Cooperative Baptist Fellowship adopts new partnership proposal with seminaries

In a July 1 vote at the annual meeting of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, new guidelines were approved to regularize the partnership between the church and affiliated organizations, including seminaries. The new plan limits denominational support to 25 percent of the partner organization's previous year's income, and it divides affiliated theological schools into three tiers, each representing different levels of financial support.

The new guidelines reward schools that are most strongly associated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, like the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. Baptist houses of study at non-Baptist universities, like the programs at Duke Divinity School and Emory University's Candler School of Theology, are likely to receive funding cuts.

Southern Baptist Convention becomes "sole member" of New Orleans Seminary

New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

In June, messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting approved a charter change making the convention the "sole member" of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. With the change, the New Orleans seminary joins all other Southern Baptist theological schools in confirming the convention's ownership.

In 1997, the Southern Baptist Convention's executive committee asked 12 agencies and institutions to make the convention the sole member of their corporations. New Orleans trustees had been holding out, however, claiming that unique features of Louisiana law made sole membership problematic.

New university president is seminary trustee and religious historian 
Nathan O. Hatch
President, Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has appointed Dr. Nathan O. Hatch as its 13th president, succeeding Dr. Thomas K. Hearn Jr., who retired June 30 after 22 years as president. Hatch, a member of the board of trustees of Fuller Theological Seminary, was previously provost at the University of Notre Dame, where he was the highest ranking non-Catholic in the university's history.

Dr. Hatch, a Presbyterian, is a well-known historian who won wide acclaim for his 1989 book, The Democratization of American Christianity. Wake Forest University includes seven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools, including a divinity school established in 1989, which is an autonomous partner of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

Archdiocese of Los Angeles selling undergraduate campus

The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles is selling the 60-acre undergraduate campus of St. John's Seminary College in Camarillo, California, to a housing developer. The archdiocese hopes that the sale will add $12-$40 million to the endowment of the graduate-level St. John's Seminary Theologate, which educates priests for the archdiocese and sits on an adjacent 40-acre site.

The land on which both schools sit was donated in 1927 with the stipulation that it should be used "for all time exclusively for the purposes of erecting ... a Senior Roman Catholic Seminary." Land not in use by the seminary was to be sold and the proceeds used for its support, according to the agreement. In the last 20 years, formerly rural Camarillo, which is in Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles, has become a bedroom community with more than 60,000 residents.

Shea Homes, the developer buying the property, was founded by longtime supporters of Catholic education in the area.

After reforms, Iliff regains status

The United Methodist Church's University Senate has reported that Iliff School of Theology has implemented significant reforms and no longer faces a "loss of status" within the denomination, which would have included a funding loss of $900,000. The potential funding loss was 20 percent of the school's budget.

The United Methodist seminary in Denver, Colorado, faced criticism last year after the departure of its first Hispanic president, David Maldonado Jr. Denominational investigators reported that "institutional racism" was a significant factor in Maldonado's resignation. Since the critical report was released, Iliff gave Maldonado a financial settlement and named a scholarship in his honor. Incoming students this fall will receive diversity training as part of the school's effort to embrace multiculturalism.

Assemblies of God offers free two-week conference for seminary students

Forty-eight Assemblies of God members who are studying at seminaries not affiliated with the Assemblies of God attended a July conference designed to strengthen their commitment to the denomination.

The church's executive leadership and its Commission on Christian Higher Education sponsored the two-week event, including free tuition, books, and room and board. Held on the campus of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri, the conference included intensive graduate-level coursework, for which credit will transfer back to the students' home institutions.

"I realized after sitting through two weeks of wonderful mentoring that I did not truly know what it meant to be a Pentecostal," said Pamela Wesoloski, a student at Duke Divinity School, adding that she has been a member of the Assemblies of God for six years.

Changes at the top

■ Conventual Franciscan Father John J. Burkhard has been named interim president of the Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C., succeeding Franciscan Father Daniel McLellan. Father Burkhard, who has been on the school's faculty since 1991, most recently served as chair of the department of systematic and moral theology. Previously he was president of St. Anthony-on-Hudson Seminary in Rensselaer, New York.

Father Burkhard is a graduate of St. Hyacinth College and Seminary in Granby, Massachusetts, Collegium Canisianum in Austria, and the Universite des Sciences Humaines in Strasbourg, France.

The Washington Theological Union was established in 1968 by six Catholic religious orders. It provides theological education to lay people, members of religious communities, and ordination candidates. Its president from 1975 to 1999, Franciscan Father Vincent Cushing, is the former chair of the board of In Trust Inc.

