Luce Fund recipients announced

The Henry Luce Foundation has announced the November 2017 grant recipients of the Luce Fund for Theological Education. The fund “supports the development of new models of teaching, learning, research, publication, and leadership development,” according to a statement from the foundation. Recipients for November 2017 are:

  • Brite Divinity School. For the Borderlands Institute. $250,000.

  • Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. For a community learning platform. $250,000.

  • Drew University Theological School. For a public theology initiative. $250,000.

  • Fuller Theological Seminary. For an initiative on evangelical interfaith dialogue. $250,000.

  • Hispanic Theological Initiative. For a project on Latino religion and publicly engaged scholarship. $475,000.

  • Institute of Buddhist Studies. For a project on public theologies of technology and presence. $475,000.

  • Loyola University Chicago. For the Legacy Leaders Fellows Program. $250,000.

  • Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union University. For a program on educating religious leadership in a pluralistic democracy. $450,000.

  • Vancouver School of Theology. For a project titled “The Teaching House that Moves Around.” $400,000.

Tuition for incoming students will be paid in full

Beginning with the incoming class for fall 2018, students at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, will have their tuition covered in full. With Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod congregational and district assistance, the seminary will offer a grant that will provide tuition coverage for all incoming residential students in either the pastoral ministry or deaconess courses of study. The seminary will first provide aid covering 77.5 percent of the tuition, after which church district aid will be applied. Whatever is not covered by these funding sources will be covered by the seminary through the new grant.

Concordia Theological Seminary

Credit: Steve Blakey 

With the growing concern over student debt, other seminaries are implementing tuition-free programs. Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has been offering full-tuition assistance for all master’s-level students since 2015, and United Lutheran Seminary now provides full-tuition scholarships to all full-time residential students affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

St. Patrick’s sells land to fire district

St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park, California, has sold a one-acre parcel of real estate to the Menlo Park fire protection district for $6.6 million. The fire district, which previously bought property from the Catholic seminary in 1952, will use the land to expand its training facilities.

Part of 83 acres donated to the Archdiocese of San Francisco in 1891, the land has remained undeveloped. Father George Schultze, St. Patrick’s president- rector, reports that the seminary still owns 40 acres. Funds from the sale will be added to the seminary’s endowment.

​Lilly awards grants through new initiative 

Lilly Endowment Inc. has launched its new Thriving in Ministry Initiative, a national endeavor to help clergy succeed in congregational ministry. The Endowment has awarded 24 grants, totaling more than $20 million, to institutions supporting work in this area. The grant recipients are:

  • Asbury Theological Seminary - $999,515

  • Ashland University - $993,514

  • Brite Divinity School - $995,145

  • Catholic Extension - $1 million

  • Catholic Theological Union - $1 million

  • Center for Courage and Renewal - $1 million

  • City Seminary of New York - $1 million

  • Columbia Theological Seminary - $1 million

  • Eastern Mennonite University - $999,893

  • Fourth Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church - $999,237

  • George Fox University - $1 million

  • Lott Carey Global Christian Missional Community - $1 million

  • Luther Seminary - $999,999

  • Memphis Theological Seminary - $1 million

  • New York Theological Seminary - $959,996

  • North Park University - $999,677

  • Pepperdine University - $999,969

  • Princeton Theological Seminary - $1 million

  • Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Virginia - $1 million

  • Seattle School of Theology and Psychology - $1 million

  • Sisters of St. Benedict of Beech Grove, Indiana - $1 million

  • Texas Methodist Foundation - $1 million

  • University of Notre Dame - $998,716

  • Virginia Union University - $1 million

Sioux Falls and Garrett-Evangelical announce partnership

Sioux Falls Seminary in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, are partnering in an initiative to offer a competency-based M.Div. program for United Methodist students.

The initiative, called the Kairos Project, will involve a pilot cohort of students who will enroll in the M.Div. program at Sioux Falls. Garrett-Evangelical will provide part of the curriculum online, including courses required by the United Methodist Church for ordination.

Designed for students already engaged in ministry or who wish to integrate their faith and work, the Kairos Project uses a competency-based learning model that emphasizes work in context. It has been approved by the United Methodist University Senate and will be periodically assessed by both seminaries.

