Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a grant of nearly $5 million to Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary to support the work of the Louisville Institute through 2009. Much of the funding will support the institute's regranting programs for clergy and faculty. Since 1990, the Louisville Institute has awarded almost 1,300 grants, many of which bring together scholars and pastors for mutual enrichment.
The Louisville Institute's competitive grant programs include sabbatical grants for pastoral leaders, first book grants for minority scholars, and several programs that support scholarly work on Christian ministry in contemporary life.
Lilly Endowment has also awarded a $6.3 million grant to the Fund for Theological Education to support its programs that encourage young people to pursue Christian ministry or doctoral study. The new grant will support the Fund for Theological Education's doctoral and dissertation fellowships for African-American students, summer projects for second-year seminarians, and small awards to undergraduate students who pursue ministry-related education or special ministry-related activities.
In addition to its scholarship programs, the Fund for Theological Education provides resources for congregations as they identify potential candidates for ministry.
In October, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship named four theological seminaries as its primary "identity partners." In the wake of a unanimous vote by the organization's coordinating council, Campbell University Divinity School, the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University, and the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University will be eligible for direct funding from the Cooperative Baptists. Students at these schools may also apply for denominational scholarships. Nine other schools were approved as "leadership partners," a lower category that does not allow direct school funding but permits students to apply for scholarships from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.They include the Baptist Seminary at Kentucky,Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Gardner Webb University's M. Christopher White Divinity School, the Logsdon School of Theology at Hardin-Simmons University, Wake Forest University Divinity School, and the Baptist houses of study at four non-Baptist institutions (Duke Divinity School, Candler School of Theology, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, and Brite Divinity School).
Eastern University, an evangelical school in St. Davids, Pennsylvania, will offer four courses near the campus of Pennsylvania State University next year. The courses -- on the New Testament, western civilization, faith and philosophy, and reason and justice -- will be taught to coincide with the state school's Spring 2007 semester. Eastern University officials expect that credit for the courses will be accepted as transfer credits by Penn State. Both schools are accredited by the same association.
Penn State lies more than 200 highway miles west of Eastern University, so the courses will be held in churches near Penn State's campus. A local organizer, the Rev. Paul Grabill, told the Associated Press that the new courses are designed to supplement Penn State students' education and support Christian students at the large university.
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary bought 5,103 volumes of history, theology, biography, science, hymnody, and history that belonged to the English Baptist pastor Charles H. Spurgeon, one of the most celebrated Victorian preachers, who died in 1892. The library was put up for auction by William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, which purchased it in 1905. Midwestern Baptist offered the winning bid of $400,000.
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the nearby University of Texas plan to offer a joint degree in social work. Students completing the four-year program will earn an M.Div. from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) school and, at the same time, a master of science in social work from the state university. Michael Jinkins, academic dean at Austin Seminary, cited similar programs at Columbia University/Union Theological Seminary and Rutgers University/Princeton Theological Seminary as inspirations for the new Texas partnership.
Last year, Eden Theological Seminary and Washington University in St. Louis began a similar partnership. There, students can earn a master of social work degree from the university's George Warren Brown School of Social Work and, concurrently, an M.Div. or master of arts in pastoral studies from the nearby United Church of Christ seminary.
The Rev. J. Ellsworth Kalas has been named interim president of Asbury Theological Center, replacing the Rev. Jeff Greenway, who had served as president since 2004. Dr. Greenway resigned in October in the wake of conflict with trustees. Although Dr. Greenway received a faculty vote of confidence in September and 150 students signed an online petition to support his presidency, trustees gave him a negative job evaluation August 31, and he was placed on paid administrative leave the following day.
In interviews with media outlets, the interim president, Dr. Kalas, said he expects to be interim president for 15 to 18 months before a new leader is selected. A professor of preaching, Dr. Kalas has been at Asbury since 1993 and formerly served as interim dean of the seminary's Beeson International Center. An ordained United Methodist elder, he is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and previously served as a pastor for 38 years (including 16 years in Cleveland, Ohio) and an associate in evangelism with the World Methodist Council. Dr. Kalas and his wife, Janet, each have two adult children from previous marriages.
Asbury is a non-denominational, evangelical seminary with strong ties to the United Methodist Church and other holiness and Wesleyan denominations. About 1,700 students take classes at the main campus in Wilmore, Kentucky; in Orlando, Florida; and through online programs.
Dr. Jan Love has been appointed dean of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, replacing Dr. Russell Richey, who will return to teaching at the school. Her appointment takes effect January 1, 2007. Candler is one of 13 United Methodist theological schools.
Since 2004, Dr. Love has been chief executive of the Women's Division of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Previously she served on the faculty of the University of South Carolina in the department of government and international studies and in the department of religious studies. She is a graduate of Eckerd College and Ohio State University.
