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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 Sells Apartment Building Adjacent to Campus

5 July 2011

Millions in seminary debt eliminated with little impact on housing capacity

New York City – General Seminary on June 29, 2011 closed on the sale of an apartment building at 422 West 20th Street across from its historic campus between Ninth and Tenth Avenues in Chelsea. Proceeds from the sale to Manhattan real estate developers, The Brodsky Organization, enabled General to eliminate close to one third of the Seminary’s current debt load. Trustees approved the sale of this and several other properties in October of 2010 as part of the Seminary’s Plan to Choose Life, a financial initiative designed to substantially eliminate debt for the 194-year-old institution, rebuild its endowment, and set it on a firm financial footing for the future. “The renovations of our on-campus dormitories, made in preparation for this sale, have yielded an increased number of on-campus housing units,” said Interim President Lang Lowrey after the closing. “As a result, even with the sale of this apartment building, the Seminary has maintained approximately the same number of units.”

Housing units in “422,” as well as on-campus units before the renovations, did not utilize space well for student housing. Prior to the sale, the Seminary had 75 housing units at its disposal. After the sale of “422” and following the on-campus renovations, the number still equals 73 albeit smaller units. The apartment building was purchased by the Trustees in March of 1957 as housing for a major influx of married students. Today, General accommodates married students in on-campus housing units as well as off-campus units.  “Such were the needs of GTS sixty years ago but times have changed and so have the needs of the Seminary,” said President Lowrey in a letter to residents prior to the sale. “We are deeply gratified that this sale has enabled us reduce the Seminary’s debt in such a significant way.”

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’s Fall Semester Offers Great Learning Opportunities

29 July 2011

New York City – Beginning Tuesday, September 6, a lively array of theological courses will be offered on the General Seminary’s beautiful and historic campus in the heart of New York City.  The courses, all on timely issues, are taught by professors who are eminent in their fields. All meet only once a week and may be audited or taken for graduate-level credit. Unless otherwise noted, courses run from September 6 through the end of the term on December 12. The two offerings that conclude the list are module courses that meet for either the first or second half of the semester. Participants will increase their theological knowledge, deepen their spirituality, and join others who have the same goals in studying under the Seminary’s excellent faculty.

What does it mean today that our earliest Christian texts both subjugate and empower enslaved persons? Slaves and Slavery in the New Testament examines this question and the role of slaves and slavery in New Testament texts, early Christian texts, and relevant archaeological material. The institution of slavery permeates the parables, practices and theologies of the earliest Christians leaving a simultaneously painful and liberative legacy for contemporary Christian communities. Also explored will be the ethical implications of different interpretive strategies for preaching, liturgy, and pastoral care. Some previous NT study is required for this course. Prof. Katherine A. Shaner, Mondays, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

Participants in The Resurrection of Christ: Anglican Approaches will be ultimately challenged to discern the comparative strength and validity of a variety of approaches to this central teaching of the Christian faith. The course will critically assess approaches to the theology of the Resurrection of Christ from B. F. Westcott in the nineteenth century onwards, and will examine the work of Michael Ramsey, Christopher Evans, R. H. Fuller, Don Cupitt, John Knox, Rowan Williams, Peter Carnley, John Shelby Spong, and Tom Wright. Distinguished Visiting Prof. Peter Carnley, Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Students in Angels and Demons: Exploring a Spiritual Tradition will take a fascinating look at the “prehistory” of the angels in the ancient world, trace the various types of angels in their Old and New Testament guises, learn of the Early Church’s experience of the Angelic, examine their systematization in the Middle Ages and beyond–and study their eventual decline and sentimentalization and lastly, their contemporary recovery. Besides the Bible, texts will include Greek poetry and drama, the Book of Enoch, the Life of Adam and Eve, and Dionysius’ Celestial Hierarchy–along with visual images throughout the course. Prof. Clair McPherson, Mondays, 1:30 p.m.-3:20 p.m.

Imagine a world where in every community religious leaders speak influentially on the environment; where houses of worship use renewable energy, produce no solid waste, press for clean-ups of local toxic sites, and lead community efforts for environmental sustainability; and where religious educators teach children that caring for the earth is an ethical obligation. Greenfaith: Earth Spirituality, Stewardship & Justice Practicum will offer participants theological and practical training to make this world a reality. Adj. Prof. Fletcher Harper, Thursdays, 2:00-5:00pm.

Addiction: The Church’s Role in Recovery examines the dynamics of alcoholism and addictive illness with an emphasis on intervention, rehabilitation and recovery. In addition to a didactic presentation of materials, students will hear first-hand the “stories” of recovering individuals; attend a sampling of 12-step meetings; and acquire an understanding of strategies for intervention and rehabilitation.  Adj. Prof. Stuart Hoke. Wednesdays,  9/7, 9/14, 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 7:00-9:00 pm.

