblical, confessional expression of their respective historic traditions.
The group was hosted by Trinity School for Ministry, a biblical and orthodox Christian seminary which trains men and women for lay and ordained ministry. A presentation was made by Bishop John Rodgers on historical Lutheran-Anglican dialogue. Bishop Rodgers was a regular participant in this work at both the international and national levels from 1969 to 1990.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Lutheran * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
You’ve written often about the importance of storytelling, even to the point of suggesting that first-year divinity students should read a diet entirely of fiction -- Flannery O’Connor, the Russian novelists, Faulkner. Wonderful idea. How are people transformed by fiction?
I think that their imaginations are transformed. When you’re reading a novel, you’re following a plot and character development. The best writers leave a lot to your imagination. The task of a writer is to get participation from the reader, and you can’t do that by telling them everything. The Bible is that kind of literature. There’s very little explanation—almost no explanation, no definitions. And the writers of Scripture were also, as they were telling these stories, aware of all the other voices that were in the air—Moses, Isaiah, Daniel, Jesus, Paul.
Our school curriculum teaches you how to study. You learn facts. But they don’t do much to help you read in an imaginative way to help you enter the story. That’s what novelists do. So I think a basic immersion in fiction is almost a prerequisite to reading the Bible, to preaching sermons, to teaching classes. Poetry does the same thing, but it takes a different route to do it.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Books Education History Poetry & Literature Religion & Culture * Theology Pastoral Theology Seminary / Theological Education
“This is a very exciting moment for Trinity,” remarked the Very Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry, Dean and President of Trinity School for Ministry. “The vision of the Robert E. Webber Center is a very good fit for our own identity as a global center for Christian formation. We are pleased to come alongside the Center and to engage in this pioneering work.”
“I have been delighted that Trinity School for Ministry has recognized the many points of contact between the work of the late Robert Webber and Trinity’s mission” stated David Neff, Editor in Chief of Christianity Today and co-founder of the Robert E. Webber Center. “The new Robert E. Webber Center at Trinity School for Ministry will be a place where Dr. Webber’s theological and social insights can be brought to bear on the ministry challenges of 2012 and beyond. I’m also thrilled that Joel Scandrett has agreed to take on responsibility for directing the renewed Webber Center through its early years. Joel’s experience in teaching and his ministry in a renewed Anglican context complement his personal history with Robert Webber to make him an ideal choice for this initiative.”
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...Trinity graduates continue to have prominent roles in the Episcopal diocese, the Rev. Scott Quinn among them. On Tuesday he was among three candidates questioned about the seminary.
Rev. Quinn spoke well of the education he had received there, but said that after his decision to remain in the Episcopal Church, "I feel I am not welcomed" on campus. He called the idea of a diocesan ban on Trinity graduates "ridiculous."
"That's just like saying any other discriminatory thing," he said. "But if the people there want to be part of the Episcopal Church, they have to understand it is a diverse group."
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Almighty and everlasting God, the source and perfection of all virtues, who didst inspire thy servant James de Koven to do what is right and to preach what is true: Grant that all ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may afford to thy faithful people, by word and example, the knowledge of thy grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amidst the debris of postmodernism (a movement that has basically run its course) stands a great ambivalence about the nature of truth. The great intellectual transformation of recent decades produced a generation that is not hostile to all claims of truth, but is highly selective about what kinds of truth it is willing to receive.
The current intellectual climate accepts truth as being true in some objective sense only when dealing with claims of truth that come from disciplines like math or science. They accept objective truth when it comes to gravity or physiology, but not when it comes to morality or meaning.
One result of this is that we can often be heard as meaning less than we intend. When we present the gospel, it can easily be heard as a matter of our own personal reality that is, in the end, free from any claim upon others....
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The church’s faithful witness in Sri Lanka amid a rich inter-religious environment and the challenges of post-war reconciliation has fostered new insights for the work of TEAC (theological education in the Anglican Communion). Meeting in Kandy from 1-7 March 2012, the 3rd and final meeting of the Working Party on Theological Education in the Anglican Communion (TEAC 2) evaluated the work achieved to date and developed recommendations for future work at the Communion level.
One of the valuable things learned through TEAC 2 has been the importance of engagement with the local context (having met in Canterbury, UK, Harare, Zimbabwe as well as Sri Lanka) for meaningful theological education reflection. After the much-valued solidarity expressed in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 2011, the 2012 meeting at the invitation of the Church of Ceylon offered a special opportunity to learn from the church’s reflections in the Sri Lankan context.
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William Hamilton, the retired theologian who declared in the 1960s that God was dead, died Tuesday (Feb. 28) in his downtown Portland apartment. He was 87.
Hamilton said he'd been haunted by questions about God since he was a teenager. Years later, when his conclusion was published in the April 8, 1966, edition of Time Magazine, he found himself at the center of a theological storm.
Time christened the new movement "radical theology," and Hamilton, one of its key figures, received death threats and inspired angry letters to the editor. He lost his endowed chair as a professor of theology at what was then Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1967.
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