By Kimberly Macdonald

Significant Honors for Professor Nimi Wariboko

March 21st, 2019 in Alumni/ae News, News

Professor Nimi Wariboko has a list of upcoming achievements and honors to add to his list of lifetime achievements and awards.

He will be inducted into the American Theological Society in the Society’s meeting in Princeton Theological Seminary this weekend, beginning March 22. Other School of Theology faculty among the select 100 members are Professor Emeritus Robert Neville, Professor Wesley Wildman, and Professor Walter Fluker

The BU Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs will launch Professor Wariboko’s most recent book, Ethics and Society in Nigeria: Identity, History, and Political Theory onWednesday April 3, 2019, 4:00pm, Hillel, 4th floor (213 Bay State Road). The School of Theology and the African Studies Center are co-sponsoring this event: https://www.bu.edu/cura/nimi-wariboko-book-launch/

Finally, Professor Wariboko will deliver the 41st W. E. B. Du Bois Distinguished Lecture at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, on November 13, 2019. Nimi adds to a distinguished line of lecturers, including people in history, political science, creative writing, law, and sociology. Visit https://africanastudies.umbc.edu/w-e-b-du-bois-lecture-series for more information.

Congratulations to Professor Wariboko!

Rev. Dr. Shively T. J. Smith to Appear in History Channel Special

March 20th, 2019 in Alumni/ae News, News

Rev. Dr. Shively T. J. Smith, Assistant Professor of New Testament, will appear as an expert on the History Channel series “Jesus: His Life”. The showings begin on Monday, March 25 at 8pm EDT, and with two back-to-back episodes weekly leading to Easter (March 25, April 1, April 8, and April 15).

The story is told through the eyes of those who knew Jesus.  The series interviewed or consulted with more than 25 of the most prominent theologians, historians, biblical scholars and faith leaders from across the ideological spectrum to create a complete portrait of Jesus and the times in which he lived, combining a narrative retelling of Jesus that follows the Gospel accounts with attention to the cultural and historical context. The order of the episodes are:

• Joseph – The Nativity

• John The Baptist – The Mission

• Mary Mother – The First Miracles

• Caiaphas – The Rising of Lazarus

• Judas – The Betrayal

• Pilate – The Trial

• Mary Magdalene – The Crucifixion

• Peter – The Resurrection

For more information and to find showtimes in your area, please visit https://www.aenetworks.com/article/history-to-premiere-eight-part-event-jesus-his-life-on-monday-march-25.

Cry Against Terror: A Message from Dean Moore about the New Zealand Shooting

March 18th, 2019 in Alumni/ae News, News

March 15, 2019

Dear Beloved Community,

Our neighbors, half-way across the world, have been terrorized, and we grieve and cry out with them. While people prayed in the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, a horrifying attack took 49 lives and injured many more, including children and families. We grieve for those who were killed, those who have been left behind, and those whose lives have been traumatized. The attacks ripped at the security and wellbeing of Muslims worldwide, and the dignity and decency of the human family. I hope we can join together to decry bigotry and hatred wherever it festers in the human family, and to mourn all forces that dehumanize and demonize anyone or any community. People of Christchurch, and people of Islam, we link our hearts with yours.  

Tomorrow and the next day and the next, we in the Boston University School of Theology will be standing with our Muslim neighbors. I pray that we will find ways to offer compassion and concern, and commit ourselves to reshape human culture into one of love and dignity. 

The Islamic Society of Boston University is planning a vigil to take place Monday, March 18, 7:00-8:00 pm on the Marsh Plaza. You are invited to participate.

Salam/Shalom/Peace,
Mary Elizabeth Moore

New England and Northeast Responses to United Methodist General Conference

March 15th, 2019 in Alumni/ae News, News

In response to the recent ruling at the February United Methodist Church General Conference meeting in St. Louis, the following statements have been issued by the New England Board of Ordained Ministry, New England Conference Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, and the New England Jurisdictional Committee on Ministry. Please see those statements below.

Message from Co-Chairs of the New England Board of Ministry

Message from Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar and New England Conference Cabinet

NEJ COM Statement of Understanding March 2019

School of Theology Welcomes New Assistant Professor of Theology

March 13th, 2019 in Alumni/ae News, News

Boston, MA – March 13, 2018 – Boston University School of Theology is pleased to announce the new appointment of new full-time faculty member Filipe Maia, who will begin on July 1, 2019, for the 2019-2020 academic year. Professor Maia will join the faculty as Assistant Professor of Theology.

