The provincial government of Alberta has purchased Newman Theological College and St. Joseph Seminary and will tear down the shared campus to make way for an expansion of Anthony Henday Drive, a ring road around the city of Edmonton. According to the Western Catholic Reporter, the province paid the archdiocese of Edmonton C$42.4 million for the 39.4-acre property.
The archdiocese has agreed to vacate the property by June 2009. Archbishop Richard Smith announced that the two schools will move to new buildings that will be built adjacent to the archdiocesan offices on the east side of Edmonton. Several religious and historical artifacts will be moved to the new site. According to Newman president Bryn Kulmatycki, "this is an opportunity for us to relocate, to build again, and in this way to ensure the future of these institutions."
Data presented at a recent conference indicates that nearly 30 percent of recent Southern Baptist Convention seminary graduates now serving as pastors identify themselves as Calvinists. The data came from LifeWay Research and the North American Mission Board Center for Missional Research and was presented during the opening session of the "Building Bridges: Southern Baptists and Calvinism" conference co-sponsored by Founders Ministries and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The LifeWay Research study surveyed a cross-section of 413 randomly selected Southern Baptist pastors in 2006, and the 2007 North American Mission Board study surveyed Southern Baptist pastors who graduated between 1998 and 2004. The number of graduates who affirmed Calvinism rose steadily during the years surveyed. In the last year of the study, 34 percent of those serving in Southern Baptist churches identified themselves as "five-point" Calvinists.
Since their beginning in the 16th century, Baptists have included both Calvinists (with their distinct "five points" of doctrine concerning divine sovereignty over human salvation) and anti-Calvinists (who generally emphasize individual free will with regards to salvation). Since the late 19th century, most Southern Baptists have been anti-Calvinists.
Trustees at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary have approved the formation of the Korean Theological Institute, which will provide bachelor's and master's degree programs taught in the Korean language both at the New Orleans campus and its North Georgia site.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Atlanta's Korean population ranks 10th in the country, at more than 22,000 people. From a combined count of 15 undergraduate and graduate students last year, the Korean program anticipates close to 30 graduate students and about a dozen undergraduate students for the 2007-08 school year.
Dallas Theological Seminary has launched an interactive online program offering theological training to Chinese pastors and leaders around the world. About 40 students have enrolled for the program, which offers training in Bible study and spiritual life in English, with Chinese captioning. Several years of talks with officials in mainland China resulted in the government's approval, and hundreds of applications have been received.
Thirty students in China, as well as Chinese-speaking students in Taiwan, Malaysia, and Ukraine, are enrolled. Chinese-speaking teaching assistants grade the students and supervise online discussions groups.
Two classes are currently offered, with five more to come online in the spring. Eventually, 20 classes will be offered, at a development cost of $500,000. The seminary has 600 students from five continents enrolled in online courses, but the Chinese courses are the first in a foreign language.
■ The Very Rev. Joseph H. Britton has been appointed to a second term as dean of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale, a New Haven, Connecticut-based seminary of the Episcopal Church that operates in collaboration with Yale Divinity School. Under the arrangement, which was begun in 1971, Berkeley students earn a degree from Yale Divinity School and a diploma in Anglican studies from the Berkeley Divinity School. (Although the divinity school in Connecticut and the city and university of Berkeley, California, are named after the same 18th-century Anglo-Irish philosopher-bishop, they are otherwise unrelated.)
Before arriving at Berkeley, Dr. Britton offered pastoral oversight to churches in Europe that are affiliated with the Episcopal Church (USA), and he served in parishes in California, Massachusetts, and New York.
As dean of Berkeley Divinity School, Dr. Britton also serves as associate dean for Anglican studies at Yale Divinity School. He is a graduate of Harvard University, the General Theological Seminary, and the Institut Catholique de Paris, and he is married to Karla Britton.
■ Dr. Mark S. Markuly has been appointed dean of the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University, replacing interim dean Dr. Mark Taylor, who is returning to teaching systematic theology. The former dean, Jesuit Father Patrick Howell, is now vice president for mission and ministry at the university.
Dr. Markuly was previously associate professor of religion and education and director of the Loyola Institute for Ministry, the largest Catholic lay ministry training program in the United States, which is housed at Loyola University in New Orleans. Before moving to New Orleans he was a diocesan director of religious education and director of Catholic campus ministry at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
Dr. Markuly is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, the Aquinas Institute of Theology, and St. Louis University. The School of Theology and Ministry provides lay ministry training for Protestants and Catholics under the umbrella of Seattle University, a Jesuit university in Seattle, Washington.
