Garrett-Evangelical News

Garrett-Evangelical Recognized by the Center for Faith and Learning in its 2015 Listing of Seminaries that Change the World

 

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EVANSTON, Illinois, February 2015 – Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is honored to announce that it has been selected for the 2015 list of Seminaries that Change the World by the Center for Faith and Service. Garrett-Evangelical is one of twenty-six theologically, politically and geographically diverse institutions named to this list who share a common commitment to work together to strengthen and advance theological education.

Seminaries that Change the World is part of a movement to reclaim the important historic role that theological education has played in promoting community and justice while training and launching local and world leaders in all areas of society. Garrett-Evangelical’s selection highlights its great innovation in theological education and in integration with classical approaches for learning, even as seminaries and divinity schools navigate negative stereotypes about organized religion and work to expand narrow definitions of traditional ministry. As one of the Seminaries that Change the World, Garrett-Evangelical is also being recognized as an institution that understands the critical connection between faith and service.  

“The very title, Seminaries that Change the World, is a provocative reminder of what theological education has meant in the past and what its purpose and promise is for the future," said Rev. Wayne Meisel, director of the Center for Faith and Service. “The 2015 class of schools has demonstrated a commitment to invite, welcome, support, train and launch individuals into the world as community leaders.”

The Center for Faith and Service develops innovative programming for churches and denominations and seeks renewal of theological education through reintegration of faith and service. Through Seminaries that Change the World, the Center seeks to convene the "community of the willing" to work together in our common cause to strengthen theological education. Institutions were selected through a process that required interested schools to complete an application to demonstrate a commitment to engage in the world and gain signatures from faculty, administrators, and at least three students. The final step in the process was an official commitment by the president or dean of the institution to be part of a consortium of seminaries and divinity schools that would work together to recruit, train and launch a generation of world-changing leaders.

The 2015 class of Seminaries that Change the World includes:

Andover Newton Theological School, MA
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, TX
Bethany Theological Seminary, IN
Brite Divinity School, TX
Calvin Theological Seminary, MI
Candler School of Theology, GA*
Christian Theological Seminary, IN
Columbia Theological Seminary, GA
Earlham School of Religion, IN
Fuller Theological Seminary, CA
Garrett–Evangelical Theological Seminary, IL*
Hartford Seminary, CT
Iliff School of Theology, CO*
Luther Seminary, MN
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, IL
McAfee School of Theology, GA
Princeton Theological Seminary, NJ
Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry, WA
The School of Theology, University of the South, Sewanee, TN
Union Presbyterian Seminary, VA
Union Theological Seminary, NY
University of Chicago Divinity School, IL
Virginia Theological Seminary, VA
Wake Forest University School of Divinity, NC
Wesley Theological Seminary, DC*
Yale Divinity School, CT

*Denotes United Methodist affiliated theological school

More information on Seminaries that Change the World can be found at www.stctw.faith3.org.

Garrett-Evangelical, a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church, was founded in 1853. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 500 students from various denominations and cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.

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Alumna Dr. Déborah Junker named Visiting Scholar for Spring Semester

Debora Junker          

EVANSTON, Illinois, February 2015 – Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is honored to welcome alumna Dr. Déborah Junker as visiting scholar for the Spring 2015 semester. Junker earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree from Garrett-Evangelical in 2003 and currently serves as assistant professor of Christian education at Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) in Indianapolis, Indiana.

As visiting scholar, Junker will primarily be working on her new book, Religious Education for Global Citizenship: Embracing Compassion and Solidarity. The book will explore the concept of global citizenship within a religious context while recognizing the urgent need to engage more concretely in issues of citizenship both theologically and pragmatically. Moreover, the book will seek to develop and cultivate what Junker calls a “citizenship literacy praxis,” a term she defines as a critical, engaged, and more compassionate way of reading the world locally as well as globally. In addition, Junker will be available to meet with current Garrett-Evangelical Christian education students who have interests in her area of research. A faculty luncheon will also be held later in the semester for an opportunity to learn more about Junker’s current work and to dialogue.

“The seminary is thrilled to welcome Déborah back to the campus,” said Dr. Lallene J. Rector, president of Garrett-Evangelical. “I am personally excited about her current research and writing project and look forward to learning more during the Spring semester.”

Prior to arriving at CTS, Junker was professor of Christian education at the Methodist School of Theology in Brazil and coordinator of a certificate program for religious education teachers sponsored by the National Methodist Christian Education Program attending different educators from a variety of Christian traditions, including Roman Catholics. Junker received her Doctor of Philosophy degree in 2003 from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Education and Congregational Studies; she also holds a Master of Arts in Christian Education degree from Christian Theological Seminary (1999) and a Master in Religious Science (Practical Theology) degree from the Methodist University of São Paulo - Brazil (1996). She also received Post-Graduated Specialization in Psychopedagogy of Early Childhood and Adolescence from the Methodist Institute of Higher Education of São Paulo – Brazil (1992) and a Licentiate in Letters from the Methodist Institute of Higher Education of São Paulo – Brazil (1985).

Garrett-Evangelical, a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church, was founded in 1853. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 500 students from various denominations and cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.

