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Garrett-Evangelical Honored to Host Episcopal Leaders and Scholars

March 19, 2013

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary was graced by the diverse presence of church leaders and scholars attending one of two conferences held on the seminary's campus last week. On Wednesday, March 13, members of the Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) opened their 46th Annual Meeting over dinner in Loder Hall followed by the opening worship service. On Thursday, March 14, members of the Pacific, Asian, and North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry (PANAAWTM) held their 2013 conference on the seminary's campus begininning with a plenary that was open to the public and featured four prominent scholars.

The 46th Annual Meeting for BMCR was held in Chicago’s suburb, Itasca, Illinois. Participants were bused to the seminary’s campus on Wednesday evening. Between campus tours and dinner, conference attendees shared dinner and fellowship with a number of Garrett-Evangelical’s faculty, President Philip A. Amerson, and his wife, Dr. Elaine Amerson.

With over 200 in attendance, BMCR’s Service of Remembrance and Holy Communion was held in Garrett-Evangelical’s Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful. The service welcomed BMCR members and 12 United Methodist bishops, including distinguished Garrett-Evangelical alumni: Charles Jordan (GBI, ’60), Bishop Jonathan Keaton (GTS, ’71, ’79), and Julius Trimble (G-E, ’81). Bishop Linda Lee, recently appointed as bishop-in-residence at Garrett-Evangelical, served as one of the celebrants along with Bishop Martin McLee.

The 2013 PANAAWTM Conference, held March 14-18, gathered scholars and religious professionals from around the nation to discuss theologies in times of war and healing. Thursday’s opening plenary featured four prominent scholars: Rita Nakashima Brock, founding co-director of the Soul Repair Center and research professor at Brite Divinity School; Keun-joo Christine Pae, assistant professor of ethics and christian ethics at Denison University; Su Yon Pak, senior director and associate professor of integrative and field-based education at Union Theological Seminary; and Gale A. Yee, Nancy W. King professor of biblical studies at Episcopal Divinity School.

In her remarks at the opening plenary, Dr. Lallene J. Rector, vice president for academic affairs and academic dean, said, “Garrett-Evangelical is committed to fostering leadership in the areas of cultural and racial diversity by providing opportunities for education, exploration, and dialog among academics, religious leaders, and members of the larger global community. By welcoming a diverse pool of scholars and religious leaders for such conferences, Garrett-Evangelical lives into its commitment to produce and support bold leaders for the church and our world.”

Student members of the Asian/Asian American Center for Ministry at Garrett-Evangelical organized and hosted the four-day conference. Dr. Anne Joh, director of the center and PANAAWTM member, expressed her sincere appreciation for the numerous students and staff who offered hospitality and assistance. Upon conclusion of the conference, PANAAWTM members agreed to hold their annual meeting in 2014 at Garrett-Evangelical.

To view photos of both events, go to the seminary’s Facebook page at

To read more about the PANAAWTM Conference, see this article written by the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women's Assistant General Secretary of Finance and Administration, Elaine Moy, here.