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Seminary news

McCormick, SFTS to inaugurate new presidents

January 13, 2012

CHICAGO ― The Rev. Frank Yamada will be installed as the 10th president of McCormick Theological Seminary during two days of events Feb. 8 and 9.

The inauguration service will be at the Apostolic Church of God here Feb. 9 at 10:00 a.m. It will be followed by a reception at the church.

Feb. 8 activities include an education and service project during the day, a buffet dinner on campus and a panel discussion on the theme, “The View from 2040: The Futures of Theological Education.

Panelists include the Rev. Alice Hunt, president of Chicago Theological Seminary; the Rev. Brad Braxton, visiting professor at McCormick; Kwok Pui Lan, professor of Christian theology and spirituality and president of the American Academy of Religion; and the Rev. Jose F. Morales Jr., regional minister in the Central Rocky Mountain region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Respondents include Dan Aleshire, executive director of the Association of Theological Schools, and Sung Yeon Choi-Morrow, national organizer/student programs coordinator for Interfaith Worker Justice.

SAN ANSELMO, Calif. ― The Rev. James L. McDonald will be inaugurated as the 11th president of San Francisco Theological Seminary during a two-day celebration Feb. 10-11. 

The inauguration will be held Saturday, Feb. 11 at 10:00 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo with a reception to follow in Alexander Hall on campus. McDonald’s inauguration address will be “The Real Presence of Christ in the 21st Century.”

“I hope this engages the full community in a much broader discussion,” McDonald said. “How can we make the intersection of faith and public life a reality in terms of what we do here? It is not just an academic question, but grounds for a discussion that I anticipate will be carried beyond February 11th and into the future.”

Events on Feb. 10 begin with community worship at Noon, led by the Rev. Dean McDonald, the president’s wife, who directed the College of Preachers at Washington National Cathedral for five years followed by lunch on campus. At 2:30 p.m., the keynote address will be given by Ray Suarez, senior correspondent on the PBS television network. He is also host of the international news and analysis public radio program America Abroad from Public Radio International.

Following a reception and dinner, the Cyrus Chestnut Trio will give a jazz concert at First Church.

LOUISVILLE ― Two new professors will be installed when Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary holds its spring semester opening convocation Feb. 9 in Caldwell Chapel.

Lewis Brogdon will be installed as assistant professor of New Testament and black church studies. Shannon Craigo-Snell will be installed as professor of theology.

Craigo-Snell will deliver the convocation address, “The Empty Church.” Based on Mark 16:1-8, she will bring together theology and theater to explore the fears and hopes of emptiness in contemporary mainline Protestant churches.

PRINCETON, N.J. ― “Evensong: A Service of Prayer and Song” led by Psalom, a Russian a cappella ensemble under the direction of Konstantin Zhigulin, will perform at Princeton Theological Seminary on Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m. in Miller Chapel.

This musical ensemble grew out of Zhigulin’s efforts to share his spiritual music with Christian churches in Russia. His compositions are based on themes from the Bible, and are written in modern Russian instead of traditional Russian Orthodox. “This allows listeners to understand the word inspired by God, and to feel the harmony of the music,” says Zhigulin.  

The event is free and open to the public, and tickets are not required to attend the concert.

PITTSBURGH ― Pittsburgh Theological Seminary has named the Rev. Angela Dienhart Hancock as assistant professor of homiletics and worship. She will begin March 1.

Hancock has served PC(USA) pastorates in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Tennessee and has taught at Princeton Theological Seminary, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg.

Hancock earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Indiana University, Bloomington and an M.Div. and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where she won prizes in preaching and church music. Her dissertation, to be published by Eerdmans, is a contextual interpretation of Swiss theologian Karl Barth’s “emergency” venture into the field of practical theology at the University of Bonn in the early 1930s, based on unpublished archival material.

Her next project extends her work on Karl Barth and rhetoric to the North American context, tentatively titled, “Preaching in Tongues: Postliberalism and the Rhetoric of the North American Pulpit.” Her scholarly interests include systematic theology, homiletics, liturgical theology, rhetoric, performance theory, history, and philosophical hermeneutics.

DECATUR, Ga. ― “Do You See What I See?,” an exhibit featuring the work of photojournalist Erin Dunigan, opens Tuesday, January 24, in the Harrington Center at Columbia Theological Seminary. A reception for the artist will be held that evening from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. in the Harrington Center. The public is welcome to attend. 

The exhibit is open 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday through April 6. For more information, call 404.687.4577 or e-mail lifelonglearning@ctsnet.edu. Images may be viewed at www.erindunigan.com.

Erin Dunigan’s work has taken her around the world, as she seeks to focus attention on stories of people and everyday life in places that may be geographically far away, but which, in their humanity, can connect us. Ordained as a Presbyterian evangelist by Los Ranchos Presbytery, she says, “Photography, at its most basic, is really about paying attention. It can be spiritual practice, a way of awakening to the present moment. Yet it is also about sharing that vision with others, as we seek to see not only what is but what is possible.”

The exhibit opens in conjunction with the Jan. 24-26 seminar “Christianity after Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening.” Noted author Diana Butler Bass leads that event which focuses on questions raised by congregations, seminaries, and faith-based organizations and individuals who seek to be faithful at a time when former and current ways of being “church” are waning.

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