■ Auxiliary Bishop Gerald T. Walsh of Elizabeth's parish in Manhattan, has been appointed rector-president of St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, New York, replacing Msgr. Peter G. Finn, who will become pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church on Staten Island. Known as "Dunwoodie," St. Joseph's is the seminary of the archdiocese of New York.
Bishop Walsh was named vicar for development for the archdiocese in 2003, and he was made an auxiliary bishop the following year. In addition to his duties as a parish pastor, Bishop Walsh has been serving as an episcopal vicar for the archdiocese.
The new rector graduated from the seminary in 1967 and was ordained by Cardinal Francis Spellman. Over 28 years, he served in three Manhattan parishes before he was appointed secretary to Cardinal John O'Connor in 1996.
■ On January 1, Father Jan de Jong became rector-president of Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin, replacing acting rector-president Father Thomas L. Knoebel. The school's former head, the Father Thomas Cassidy, was named provincial superior of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 2007. Sacred Heart School of Theology, operated by the Priests of the Sacred Heart, prepares men of mature years and experience for Roman Catholic priesthood, both diocesan and religious. It accepts second- career candidates sponsored by dioceses throughout the country.
Father de Jong taught at Sacred Heart from 1969 to 1974 before serving as chaplain and coordinator of clinical pastoral education at hospitals in Wisconsin and in Texas. He returned to the school in 1999, when he was appointed a professor of moral theology. In 2003 he was promoted to professor of systematic studies.
Born in the Netherlands, Father de Jong was ordained in 1964. He is a graduate of the Academia Alfonsiana and the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, both in Rome.
■ The U.S. Province of the Society of St. Sulpice has named Father Melvin Blanchette as the 14th rector of Theological College, the national seminary of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He replaces Father Thomas R. Hurst, who in 2007 became rector-president of St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Father Blanchette was ordained to the priesthood in 1967 and became a Sulpician in 1975. A graduate of St. John's Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, Michigan, he is a priest of the archdiocese of Detroit. In addition to degrees in theology and counseling, Father Blanchette holds a doctorate in psychology from the U.S. International University in San Diego, California. He is a licensed psychologist and has served as director of the Vatican II Institute for Clergy Formation in Menlo Park, California; director of the Center for Continuing Formation at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore; and chair of the department of pastoral counseling at Loyola College in Baltimore.
■ New Orleans Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes has named Father José I. Lavastida as rector-president of the archdiocese's Notre Dame Seminary. His predecessor, Father Patrick J. Williams, who served as rector-president for seven years, is working closely with him to provide for continuity in the transition. Since arriving at the New Orleans seminary in 1998, Father Lavastida had served as associate director of spiritual formation, professor of moral theology, and academic dean before being named head of the seminary last summer.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Father Lavastida lived in Puerto Rico before moving to the mainland United States with his family. He has degrees from Louisiana State University, Notre Dame Seminary, and the Academia Alfonsiana in Rome.
■ Dominican Father Steven Boguslawski has been named president of the Dominican House of Studies, a school of the Order of Preachers (or Dominicans) in Washington, D.C.
Father Boguslawski was ordained a priest in 1987 and holds a doctorate in New Testament studies and theology from Yale University. He has served as dean of studies and rector-president of Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, and as vice president and academic dean of the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception. He is currently executive director of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C.
The Dominican House of Studies provides academic and professional training in theology and related disciplines to an ecumenical student body that includes lay students and clergy, both Dominicans and others.
Found: Two-century-old letter that established Moravian seminary
As part of preparations for celebrating their bicentennial in 2007, seminary officials at Moravian College and Theological Seminary, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, asked archivist Paul Peucker to search for the institution's founding papers. His efforts resulted in the discovery of a 200-year-old document buried in reams of yellowed sheets of paper covered in German script — a letter from Moravian leaders in Herrnhut, Germany, which authorized the establishment of the first Moravian seminary in America.
"It's sort of like having the Declaration of Independence here. This is who we are," said the Rev. Christopher Thomforde, president of the school. The letter from Herrnhut links the seminary to a school known as Nazareth Hall, which had begun in the 18th century with a few students. The letter authorized Lehigh Valley Moravians to establish an institution "to train teachers for the Boys' School who may in time be used in the service of the Lord in the American congregations."
The school currently has a student body of 103 men and women representing more than a dozen Christian denominations, though most are Moravians. In 2007, Moravian College and Theological Seminary celebrated its 200th anniversary.
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