Professor Maia focuses his work in postmodern theology and philosophy, Latin American and Latino/a liberation theologies and philosophy, economic justice, eschatology, postcolonial and decolonial theologies, and Wesleyan studies. Professor Maia completed his ThD at Harvard University in 2017, and has been on the faculty at the Pacific School of Religion. In his dissertation, “Trading Futures: Future-Talk, Finance, and Christian Eschatology,” he interwove theological and philosophical themes of future and hope with economic analysis and liberation. Prof. Maia currently works closely with the United Methodist and global Methodist Churches, with local Latinx communities, and with students in the Portuguese Course of Study (UMC). In addition to his five articles and book chapters and his book underway, he overflows with a creative vision for the future of his teaching and research.

Dean Mary Elizabeth Moore says “He will be a wise, warm, and vital member of the STH community, and we welcome him with great enthusiasm.” 

Professor Filipe Maia. Photo courtesy of Dr. Maia

News from Bishop Devadhar and New England Conference Cabinet

March 11th, 2019 in Alumni/ae News, News

The United Methodist Church New England Conference Cabinet and Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar have released an important statement in response to the February 2019 United Methodist Church General Conference decision. Please find that statement here: New England Conference Cabinet offers a response to the 2019 General Conference

Associate Dean Stone interviewed in Christian Science Monitor

March 8th, 2019 in Alumni/ae News, News

March 7, 2019 – Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism Bryan P. Stone is featured in the Christian Science Monitor story “Pray and Wash: Finding a church in unexpected places.” The article discusses how alternative churches are popping up throughout the country in direct contrast with institutionalized forms of religion.

Read the full article here, and view the video also featuring Dean Stone and his expertise on this subject below. Dean Stone appears at 2:42 and 6:55.

Statement from Association of United Methodist Theological Schools during General Conference Plenary Session

March 1st, 2019 in Alumni/ae News, News

The following statement was read aloud by Kim Ingram, a deacon from North Carolina who serves on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, on the closing day of the United Methodist General Conference. 

———-

Association of United Methodist Theological Schools: Statement delivered during plenary session of the United Methodist Special General Conference

February 26, 2019

I stand to speak on behalf of the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools, which voted yesterday morning to authorize this statement. The Association is composed of the heads of the 13 seminaries of the UMC: Boston [University] School of Theology, Candler School of Theology at Emory, Claremont School of Theology, Drew University Theological School, Duke Divinity School, Gammon Theological Seminary, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Iliff School of Theology, Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Perkins School of Theology, St. Paul School of Theology, United Theological Seminary, and Wesley Theological Seminary.

Ever since the 2016 General Conference in Portland, our United Methodist students and those who are considering seminary have been waiting to see what will happen here in St. Louis at the Special General Conference. Most of our students are young, with the majority under 30 years old. Public opinion polls in the United States clearly demonstrate that younger people in this country, including deeply devoted Christians, do not want to organize their spiritual and church lives around the question of excluding LGBTQIA persons.

It is clear to all of us as heads of seminaries that if the Traditional Plan passes, many students and prospective students may decide there is no place for them in this denomination. If the Traditional Plan passes, we may very soon lose an entire generation of leadership here in the United States. This may not be true in Africa or elsewhere in the world. But the future of The United Methodist Church in this country is at stake here today.

Moreover, according to the recent statement by the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church, many if not most of our colleges and universities and seminaries will separate from the UMC, and this denomination will no longer demonstrate its commitment to education for all leaders. These institutions of higher education will react not in anger, but in sorrow and resignation. The seriousness of such a direction of exclusion for our institutions of higher learning cannot be overstated.

Again, all of the heads of the official seminaries of the UMC want you to know that the future of The United Methodist Church in this country is at stake. Please, please vote against the Traditional Plan.

A Letter to Prospective BU School of Theology Students – Responding to the UMC 2019 General Conference

February 27th, 2019 in News

We invite prospective students to read the following personal letter written by Director of Enrollment Rev. Dr. Anastasia E. B. Kidd (STH’04,’18). 

