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General Seminary Launches Episcopal Wellness Program

11 August 2011

 

New York City—Beginning this fall the General Theological Seminary (GTS) will launch its new Episcopal Wellness Program (EWP), a holistic initiative aimed at instilling balanced self-care practices in those preparing for leadership in ministry.  The program, developed by the GTS Office of the Chaplain with support from the Church Pension Group, will work closely with existing student-led initiatives and with the Seminary’s Center for Christian Spirituality. GTS-EWP encompasses body, mind, and spirit and teaches, through modeling, a healthy and balanced lifestyle for ministry.   The program makes use of healthcare professionals, workshop leaders, and peer-led groups for physical and spiritual practice, and is open to all community members: seminarians, spouses, partners, faculty and staff.

Yoga, pilates, running, walking, and “fit club” groups for physical fitness, are among the peer-led groups planned for the upcoming academic year.  Also included is a meditation group in which various silent practices are taught and welcomed.  In addition, twice-monthly workshops will be held on Friday afternoons to address a broad range of wellness topics and experiences, including exercise, healthy cooking, balancing relationships, and deep relaxation techniques, among others.  These workshops will be led by trained, national-level professionals and will typically include both content-based and experiential components.

Running concurrently with academic semesters, GTS-EWP offerings can be taken, with additional requirements, as a one-credit course in conjunction with the GTS Center for Christian Spirituality or as a non-credit program.  To be in good standing in the program, one must attend at least one peer-led group per week and a minimum of three Friday seminars per semester.

“At GTS we are committed to wellness and to the overall formation of those called to active ministry,” said the Rev. Dr. James H. Reho, the Seminary’s Chaplain. “We believe that presenting self-care and wellness solely as cognitive content fails clergy and church leaders in the field.  By encouraging community members to begin living a balanced life in seminary, and in giving them the skills, tools, and experiences to continue to do so after seminary, we hope to form generations of church leaders that are happy, healthy, and holy, and who truly provide good examples of ongoing and powerful Christian formation to those they serve.”

The General Theological Seminary, located in the heart of New York City, educates and forms leaders for the church in a changing world. Founded in 1817 as the first theological seminary of the Episcopal Church, General offers certificate and degree programs including the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Theology. The Seminary is also home to the Desmond Tutu Center, a full-service conference center with sixty modern guest rooms.

 

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Media Contact:

Bruce Parker
Senior Vice President for External Relations
The General Theological Seminary
440 West 21st Street
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

General Seminary Trustees Appoint Two New Faculty Members

May 20, 2011

New York City – Trustees of The General Theological Seminary (GTS) meeting on May 17, 2011 unanimously approved the appointment of two new members to the Seminary faculty.  The Rev. Dr. Amy Bentley Lamborn will become Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and the Rev. Dr. Clair McPherson will become Visiting Associate Professor of Ascetical Theology. The two scholars were selected by Seminary search committees and presented for Board approval by General’s Interim Dean, the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee. “We are delighted to be able to add to the Seminary’s faculty two new professors, both of whom are excellent teachers and possess the highest levels of scholarly ability,” said Bishop Lee. Both professors will begin teaching at GTS in the fall of 2011.

The Rev. Dr. Amy Bentley Lamborn, the Seminary’s new Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology, currently serves as Theologian-in-Residence at Christ Church, Bronxville.  Dr. Lamborn received both her M.Phil. (2007) and her Ph.D. in Psychiatry and Religion (2009) from Union Theological Seminary.  Both degrees were earned with distinction.  She earned the M.Div. degree from the University of the South (1996). Ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in 1998, she is currently an analyst-in-training with the Jungian Psychoanalytic Association.  She has previously served as adjunct professor at Auburn Theological Seminary and Marymount Manhattan College and a lecturer at Union Theological Seminary.   Dr. Lamborn is well published. Her most recent paper is "The Fourth/Reduction: Carl Jung, Richard Kearney, and the Via Tertia of Otherness" for the Fall 2011 Psychology and the Other Conference in Boston.  She is the recipient of many awards including the Robert Wood Lynn Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching.   She is currently at work on a book entitled Figuring the Self, Figuring the Sacred:  Imagining Unity and Multiplicity in Depth Psychology and Theology.

