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Henry Luce Foundation Renews Support for Professorship in Global Christianity and World Religions

December 2, 2012

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has received an additional $225,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation for the continued support of a professorship in global Christianity and world religions. The Foundation originally awarded a grant in 2009 to insure that students preparing for ministry have a deeper understanding of the religious landscape in the United States and our world. The renewed grant provides extended funding through 2016.

“Garrett-Evangelical is grateful for this additional encouragement in our commitment to provide students with awareness of the emerging global realities and religious dynamics among the great faith traditions of our world,” said seminary president, Philip Amerson. “We will continue to seek funding so that this faculty position will be permanent.”

Hendrik Pieterse, who has served on the Garrett-Evangelical faculty since 2010, will continue in his position as associate professor of global Christianity and world religions. Upon learning of the grant renewal, Pieterse said, “This generous support from the Henry Luce Foundation allows Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary to continue its longstanding commitment to theological education in a global context at a time of extraordinary change. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this important work.”

Prior to his arrival at Garrett-Evangelical, Pieterse served as the Director of Scholarly Research and Book Editor for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) of The United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He has served as a missionary, teacher, pastor, and editor of a number of publications, including the Quarterly Review. Pieterse holds a D.Phil. from the University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa (now the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University), and oversaw several initiatives for the GBHEM, including a major emphasis on the development of higher education resources in Africa.

Since 2010, Pieterse has been instrumental in establishing a solid set of courses at Garrett-Evangelical in this critical area. He brings remarkable experience regarding the church in Africa and he is making new connections in other parts of the world. Pieterse has become a respected member of the seminary community and he continues to explore interfaith and multi-religious settings in his teaching and work.

The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc., to honor his parents who were missionary educators in China. The Foundation partners with different institutions in order to encourage innovation and leadership in religious, academic, and other settings. The Foundation’s current partnership with Garrett-Evangelical allows the seminary to provide a needed boost to the curriculum, in the areas of global Christianity and world religions.