Garrett-Evangelical News

Robert Allan Hill Delivers Commencement Address

EVANSTON, Ill., June 2009 -- Dean, professor, preacher and chaplain at Boston University, Rev. Dr. Robert Allan Hill delivered the address at Garrett-Evangelical's 152nd commencement service on May 15 at First United Methodist Church in Evanston.

Watch the Address | Read the Address

class09The seminary awarded 72 degrees, including six Doctors of Philosophy; two Doctors of Ministry; 45 Masters of Divinity; 11 Masters of Arts -- in Christian Education, in Music Ministry, in Pastoral Care and Counseling, and in Spiritual Formation and Evangelism; six Masters of Theological Studies; and two Basic Graduates in Theological Studies.

Garrett-Evangelical presented the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Awards to Anne E. Streaty Wimberly, who graduated in 1993 with a Master of Theological Studies, and Noel Dwight Osborn, who graduated in 1953 with a Master of Divinity; and the Eliza Garrett Distinguished Service Award to Benjamin J. Kendrick, executive director of the Marcy-Newberry Association in Chicago. (Please see accompanying news release about these award recipients.)

Hill, a United Methodist elder who has been preaching since 1976, is dean of BU's historic Marsh Chapel, professor of New Testament and pastoral theology, and preacher and chaplain to the university. As dean of Marsh Chapel, he provides guidance, oversight and counsel for all religious life at Boston University. The interdenominational chapel, which harbors a non-fundamentalist expression of faith with roots in Methodism, is used by an average of 1,800 people each week during the academic year.

post-commencementHe has taught at McGill University's Presbyterian College, Syracuse University, LeMoyne College, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Northeastern Seminary and United Seminary. He has focused his teaching on New Testament, Greek, preaching, the practice of ministry and church administration.

His research and published books reflect his passionate interest in the intersection of scripture and life, especially in the work of preaching. He explored the Gospel of John and Gnosticism in a book published in 1997: "An Examination and Critique of the Understanding of the Relationship between Apocalypticism and Gnosticism in Johannine Studies," (Edwin Mellen Press, 1997). Three years later he published "Snow Day: Reflections on the Practice of Ministry in the Northeast" (University Press of America). Most of his writing has been devoted to weekly sermons over 30 years, some of which has been collected, published and recorded.

Before joining Boston University, Hill served as pastor at seven churches in five annual conferences, including the 2,300-member Asbury First United Methodist in Rochester, N.Y., from 1995 to 2006. He has been involved in General and Jurisdictional Conference work in the United Methodist Church. His main denominational interests have been ministry at large churches and theological education. In 2003 he was given the Harry Denman Award for Evangelism.

A native of Syracuse, N.Y., Hill received a doctor of philosophy in New Testament in 1991 at McGill University; a master of divinity in 1979 at Union Theological Seminary; and a bachelor of arts in 1976 at Ohio Wesleyan University. His wife, Jan, is a musician and teacher. They have three adult children. He loves sports and played college basketball and soccer. He and Jan are joggers and spend summers on a lake in upstate New York.

Garrett-Evangelical is a graduate school of theology of The United Methodist Church founded in 1853. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 500 students from many denominations and various 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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The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.