Changes at the top

Stephen G. Ray Jr. 

 The Rev. Dr. Stephen G. Ray Jr. has been named president of Chicago Theological Seminary. He succeeds Donald C. Clark Jr., who had been named acting president after Dr. Alice W. Hunt, president for 10 years, announced her retirement in 2017. In March 2018, Hunt was named executive director of the American Academy of Religion.

Ray was most recently a member of the faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He has also served on the faculty of several other theological schools, including the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and Yale Divinity School. Ray is the author of Do No Harm: Social Sin and Christian Responsibility and is the president of the Society for the Study of Black Religion.

An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Ray is a graduate of Charter Oak State College, Yale Divinity School, and Yale University.

 Ronald A. Matthews

■ Dr. Ronald A. Matthews has been named president of Eastern University. He succeeds Dr. Robert G. Duffett, who announced his resignation in February after serving as president since 2013.

Matthews joined the faculty of Eastern in 1992 and has served as professor of music, director of music programs, chair of the music department, and executive director of the university’s fine and performing arts division. Concurrently, he has served as pastor of worship arts at Church of the Saviour in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Matthews is a graduate of Westminster Choir College, Temple University, and Combs College of Music. He and his wife, Pamela, have two sons.

Kenneth E. Harris 

The board of directors of Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit has named the Rev. Dr. Kenneth E. Harris as president and academic dean. He succeeds the Rev. Dr. Stephen Butler Murray, who stepped down after three years as president to become minister of the First Unitarian-Universalist Church of Detroit

Harris arrived at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in 1994 as a faculty member and founding director of the school’s urban ministry diploma program. He was subsequently vice president of academic affairs and academic dean from 2011 to 2016. Concurrently, Harris has served as senior pastor of Detroit Bible Tabernacle for more than 35 years.

Harris is a graduate of William Tyndale College, Ashland Theological Seminary, Ecumenical Theological Seminary, and Western Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Ruthie, have three daughters.

Ken J. Walden

■ The board of trustees of Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta has appointed the Rev. Dr. Ken J. Walden as president-dean. He succeeds the Rev. Dr. Walter L. Kimbrough, who served as interim president-dean after Dr. Albert D. Mosley, president-dean from 2011 to 2017, departed to become chief operating officer at Bethune-Cookman University. 

Prior to his appointment, Walden was a member of the faculty of Hood Theological Seminary. Previously, he served on the senior leadership team of the Wounded Warrior Program in Washington, D.C., and was the chaplain at Claflin University. Concurrently, he has been a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force Reserves since 2002.

Ordained in the United Methodist Church, Walden is a graduate of the Citadel, Duke University Divinity School, the Graduate Theological Foundation (South Bend, Indiana), and Claremont School of Theology. He is married to Michelle Walden.

Robert Ellis

Dr. Robert Ellis has been named dean of Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon School of Theology in Abilene, Texas. Ellis has served as interim dean since Dr. Donald Williford, dean since 2011, retired last year.

Ellis has served on the faculty of Hardin-Simmons University since 1996, most recently as associate dean of academics at Logsdon Seminary. He previously directed the school’s master of arts in religion and M.Div. programs. From 1986 to 1996, he was associate professor of Old Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Ellis is a graduate of Hardin-Simmons University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is married to Teresa Ellis.

Jesse Zink

■ The board of governors of the Montreal Diocesan Theological College has named the Rev. Dr. Jesse Zink as the principal. Zink, who assumed his new position in August 2017, succeeds the Rev. Dr. Karen Egan. Egan had been serving as acting principal since the Rev. Dr. Donald Boisvert resigned in 2016 after one year as principal.

Zink was previously director of the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide in England and was director of studies for Westminster College, Cambridge. He is the author of Backpacking Through the Anglican Communion.

Zink is a graduate of Acadia University, the University of Chicago, Yale Divinity School, and Cambridge University.

Richard Manley-Tannis

The board of regents of St. Andrew’s College in Saskatoon has named Richard Manley-Tannis as principal, beginning in July 2018. He succeeds Lorne Calvert, principal since 2009, who will conclude his second term as principal in July.