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Emmy Winning Documentary on Black Sacred Music Features PhD Alumna and Dean of Students, Cynthia A. Wilson

 

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Seven minutes into the documentary viewers can hear from Rev. Dr. Cynthia A. Wilson, dean of students at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Wilson earned her Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies from Garrett-Evangelical in 2013.

To watch the documentary in its entirety, go to http://vimeo.com/84870076

      

This news release was originally posted at GBOD.org

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Feb. 3, 2015 /Discipleship Ministries/ – A documentary film tracing the history of black sacred music, produced by Discipleship Ministries as part of The Africana Hymnal Project, has received a regional Emmy for best documentary. The film, Reflect, Reclaim, Rejoice: Preserving the Gift of Black Sacred Music, was honored Saturday by the Midsouth Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) at the 20th Annual Midsouth Regional Emmy Awards show held in Nashville.

“The success of the Africana Hymnal Project's mission to preserve this important music for the church and the world will be forever valued and appreciated by all who are shaped by sacred music. Thanks be to God,” said Dr. Timothy L. Bias, General Secretary (chief executive) of Discipleship Ministries.

Reflect, Reclaim, Rejoice captures songs that blacks who were enslaved in America four centuries ago created for solace even during the most inhumane conditions, said Steve Horswill-Johnson, Executive Director of Communications & Brand Strategy at Discipleship Ministries, who was the film’s executive producer.

“These songs, which are rarely sung anymore, are basically lost to the collective memory of America, but this documentary invites the viewer to see and feel how the music is being kept alive,” Horswill-Johnston said.

Narrated by Academy Award-nominated Alfre Woodard, the documentary was filmed on location at Methodist churches and institutions in Georgia, Maryland and South Carolina, where the oldest living African American music is still being sung. The film features choirs, groups and soloists performing traditional Christian forms of the Ring Shout, Singing and Praying Bands, Long-Meter Hymns and Negro Spirituals.

The film, which was selected from among 72 entries in the Documentary/Cultural category, was directed by Henri Giles. Cheryl Walker, Director of Black Congregational Ministries at Discipleship Ministries, was co-executive producer, and Carolyn Dandridge, Communications Project Coordinator at Discipleship Ministries, was associate producer.

Maryland Public Television has included the documentary as part of its programming for Black History Month.

Reflect, Reclaim, Rejoice, which helps connect the past, present and preserves black sacred music for generations to come, is part of The Africana Hymnal Project of The United Methodist Church. The project is a joint effort by Discipleship Ministries and The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH). For more information about the project go to http://bit.ly/1Dtbe1N.

Another major part of The Africana Hymnal Project is The Africana Hymnal: Black Sacred Music, which was produced and released this week by UMPH’s Abingdon Press.

The Africana Hymnal features 155 songs organized around the seasons of the year, the sacramental life of the congregation and the special days of the black church. The music selections cover multiple genres that demonstrate intergenerational connections and serves as a bridge between the music of the past, present and the future in order to encourage all of God’s people to sing.

The hymnal, presented on a USB flash drive, includes sheet music, accompaniment tracks and PowerPoint lyrics for all of the songs included, along with instructional guidelines for worship use that emphasizes congregational singing, sensitivity to regional differences, and inclusion of several cultures and dialects. To order the hymnal, go to AbingdonPress.com/AfricanaHymnal, and to order a DVD of the documentary, go to http://bit.ly/1KovsMC.

 

Remembering Distinguished Alum, Bishop Rueben P. Job

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Bishop Rueben P. Job (1928-2015)

 

 

Reflection on Bishop Rueben P. Job

By Rev. Dr. Timothy Eberhart
Assistant Professor of Theology and Ecology
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Read Now »

      

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary’s distinguished alum, Bishop Rueben P. Job, died on January 3, 2015 at the age of 86. A retired bishop of The United Methodist Church, Bishop Job was at the forefront in spiritual formation within the Church, serving as consultant in Christian spirituality, spiritual retreat leader and a spiritual guide.

A 1957 graduate of Evangelical Theological Seminary, Bishop Job was named distinguished alum of Garrett-Evangelical in 1992 in recognition of his diverse ministry and significant contributions to the Church and our world. In addition to establishing the Rueben P. Job Endowed Scholarship in 2007, Garrett-Evangelical honored Bishop Job’s extensive commitment and contributions to spiritual formation through the endowment of the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation in 2013. The Rueben P. Job Endowed Chair in Spiritual Formation was one of the first chairs in spiritual formation among Protestant seminaries in North America and serves as a lasting legacy to Bishop Job’s lifelong commitment to Christian spirituality. “The creation of a chair in spiritual formation brings me great pleasure,” said Bishop Job upon hearing the $2 million dollar goal had been reached. “Garrett-Evangelical’s commitment to spiritual formation studies is to be commended and I am pleased to know others will have this viable resource in the future.”

"Garrett-Evangelical continues to celebrate the life and ministry of Rueben P. Job. We are proud to call him one of ours," said President Lallene J. Rector. "Perhaps the most striking thing about Bishop Job, for me, was the way he quietly radiated a closeness to God. His 'godliness,' along with the wisdom that accompanied his closeness to God, inspired others' spiritual lives. His embodiment of God's love persuaded us that Bishop Job's own spiritual walk was as genuine, trustworthy and deep as any. His faithfulness was transformative, and while we will miss him, his spirit and witness live on."

