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Drew Theological School Welcomes New Students

Dean Viera tells them it’s the ‘work of a lifetime.’

January 2019 – The ritual signing of the 150-year-old matriculation book is a rite of passage for all students entering Drew Theological School and this class is the largest for the spring semester in a decade.

The community celebrated with a service filled with song, readings, and inspiring remarks by Dean Javier Viera and the two associate deans: Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre and Tanya Linn Bennett. Professor Catherine Keller, the George T. Cobb Professor of Constructive Theology, delivered the matriculation address.

“Entering your name into the book is joining a story,” said Johnson-DeBaufre. “Welcome to the story of Drew.”

In his address, Viera acknowledged the commitment of the new students, noting, “This is no small task. It’s actually the work of a lifetime.” He added that this will be “an especially trying semester” given the political unrest in the United Methodist Church and the nation as a whole.

Keller’s address, “Apocalypse After All?,” offered a historical and theological look at the Book of Revelation, revisiting the themes of her 2004 book, Apocalypse Now and Then, in light of contemporary challenges of climate change and the current political climate. Ending her talk hopefully, she said, “The clouds glow with uncertainty, but they do glow.”

Echoing this spirit of hopefulness for their studies at Drew, Bennett encouraged students to keep their “eyes open, hearts open—praying into the possibilities.”