by Melinda R. Heppe

Union Theological Seminary and the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Richmond, Virginia, has become the third theological school in the last ten years to open a branch in Charlotte, North Carolina. “Charlotte is an historical seat of Presbyterianism,” said Alan Elmore, executive presbyter of the Charlotte Presbytery (Presbyterian Church-U.S.A.), “and by the late ’80s it became obvious that we needed a seminary here.”

A first approach to Union was not met with enthusiasm. Then other schools started arriving in town.

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, based in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, was attracted to the city in part because it has the world’s second highest per capita number of churches, according to director of development Alan Cellamare. The multi-denominational evangelical school began offering a full schedule of classes in Charlotte in 1993. Their focus is on adult-oriented teaching: classes are scheduled to accommodate work schedules. Some classes meet one Friday night and Saturday per month for three months. Many classes are held at churches: the school has plans for a new building, but is based in an office complex until the necessary $8 million is raised. The school currently enrolls about 450 students, about two-thirds of them in the M.Div. program; it graduated thirty-two this spring.

Reformed Theological Seminary, based in Jackson, Mississippi, came to Charlotte around the same time. Its first full-time administrator came to town in 1993, its first-full time professor in 1994. In 1997, the school bought a church to serve as its campus.

Reformed has grown to a head count of 500 students, with slightly more than 100 full-time equivalents. It graduated a class of thirty-four this spring. Vice President Ric Cannada is especially proud of the shared library resources that are developing, with cooperation between Reformed and Gordon-Conwell, along with Hood Theological Seminary (about an hour away), Houston Graduate School of Theology’s extension site in High Point (also about an hour away), non-ATS-affiliated Southern Evangelical Seminary, and several local evangelical mission groups.

Neither of these educational options satisfied Elmore, however: he was determined to have a Presbyterian school accessible to local students who were not of a mind to move away to pursue theological education. His next approach to Union—with a new president and well on its way to consolidating with P.S.C.E.—evoked enough interest to warrant appointing a planning committee, convened in 1993.

“We realized we’d need $19.8 million,” said Price Gwynn, committee member, Charlotte resident, and member of Union’s board of trustees, “4.8 million to start up and ensure operations for six years (so that the first entering class could be assured that they could complete their program) and a $15 million endowment.” Separate committees were formed for each aspect of fund-raising. The startup group hit the ground running. Five presbyteries are supporting the school; Charlotte committed itself to raising three-quarters of the start-up money. The presbytery’s ten largest churches are raising $1.5 million, the remaining 129 churches are coming up with $600,000, and the presbytery itself is contributing $600,000. The search is on for 400 people who will donate $1,000 per year for six years: 180 have been identified.

Plans are in place to begin two classes in spring 2002, with a full schedule in the fall. The admissions office has had more than seventy inquiries about the first semester. The school is leasing the second floor of an administration building from Queen’s College, a school with 1,600 students, many of them adult learners. Thomas Currie, dean of the new campus, arrived in Charlotte June 1. He comes to the school from parish ministry in Texas, where he also taught some classes at Austin Seminary. His first reactions to his new job are gratitude to the generosity of those around him, including the heads of Charlotte’s other theological schools (he met them during his first month in town) and his new knowledge about all that is involved in running—to say nothing of establishing—a theological school. “I didn’t realize how much work must be done to establish a space for teachers to teach and learners to learn,” he said.

Faculty Grants
The Association of Theological Schools has announced this year’s grants for faculty research projects. The fellows come from a variety of schools, theological orientations, and disciplines, and their proposed projects are similarly diverse. Harry Stout of Yale University Divinity School for example, is writing the first book on the role of religion in the U.S. Civil War, focusing on sermons, religious newspapers, and diaries and letters written during the war. Sze-kar Wan of Andover-Newton Theological School, by contrast, is a New Testament scholar who is interested in Paul as a member of a minority, and is using post-colonial theory and theories of ethnicity to analyze the Letter to the Romans.

Lilly Theological Research Grants for 2001-2002 have been given to nineteen faculty members, the fourth such class of scholars.

Twelve faculty members were named Lilly Faculty Fellows and will receive fellowships in amounts up to $20,000 to support extended research while on sabbatical. They are:

  • Virginia Burrus, Drew University Theological School—Sexuality and Gender in the Lives of the Saints
  • William A. Durbin, Washington Theological Union—The Theology-Sciences Dialogue as Theological Reflection
  • Riggins R. Earl, Jr., Interdenominational Theological Center—Dark Status: Toward the Religious and Moral Transformation of Blacks’ Beggar Dilemma
  • Pamela M. Eisenbaum, Iliff School of Theology—Human Difference in the Apostle Paul
  • Brigitte Kahl, Union Theological Seminary—Paul: Toward a Hermeneutics of Resistance. One and Other in Galatians
  • Alyce M. McKenzie, Perkins School of Theology Southern Methodist University—The Preacher as Subversive Sage: Proclaiming Wisdom Against the Grain
  • John P. Meier, University of Notre Dame Department of Theology—A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus Volume IV; Mosaic Law, Parables, Self-designations, and Crucifixion
  • William S. Morrow, Queens Theological College—The Bible’s Tradition of Protest Prayer: Eclipse and Recovery
  • David M. Rhoads, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago—Celebrating Diversity: A Model of Intercultural Bible Study
  • Ronald H. Stone, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary—Prophetic Realism, Morality, and U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Harry S. Stout, Yale University Divinity School—Religious and Moral History of the American Civil War
  • M. Thomas Thangaraj, Candler School of Theology of Emory University—Issues in Asian Christian Theologies of Religions

Seven Small Grants were awarded for faculty to pursue projects while not necessarily on leave.