Bishop Job was ordained an elder in 1957 in the Evangelical United Brethen Church (EUB) and served as a pastor in North Dakota, a U.S. Air Force Chaplain in Europe, and bishop of the Iowa Annual Conference. He was also on staff of the General Board of Evangelism of the EUB from 1965-1968 and on the general staff of the United Methodist Board of Evangelism and Discipleship from 1968-1977. Bishop Job eventually became World Editor of The Upper Room, a position he held until his election to the episcopacy. While he was bishop, Job served on the General Commission of Communications and as chairperson of the Hymnal Revision Committee. Bishop Job’s extensive writings include Living Fully, Dying Well (Abingdon, 2006) and Three Simple Rules: A Wesley Way of Living (Abingdon, 2007), which continues to be widely used across the church.

Reflecting on the life and work of Bishop Job, The Reverend Dr. Frederick Schmidt, the first faculty member to hold the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation, observed, “Bishop Job understood the deep connections between the journey inward and the journey outward. His prayerful, measured, and visionary leadership was grounded in the conviction that the Christian life demanded ‘radical trust in God’s presence, power, wisdom, and guidance.’ That conviction, which he so clearly articulated in his book, Three Simple Rules, powerfully shaped the way that he lived, served, and died. The United Methodist Church will be forever indebted to him for his commitment to the revitalization of the spiritual lives of its clergy and laity.”

Bishop Job is survived by his wife Beverly, their four children and seven grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, January 18, at 2 p.m. at Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorial gifts be made to Belmont United Methodist Church or the Rueben P. Job Endowed Scholarship at Garrett-Evangelical. Memorial gifts for the scholarship can be made online at www.garrett.edu/giving or you can mail your check to the attention of the development office at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2121 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois 60201.

A service of remembrance for Bishop Job will be held at Garrett-Evangelical at the beginning of the spring semester (February 2015). Details for the service will be available mid-January.

 

 

 

Lilly Endowment Awards $500,000 Preaching Initiative Grant to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

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EVANSTON, Illinois, December 2014 – Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has been awarded a grant of $500,000 by the Lilly Endowment Inc. as a part of its Initiative to Strengthen the Quality of Preaching. This initiative seeks to improve the quality of preaching among working pastors and preaching instruction for seminary students. Garrett-Evangelical will build on the ongoing work of its Styberg Preaching Institute to improve pedagogy at the seminary, enhance the work of the institute for practicing preachers and develop teachers of preaching.

Called “A Partnership in Effective Proclamation,” this project will consist of three main elements: peer learning groups for active pastors under the direction of trained facilitators, preaching support for groups of students who are stepping into new roles as pastoral leaders, and the development of teachers of homiletics through a pre- or post-doctoral fellowship in teaching preaching. These three components share a distinct purpose, namely to improve the church’s ministry of proclamation offering transformative good news to hearers and thereby helping to fulfill its mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ.

“Since its inception, Garrett-Evangelical has been committed to preparing religious leaders who are compelling preachers. Through our curriculum, renowned faculty and practitioners, and the founding of the Styberg Preaching Institute, preaching ministry has remained at the heart of our mission,” said Lallene J. Rector, president of Garrett-Evangelical. “We are excited to receive this grant and grateful to Lilly Endowment for this opportunity to enhance and expand the excellent work in preaching already happening at the Seminary.”

Dr. Gennifer Brooks will direct this project, which seeks to begin as early as February 2015. Brooks currently serves as the Ernest and Bernice Styberg Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Styberg Preaching Institute at Garrett-Evangelical and is the Dean of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) Doctor of Ministry in Preaching program. Collaborators in this work include Dr. Mark Fowler, who serves as the Murray H. Leiffer associate professor of congregational leadership, and Dr. Reginald Blount, assistant professor of formation, youth, and culture.

“Now more than ever, our churches and communities need effective preaching that delivers transformative good news,” Brooks said. “Through the Styberg Preaching Institute and now with support from the Lilly Endowment, we are uniquely positioned to help pastors in the field and seminary students to hone their preaching skills and make their sermons more effective in offering the gospel to a needy world.”

Founded in 2005, the Styberg Preaching Institute has established an intentional and persistent agenda of addressing the need for relevant, effective preaching in the church. Its motto, The Seminary and the Church: Partners in Proclamation, speaks to the mandate of the Seminary to equip pastors for transformative ministry and recognizes preaching as a critical aspect of that mission. Through programs and activities, the institute engages persons of diverse preaching traditions and cultures, with the aim of improving the preaching skills of established preachers as well as preachers in training at the Seminary.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli – through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. Lilly Endowment’s religion grant-making is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes. More information can be found at www.lillyendowment.org.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church, was founded in 1853. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 500 students from various denominations and cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.

