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BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY TO OFFER DUAL DEGREES WITH BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
Boston, MA – June 15, 2017 – Boston University School of Theology is happy to announce the launch of two new dual degrees in partnership with the School of Education beginning this fall. Students pursuing the Master of Divinity (MDiv) or Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degrees will now be able to combine those degrees with a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with as little as one extra semester added to their STH programs. Students must be admitted individually to both schools.
Both the three-year MDiv and the two-year MTS at the School of Theology engage students in a deep exploration of theological traditions in dialogue with broad understanding of the complexities of the global context. Students in the MTS have opportunities to prepare for a variety of contributions to communities, to faith, and to knowledge while the MDiv educates prophetic religious leaders in multiple roles for a variety of contexts such as pastoral ministry, chaplaincy, the academy, and other forms of global, community, and ministerial engagement.
The Master of Arts in Teaching degree program in the School of Education is designed for college graduates who want to continue their studies in an academic field, and at the same time secure initial licensure to teach at the secondary level. Currently, the School of Education offers MAT degrees in English Education, Mathematics Education, Modern Foreign Language Education, Science Education, and Social Studies Education. While the MAT program requires students to possess an undergraduate degree, or equivalent amount of coursework, in the intended area of study, the program does not presume students have completed coursework in education. The MAT program leads to licensure as a middle or high school teacher in all states and in the District of Columbia through reciprocal licensure agreements. (Individual states may have other requirements).
Both the School of Education and the School of Theology have a long and distinguished history of offering dual degrees within Boston University. In addition to its joint program with the School of Music leading to the Master of Sacred Music (MSM) degree (the dual MDiv/MSM is also available), the School of Theology has for over 30 years offered dual degrees with the School of Social Work that provide holistic, integrated, and contextual training for those going into various forms of social ministry, advocacy work, or faith-based clinical and macro social work practice.
According to STH Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Bryan Stone, “Opportunities abound for religious educators in both secular and religious contexts, not only for the teaching of a particular religion, but for teaching any number of other subjects in religious or faith-based institutions. STH faculty believe the combination of expertise in theology and religion with the various academic fields for which the MAT prepares persons will uniquely position graduates from the dual degree as interdisciplinary leaders and educators with broad intellectual horizons and pedagogical depth.”
For more information on the new theology/education dual degrees, please contact the STH Admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Associate Dean Bryan Stone and several other faculty members have contributed their creativity and energy to grant proposals over the past few months, and the result of their efforts has paid dividends. Many thanks for these collaborative efforts that will lead the STH community to continue their innovative strides.
Dr. Jesudas Athyal, a visiting researcher at the School of Theology’s Center for Global Christianity and Mission, will be co-convener of the Hindu-Christian Dialogue of the National Council of Churches. He has been at the Center for Global Christianity and Mission for the past seven years, and he has extensive teaching and research experience in the areas of philosophy, theology, religion and social analysis. He is the author of An Adventure in Faith: The Story of Dr. A. K. Tharien (Tiruvalla, India, 2004), and co-author of Understanding World Christianity – India (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2016).
“Dr. Jesudas Athyal is an outstanding choice to lead the Hindu-Christian dialogue of the National Council of Churches,” said Dr. Dana Robert, Director of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission. “He has made major contributions to the history of religions in South Asia, and to the history and sociology of Christianity in India. His presence at the Center for Global Christianity and Mission enriches the intercultural and interreligious understanding of faculty and students at the School of Theology.”
Please see below for the full press release, available on www.nationalcouncilofchurches.us.
National Council of Churches Announces Two New Dialogues
The National Council of Churches USA and The Guibord Center – Religion Inside Out are pleased to announce their intention to explore the formation of a new Buddhist-Christian Dialogue and a new Hindu-Christian Dialogue. These dialogues, both national in scope, will be concentrated primarily on the west coast.
Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC’s 38 member communions — from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches — include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.
NCC News contact: Steven D. Martin: 202.412.4323 or email@example.com.
School of Theology Professor of philosophy, theology, and ethics, Wesley Wildman, has adopted computer simulation to help him tackle previously unanswerable questions in the field of religion. The answers he and his research students seek might help explain potential benefits from religion, such as better mental health, to its evils, such as violence in the name of God.
