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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.

Abigail Disney to Speak at General Seminary on Women, War, and Peace

29 July 2011

New York City—Abigail Disney knows the effects of war on women and the powerful role women can play in peacemaking. Creator of Pray the Devil Back to Hell, an award-winning film about women who demanded peace for Liberia, Disney is now making Women, War & Peace, a five-part PBS series debuting October 11, 2011, that presents the stories of women in four war-torn countries: Bosnia, Afghanistan, Colombia, and Liberia. In a preview event open to the public, Disney will visit The General Theological Seminary on Friday evening, September 16, 2011, to discuss religious aspects of the series.

The Women, War and Peace series, comprising five films to air on consecutive Tuesday evenings, reveals how women, in modern warfare, have become primary targets and are suffering unprecedented casualties. Yet women are also emerging as necessary partners in brokering lasting peace.

The preview event will include commentary by Disney as she screens scenes from the new series, followed by an interview with the Rev. Chloe Breyer, Director of The Interfaith Center of New York, Episcopal priest, and 2000 graduate of GTS. Disney will address both the negative and positive religious aspects of women, war and peace—including the ways in which she has seen religious doctrines and institutions pose a stumbling block for women in peacemaking and also how women’s faith beliefs and communities have contributed to their desire and efforts for peace.

Co-sponsored by Anglican Women’s Empowerment (AWE) and Fork Films, Disney’s film production company, the evening also will provide participants with ideas for viewing and responding to the PBS series. AWE, a non-profit organization seeking to empower Anglican/Episcopal women and girls striving for gender equity and social justice, and Fork Films are working together to produce a discussion guide that can be used by local churches.

The event will be held at the Desmond Tutu Center of General Seminary, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm., and will include a reception. To purchase a $45 ticket through PayPal, visit the AWE donation page, http://anglicanwomensempowerment.org/donate-to-awe, or send a check payable to "AWE" to Inez Saley, 760 George St, Teaneck, NJ 07666. To learn more about the event, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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.

 

# # #

 

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.

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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