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A Public Statement By Faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on the Recent Killings of Unarmed Black People

 

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On December 8, 2014, the Garrett-Evangelical faculty met to draft a statement concerning the national crisis generated by the multiple incidents of killing of Black men by white police officers.  The meeting was convened and co-led by Dr. Luis R. Rivera, Academic Dean, and Dr. Gennifer Brooks, Chair of the Committee on Faculty.

This statement was developed in a collegial spirit through dialogue and a consensus process that enabled each person present to give voice and to be heard. Faculty who could not be present were given the opportunity to endorse the statement once it was drafted. In addition to drafting this statement, those present at the meeting pledged themselves to a process of continuing dialogue as we discern further ways to embody, practice, and be accountable to the commitments named in the statement.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Additional Responses from the

Garrett-Evangelical Community:

The Black Faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary's Response to a Theological Crisis

Garrett-Evangelical Black Seminarians' (G-EBS) Response to Systematic Racism and Racial Injustice

Student Council of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary's Response to Injustices in Ferguson, New York, and our World

 

A PUBLIC STATEMENT BY FACULTY OF GARRETT-EVANGELICAL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY ON THE RECENT KILLINGS OF UNARMED BLACK PEOPLE

As members of the faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, we witness to the belief that all human beings, regardless of color, race, or any social definition, are made in the image of God. Furthermore, as Christians we are called to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. Historically we have stood on the premise that faith matters, truth matters, justice matters, and we know that Black life matters.

We deplore the routinized and systemic dehumanization of Black lives in the United States.  We decry the violence that links all forms of discrimination with the lethal oppression of Black people and communities. We denounce the callous and inhuman treatment that continues to result in the incarceration of young Black persons and the publicly sanctioned killing of unarmed Black men, women and children by local police authorities. We lament and protest the continual loss of life and the denial of humanity of Black people in the United States.

Therefore we support and stand in solidarity with those who bear witness for justice in Ferguson, New York City, Cleveland, and throughout this country. We commit ourselves to teaching practices and ways of living in community that dismantle anti-Black racism both within our seminary and in the world.

Cheryl B. Anderson        Angela R. Cowser         Anna Johnson         Hendrik R. Pieterse
E. Byron Anderson     Margaret Ann Crain     Dwight H. Judy     Stephen G. Ray Jr.
Nancy Bedford   Ruth Duck   Karla Kincannon   Luis Rivera
Reginald Blount   Julie Ann Duncan   Linda Lee   Frederick W. Schmidt
Gennifer Brooks   Timothy R. Eberhart   Virginia A. Lee   Jack Seymour
Barry Bryant   Mark Fowler   G. Brooke Lester   Osvaldo Vena 
Jaeyeon Lucy Chung   David A. Hogue   Larry G. Murphy   K.K. Yeo
Charles H. Cosgrove   Pamela Holliman   Jim L. Papandrea    

 

Also present in the meeting and supporting this statement:
Rev. Dr. Linda Lee, Bishop-in-Residence
Rev. Dr. Cynthia Wilson, Dean of Students

 

 

 

The Black Faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary’s Response to a Theological Crisis

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Left to Right: Blount, Cowser, Anderson,
Lee, Ray, and Brooks


In Absentia: Murphy and Wilson

 

 

 

 

 




Additional Responses from the
Garrett-Evangelical Community:

A Public Statement by Faculty of Garrett-
Evangelical on the Recent Killings of
Unarmed Black People


Garrett-Evangelical Black Seminarians'
(G-EBS) Response to Systematic Racism
and Racial Injustice


Student Council of Garrett-Evangelical
Theological Seminary's Response to Injustices
in Ferguson, New York, and our World

     

A Statement to the Christian Church

The recent killings of unarmed Black men by several police officers during the past few months, as well as the character assassination which followed, remind us of how little Black lives can be valued by the very authorities who have sworn to protect them and their communities. This crisis concerns us because, as African Americans, we know that it is related to the devaluation of the well-being and personhood of Black people seen throughout this nation’s history. Moreover, as theological educators, we know that such devaluation has more often than not been legitimated by Christian practices that are in some way grounded in white supremacy. While not the only root of this current problem, the long complicity of the Church with the devaluation of Black bodies and Black life is undeniable.

We, the Black faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary now write to deplore the legal and political systems that render the lives of Black people expendable in the eyes of the law, as well as the escalating culture of actively debasing Black people in which these systems operate. Moreover, we specifically call attention to the ways in which a general sentiment of anti-Blackness permeates much of our public lives.  That anti-black sentiment is expressed even against those black persons who are at the highest levels of our political system, and it has entered our national discourses in ways not seen in several decades. It is our conviction that all of this negativity has, among other things, created a climate in which unarmed black victims can be demonized and basically blamed for their own deaths.  As a result, there is a cultural callousness that allows the residents and authorities of many towns and localities to believe that there should be no consequence for the killing of unarmed Black persons.  The devaluation of Black people is seen also in public pronouncements about these current events made by some churches explicitly, and in the deafening silence of an even larger number of churches implicitly.