  • Laurel D. Kearns, Drew University Theological School—The Challenge of Global Climate Change to the Church
  • Hyun Chul Paul Kim, Methodist Theological School in Ohio—Asian Lens for Bible Reading: Developing a Cultural-Anthropological Encounter Between the Hebrew Bible World and the Asian World
  • Mary E. McGann, Franciscan School of Theology—A Precious Fountain: Music in the Worship of an African American Catholic Community
  • Vincent J. McNally, Sacred Heart School of Theology—Practicing What We Preach: Testing and Publishing a Guide for Implementing a Pastoral Theology of Acceptance and Reconciliation in the Schools of Northern Ireland
  • Jon F. Pahl, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia—God’s Clothing: A Theology of Place
  • Emilie M. Townes, Union Theological Seminary—Health, Healing, and Wholeness: A Study of the Religious and Social Activism of Brazilian Women in a Globalized World
  • Sze-kar Wan, Andover Newton Theological School; Ka-lun Leung, Alliance Bible Seminary, Hong Kong; Yen-zen Tsai, National Chengchi University, Taiwan; John Youeh-Han Yieh, Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary—Seen But Not Heard: Neglected Voices in Chinese Christianity

Seven ATS faculty members have been named Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology for 2001-2002. These fellowships are valued up to $75,000 each. This year’s competition was the eighth since the program’s inception. This year’s Fellows and their projects are:

  • Judith A. Berling, Graduate Theological Union—Entering Other Worlds: Theological Learning and Non-Christian Religions
  • Richard B. Hays, Duke University Divinity School—Opening Our Minds to Understand the Scriptures: Reading the Old Testament with the Synoptic Evangelists
  • Dwight N. Hopkins, University of Chicago Divinity School—Conjurers, Tricksters, Outlaws, and Christian Heroes: Theological Anthropology Informed by Folk Culture
  • Robin M. Jensen, Andover Newton Theological School—The Emergence of the Orthodox Jesus in Early Christian Art
  • Robert A. Krieg, University of Notre Dame Department of Theology—Catholic Theologians in Hitler’s Germany
  • Timothy M. Matovina, University of Notre Dame Department of Theology—Guadalupan Devotion in a Borderlands Community: Collective Ritual as Theological Discourse
  • Sze-kar Wan, Andover Newton Theological School—Has God Rejected His People? Reclaiming Paul’s Vision of New Peoplehood, Retrieving Paul’s Ethnicity: Intragroup Ethnic Tension in Paul’s Letter to the Romans

Changes at the Top
J. Bryan Hehir is resigning as head of Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the end of 2001 to become the president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, a nationwide network of social-service agencies based in Alexandria, Virginia. Hehir is the recipient of numerous honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship, and specializes in Catholic teaching as well as international relations. During his tenure at the helm of Harvard Divinity, Hehir continued to assist at St. Paul’s Church in Cambridge and act as counselor for Catholic Relief Services, all while leading the campaign to raise $11 million to expand and renovate Andover-Harvard Theological Library. Hehir will assume his new duties January 1, 2002. No announcement has been made regarding a successor.

Ted A. Campbell was elected president of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois, on May 7. Campbell came to the post July 1 from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., where he served seven years as professor of the history of Christianity. He succeeds Neil F. Fisher, who is retiring after twenty years at the helm of the United Methodist school.

William C. Imes will become the ninth president of Bangor Theological Seminary, Bangor, Maine, in mid-August. Imes currently serves as minister of First Parish Church, United Church of Christ, Brunswick, the largest UCC congregation in Maine. His predecessor, Ansley Coe Throckmorton, retires in July.

Kurt Belsole, O.S.B., has been appointed rector of Saint Vincent Seminary, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, having previously served as assistant rector. He has taught theology and monastic studies at the seminary since 1983 and has also taught at the Pontifical Athenaeum of Saint Anselm in Rome during spring semesters since 1995. He replaces Thomas Acklin, O.S.B., who served as rector since 1989. Acklin will continue to teach at the seminary, broadcast his radio show, conduct his private psychology practice, and write books.

Dominic Aquila has been appointed president of New Geneva Theological Seminary, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Aquila is currently editor of PCANEWS, the web magazine of the Presbyterian Church in America. New Geneva was established in 1993 as an extension of Knox Seminary in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, a school Aquila helped to found. In 1998, New Geneva was incorporated as a separate institution.

