Soo-Young Kwon, a 1995 Master of Divinity graduate of the Boston University School of Theology, has been appointed as the Dean of the College of Theology and the United Graduate School of Theology at Yonsei University. Dr. Kwon has served as a Professor of Pastoral Theology as well as the Director of the Center for Counseling and Coaching Services at the United Graduate School of Theology. He also serves as President of the Association of Korean Counseling Professionals, the Korean Association of Couple and Family Counseling, and the Korean Association of Christian Counseling and Psychology.
The United Graduate School of Theology was first founded in 1885 by United States missionaries and then formally established in 1964 as a collaborative effort by the National Council of the Churches in Korea and Theological Educational Fund of World Council of Churches.
Dr. Kwon will begin his deanship on February 1, 2018. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Kwon on this major professional accomplishment!
Professor John Stanfield’s (’05) recent publication in The Star, a major South African newspaper, sheds light on the president’s recent statements concerning immigration and African countries. The full story can be read below.
Reverend Gilbert Caldwell, in collaboration with Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey and Bishop Melvin Talbert, has released a new publication promoting the inclusion of LBGTQA+ persons in the life of the church entitled Faith at the Intersection: A Collection of Writings for Black and LGBTQ Communities In and Beyond the United Methodist Church. Drawing upon the works of black LGBTQA+ writers, Caldwell, Lightsey, and Talbert bring a new hope to the struggle for liberation.
More details on the work and purchasing options can be found on the Reconciling Ministries Network website.
January 16, 2018 – Associate Dean for Community Life and Lifelong Learning Pamela Lightsey has been invited to an exciting new position as Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, Illinois. Dean Lightsey began her new position on January 1, 2018.
“This is very sad news for us because Dean Lightsey is a treasured member of the BU School of Theology Community. She has given bountifully of her gifts for the past 6½ years, serving with distinction as a wise guide for community life, an innovator in lifelong learning, and a public witness for justice. We are going to miss her greatly,” said Dean Mary Elizabeth Moore.
Assistant Professor of Black Church Studies Theodore Hickman-Maynard will be the Acting Associate Dean for Community Life and Lifelong Learning for spring semester 2018. An official search for the Associate Dean for Community Life and Lifelong Learning position will commence in the Spring 2018 semester. Please watch the space at http://www.bu.edu/sth/resources/job-openings-at-sth/ for the job posting.
Boston University’s annual commemoration of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59) will be shaped this year by growing concerns about the Trump administration’s commitment to civil rights. “In a time when educational bastions are under direct threat from an administration that fears visionary ideas, celebrations that champion King’s scholarship and diverse voices—that remind us of our best possibilities, rooted in freedom—are even more precious,” says award-winning poet Kamilah Aisha Moon, who will speak at the celebration, beginning at 2 pm Monday, January 15, at the George Sherman Union.
Moon, an Agnes Scott College assistant professor of poetry and creative writing, will be among several speakers reflecting “on the depth, power, and ever-increasing relevance” of King’s words beyond the famous “I Have a Dream” speech, says Kenneth Elmore (SED’87), associate provost and dean of students, who is overseeing this year’s program, titled Words Beyond the Dream.
Monday’s event will also include remarks by BU President Robert A. Brown, as well as by Katherine Kennedy, director of the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, Jean Morrison, University provost and chief academic officer, poet Danez Smith, Babatunde Alford (CAS’18), and BU trustee Carol Fulp, president and CEO of the nonprofit Partnership, Inc., which supports a multicultural workforce. Music will be performed by the School of Theology Seminary Singers, the Inner Strength Gospel Choir, the BU Academy Jazz Band, and the Medical Campus Blues Band.
“We will create a chorus of voices that elevate and illuminate Dr. King’s profound thinking and action related to the issues of community, justice, peace, and love,” says Elmore.
Please read the full story at: http://www.bu.edu/today/2018/martin-luther-king-jr-events-boston/
This summer the Transforming Chaplaincy Research Summer Institute will be hosted at the Boston University School of Theology, July 23-27. This 5-day seminary is designed for chaplains who would like to develop modest projects to advance their understanding of chaplaincy-related issues and practices. More information can be found in the attached flyer or on their website.
Boston, MA, November 20, 2017 – The Boston Declaration, condemning the abuse of the Christian faith by many conservatives today, was just written, signed and released by over 300 hundred Christian theologians attending the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature, an annual meeting of nearly 10,000 professionals in religion.
In a dramatic press conference at Boston’s famous Old South Church, where many dressed in sackcloth and ashes to call for repentance and change in Christianity in the United States, the presenters were clear that white American Evangelicalism is in a crisis, a crisis of its own making. It has abandoned the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Is Roy Moore a hill on which Evangelicals are prepared to die? As for me and my house, ‘Hell no, we won’t go,’” said Evangelical theologian Rev. Dr. Peter Heltzel, Associate Professor of Theology at New York Theological Seminary, asking the crisis question and answering it. “During difficult days in our nation, The Boston Declaration calls Christians to follow the Jesus Way, bearing prophetic witness to Christ through fight racism, sexism, poverty and all forms of oppression.”