Dr. Love is a lifelong United Methodist. She and her husband, Peter Sederberg, a retired dean at the University of South Carolina, are the parents of two adult children.
The Rev. Harold V. Bennett has been named president-dean of the Charles H. Mason Theological Seminary, a constituent institution of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. He replaces ElderArthur F. Mosley, pastor of the Cathedral of Faith Church of God of Christ in Atlanta, who served as interim president-dean from 2004 to 2005. Former dean Dr. Oliver J. Haney Jr. retired in 2004 after 30 years of service.
Dr. Bennett was formerly adjunct assistant professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at the theological union and assistant professor of religious studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta. A graduate of North Carolina A&T University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, and Vanderbilt University, he is an ordained elder in the Church of God in Christ, North America's largest Pentecostal denomination.
Charles H. Mason Theological Seminary, established in 1970, is affiliated with the Church of God in Christ and is named for the denomination's founder. The Interdenominational Theological Center comprises eight schools and centers, including those from the Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal, and Presbyterian traditions.
The Rev. Dale T. Irvin has been named 11th president of New York Theological Seminary after having served as acting president since January 1. He replaces the Rev. Hilary Gaston Sr., who served as president from 2002 to 2005.
In addition to his duties as president, Dr. Irvin will continue to serve as professor of world Christianity. A graduate of Thomas Edison State College, Princeton Theological Seminary and Union Theological Seminary in New York, Dr. Irvin has been a member of the seminary's faculty since 1989. He was previously the school's academic dean and vice president for academic affairs.
Dr. Irvin is an ordained minister of the American Baptist Churches U.S.A. and a member of the Riverside Church in New York City. New York Theological Seminary is a non-denominational school founded in 1900 as the Bible Teachers' College, and from 1921 to 1966 it was known as the Biblical Seminary in New York. Since 2002, the seminary's offices have been in the Interchurch Center in New York, and it uses classroom space in the Riverside Church and Union Theological Seminary.
Evangelist Alex McFarland has been appointed president of Southern Evangelical Seminary. He replaces Dr. Norman L. Geisler, a co-founder of the school who has been named dean.
Southern Evangelical Seminary is a non-denominational school in Matthews, North Carolina. Founded in 1992, the school focuses on evangelism and Christian apologetics. McFarland, a graduate of Liberty University, is a speaker, writer, and conference organizer who hosts a weekly radio program titled "Truth Talk Live." He is married to Angie McFarland.
The Rev. David Pfrimmer has been named principal-dean of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary in Waterloo, Ontario, replacing Dr. Richard Crossman, who retired in 2005 after serving as principal-dean since 1984.
Dr. Pfrimmer was formerly the director of the Office of Public Policy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and served on the executive board of the Canadian Council of Churches. He is also a former director of the Institute for Christian Ethics at Wilfrid Laurier University. Before the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Dr. Pfrimmer was executive secretary of the Lutheran Church in America's Canada Section.
Dr. Pfrimmer is a graduate of Waterloo Lutheran University, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Princeton Seminary. He is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
Father Ross A. Shecterle, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been appointed the rector of the American College of the Immaculate Conception, effective July 15, 2007. He succeeds Father Kevin A. Codd, a priest of the Diocese of Spokane, who will complete a six-year term as rector of the school, which is located near, and associated with, the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium.The American College was founded by U.S. Catholic bishops in 1857 to train European men for the North American mission field, and it is still overseen by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Father Shecterle holds a Ph.D. in counseling and has been licensed as a professional counselor by the state of Wisconsin; he is currently director of counseling services at the North American College in Rome. A graduate of St. Francis de Sales College, St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee, the Catholic University of Louvain, and Loyola College in Baltimore, he was ordained in 1986.
The Rev. Thomas H. Graves, president of the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond since 1991, will retire effective July 1, 2007. Dr. Graves, who is 58, cited multiple sclerosis as the primary reason for his retirement.
The Rev. K. Randel Everett, president of the John Leland Center for Theological Studies for the last nine years, will resign from the Arlington, Virginia, Baptist seminary at the end of this academic year.
The Very Rev. Martha J. Horne, dean-president of Virginia Theological Seminary, will retire in 2007 after 12 years at the helm of the largest theological school in the Episcopal Church (U.S.A.)
Last spring the leadership of the Society of Jesus in the United States unanimously authorized Weston Jesuit School of Theology to sign a letter of intent to re-affiliate with Boston College. Under the proposal, the Jesuit theological school, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, would relocate to the Boston College campus, becoming part of a new School of Theology and Ministry. The new school will likely be located in a building recently purchased from the Archdiocese of Boston.
Weston and Boston College separated in 1972. Under re-affiliation, the school of theology will retain its faculty and its membership in the Boston Theological Institute, and it will remain one of two Jesuit theological schools in the United States.
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