Open Doors @ Drew

Are you a believer, an activist, a seeker, a thinker, a counselor, a preacher, a teacher, a poet, a dreamer? Attend class. Join worship. Meet faculty, students and staff. Explore our degree programs, scholarships and community. Open Doors @ Drew, April 21, 2016, Seminary Hall Register Here! Drew Theological School—a community of scholars, ministers and activists gathered on a beautiful, wooded campus—has trained rooted, innovative and courageous leaders for 150 years for service to the Church, the academy and society. We are a diverse and open community that dares to pursue the love, wisdom and justice at the heart of the transformative gospel of Jesus Christ. Start your day anytime and stay for as much as your schedule allows. The itinerary for the day is as follows: 10:00am: Welcome in Seminary Hall 10:15 – 11:15am: Attend a Class Choice 1: Sexual Ethics and Young Adults with Dr. Kate Ott Choice 2: Systematic Theology with Dr. Chris Boesel 11:15am – 12:15pm: Join Community Worship The Rev. Dr. Javier Viera, Dean of the Theological School, will be preaching 12:15 – 1:15pm: Have Lunch and Conversation with Faculty, Students and Alums 1:15 – 1:45pm: Hear About Our Degree Programs and Scholarships With Rev. Dr. Kevin D. Miller, Director of Theological […]

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In Memoriam: Leary Anna Murphy

Leary Anna Murphy passed away on August 6, 2014. She was Faculty Secretary at Drew Theological School from 1975 until her retirement in 2005. She inspired affection—and occasionally dread, it must be said (although with a smile)—in generations of doctoral and master’s students, as well as in her staff colleagues and the faculty whom she served so devotedly. She was a person of extraordinary generosity. Out of her modest means, she established the Leary Anna Murphy Book Endowment, which funds the purchase of required texts for Theological School students in need, and also the Lester Berenbroick Award in Church Music. She also established the Priscilla Patten Benham Prize in Dissertation Research, awarded to a GDR student each year for research-related travel. She will long be remembered. May she rest in peace.  

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Faith, Science & Church: October 2014 Tipple-Vosburgh Alumni Reunion

This year’s Tipple-Vosburgh alumni reunion will culminate in the installation of Dean Javier Viera on Thursday October 16.   What are the issues facing congregations when they have the courage to grapple with the intersections of faith and science? What shape would teaching, preaching and conversation take when addressing end of life, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, creationism versus evolutionism, the Bible, public theology and environmental justice?Historically, a critical tension in church circles has centered around the often seeming conflicts between scientific understandings and doctrinal beliefs. We live in a world where scientific developments and innovations meet our everyday lives at levels unfathomable in previous decades.This year’s Tipple-Vosburgh series invites experts from various scientific, academic, public health, nonprofit and church arenas into conversation together to explore both the points of contrast and of synergy between scientific evidence and faith traditions present in various practices of ministry: pastoral care, teaching, preaching and mission. They will also encourage us to engage the advances and innovations that are redefining the limits of what it means to be human, what is mentally, physically and spiritually healthy, and, at its most basic, what is our place in the universe as our concepts of time, place and people […]

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Following the Call – Words of Gratitude and Blessing for Dean Kah-Jin …

It is with a mixture of sadness and great pride that the Drew Theological and University community bids farewell to Dean Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, who has been appointed to serve as the seventh president of Claremont School of Theology. As Rev. Dr. Kuan has become a prominent leader in United Methodist higher education, we cannot be surprised that he has been called to this important work leading a sister United Methodist school on the west coast. But he will be deeply missed! During his deanship at Drew, Dean Kuan was instrumental in extending the global networks of the Theological School, strengthening faculty structures and processes, and launching new projects in interculturally-minded curriculum development. He worked to revitalize Drew’s United Methodist connections and strengthen the commitment to theological education among leaders in communities of faith. In addition to his visionary leadership, his deep pastoral care for the community manifested itself in a myriad of ways as he steadfastly walked with Drew students, faculty, and staff through a considerable number of natural disasters and losses. Dean Kuan is fond of saying that Drew Theological School is “a special place.” The Drew community thanks Dean Jeffrey Kuan for being such an important part of what […]