The Rev. Dr. Clair W. McPherson, the Seminary’s new Visiting Associate Professor of Ascetical Theology, has taught at a variety of colleges and seminaries, including Union Seminary and General Seminary, where he earned his Master of Divinity (1982), Seabury-Western in Chicago, the University of Missouri, and Washington University in St. Louis, where he earned his Doctorate in medieval literature (1980), with a specialty in Old English and Latin. He is currently  Adjunct Professor at New York University’s Gallatin School and at Fordham College Lincoln Center. Among the papers Dr. McPherson has presented have been “Spirituality and The Arts,” at the Spirituality Summit, Charlottesville, North Carolina, 2003-2004;  and “Satan in Gregory the Great,” at the Medieval Academy, Harvard, 2006;  “The Genoels Diptych: an Early Medieval Paradigm” at the Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, Michigan, 2010, and "Medieval Time" at the Medieval Forum, Plymouth, New Hampshire, 2010. He has published three books on Spirituality, translations,  original poems, book reviews, and has served as Contributing Editor of Spirituality and Health. His current project is The Angels: a Study in Medieval Tradition.

In other trustee actions, retiring professor of Ascetical Theology, Dr. Elisabeth Koenig and professor of New Testament, the Rev. Dr. John Koenig were elected Professors Emeriti/ae of the Seminary, having served with distinction for 25 and 33 years respectively. Both departing professors were honored at a lovely reception in Seabury Auditorium on May 4. Trustees also received with gratitude a beautiful portrait in oil of Professor J. Robert Wright, the gift to the Seminary of Paul and Mitzi Noble. Bishop Lee also noted with pleasure that the Seminary’s Distinguished Visiting Professor of Systematic Theology, the Most Rev. Peter Carnley AC will be returning to GTS to teach once again this fall.

The Seminary’s selection process continues for a New Testament professor with a scholarly concentration in the Pauline and Johannine texts. Bishop Lee successfully petitioned the trustees to empower their Executive Committee (which meets more frequently than the full Board) with the right to approve the search committee’s New Testament candidate so that all three professors would be able to begin teaching at the Seminary in the fall of 2011.



# # #
Media Contact:
Bruce Parker
Executive Director of Communications
The General Theological Seminary
440 West 21st Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 243-5150 x285
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GTS Hosts Sixth Annual Easter Egg Hunt

March 31, 2011

General Seminary Hosts Sixth Annual Easter Egg Hunt

New York City--The General Theological Seminary (GTS) in the heart of Chelsea invites one and all to its annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday, April 24 at 3 p.m. on the Seminary’s beautiful park-like grounds on West 20th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues. This is the sixth year GTS has hosted the happy event which typically draws hundreds of children and their parents from throughout the Chelsea neighborhood.

Participants are invited to gather at the gate in front of the Seminary’s chapel across from 422 West 20th Street shortly before 3 p.m. The pealing of the Chapel’s bells precisely at 3 o’clock will signal the beginning of the hunt at which time the gates will open and visitors will be invited in to search the Seminary grounds for brightly colored eggs containing candy and toy surprises—1400 of which will have been hidden throughout the Seminary’s lovely gardens. Younger children and those in strollers will be invited to enter somewhat before 3 p.m. so that they may be escorted to an enclosed playground area where eggs will have also been hidden.

With the Seminary’s deep appreciation, Chris Ballard, a former GTS staffer and now a fulltime student, has retired after five years of dedicated service as coordinator of the popular event. This year he turns this responsibility over to Gale Jones, the spouse of a current student. To assist her in welcoming guests and coordinating the event, Ms. Jones will be recruiting a small group of volunteers from the GTS community. “Easter is the most joyous holiday of the Christian year,” said Bishop Peter James Lee, Dean of the Seminary. “We are delighted to be able to share our beautiful grounds with our neighbors and to have their children join with those from our own community in this fun-filled event.”