As a prospective student to Boston University School of Theology (BUSTH) you deserve a word from our institution with regard to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC), which ended last night in St. Louis. Many of you may have followed the General Conference as it was unfolding, or perhaps saw the news on national media. With the passing of the “Traditional Plan,” the delegates at the conference voted not only to affirm but also to strengthen the church’s current bans on ordaining LGBTQIA+ people and officiating or hosting same-sex marriages. As our Dean Mary Elizabeth Moore offered in her Letter of Response to this outcome, “The vote of 438 (Yes) to 384 (No) was a stark and painful mark of deep divisions within the Church and institutionalized rejection of the full inclusion of LGBTQIA peoples.” 

First, please know that the Boston University School of Theology’s mission statement, community principles, and statement on diversity stand as markers of this institution’s “commitment to cultivate a culture that upholds the dignity of individual and communal differences in the human family,” including those of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Students, faculty, and staff gathered this morning for Chapel Worship and Community Lunch, as we do each Wednesday of the school year. Together we grieved the pain that the General Conference’s decision has caused. You can hear on our chapel Livestream Associate Dean for Students and Community Life, Rev. Dr. Teddy Hickman-Maynard’s impromptu comments to the gathered congregation (forward to minute 19:35), which capture the sentiments of so many of us this day.

I personally want to join our Deans in offering a clear word to any prospective student who is a member of the LGBTQIA+ community or a queer ally: BUSTH remains a seminary that welcomes and affirms your spiritual gifts, and where you can be trained to be a religious leader for a world so clearly in need of your giftedness.

If you are without a community in which you can process the decisions of General Conference and are in need of such support, we have many current students, staff, and faculty who would be glad to be a resource and listening ear. Please be in touch (sthadmis@bu.edu or 617-353-3036) to let us know how we can be helpful to you. This offer is made to you regardless of where you ultimately attend seminary. Though we hope you’ll choose BUSTH for your studies, we offer our community for your support without any expectation in return.

You can follow our community on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, if you would like to do so, to see how our continuing response to General Conference unfolds. And may we all pray for those in the queer community, the UMC, and beyond who are hurting right now.

Sincerely, 

Anastasia

Rev. Dr. Anastasia E. B. Kidd

Dean Moore’s Response to UMC General Conference Outcome

February 27th, 2019 in Alumni/ae News, News

Dear Community, 

I write with a heavy heart at the close of the General Conference 2019. The United Methodist Church voted in the closing hours of the Special Session of the General Conference to adopt the Traditional Plan as the way forward for the denomination. The vote of 438 (Yes) to 384 (No) was a stark and painful mark of deep divisions within the Church and institutionalized rejection of the full inclusion of LGBTQIA peoples.

The Traditional Plan was the only plan before the Church that left no space for the ordination and marriage of LGBTQIA people and very little space for people who hold diverse views on LGBTQIA full inclusion, The plan is accompanied by an intensified enforcement of the restrictive language that is already in The Book of Discipline, thus closing spaces within the denomination for people who cannot in good conscience exclude the LGBTQIA community from full participation in ministry and the blessings of marriage. The result will likely be a considerable escalation of church trials and stronger consequences for persons who act counter to The Book of Discipline as a matter of conscience.

The Church also voted in favor of two dis-affiliation plans that are designed to allow churches to remove themselves from the denomination if they cannot remain in good conscience. The decisions made by the General Conference have been referred to the Judicial Council to rule on Constitutionality, and the results of the Judicial Council decisions will shape the enactment of the plan. It may also identify parts of the plan and the petitions as unconstitutional. 

The Boston University School of Theology will continue to hold our statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion as our standard for a fully inclusive community. We are committed to build a future in which we enact our ideals with full commitment, honest critique of ourselves, and prophetic witness. We will continue to seek justice and compassion for all people – people who are LGBTQIA, people of diverse races and ethnicities, people who hold diverse theological commitments, people from all countries and regions, and ALL of God’s people! We commit ourselves to do justice and work for full diversity, equity, and inclusions in the church and society. We are not perfect, but we will continue to grow in our capacity to be the School of the Prophets – a vision that has guided our 180 years of existence and will continue to shape us.

I close with respect for all of you, whose views are as diverse as the stars. I close with determination to find a better way forward that does not deny the sacred worth or full inclusion of any of you or any part of the human family. I do this in full awareness of my own shortfalls and my deepest hope to live into the Wesleyan vision of growing always in love. 

– Mary Elizabeth Moore, Dean and Professor of Theology and Education