By Bryan P Stone

STH Launches New Distance-Based DMin in Fall 2014

May 2nd, 2014 in News

Boston University has approved the School of Theology’s proposal to redesign its existing, long-standing residential D.Min. into a mixed-delivery program that can be pursued through a combination of intensive on-site D.Min. seminars and distance education courses that students can take from their home location. The new model focuses on Transformational Leadership and can be completed in three years. The Doctor of Ministry degree (D.Min.) is a professional doctoral degree meant to enrich religious leaders in traditional and non-traditional settings, to deepen their understanding of and commitment to ministry, and to refine its practice.

The degree is composed of 4 seminars that meet on site at STH for one week of intensive work (with preparatory assignments and follow-up work), one in August and one in January in each of the first two years of the program. The intensive seminars provide a rigorous academic foundation in the study of religious leadership, community transformation, and contextual theological analysis, as well as grounding in research methods and opportunities to discuss and shape research projects with faculty and peers. Other cohort and elective courses for the program are offered online, though a student might petition to take an elective course on site at the School of Theology. All courses contribute to the research and professional goals of doctoral students by including reflection opportunities that are directly or indirectly preparatory for the D.Min. project.

The DMin program is designed for persons who have been in ministry for at least three years and who want to support their professional lives with further academic study. For more information, visit the STH website at: www.bu.edu/sth/dmin.

Prof. Dana Robert joins panel discussion on “Advancing the Global Human Condition: Challenges & Opportunities.”

March 1st, 2014 in News

On February 6, 2014, in celebration of the newly established Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at BU, the BU Alumni Association held a panel discussion for students and alumni in Santa Monica, CA. The Panel was entitled, “Advancing the Global Human Condition: Challenges & Opportunities.”

Panelists:
Andrew Bacevich, expert in U.S. foreign policy and national security
Anthony Janetos, authority on climate change and the interaction of land systems with human needs
Adil Najam, a leader in international development and environmental policy
Dana Robert, leading scholar in the history of World Christianity and mission
Jonathon Simon, authority on global public health

To view the video, click here.

More info about the Pardee School: http://www.bu.edu/today/2013/frederick-s-pardee-endows-new-international-affairs-school/

David Farley (STH ’78)

February 1st, 2014 in Alumni/ae Profiles

Reverend David Farley (STH ’78) has ministered for more than 30 years as pastor of Echo Park United Methodist Church in the urban core of Los Angeles. Pastor Farley & Echo Park UMC were involved in both the original Sanctuary Movement for Central American Refugees in the 80s and the New Sanctuary Movement for undocumented families in more recent years. In 2012 David was one of those recognized as a “Giant of Justice” by Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE-LA) in recognition of his contribution to the interfaith struggle for the rights of workers and immigrants. David was named School of Theology Distinguished Alumnus in 2013.

Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey (STH ’76)

January 1st, 2014 in Alumni/ae Profiles

Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey (STH ’76) first felt a calling to the ordained ministry while a student at Boston University School of Theology. Ordained Deacon in 1974 and Elder in 1977, she served churches in the Iowa Annual Conference. She was elected to the episcopacy in 2004 at which time she began serving as the Bishop of the Dakotas Area Annual Conference. In July of 2012 she was assigned to the Michigan Area. She has received honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from both Iowa Wesleyan College (in 2004) and Dakota Wesleyan University (in 2012). She was named School of Theology Distinguished Alumna in 2013.

STH Converts the ThD to the PhD

December 20th, 2013 in News

On December 18, 2013, Boston University approved the proposal of the faculty of the School of Theology to convert its ThD (Doctor of Theology) degree to a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) degree effective January 1, 2014. The current ThD degree will be merged with the present PhD in Practical Theology to produce a single PhD with three tracks: History and Hermeneutics (including Biblical Studies, Church History, Mission Studies, and Liturgical Studies), Constructive Theology and Theological Ethics, and Practical Theology (including Congregation and Community, Evangelism and Missiology, Homiletics, Leadership and Administration, Pastoral Theology and Psychology, Religious Education, Spirituality Studies, and Worship). Students presently in the ThD program will be allowed to transfer into the new PhD program after January 1.

As with the ThD and the present PhD in Practical Theology, the converted PhD will consist of 48 credits, teaching and research internships and assistantships, two language requirements, three qualifying examinations, and a dissertation (including prospectus and defense). At least 36 of those 48 credits (9 courses) must be in coursework related to the track and concentration while up to 12 additional credits (3 courses) may be taken in elective coursework drawn from cognate disciplines or courses that support the research agenda of the individual student. The major/minor structure of the ThD will give way to a single concentration. While this change is largely one of nomenclature, the conversion also requires eliminating overlap with existing theological PhD degrees in the Division of Religious and Theological Studies (DRTS), which is now being renamed the Graduate Division in Religious Studies (GDRS).