The General Theological Seminary, located in the heart of New York City, educates and forms leaders for the church in a changing world. Founded in 1817 as the first theological seminary of the Episcopal Church, General offers certificate and degree programs including the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Theology. The Seminary is also home to the Desmond Tutu Center, a full-service conference center with sixty modern guest rooms.

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Media Contact:
Bruce Parker
Associate Vice President for External Relations
The General Theological Seminary
175 Ninth Ave
New York, NY 10011
voice:  212-243-5150 ext 285
fax: 212-243-5150
email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
web: www. gts.edu

GTS Trustees Strengthen Management Team

General Theological Seminary Trustees Strengthen Management Team

Professionals from Law, Finance and Business Join GTS Leadership


December 20, 2010


New York City – Meeting on December 20, Trustees of The General Theological Seminary (GTS) elected three new board members, Sanders Davies, Kenneth M. Kramer, Esq., and James K. Murray, Jr.  In accordance with recommendations from the Trustees’ Executive Committee which met earlier in the month, trustees also approved important leadership roles for the new trustees. Sanders Davies will serve as Chair of the Trustee’s Audit Committee. Kenneth M. Kramer will serve pro bono as the Board’s Chancellor (chief legal counsel), and James “Jack” Murray will serve as the Board’s Treasurer succeeding retiring Treasurer Stephen Burrill. In additional actions, Trustees approved the appointment of trustee Sandra Johnson as Interim Chief Financial Officer, at the same time accepting her resignation from the Board so that she might assume this staff position.

“I believe that these elections and appointments of eminently qualified and deeply committed leaders of our Church to these vital positions on our Board of Trustees is a crucial step forward on our long yet promising journey toward achieving the goals envisioned in our Plan to Choose Life,” said Board Chair the Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk, Bishop of New York, referring to the school’s comprehensive plan to reduce debt, build its endowment, and balance the budget.

Sanders Davies, chair of the audit committee, is a certified public accountant and senior partner of O'Connor Davies Munns & Dobbins, LLP, an accounting firm of over 250 professionals with offices throughout the New York tri-state area. Mr. Davies serves in a firm-wide managerial role while serving his clients in the areas of audit, tax and consulting related engagements.  His client experience includes an extensive list of both commercial and not-for-profit engagements. A graduate of Rutgers University, Mr. Davies is a member of numerous professional societies and has served as a board member of several commercial and charitable organizations including the Salvation Army Advisory Board where he was Co-Chair of its Finance Committee. He is an avid sailor and with his wife, Ann, resides in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Sandra Johnson, Interim Chief Financial Officer, is a retired senior banker and senior credit officer.  Ms. Johnson started her banking career with Citibank in 1975 and has handled large corporate accounts, syndications and workouts, served on credit committees and financed mergers/acquisitions and LBO’s.  In addition to her professional responsibilities, she has served as Junior and Senior Warden of Christ Church Riverdale and Treasurer of the Diocese of New York from 1989 to 2002.  In the latter capacity she was a founding Board member and Treasurer of Episcopal Charities, a Trustee of The Diocesan Investment Trust and a Trustee of the Diocese of New York.  She currently serves as a Trustee for the Diocesan Investment Trust of the Diocese of Newark, is an EFM mentor at Christ Church in Short Hills and has facilitated Careers in Transition at the parish for 13 years.  Ms. Johnson and her husband, Bill, reside in Short Hills, NJ.

Kenneth M. Kramer, Seminary Chancellor, is a retired senior partner in the international law firm of Shearman & Sterling LLP. His private practice focused on commercial litigation with specialization in financial service industry disputes, securities class actions, antitrust actions, and corporate governance and contract cases. Mr. Kramer headed his firm’s litigation group and served as a member of the firm’s Practice Management Committee. On his retirement from Shearman & Sterling he joined JAMS, a leading alternative dispute resolution organization, where he serves as an arbitrator and mediator. Mr. Kramer is a 1965 graduate of Colgate University and a 1972 cum laude graduate of Albany Law School. He is active in community affairs and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Episcopal Social Services and Music for Life International. Mr. Kramer and his wife, Susan, reside in Brooklyn Heights.