SeJin Koh has been appointed to serve as the seventh president of Jerusalem University College, Israel. Koh has been a member of the faculty since 1992 and has served as director of archeological projects. He succeeds Sidney DeWaal, who was president since 1993. DeWaal retired in June and will live in Portland, Oregon.

Sister Anne Anderson, C.S.J. was named dean of the faculty of theology at University of St. Michael’s College, in Toronto, effective July 1, 2001. She succeeds Brian Hogan, C.S.B., who will return to his regular teaching appointment. Anderson previously served as the faculty’s director of Israel programs and has held senior appointments in health care administration.

Harold R. Watkins has been named interim president of Lexington Theological Seminary. Richard L. Harrison, Jr., the Kentucky school’s previous president, left at the end of May to become pastor of Seventh Street Christian Church in Richmond, Virginia. Watkins came out of retirement to take the position, having last served as president of the board of church extension of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Charles W. Moore became president of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary July 1. He comes to the position after serving eleven years as senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Charlotte, Michigan. Moore succeeds Ian M. Chapman, who is retiring from the presidency of the Lombard, Illinois, school after thirteen years of service and is assuming the role of chancellor.

Mark L. Bailey is the new president of Dallas Theological Seminary. He has been at the Texas school since 1985, when he became a professor in the Bible exposition department. He was named vice president for academic affairs in 1996, and provost in 2000. Charles Swindoll, who spent seven years as president, has become chancellor.

R. Philip Roberts has taken over as the fourth president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Missouri. Roberts formerly served as vice president with the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention and has extensive overseas experience, including a stint as founding dean of a seminary in Romania. He comes to the smallest of the Southern Baptist seminaries two years after former president Mark Coppenger was fired over anger management problems.

Frank Matera will be stepping down as chair of the department of theology at Catholic University of America, effective August 15. He will be replaced by James Wiseman, who comes to the position having last served as department chair three years before. Wiseman comes off sabbatical to assume the role, having just authored a book on the relationship of science and religion; Matera will go on sabbatical, staying on campus to pen a commentary on Second Corinthians.

G. Michael Hagan took over the top position at North American Baptist Seminary, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on July 1. He had been serving as academic vice president since 1995 and teaching Old Testament and Hebrew Bible at the school since 1984. Hagan replaced the interim president John Binder, who is retired and plans to travel, and previous president Charles Hiatt, who still serves the school as executive director of its leadership foundation.

Robert Brooks is serving as interim CEO of the International School of Theology, Fontana, California. Dale Duncan resigned as president in November 2000.

Larry Alan Blakeburn has resigned as president of Memphis Theological Seminary, Memphis, Tennessee.David Hilliard is currently serving as interim president.

Leon Sullivan Dies
Leon Sullivan, author of the Sullivan Principles and a major player in the collapse of apartheid, died April 24, aged 78. A native of Charleston, West Virginia, he was a graduate of Union Theological Seminary, New York, and pastor for thirty-eight years of Zion Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In the 1960s Sullivan organized a boycott of businesses that would not hire African Americans. The boycott’s slogan was “Don’t buy where you don’t work.”

In 1971, he became the first African American to serve on the board of directors of General Motors. Using his GM board seat as a platform, Sullivan drafted the Sullivan Principles in 1977. The principles called on American companies working in South Africa to offer equal pay to workers of all races, to institute training programs and increase the number of black and mixed-race South Africans in management positions, and to pay attention to the workers’ quality of life outside of the workplace. Although 125 U.S. companies eventually adopted the principles, Sullivan himself abandoned them in 1987 and allied himself with those who advocated an international boycott of South Africa until apartheid ended.

Henry Williams Sherrill, 1922-2001
The Reverend Henry W. Sherrill, 78, a pioneer in the governance of nonprofit organizations, a cofounder of the Cheswick Center, and greatly valued mentor and friend of In Trust, died March 21. At the time of his death he lived in Peoria, Arizona.

Sherrill, whose father Henry Knox Sherrill was a presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, traced his interest in institutional governance to his days as a student of Paul Tillich and Reinhold Niebuhr at Union Theological Seminary in New York in the late 1940s. He subsequently was graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary and was ordained an Episcopal priest.

In 1965, after serving as rector of an Episcopal church in Cincinnati, he became the first executive officer of the Diocese of Southern Ohio and was charged with supervising the governance of a wide variety of diocesan institutions.

Out of that experience came his founding of Consultation Search, an organization devoted to development of mechanisms that would lead to more effective clergy placement, and the Cheswick Center, a cohort of nonprofit governance professionals committed to trustee training and development. Sherrill served as Cheswick’s chair until his retirement in 1991.

In many of his nonprofit governance consultations Sherrill worked as a team with his wife and colleague Martha Weeks Sherrill, who survives him.

Among the prayers offered at a memorial service for Sherrill in St. Paul’s Cathedral, Boston, Massachusetts, on April 20 was one of Sherrill’s own composition:

O thou who art present in every place and from whose love neither space nor distance can separate us, give us to know that those who are absent from each other are still present with thee, and grant that, though separated, we may realize our communion with one another in the fellowship of thy service, here and always.


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