View the full story on BU Today at http://www.bu.edu/today/2017/what-computer-modeling-can-tell-us-about-religion
Concern for Covenant and Courage: Sharing from my heart
Dear Beloved Community,
How can a church body give public witness again and again to the “illegality” of LGBTQ persons? People can disagree in their perspectives on homosexuality and gender identity without focusing the church’s energies on upholding one view of biblical interpretation and holiness, and doing so in ways that violate human lives and silently feed violence in the larger society. That is what a covenantal community is: a community held by God, seeking to love one another in all of our differences and seeking to love the world together.
No one is beloved if all are not beloved. Love cannot be stingy! The witness of the Christian Church, and the witness of any religious tradition, cannot be less than full love for every person and every being in God’s creation. Why then can the United Methodist Church (my beloved church!) persist in naming one group of people as violators of church law, thus shaping social attitudes that can quickly turn against people in the LGBTQ community, and against immigrants, persons of color, and any other community who have been subject to generations of discrimination?
The United Methodist Judicial Council ruling of April 28, 2017, can be debated legally and the consequences are still in the hands of due process. The Judicial Council’s decision was to declare the consecration of Bishop Karen Oliveto against Church law, though Bishop Oliveto remains in good standing in the United Methodist Church until such time that due process might conclude otherwise. This is more than a legal decision, however. It is a symbolic public witness. Such witness places judgment in the limelight, rather than commitment to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31a). Ironically, the decision is made as the UMC Commission on a Way Forward seeks a path of unity that can embrace all people, while also recognizing that people hold conflicting and sincerely-held perspectives.
In the aftershock of this ruling, I think of our BU School of Theology community. As a people, we are diverse in every way, including gender identity and sexual orientation, faith tradition, race, country of origin, abilities, social class, immigration status, and theological and social perspectives. What does it mean to be in covenant with such a community – to love and live well with all? Similarly, what does it mean for United Methodist to be in covenant with a large, global denomination? One thing it does not and cannot mean is that everyone in the community looks and thinks alike, that the community is bound by agreement. In Christian perspective, covenant is a gift of God, and it binds all people and creatures to God and one another.
Bishop Oliveto understands this herself. She wrote on Facebook after the decision was rendered: “There is much more to say but for now remember these words from Ephesians 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Let our love for each other (which is a good and holy thing) and the love of God (which never fails us) be our guide in these days. May we all have courage to live in such a Spirit-led, covenantal way!
With deep compassion for all of you,
Mary Elizabeth Moore
 See http://www.umc.org/decisions/71953 for a digest of the Judicial Council decision. Key elements include: “Paragraph 304.3 prohibits the consecration as bishop of a self-avowed practicing homosexual … Under the long-standing principle of legality, no individual member or entity may violate, ignore, or negate Church law. It is not lawful for the college of bishops of any jurisdictional or central conference to consecrate a self-avowed practicing homosexual bishop. Paragraph 310.2(d) requires that all clergy persons make a complete dedication to the highest ideals of the Christian life, including but not limited to, their commitment to abide by and uphold the Church’s definition of marriage and stance on homosexuality. An openly homosexual and partnered bishop is in violation of these minimum standards.”
 Quoted with permission.
Congratulations to Brenda Lifland Buckwell (STH’98), who recently published a book titled, The Advent of God’s Word: Listening for the Power of the Divine Whisper, Skylights Path Publisher.
Brenda is the founder of Living Streams Flowing Water (2016) online and onsite spiritual formation ministry provides spiritual direction, coaching, educator, consultation with leadership teams for integration of spiritual formation as foundation of ministry and retreat leadership. www.livingstreamsflowingwater.com
Boston University School of Theology alumna Jennifer Quigley (STH ’11) has been named one of 21 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows for 2017 at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
The Newcombe Fellowship is the nation’s largest and most prestigious award for doctoral candidates in the humanities and social sciences, addressing questions of ethical and religious values. Each Fellow receives a 12-month award of $25,000 to support their final year of dissertation work.
Jennifer is completing her ThD dissertation titled Divine Accounting: Theo-economic Rhetoric in the Letter the Philippians, at the Harvard Divinity School. Congratulations, Jennifer! Please view the full press release from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation below.