Drawing on models from Scripture, systems thinking, and diplomacy, Dealing with Conflict in the Church intentionally balances theory and practicality. From the Barnabas Principle and the Translation Factor to the Dangerous Spiral and the Conflict Compass, this class aims to be not only enlightening but creatively empowering. Distinguished Visiting Prof. C.K. Robertson. Wednesdays, 10/19, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/30, 12/77:00-9:00 pm.

 

For more information on these and many other learning opportunities at General Seminary this fall please visit our website at www.gts.edu

 

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.

New Testament Professor Appointed at General Seminary

29 June 2011

New York City – The Executive Committee of the Trustees of The General Theological Seminary (GTS) on June 22, 2011 unanimously approved the appointment of the Rev. Katherine A. Shaner as Assistant Professor of New Testament. Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), Prof. Shaner is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Theology degree at Harvard Divinity School where her scholarly specialization is in the field of New Testament and Early Christian History. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled Religious and Civic Lives of the Enslaved: A Case Study of Roman Ephesos, was a finalist in the Charlotte Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. She has won numerous awards for her scholarly work including a Regional Scholar Award from the Society of Biblical Literature and a Fulbright Fellowship. Prof. Shaner will replace recently retired professor of New Testament, the Rev. Dr. John Koenig.

Trustees made the appointment following an extensive search process carried out by a committee headed by the Seminary’s Interim Dean, the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee.  “Prof. Shaner was selected from a field of extremely talented scholars,” said Bishop Lee. “She has made outstanding contributions to the field of New Testament studies, has delivered many important papers, and has extensive teaching experience, having served as a fellow at Harvard Divinity School under both Prof. Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and Prof. Karen King.” Prof. Shaner has also had experience in congregational and pastoral ministries in Boston and Detroit. She has much experience in archaeological research having served as an excavation assistant with the Austrian Archaeological Institute at Ephesos in Selçuk. She expects to receive her Th.D. degree from Harvard Divinity School this coming November.

 "The opportunity to join General's faculty combines many aspects of my vocation as a pastor and a scholar," said Prof. Shaner. "I am very excited to join the work of prayer, study, formation, and witness that this community shoulders together."

 The Seminary’s Board of Trustees in May 2011 delegated to its Executive Committee the authority to elect a New Testament faculty member on recommendation of the Dean and the New Testament Search Committee.  Prof. Shaner’s appointment also had the endorsement of Dr. David Hurd, Chair of the Seminary’s Faculty Affairs Committee. She will be residing at the Seminary and will begin her teaching duties this fall.  Bishop Lee concluded his announcement by saying he believed Prof. Shaner will bring sound scholarship, visionary energy, and pastoral sensitivity to her work.

 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.

 

# # #

 

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 Hosts Chelsea Music Festival

6 June 2011

New York City – This summer The General Theological Seminary will host the Chelsea Music Festival (CMF) taking place on the Seminary’s landmarked campus and at venues throughout the Chelsea neighborhood from June 14 through June 18.  Having established itself during the summer of 2010 as one of the city’s major cultural events, this year CMF has selected General to be its Festival Headquarters. Renowned and emerging musicians from around the world will rehearse in various locations on the campus, particularly in the classrooms of Sherred Hall, and the Seminary will be the center for Festival volunteers and ticket sales. Outdoor areas as well as the Seminary’s chapel and auditorium will be used for performances and events.

Prior to CMF’s opening, an invitation-only outdoor reception with the Festival musicians and Artistic Directors will take place on June 13 in the Seminary’s gardens, known as the Close, at 6:30 pm. A brief recital featuring the Festival artists will follow in the Seminary’s chapel at 7:30 pm. As reservations are required for the reception, those wishing to attend should please send an email to GTS Senior VP Bruce Parker (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Reservations are not needed for the recital which follows in the chapel and there is no charge.

On June 16, the Festival’s Bach@Noon series will feature world-renowned virtuoso and Festival Artist-in-Residence Alban Gerhardt performing one of the Bach Cello Suites on the Seminary’s beautiful Close at 12 pm. The public is welcome to attend and the recital is free.

Lastly, on Saturday, June 18, a Festival Talks panel discussion will be hosted by Artistic Director Ken-David Masur.  Paths on the Upright: Improvisation and journeying the musical highway from classical to jazz will take place at 2 pm in Seabury Auditorium. This event is free to those who have purchased tickets for other Festival events. For all events please enter the Seminary at 440 West 21st Street. 

Festival performances at other venues throughout Chelsea—all within walking distance of GTS—together represent an extraordinary week-long event for lovers of classical and jazz music. “Cultural and artistic events like the Festival are what summer in the Big Apple is all about,” said General Seminary president Lang Lowrey, “we are honored to host these talented musicians and to welcome our neighbors to the GTS campus for this wonderful event.” For more details on the performances, the artists, and all Festival events visit, www.chelseamusicfestival.org.


# # #

 

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.

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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