By these sins of commission and omission, the Church creates the impression that whether black lives matter is an open question. Therefore, we call on the Church to repent and begin the work of separating itself from the idolatrous bondage to white supremacy. The Church should do this work by publicly standing with the families of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and others, as a material demonstration that the Church is convinced that Black life matters. Furthermore, we call on the Church to announce this change through its proclamations and the ordering of its communal life. The Church should support those who protest against these injustices, and recognize their protests as clear evidence that the Holy Spirit is moving in our midst at this moment in history (Acts 5:38-39). We call upon the Church to do this work within its walls and in the world.

We make this statement in the strong conviction that this is indeed a moment of theological crisis for the Christian Church. The gods of white supremacy are inconsistent with the God of Life who brought all things into being, who values Black life, and who desires that all people of goodwill do the same.

Signed Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Rev. Dr. Cheryl B. Anderson           The Rev. Dr. Larry G. Murphy 
The Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount   The Rev. Dr. Stephen G. Ray, Jr.
The Rev. Dr. Gennifer Brooks   The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Wilson
The Rev. Dr. Angela Cowser   The Rev. Dr. Linda Lee (Retired Bishop,
The United Methodist Church)
     

 

     
     

Garrett-Evangelical Black Seminarians' (G-EBS) Response to Systematic Racism and Racial Injustice

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Additional Responses from the
Garrett-Evangelical Community:

A Public Statement by Faculty of Garrett-
Evangelical on the Recent Killings of
Unarmed Black People


The Black Faculty of Garrett-Evangelical
Theological Seminary's Response to
a Theological Crisis


Student Council of Garrett-Evangelical
Theological Seminary's Response to Injustices
in Ferguson, New York, and our World

        

In response to the crisis plaguing communities of color across these United States of America as it relates to abusive and murderous practices of law enforcement, Garrett-Evangelical Black Seminarians (G-EBS) sponsored three events on Monday, December 8, 2014, including a prayer vigil, dialogue, and strategic conversations. In preparation of these events G-EBS members crafted the following statement.



We, the Garrett-Evangelical Black Seminarians, are saddened and profoundly grieved at the systemic racism that continues to claim the lives of Black men, women, and children within the United States. In just the last few months alone, we have watched law enforcement, armed with weapons designed to kill, use those weapons against unarmed Black males resulting in the deaths of those Black lives.

We lament several things in the face of these realities:

We lament that, despite a long history attempting to change it, systemic racism continues to thrive in the United States and elsewhere.

We lament that this systemic racism fuels hatred for, suspicion of, and distancing from Black men, women, and children, and others whose ethnicity and racial identity do not fit into the normative race.

We lament that this same hatred for, suspicion of, and distancing from has resulted in overt racism and violence against Black bodies every single day.

We lament that this has given some in the normative race a license to kill and has placed Black lives in imminent danger.

We lament that Black men, women, and children have fallen at the willful hands of those sworn to protect and serve.

We lament that a flawed legal system has allowed these actions to go unpunished – further devaluing Black bodies.

Black lives matter!!!

We weep with the family of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
We weep with the family of Eric Garner in New York City, New York.
We weep with all of the families whose lives have been affected by these and other racially charged events around the country, now and in the past.

Systemic racism aimed at Black people did not start in 2014. It started when the 1st Africans were placed onto slave ships against their will and whisked away to America almost 400 years ago. Their language ... taken away. Their culture ... taken away. Their identity ... taken away. Their humanity ... taken away. Their bodies ... unjustly enslaved. Racism is a powerful, living institution in the United States.

Over the course of our sad history, discrimination against and mistreatment of the descendants of the enslaved has moved back and forth between overt and covert actions, depending on what is deemed socially acceptable at the time. With the brutal killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, society is declaring open season against Black bodies and that overt racism is once again socially acceptable. The overt racism seen in the public lynching of each of these Black males, and the covert efforts witnessed in the calculated disregard of the legal institution has added insult to injury. NO MORE!!! We can no longer sit and watch our people die.

#BlackLivesMatter and #ICantBreathe are designed to keep the assault on Black bodies and the racial injustice that ensues in the forefront of our minds and prayers. As seminarians, we are here, being trained, for such a time as this. As Jesus challenged the legal systems and the thought processes of those who would oppress, we must engage in that same action. We must realize that if there are oppressed among us, none of us are free. None of us can have life and have it abundantly if others around us are suffering.

What are we charged to do? Civil disobedient protests, while bringing awareness to the issues, will not be enough. John 13:34 tells us to love one another as Jesus has loved us. The love that Jesus showed during his time on earth was unconditional. We are charged to love each other with an unconditional love.

Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12 (NRSV) that “our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” To effect change we will have to work together – putting aside racial bias and putting aside claims to hierarchical statuses of privilege. We have to call out racial, social, and economic injustices when we see it. We have to involve ourselves in the efforts to change local and national policies that work against those who have no voice. We have to be missional in our ministries and understand how we can co-labor with God in the areas where we’ll be planted. Freedom is not free.

“Ella’s Song” sung by Sweet Honey in the Rock, is a tribute to Ella Baker, a Black civil rights activist from Norfolk, Virginia whose work was centered on social justice. Barbara Ransby in her book, Ella Baker & The Black Freedom Movement, attributes the following quote to Ella Baker:

In order for us as poor and oppressed people to become part of a society that is meaningful, the system under which we now exist has to be radically changed. This means that we are going to have to learn to think in radical terms. I use the term radical in its original meaning--getting down to and understanding the root cause. It means facing a system that does not lend itself to your needs and devising means by which you change that system.
~ Ella Baker, 1969 (Source: Ransby, Barbara. Ella Baker & The Black Freedom Movement)

This, too, is our charge.