James (“Jack”) K. Murray, Jr., Treasurer, currently serves as Chairman of Murray Corporation, a private merchant company.  In 1970 Mr. Murray was one of the founders of a company that is today HealthPlan Services. In 1978, the company was acquired by The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation and in 1989 Mr. Murray assumed the position of President of Dun & Bradstreet Credit Services.  In addition, he held the position of Corporate Senior Vice President of D&B.  In 1993 Mr. Murray retired from Dun & Bradstreet and, with other financial partners, acquired HealthPlan Services from Dun & Bradstreet in 1994. In May 1995, HealthPlan Services became a public company and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Mr. Murray serves as a trustee of numerous institutions in Tampa, Florida including Sykes Enterprises, Inc. (SYKE, a public company listed on NASDAQ).  In addition, he has served as senior warden for St. John’s Episcopal Church, as a trustee of numerous schools in Tampa and currently serves as a trustee of the University of Tampa.  He and his wife, Sandy, live in Tampa, Florida.

“While the Seminary’s mission is to prepare leaders for the church and the world, we have been reminded by our financial circumstances that we must become much better at attending to our own internal business practices,” said GTS President Lang Lowrey following the meeting. “Jack, Sandy, Sandra and Ken are at the top of their professions and will bring to the Seminary a wealth of experience not only to assist in our financial turnaround but to rebuild our business practices and systems as well.  I continue to be grateful for the willingness of so many who love General to respond actively by getting involved to make the Plan to Choose Life a reality."


# # #
Media Contact:
Bruce Parker
Associate Vice President for External Relations and Alumni/ae Affairs
The General Theological Seminary
175 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10011
(212) 243-5150 x285,
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.gts.edu

The Rev. Canon Denis O'Pray Closing Prayer

Prayer for the closing session of the Board of Trustees meeting

The General Theological Seminary
October 16, 2010
The Rev. Canon Denis O'Pray

On the occasion of the first plenary session to be convened following the Board’s heroic approval of the Plan to Choose Life.

Whew…what a hard climb, Lord Jesus!  Reminds me of ascending Mount Arbel in the Galilee:  exhausting, but the view is incomparable.  Below, the wadi though which you so often made your way from Nazareth to Jerusalem.  Out there, the Sea of Galilee, across, the Golan heights, below, Tiberius, and low on the horizon, Capernaum.  To see in one glance Lord so much of your life’s journey.  Thrilling.  Worth the climb.

So was this ascent of ours.  And now, with our future claimed, from this high place that we have reached, thanks to our skilled guide, we can see and appreciate so deeply where our old school has been, and, more exciting, where the new one will rise.

I see students, another century’s worth, coming toward the close, there to be formed and educated to be leaders for the church in a changing world.  I can see generations of children sweetly touched by Godly Play trainers who have certificated here.  I see our struggling church being renewed, almost against its will, it would seem, by those who have grasped here a theology and liturgy fit for a new age, taught by a great faculty.  I see field placement students trudging from 23rd and 8th [the subway stop] on their way back to school from their assigned parishes.  I think they are shaking their heads in disbelief at what they have found out there. I can see in the distance the dean and president who will one day stand on the strong shoulders of Lang and Peter, ready to work, but unaware of all that had to be done to prepare General for their season of leadership.

What a climb!  What a view!  What a future you show us , Lord.

Oh, look down there where Fulton’s Fish Market used to be:  I see Trustees whose names will never be known by future generations, whose contribution to this vision will go unnamed.  Their work done, they slip off the scene, tired but happy.

Lord Jesus!  Look! Do you see me among them?  I’m smiling, satisfied, fulfilled. My work is done.

Thank you.  Thank you, Jesus.  Thank you, and Amen.

 

 

THE GENERAL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
440 West 21st Street, New York City, NY 10011   |   tel (212) 243-5150  fax (212) 727-3907

The General Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church is a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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