PRINCETON, NJ (Tuesday, May 2, 2017)–Today, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has announced awards to 21 exceptional scholars who make up this year’s class of Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows.
The Newcombe Fellowship is the nation’s largest and most prestigious award for Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences addressing questions of ethical and religious values. The highly selective program provides each Fellow with a 12-month award of $25,000 to support the final year of dissertation work.
The 2017 Fellows are writing on such topics as literary representations of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, from 1650 to 1865; the definition of sin as a violation of divine law; how religion has shaped institutional structures and experiences of mass incarceration in the United States; and blasphemy as a legal category in early and medieval Islamic history. (See the full list of Fellows below.)
Fellows are completing their research at some of the nation’s top institutions. They are working toward the Ph.D. at Brown University, the University of Chicago, Duke University, Harvard University, the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Pittsburgh, Princeton University, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Funded by the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation, the Fellowship was created in 1981 and has supported just over 1,200 doctoral candidates, most of them now noted faculty and thought leaders in their fields. The Fellowships are designed to encourage original and significant study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences.
For more information on the Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship, please visit http://woodrow.org/fellowships/newcombe/.
About the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (www.woodrow.org) identifies and develops the nation’s best minds to meet its most critical challenges. The Foundation supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society.
Daniel Cochran • University of Wisconsin – Madison, art history
Building the Body of Christ: Art, Architecture, and the Formation of Early Christian Identities
Zebulon Dingley • University of Chicago, anthropology
Kinship, Capital, and the Occult on the South Coast of Kenya
Samuel Gavin • University of Pittsburgh, philosophy
Constitutivism and Natural Normativity in Ethics
Ean High • Northwestern University, English
Quakerism, Silence, and the Religious Body in American Literature, 1650–1865
Randeep Hothi • University of Michigan—Ann Arbor, Asian languages & cultures
Sikhism Will Be Televised: Recognition and Religion-Making At Diasporic-Sikh Television Networks
Craig Iffland • University of Notre Dame, theology
Following and Not-Following the Divine Law
Sarah Islam • Princeton University, Near Eastern studies
Blasphemy as a Legal Category in Early and Medieval Islamic History
Gustavo Maya • Princeton University, religion
Resisting Exploitation: The Farmworker Struggle for Justice and the Ethics of Means
Alexander McKinley • Duke University, graduate program in religion
Mountain at a Center of the World
Kalonji Nzinga • Northwestern University, learning sciences
The Social Conscience of Rap: Moral Socialization Within Hip-Hop Culture
Cyrus O’Brien • University of Michigan—Ann Arbor, anthropology and history
Faith in Imprisonment: Religion and the Development of Mass Incarceration in Florida
Daniel Platt • Brown University, American studies
Race, Risk, and Financial Capitalism in the United States, 1870–1940
Jennifer Quigley • Harvard University, Harvard Divinity School
Divine Accounting: Theo-economic Rhetoric in the Letter to the Philippians
Hannah Scheidt • Northwestern University, religious studies
Practicing Atheism: Culture, Media, and Ritual in the Contemporary Atheist Network
Brian Smithson • Duke University, cultural anthropology
Piety in Production: Moviemaking as Improvised Religious Practice in Benin
Debby Sneed • University of California—Los Angeles, archaeology
The Life Cycle of Disability in Ancient Greece
Emiko Stock • Cornell University, anthropology
Touching History: An Anthropology With Images | Cham | Sayyids | Cambodia | Iran
Elizabeth Thelen • University of California—Berkeley, history
Intersected Communities: Urban Histories of Rajasthan, c. 1500 – 1800
Sabine Tsuruda • University of California—Los Angeles, philosophy
Moral Agency and the Workplace
Daisy Vargas • University of California—Riverside, history
Mexican Religion on Trial: Race, Religion and the Law in the U.S.- Mexico Borderlands
Arthur Zárate • Columbia University, history
Disciplining the Soul: Materialities of Belief and Moral Technologies of Self on the Eve of Islamic Revival in Egypt, 1947–1967
Congratulations to Dr. Richard Hughes for receiving the Exemplary Teacher Award for Lycoming College!
The Exemplary Teacher Award recognizes outstanding faculty members at United Methodist related schools, colleges, and universities. Recipients exemplify excellence in teaching. The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry has extended this award to Dr. Hughes with their sincere congratulations and best wishes.