We welcome our allies who will join us and tarry side by side with us in this work. We are thankful that we serve a God who is bigger than this issue. We know that with the faith of a tiny mustard seed, there is no mountain too big to move.

As the refrain in “Ella’s Song” states, “We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.”

Prayerfully Submitted: Garrett-Evangelical Black Seminarians

Patsy Echols and Terrance Thomas, Co-chairs
Jacquelyn Webb, Secretary
Tiggs Washington, Treasurer
Carla Mitchell, Chaplain


*Garrett-Evangelical Black Seminarians (G-EBS) is a student organization that was historically founded out of a movement to address the concerns of black students at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in the late/early 1960s/70s. For the past 40+ years, G-EBS has sought to honor the tradition of its pioneer leaders by promoting scholarship and fellowship among African American students and to sensitize the seminary community to the black religious experience. The group sponsors programs, worship services, and other activities that affirm and encourage appreciation for African American customs, culture, and religious traditions.







 

     
     

Response to Injustices in Ferguson, New York, and our World

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2014-2015 Student Council (StuCo)

 

Additional Responses from the
Garrett-Evangelical Community:

A Public Statement by Faculty of Garrett-
Evangelical on the Recent Killings of
Unarmed Black People

The Black Faculty of Garrett-Evangelical
Theological Seminary's Response to
a Theological Crisis


Garrett-Evangelical Black Seminarians'
(G-EBS) Response to Systematic Racism
and Racial Injustice

                 

December 8, 2014

As Co-Chairpersons of the Student Council at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, we work with the Student Council and Student Organizations to value the voices of the Student Body. We recognize that the body of Christ is one that welcomes all regardless of race, color, ethnicity, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.

In light of the injustices in Ferguson and New York and throughout the world, we call on the students, faculty, and staff of Garrett-Evangelical to engage in actions that confront violence, racism, and oppression.  As followers of Jesus and as religious leaders this day marks just one of many times for action and discussion as we look to make God’s love known in our community, our nation, and our world. We support the student body of Garrett-Evangelical in challenging systems of privilege in order to create communities of justice and equality. On this day and the days that follow, we offer our prayers, presence, and support to the Garrett-Evangelical Black Seminarians (G-EBS) and other students who will participate in this struggle towards justice.  

In all these things may we act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God,

Cora Glass and Tiggs Washington

Co-Chairs of G-ETS Student Council

 



Seminary Remembers Beloved Faculty Member, Dr. John Walter Cason

CasonDr. John Walter Cason, church history and missions professor, passed away on November 3, 2014. Cason was a member of the Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETS) faculty in Naperville, Illinois and at the time of the merger became a part of the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary faculty in 1974. He was remembered as an avid reader and explorer of the new politics of liberation theology and the transformative role of church teachings. 

Before joining the faculty at Evangelical Theological Seminary and later Garrett-Evangelical, Cason and his first wife Maidel Kittrell of Houston were Methodist Missionaries helping to reestablish Cuttington College near Gbanga, Liberia. He earned his PhD from Union Theological Seminary while serving as a missionary and nourished his life-long passion for education and exploring new fields of study. He later led a group class of seminarians to Peru where they focused on liberation theology.

After more than a decade in Liberia, Cason joined the staff of the Theological Education Fund of the World Council of Churches, working out of New York City and then London, England to support theological education in Africa. His work led him to travel throughout the African continent supporting seminaries and churches working for social justice.

With his second wife, Mary Smithies Cason of Bradford, England, he spent a sabbatical year in Zimbabwe on a research project. He later returned to teach for a semester at the University of Zimbabwe.

Cason and Mary retired to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 1994 and immediately entered a new life of volunteer service working with the Orange County Rape Crisis Center where he served for a time as Treasurer on the Board of Directors. He also volunteered at Eyes, Ears, Nose and Paws.

A memorial service and celebration of Dr. Cason’s life will be held at the Church of Reconciliation on Saturday, December 6 at 2 pm.  The Church of Reconciliation is located at 110 N. Elliott Rd, Chapel Hill, NC  27514.  The phone number for the church is (919)929-2127.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to either: Eyes, Ears, Nose and Paws (PO Box 3443, Chapel Hill, NC 27515) or the Orange County Rape Crisis Center (P. O. Box 4722, Chapel Hill, NC 27515).

Garrett-Evangelical, a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church, was founded in 1853. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 500 students from various denominations and cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.

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Garrett-Evangelical to Participate in #GivingTuesday on December 2, 2014

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EVANSTON, Illinois, November 2014
– For the second year in a row, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will participate in #GivingTuesday to boost gift-giving to the seminary. #GivingTuesday is one day of giving that kicks off the giving season. This year it is on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 following Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. This is the third year for this national day of philanthropy. In the same way that retail stores take part in Black Friday and online shippers participate in Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday allows people to utilize the power of social media and to create a national moment dedicated to giving. Following two days that are good for the economy, here is a new day good for the soul. This year's goal is to raise $50,000 in 24 hours.