One of the key organizers of The Boston Declaration, Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey, Associate Dean at Boston University School of Theology, contrasted the Gospel teachings with what is being peddled as Christianity today in some conservative circles, both religious and political. She said:
We are here because Jesus taught us to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” We are here because we take the parable of the Good Samaritan to heart. We are here because we refuse to allow Christianity to be co-opted by the likes of people who support abuse of women, the closing of our nation to the immigrant in need and the normalizing of lie after lie after lie.
Finally, we are here because we believe our nation yearns to hear from us this day and to watch for how our commitment as Christian theologians continues into the election season of next year.
Boston, MA, November 20, 2017 – “Any time we can bring our various worlds together in one room and reflect, I think the church of Jesus Christ benefits,” said the Rev. Mary Elizabeth Moore, dean of Boston University School of Theology.
The meeting — or colloquy, as organizers called it — occurred Nov. 12-15 in Boston under the title “Missio Dei and the United States: Toward a Faithful United Methodist Witness.”
“Missio Dei,” or the mission of God, proved a broad term, generating a wide range of topics for scholarly papers by colloquy participants and presenting a challenge as the group tried to consider how their work could help guide a denomination divided over homosexuality.
Read the full story by Sam Hodges of the United Methodist News Service here.
Dr. Xochitl Alvizo (STH ’07, ’15), along with Gina Messina, has edited a collection of works authored by feminist and womanist scholars and theologians. The collection invites the reader to imagine new possibilities for thought and action while tapping into a myriad of religious and social traditions.
You can read more reviews and purchase the work here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marketing & Communications Manager, School of Theology
BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY ANNOUNCES
TWO NEW DENOMINATIONAL LEARNING COMMUNITIES
BOSTON, MA | November 9, 2017 – Boston University School of Theology (BUSTH) is pleased to announce that it has formed two new denominational learning communities, in collaboration with the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC). The mission of each learning community is to form a community of students, faculty, and staff dedicated to nurturing and preparing Episcopal and UCC students for future leadership and service in and through the church. The Anglican Episcopal Community of Learning (AECL) and the United Church of Christ Community of Learning (UCCCL) are specialized programs that aim to provide the best possible education in an ecumenical community that values the unique gifts, histories, and ministerial legacies of these denominations.
The mission of these two Communities of Learning is to form a community of students, faculty, and staff dedicated to nurturing and preparing global Anglican, Episcopal, and United Church of Christ students for future leadership and service in and through their distinctive traditions. Communities of Learning seek to nurture the next generation of leaders for ministries in the churches and in service to the larger world. The intention is to equip students in their own distinctive denominational traditions and in ecumenical traditions of Christianity, providing them with curricular and co-curricular opportunities to ground their academic, spiritual, ecclesial, professional, and social-global growth. At the same time, BUSTH seeks to enrich the ecumenical and global life for all students at the School.
The two Communities of Learning share common features that respond to unique denominational traditions and needs, such as courses, co-curricular opportunities, contextual education, spiritual life offerings, mentors and consultants, and opportunities to connect with programs and projects of the denominations and the School of Theology. These projects may focus on theological traditions, social justice, worship, sacred music, mission, and other important concerns. The rich collaborations and shared courses with other schools of the Boston Theological Institute will also be a part of the BUSTH Communities of Learning experience. Students in these two denominations will be eligible, as all of our students are, for generous scholarships to further their studies. More details are available at http://www.bu.edu/sth/community/ecl/ and http://www.bu.edu/sth/community/ucccl/.
“We have long had a significant number of global Anglican, Episcopal, and United Church of Christ students,” says Dean Mary Elizabeth Moore, who expresses enthusiasm for these Communities of Learning. “We value what these students and their churches have contributed to an STH education for at least five decades. Now we are able to offer more comprehensive support of the Episcopal and UCC students and to enhance ecumenical learning and global-ecumenical community for the entire community. This is the beginning of a new era in theological education at Boston University.”
BUSTH is grateful for the wise and generous leaders of the Episcopal and UCC churches, as well as its alumni/ae and students. Many have offered direction and ideas for the Communities of Learning. These collaborations will be ongoing and will not be limited geographically, though the consultations to date have been largely within the ecclesial bodies of Massachusetts and New England. These established Communities of Learning will continue to grow and change over time, with the addition of certificates and adaptations that are required by an ever-changing church.
Since 1839, Boston University School of Theology has been preparing leaders to do good. A seminary of the United Methodist Church, Boston University School of Theology is a robustly ecumenical institution that welcomes students from diverse faith traditions who are pursuing a wide range of vocations – parish ministry, conflict transformation, chaplaincy, campus ministry, administration, non-profit management, social work, teaching, justice advocacy, peacemaking, interfaith dialogue, and more. Our world-renowned faculty and strong heritage help students nurture their academic goals and realize any ministry imaginable. For more information, please visit bu.edu/sth.