Aloysius Callaghan
Rector, St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity

■  Msgr. Aloysius Callaghan has been named rector and vice president of the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. The previous rector, Bishop Frederick Campbell, was appointed bishop of Columbus, Ohio. Father John Ubel has been serving as interim rector.

For the last 10 years Msgr. Callaghan has served as vicar general for the Archdiocese for Military Services, which oversees Catholic chaplains in the U.S. military. As vicar general, he oversaw communications and administration and served as chief financial officer. He also served as an adjunct spiritual director at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Msgr. Callaghan holds a doctorate in canon law from the Lateran University in Rome. Before being appointed to the Archdiocese for Military Services, he was a priest in the diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania. 

William J. Carl III
President-elect, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

■ The Rev. William J. Carl III has been named the next president of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, replacing the Rev. Carnegie Samuel Calian. Dr. Calian will retire January 31, 2006, after 25 years at the helm of the school, the oldest seminary affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Dr. Carl has been pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, Texas, since 1983, and has served on the board of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He holds degrees from the University of Tulsa, Louisville Seminary, and the University of Pittsburgh. Before moving to Dallas, Dr. Carl taught at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. His wife, Jane, works for the American Heart Association.

Bryn Kulmatycki
President, Newman Theological College

■ Bryn Kulmatycki has been named to a five-year term as president of Newman Theological College in Edmonton, Alberta, replacing Basilian Father John Gallagher. Father Gallagher, a moral theologian, will move to Texas later this year to continue research and writing.

For the last eight years, Kulmatycki has been superintendent of the Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools, a publicly funded school district based in Grande Prairie, Alberta. He holds a master's degree in education from the University of Alberta and is pursuing a doctorate in Catholic education at the University of Calgary. Kulmatycki's wife, Shirley, is a Catholic school teacher.

Newman Theological College was founded by the Archdiocese of Edmonton in 1969 on the campus of the archdiocese's St. Joseph Seminary with the mission of providing theological training to lay people and members of religious orders.

■ The Rev. Daniel J. Earheart-Brown has been named seventh president of Memphis Theological Seminary in Tennessee, replacing Timothy Weber. He has been teaching theology at the seminary, which is affiliated with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, since 1997.

Ordained in 1986, Dr. Earheart-Brown has served Cumberland Presbyterian churches in several states and is currently a member of the ordination task force for the denomination's Commission on Ministry.

A graduate of Bethel College, Memphis Seminary, and Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, Dr. Earheart-Brown and his wife, Mary, have two children.

■ Dr. Edward G. Kettner has been appointed acting president of Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Edmonton, Alberta. Outgoing president Dr. Arthur D. Bacon resigned after being called to active duty by the U.S. Army. He will serve as a military chaplain in Iraq.

Concordia Lutheran Seminary was established in 1984 on the campus of Concordia University College of Alberta. Both schools are affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Canada, which is historically related to the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

Dr. Kettner has been a member of the school's faculty since 1987, where he is also academic dean, director of library services, and professor of systematic theology. He also serves on the Commission of Theology and Church Relations of the Lutheran Church-Canada. 

Larry A. Mercer
President, Washington Bible College/Capital Bible Seminary

■ The Rev. Larry A. Mercer has been appointed sixth president of Washington Bible College/Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, Maryland, succeeding Dr. Homer Heater, who has been named president emeritus. Dr. Mercer is moving to the school from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where he is a professor in the graduate school and has also served as senior vice president of media and church ministries. Previously he was associate pastor of Christian education at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church in Dallas.

Dr. Mercer is a regular contributor to the Moody Broadcasting Network and also serves on the executive committee of the board of trustees of LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. A graduate of East Carolina University and Dallas Theological Seminary, Dr. Mercer and his wife, Anne, have four children.

Capital Bible Seminary was established in 1958 as the graduate school of Washington Bible College, an evangelical, nondenominational school founded in 1938. 


The Long Forgotten, "Divinity School Drop Out"

The Long Forgotten, a heavy-metal band based in New England, recently released its first CD, Divinity School Drop Out. Band member Shawn Macomber told that none of the band members ever attended a theological school. "'Divinity School Drop Out' doesn't have any religious connotation for us," he said. "It's more of a declaration of independence."

And from what do the band members want to be independent? "Being a 'Divinity School Drop Out' basically means accepting you're not some divine entity. You're a human being whose feelings are valid."

"This CD isn't for the faint of heart," warns Zombyboy, an appreciative blogging music reviewer who compares the group to heavy-metal icons Iron Maiden and Slayer. "Macomber writes (and screams) just the right kind of provocative, rebellious lyrics that never sound preachy or overbearing."

"And ask Personnel where my replacement is. Someone should have been here years ago."

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