“We are so excited to be participating in #GivingTuesday again this year. Last year was a huge success with over $48,000 donated by more than 100 people, and we hope to do even more this year,” said Kay Burlingham, Director of Annual Giving and Alum Relations. “It will only take a few minutes to give a gift online and each gift sends a huge message of encouragement to the seminary community. December 2nd holds much promise for our students, faculty, and our beloved institution. Let’s do this!”

For over 160 years, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has served as a graduate theological school that prepares skilled, bold and articulate leaders who share the transforming love of Jesus Christ. Related to The United Methodist Church, with an ecumenical and international reach, we prepare servant leaders who are equipped to live and proclaim the Gospel. This can only happen because of the many gifts we receive from alumni, friends, churches, foundations, and corporations each year.

If you would like to give to Garrett-Evangelical, you can do so immediately online at www.garrett.edu/giving. If you would like to read more about the mission and the over 160-year history of Garrett-Evangelical, please go to http://www.garrett.edu/who-we-are. Finally, if you would like to learn more about #GivingTuesday and all the organizations participating in this event, please visit their website at www.givingtuesday.org.

Garrett-Evangelical, a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church, was founded in 1853. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 500 students from various denominations and cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.

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Jerre and Mary Joy Stead Commit $15 Million to the Forging Our Future Campaign

steaddEVANSTON, Illinois, October 2014 – On October 23, 2014, it was announced at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary’s board of trustees meeting that Jerre and Mary Joy Stead of Scottsdale, AZ officially kicked off The Final Lap of the seminary’s Forging Our Future campaign with an additional commitment to their earlier commitments in Phase One, Two, and Three of the campaign. Their earlier commitments totaled $6 million, and their most recent commitment is for another $9 million—the largest single gift in the seminary’s history—bringing their total commitment to this campaign to $15 million!

Mr. Stead, who serves as the chair of the board of trustees at Garrett-Evangelical, is also co-chair of the Seminary’s Forging Our Future capital campaign. The Steads’ earlier campaign commitments have helped to endow several leadership scholarships, renovate seminary facilities, create faculty chairs, and support the seminary’s distinctive program, The Church and the Black Experience. Their $9 million commitment, a combination of a five-year pledge and a planned gift, is earmarked for the seminary’s unrestricted endowment, the largest component of the campaign. Earnings from this unrestricted endowment gift will allow the seminary to address future strategic goals and stay on the cutting edge of theological education.

In announcing their commitment, Mr. Stead stated, “We try to give where we can make the most difference—and we firmly believe that Garrett-Evangelical is making a critical difference in preparing the kind of Christian leaders our churches and communities need.”

In addition to their outstanding commitments to the Forging Our Future campaign, Jerre and Mary Joy Stead have previously funded the Jerre and Mary Joy Stead Center for Ethics and Values and the Jerre and Mary Joy Stead Chair of Christian Social Ethics at Garrett-Evangelical. In reflecting on the generosity of the Steads, President Rector remarked, “Jerre and Mary Joy have made—and continue to make—a transformative difference at Garrett-Evangelical. Their family commitment to support 'great people doing great things' and to 'giving back' have been very inspiring for the Garrett-Evangelical community. We are so very blessed to have them as our partners in preparing bold spiritual leaders for the church, the academy, and the world.”

“The campaign total now exceeds $88 million,” said David Heetland, vice president for development. “We hope that the Stead commitment will inspire and challenge others to consider what more they can do so that we can reach the $100 million goal soon. Gifts for unrestricted endowment are especially welcome, as are gifts for endowed scholarships, faculty support, and program support.” If you would like further information on how you can help Garrett-Evangelical reach this challenging goal, contact David Heetland at David.Heetland@garrett.edu or call 847.866.3970.

Garrett-Evangelical, a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church, was founded in 1853. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 500 students from various denominations and cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.

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Garrett-Evangelical Launches New Residential Hybrid Course of Study School

Laptop with CrossEVANSTON, Illinois, October 2014 – Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary’s English Course of Study school (COS) is now offering courses in a new residential hybrid format, continuing its commitment to honoring traditional methods of instruction while also embracing new emerging technologies. Each of the 20 English-language COS courses will be structured to allow students to engage faculty and one another through 5 hours of online learning and 15 hours on campus per course.

While the majority of current COS students said they valued their time on campus, the increasing demands on their ministry and home life left many asking for an online component.  As local pastors and vital members of their own communities, COS students needed a way to attain their education without neglecting their jobs, community, and family roles. This new hybrid format creates a less restrictive education without limiting the conversation between students and faculty. COS students will be able to create relationships with their colleagues and professors through various digital platforms while minimizing the impact of being away from their homes.

Key administrators and faculty members have worked hard to utilize online resources that will not only facilitate students’ academic work, but that will also benefit their ministry work as well. Students will use resources like Google Drive and Google Hangouts to complete their coursework, engage in conversation, and become better equipped to effectively and creatively employ these tools in their pastorates.