Manley-Tannis, a diaconal minister in the Saskatchewan Conference of the United Church of Canada, currently serves as minister for evangelism, mission, and church development for the Winnipeg Presbytery. He has experience in mediation and conflict resolution, as well as organizational development.

A graduate of Trent University, Queen’s University, and St. Stephen’s College, Manley-Tannis is completing his Ph.D. at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. He is married to Shelly Manley-Tannis.

Frederick Tappenden

■ Dr. Frederick S. Tappenden has been named principal and dean of St. Stephen’s College in Edmonton, Alberta. He succeeds Dr. Kae Neufeld, who has served as acting dean and principal since April 2017. Neufeld succeeded Earle Sharam, dean and principal for more than 10 years, who stepped down to return to the faculty.

Prior to his appointment, Tappenden was a faculty lecturer and affiliate member of the school of religious studies at McGill University in Montreal. He has also served as a sessional lecturer at Concordia University of Edmonton and the King’s University. Previously, he was a research affiliate at the University of British Columbia and a postdoctoral research fellow at McGill University.

Tappenden is a graduate of Taylor University College and Seminary, Trinity Western University, and the University of Manchester.

St. Stephen’s College is a graduate school founded by the United Church of Canada and is an affiliated college of the University of Alberta.

Craig Detweiler

 Dr. Craig Detweiler has been appointed president of the Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. He succeeds Dr. Keith R. Anderson, who retired in October after 12 years as dean and president.

Detweiler previously served as professor of communication and director of the Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture at Pepperdine University. He has written several screenplays that have been produced and has directed a documentary film. He has also written extensively on media and popular culture.

Detweiler is a graduate of Davidson College, the University of Southern California, and Fuller Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Caroline, have two children.

David S. Kim

■ The board of trustees of the University of Valley Forge in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, has named the Rev. David S. Kim as president of the university. He succeeds Dr. Ron McManus, who served as interim president after Dr. Byron Klaus, interim president since July 2016, stepped down from the role for personal reasons. McManus has been named the first chancellor of the university.

Kim most recently served as the university’s chief operating officer, and, prior to that, was the chair of the university’s department of intercultural studies. Previously he was chief executive of a cacao exportation company in Ecuador; he has also led Christian schools in the United States and elsewhere. He was ordained by the Assemblies of God in 2004.

Kim is a graduate of the University of Valley Forge and Princeton Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Rebekah, have four children.

Kathryn A. Kleinhans

The Rev. Dr. Kathryn A. Kleinhans has been named dean of Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to the consolidation of the seminary and nearby university, which took place on January 1, 2018, Trinity was led by an interim president, the Rev. Dr. Stanley Olson.

Kleinhans most recently served on the faculty of Wartburg College for 24 years, including as chair of Wartburg’s religion and philosophy department. An ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Kleinhans was previously pastor at the Lutheran Church of the Atonement in Atlanta.

She has served the ELCA in a number of roles, including as a member of the program committee of the ELCA’s vocation and education unit and as a member of the women and justice task force. Kleinhans is a graduate of Valparaiso University, Christ Seminary – Seminex, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and Emory University.

Jennie Russell

 The board of directors of Urshan Graduate School of Theology in Florissant, Missouri, has named Jennie Russell as interim president. She succeeds David K. Bernard, Urshan’s founding president, who resigned this year as president after 18 years at the helm. Bernard will continue to serve on the faculty and will also continue as general superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI), the school’s sponsoring denomination. The board plans to name a permanent president in 2019.

Russell was executive vice president at Urshan from 2013 until her appointment this year. She was previously an intern at Indiana Behavioral Health Outpatient Clinic and, before that, served Urshan from 2002 until 2007, first as director of admissions, then as registrar and director of distance learning. Additionally, she has worked in missionary and pastoral roles in Germany and the Czech Republic and served as a family and marital counselor for several UPCI churches.

A graduate of Christian Life College and Liberty University, Russell is married to Kent Russell, with whom she has served in ministry for more than 30 years. 

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