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Cross-Cultural Travel and Global Christianities: Perspectives from Turkey

For several years, Drew Theological students have traveled to Turkey as part of their professional training in the master’s of divinity degree. Drew believes that Christian leaders today should be a positive force for respect and responsibility on a global scale. A cross-cultural experience challenges students to view their own lives, values, and belief systems with greater objectivity while encouraging them to appreciate the values, belief systems, historical experiences and cultural resources of context that is not their own. While in Turkey with Professor Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre, students learn about the complex politics, history, and culture of this secular yet predominantly Muslim country. They visit the state religious organizations and also wide range of other religious communities, including Alevis, Mevlevis, Jews, and several kinds of Christians. They also meet with many socially active secular and religious groups working around issues of the environment, gender-justice, religion and democracy, and human rights. In this video, the professor and students reflect on some of their experiences thinking about the challenge and promise of religious diversity in Turkey and here in the U.S.

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Morrey Davis: A Drew Story

When he arrived on the Drew campus in 1995 to begin his doctorate in Theological and Religious Studies at the Graduate School, Morris Davis, or Morrey as most people call him, had no idea he would one day become the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the Seminary.  Dean Davis notes that his decision to pursue doctoral studies was motivated by very personal reasons…the pursuit of answers to persistent questions he’d had.  “That was fuel for me to just dig into things and not worry too much about the other end,” he notes. His decision to attend Drew was strongly influenced by the school’s commitment to interdisciplinarity.  According to Dean Davis, “I had done some interdisciplinary work in my undergrad but I hadn’t seen it performed the way it is here.”  He reminisced about putting together a conference while a graduate student with then Drew philosophy professor Peter Ochs.  This conference brought together scholars who might not otherwise be in the same room discussing scripture—Jews, Christians, and Muslim—all of whom participated energetically in the practice of a scholarly method guided by Ochs’ work.  Afterward, while the participants danced to a Klezmer band, he thought to himself, “What did I just […]

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Charles McCollough: Drew Alum Publishes Eighth Book!

Since earning his PhD in theology in 1965 Charles McCollough has flourished as an artist and an author.  This summer saw the publication of his eighth book, The Non-Violent Radical: Seeing and Living the Wisdom of Jesus.  Sculpting in clay, bronze, wood, and stone, McCollough articulates a dense post-colonial understanding of the wisdom of Jesus’ sayings in the gospels in words and images. Contextualizing Jesus’ wisdom in the political and economic world of the Roman Empire, McCollough foregrounds the social and political messages inherent in Jesus’ ministry and calls us all to personal growth and social action. The work is illustrated with sixty images of McCollough’s original art, which are available for use in private reflection, worship, and educational settings. In addition, readers may use the images for newsletters, church bulletins, and program announcements. A DVD with color images of many more illustrations of the book is available from the author. Congratulations, Charles, on your outstanding achievement!—Shelley L. Dennis, GDR Graduate Student Intern.

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Mary Nyangweso Wangila: Living the Legacy of Drew Scholarship

After receiving her Ph.D. in Sociology of Religion at Drew University in 2004, Dr. Mary Nyangweso Wangila spent several years teaching in a variety of locations prior to receiving an endowed professorship at East Carolina University.  As the J. Woolard and Hellen Peel Distinguished Professor in Religious Studies, Dr. Wangila continues to flex her intellectual muscles, examining the interplay between religious and other sociological forces upon issues related to women’s and human rights, such as female circumcision, domestic violence, and the effect of the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa on women.  Her book, Female Circumcision: The Interplay of Religion and Culture and Gender in Kenya (Orbis Books, 2007), reflects the depth of her reflection on these issues. Dr. Wangila’s scholarship addresses these issues in the context of Kenya, where she was born and raised.  But she doesn’t limit her studies to the continent of Africa, nor does she study or teach these issues dispassionately.  “There is no way I can present these issues passively; I have to take a stand,” remarks Wangila. She credits the unique setting at Drew for developing not only her academic prowess but her passionate activism: “I wanted to say something about transforming communities and most of […]

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