"We are offering a unique way for local pastors to engage their coursework, which preserves the formational aspects of residential learning, like face-to-face classroom dialogue, daily worship, and shared meals, while incorporating some of the best practices in online education,” said Dr. Timothy Eberhart, director of the English Course of Study school. “The result is an educational model that not only better fits the rhythms of local church ministry but also prepares pastors who can faithfully teach and connect with others through the tools of online media."

Although the new hybrid format is only offered for the English Course of Study school, the Seminary hopes to also offer the hybrid format for the Spanish Course of Study school in the near future.

For more information about the Residential Hybrid Course of Study school, or to register go to www.Garrett.edu/COS.

The Course of Study school at Garrett-Evangelical educates and forms bold local pastoral leaders to serve vital congregations for the flourishing of the world through a 5-year, 20-course curriculum established by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.   

Garrett-Evangelical, a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church, was founded in 1853. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 500 students from various denominations and cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.

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Garrett-Evangelical Alumnus and Life Trustee, Rev. Thomas Babler Honored by North Central College

This news release was originally posted at NorthCentralCollege.edu

thomas babler-sqr 0North Central College is honoring The Rev. Thomas Babler of Naperville with a Wall of Witness recognition during Homecoming.

Babler and four others will be honored during the College’s Homecoming Reunion Celebration from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at the College’s Residence Hall/Recreation Center, 440 S. Brainard St.

North Central’s Wall of Witness recognizes alumni of the College and/or Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETS) for their lives of witness to their faith and service to humanity. Names of honorees are displayed in Kiekhofer Hall, which houses the College’s Koten Chapel and is the former home of the seminary.

A 1969 graduate of North Central College, Babler has dedicated his life to ministry and leadership in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church. Prior to his retirement in 2012, he led congregations in the Illinois communities of LaMoille (Community United Methodist), Ottawa (Epworth United Methodist Church), Aurora (Bethany of Fox Valley), Naperville (Community United Methodist) and Sandwich (United Church of Sandwich).

As a visible member of the clergy in these communities, Babler would embrace leadership opportunities to better those communities. He served on the Mayor’s Advisory Task Force on Gambling in the City of Aurora in the 1980s, coordinated programs for the Naperville Ministerium/Naperville Interfaith Leaders Association, and worked actively as a volunteer with DuPage Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS). Internationally, his ministry work and study resulted in travel to Singapore, Africa and Jerusalem.

Throughout his career, he has remained involved with Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, where he received his master of divinity degree in 1973. He has been on the board of trustees there for 40 years and currently holds the title Life Trustee. Babler received a distinguished alumnus award from Garrett in 1997 and continues to be involved as an adjunct faculty member, leading a group focused on vocation formation and church leadership. Mentoring in the ministry is his passion.

At North Central College, Babler and his wife Mary are loyal and generous supporters of the Albright-Wesley Society and enjoy campus events. He assisted with the search in 2014 to hire a new campus chaplain and helped plan the Inauguration Worship Service for President Troy D. Hammond in May 2013. Mary completed her undergraduate studies at North Central in 1970 and earned a master’s degree from North Central College in 1998.

Babler and Mary are the parents of three adult children.

Others being honored during North Central’s Homecoming are Outstanding Alumni Award recipients Becky Anderson of Naperville, Jeff Swallow of Naperville and William Gossell of Farmers Branch, Texas. Wade Hicks of Framingham, Mass., will receive an Alumni Recognition Award

 
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Garrett-Evangelical On The Road: 2014 Seminary Caravan


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EVANSTON, Illinois, October 2014 – Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will be participating in the Seminary Caravan stopping in three states in the Midwest October 20-22, 2014. The Seminary Caravan will feature 12 of the 13 United Methodist Church (UMC) seminaries. Students will have an opportunity to meet with representatives to discuss what a theological education entails and to learn more about each seminary’s unique offerings.

“The Seminary Caravan is a great way for individuals thinking of taking the next step of their call to get a feel of what seminary is all about. Prospective students will be able to have face-to-face conversations with seminary representatives and find answers to the questions that aren’t easily answered by a quick search of the website,” said Rev. Becky Eberhart, Associate VP for Enrollment Management.

The Seminary Caravan’s first stop will be on October 20th in Chicago, IL at the First UMC at the Chicago Temple from 5:30-8 PM. The second stop will be on October 21st in Evansville, IN at the University of Evansville from 5-8 p.m.. The final stop will be October 22nd in Worthington, OH at the Western Ohio Conference Office from 6-8:30 p.m.

Founded in 1853, Garrett-Evangelical is the oldest seminary in the Midwest and the second oldest United Methodist seminary. The Seminary is located just north of Chicago, on the campus of Northwestern University, and serves more than 500 students from various denominations and cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction, as they learn, grow, and discern.

Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.

For more information and to register for one of the Seminary Caravan stops, please go to http://www.explorecalling.org/events/seminary-caravan/. For additional information on the Seminary Caravan or to learn more about Garrett-Evangelical, contact the Admissions Office at 847.866.3945 or GetAdmitted@garrett.edu.

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UMC Logo Garrett-Evangelical, a seminary related to
The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.