The ThD is a longstanding and venerable degree, but one whose nomenclature is less and less understood beyond Boston University and other select universities that offer the degree. There will be no retroactive conversion to the PhD degree for those who have already graduated with the ThD. Boston University does not allow such retroactive conversions. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at STH, however, will provide a letter to any ThD graduate who requests it affirming the equivalency of the two degrees and their only substantial difference being one of nomenclature.

The rationale for converting the STH ThD to a PhD arose out of a two-year study of all advanced degrees conducted by STH faculty, though conversations about the conversion of the ThD to a PhD have taken place throughout the last two decades. The faculty has enthusiastically embraced this new consolidation of programs, together with a continuing excellent relationship with the GDRS.

K. James Wu

December 1st, 2013 in Alumni/ae Profiles

The Rev. Dr. K. James Wu (STH ’99 (M.Div.), STH ’08 (Th.D.)) is an ordained deacon in full connection with the Conference of Methodist Church in Taiwan. Dr. Wu has been appointed to serve as Research Fellow at the Center for Global Christianity and Mission of BUSTH. In 2009, Dr. Wu was called to serve as Assistant Professor of Christian Theology at the Methodist Graduate School of Theology, Taipei, Taiwan and is now serving as Dean of Academic Affairs of the school. Appointed by the Conference of the Methodist Church in Taiwan, Dr. Wu also serves as a committee member of the Liturgical Committee and Theology Committee in the World Federation Chinese Methodist Churches, a global Wesleyan body affiliated with the World Methodist Council.

Yo Han Bae (STH ’07)

November 2nd, 2013 in Alumni/ae Profiles

Reverend Dr. Yo Han Bae (STH 2007) graduated from Boston University with a Th.D. and has been teaching at Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary since 2008. Prof. Bae’s primary research interest is the comparative study between Christian Theology and East-Asian religious traditions (Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism). He is also interested in seeking the solid and evangelical Christian theology by encountering post-modern trends and East-Asian religious traditions. His book, “Understanding Confucianism with the View of an Christian Theologian (Sinhakjaga pureosseun Yugo Iyagi),” is the first book which is one of the books in the series, “Understanding of East-Asian religious tradition with the View of an Christian Theologian (Sinhakjaga pureosseun Dongyang jonggyo Iyagi),” and received the Somang Prize in 2012. His next book will be published September 2013. He still misses Boston and remains a Boston Red sox fan along with his two sons.

Soo-Young Kwon (STH ’95)

October 2nd, 2013 in Alumni/ae Profiles

Soo-Young Kwon (STH ’95) is Professor of Pastoral Theology at United Graduate School of Theology, Yonsei University, Korea. Dr. Kwon is also director of Yonsei University Center for Counseling and Coaching Services. He initiated the very first academic training program of Coaching (Clergy/Pastoral Coaching, Business Executive Coaching, and Study/Life Coaching programs) in Korea in 2007. The Center has over 400 counselors/coaches-in-training and has offered approximately 15,000 sessions annually. Dr. Kwon was a recipient of the Best Researcher Award in Humanities (2007) and Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching three times at Yonsei University. He is the author of more than 10 books on Pastoral Theology and Counseling, Spirituality and Coaching. Kwon holds a BA in Theology from Yonsei University, an M.Div. from Boston University, and Th.M. from Harvard University. He earned his Ph.D. in Religion & Psychology from GTU, Berkeley.

Ronald Johnson (MDiv ’06)

September 3rd, 2013 in Alumni/ae Profiles

Ronald Angelo Johnson (M.Div., STH 2006) chose BUSTH because of the spiritual impact the writings of alumnus Martin Luther King, Jr. had on his life. A native of rural East Texas, he expected the diversity of theological thought among faculty and classmates to challenge his views. And did it ever! His experience equipped him to provide pastoral leadership for theologically diverse, cross-cultural congregations in Boston, New Hampshire, and Indiana. He holds degrees from Texas State University (B.A.), the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (M.A.), Purdue University (Ph.D.) and is the author of the forthcoming book Diplomacy in Black and White: John Adams, Toussaint Louverture, and Their Atlantic World Alliance (January 2014). He is an assistant professor of history at Texas State University and an associate minister at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Austin. His research and teaching are informed by his Christian ministry, and his previous work as a chapel manager in the Air Force, as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, and as a U.S. diplomat in Luxembourg and Gabon.

Hikari Kokai Chang (STM ’88)

July 31st, 2013 in Alumni/ae Profiles

The Rev. Hikari Kokai Chang is a regional missionary of The United Methodist Church serving as administrative and program director of the Wesley Foundation in Tokyo, Japan. Regional missionaries are placed and supported by United Methodist Women. Hikari was appointed in 2012 to lead the Wesley Foundation, an independent organization engaged in activities of public benefit with strong ties to United Methodist Women and the General Board of Global Ministries. Her work includes promoting educational and social activities in partnership with churches and other nongovernmental organizations. Hikari was ordained in the New England Annual Conference and is now a member of the New York Annual Conference. She served pastorates in both Annual Conferences. Hikari and her husband, the Rev. Paul Hak-Soon Chang (M.Div. 1989), Executive Director of Korean National Plan, have two daughters.