Associate Dean Pamela Lightsey, along with two other womanist colleagues, Dr. Wil Gafney and Dr. Valerie Bridgeman, had their application for the Peer Mentoring Cluster approved by the Wabash Center. The purpose of their grant is stated as: “Peer Mentoring Clusters program supports faculty of color who are former participants in Wabash Center programming and want to gather a small group for further networking and vocational growth. Minoritized faculty of color face particular challenges and pressures, and can benefit from networks of peer-to-peer mentoring. Peer mentoring conversations can surface ways to meet the demands of mid-career teaching and administrative jobs, and can provide faculty of color with strategies to not only discern challenges and pressures, but to navigate them as well.”
Congratulations to Pamela and her colleagues on this important work. Below is a Q&A with Pamela on what this grant award means to her and what she hopes it will accomplish.
Describe your feelings about the meaningfulness of the work. What will this mentor cluster provide minoritized faculty of color?:
I’m honored and excited to be a recipient of this grant. As Womanist scholars, our project title is Womanist Separation for Wholeness. Women and faculty of color face unique challenges in academia. The peer-to-peer mentoring cluster allows faculty of color opportunities to reflect on those challenges, share helpful experiences as well as strategies for success. In the case of the makeup of our cluster, it also allows me to deepen my work as a scholar who is interested in interdisciplinary research.
Do you and your colleagues have a proposed itinerary for the three meetings you will lead, or will the discussions about self-care and managing commitments be more organic?
We have a bibliography of works that we will be reviewing during our times together. These books will help us reflect on our commitments to activism, academia and the church.
The Peer Mentoring Cluster program requires that you meet three times. Will there be added online conversation as well, between these in-person meetings?
We have no additional planned meetings but as a natural consequence of our time together will likely be having conversations (email, phone) between meetings.
Brandon Thomas Crowley, School of Theology doctoral candidate in Practical Theology, has been chosen to receive a 2017 Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) Fellowship to support his doctoral program.
FTE is a leadership incubator that inspires young people to make a difference in the world through Christian communities, providing resources, networks, and fellowships to help future pastors and theological educators.
Congratulations, Brandon! Please view the full press release from FTE below.
April 19, 2017
The Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) has selected 16 students across 13 institutions to receive a fellowship to support their PhD or ThD program in religion, theological studies or biblical studies.
The students within this class of FTE Fellows will either receive the Fellowship for Doctoral Students of African Descent or the Fellowship for Latino/a, Asian and First Nations Doctoral Students. Each recipient will be awarded a living stipend of up to $25,000 to support her or his studies past the coursework stage. Fellowship recipients will also attend the 2017 FTE Christian Leadership Forum, held May 31 – June 3, in Atlanta, GA, as a part of the award. The Forum provides opportunities to develop a community of peer support, explore issues important to leadership formation, engage in professional development and establish mentoring relationships to lead change for good within communities.
FTE is pleased to announce the following fellowship recipients:
“The 2017 class of FTE Fellows represent rising scholars who are making an impact in theological and religious studies and in their local communities. These Fellows are leading change for good through scholarship, advocacy and social change,” said Director of Strategic Partnerships for Doctoral Initiatives Patrick B. Reyes. “We are honored to support and walk alongside these leaders that the church, academy and world need now.”
FTE is committed to supporting rising theological educators from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups who are committed to making an impact through their teaching and scholarship. Since 1999, FTE has awarded over 550 fellowships to students of color and has maintained a 98 percent retention rate among its Doctoral Fellows. In addition to its current fellowships for dissertation stage doctoral students, FTE provides professional development opportunities for PhD or ThD students in the first two years of their studies. According to the Association for Theological Schools, in North American theological schools less than 20 percent of faculties are people of color.
FTE’s doctoral initiatives foster diversity in the academy by accelerating the successful completion of doctoral degrees among students of African, Latino/a, Asian and First Nations descent by providing financial support, a community of peers and mentors and professional development opportunities.
The Forum for Theological Exploration is committed to cultivating diverse young adults to be faithful, wise and courageous leaders for the church and the academy. FTE provides resources and a forum for young adults and students to explore their purpose and call to pastoral ministry and teaching. For more information, visit fteleaders.org/about.