Page 1

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

summer|fall 2013

In this Issue 2013 Graduates | 4

Honor Roll of Donors | center

Transformative Learning | 10


Scripture. Service.

Preparing strong, imaginative leaders for the church.

Austin Seminary professors are not only expert academicians, but are personally committed to their faith and to the church, making them valuable mentors to students preparing for a life in ministry.

See for yourself.

Discovery Weekend October 25-27, 2013

To confirm your place: Call 800-241-1085, email admissions@, or register online at falldiscovery






summer | fall 2013

Volume 128 | Number 3


Theodore J. Wardlaw


Board of Trustees

Cassandra C. Carr, Chair Karen C. Anderson Thomas L. Are Jr. Claudia D. Carroll Elizabeth Christian Joseph J. Clifford James G. Cooper Marvin L. Cooper James B. Crawley Consuelo Donahue (MDiv’96) Jackson Farrow Jr. Elizabeth Blanton Flowers G. Archer Frierson Richard D. Gillham Walter Harris Jr. John Hartman Roy M. Kim James H. Lee (MDiv’00) Michael L. Lindvall Jennifer L. Lord Lyndon L. Olson Jr. B. W. Payne David Peeples Jeffrey Kyle Richard Teresa Chávez Sauceda (MDiv’88) James C. Shaw Lita Simpson Anne Vickery Stevenson Karl Brian Travis John L. Van Osdall Sallie Sampsell Watson (MDiv’87) Carlton Wilde Jr. Elizabeth Currie Williams Hugh H. Williamson III

Transformative Learning 10 Be Prepared

By Michael Murray (MDiv’61)

12 Don’t Go it Alone

By Judy Record Fletcher (MDiv’69)


Alumnus Judy Fletcher (MDiv’69) shares some of the transformative things she learned during her seminary education.


13 Paradigm of Love By Dan Fultz (MDiv’91)

14 Change is a Way of Life

By Kristin Galle (MDiv’01)

Center: The 2012-13 Honor Roll of Donors

& departments

Cover illustration: ©S. Pinar Ince/123RF.COM


Trustees Emeriti


seminary & church


twenty-seventh & speedway

15 live & learn 16 faculty news & notes 20 alumni news & notes

Stephen A. Matthews John M. McCoy Jr. (MDiv’63) Max Sherman Louis Zbinden

21 teaching & ministry

Austin Seminary Association (ASA) Board

Valerie Bridgeman (MDiv’90), President Karen Greif (MDiv’92, DMin’06), Secretary Timothy Blodgett (MDiv’07), Past President J. Andrew Blair (MDiv’89) Alonzo Campbell (DMin’94) Katherine Cummings (MDiv’05) Dieter U. Heinzl(MDiv’98) Matthew C. Miles (MDiv’99) Andrew Parnell (MDiv’05) Tamara J. Strehli (MDiv’05) Nancy Taylor (MDiv’05) Leanne Thompson (MDiv’06) Michael A. Waschevski (DMin’03) Sandra M. Kern (MDiv’93)

Editor Randal Whittington


Deborah Butler Jeannine Caracciolo Lemuel García Sharon Sandberg Sandy Knott Mona Santandrea Alison Riemersma Kimberly Rutherford Kristy Sorensen

Windows is published three times each year by Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Austin Seminary Windows Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary 100 E. 27th St. Austin, TX 78705-5711 phone: 512-404-4808 e-mail: fax: 512-479-0738 ISSN 2056-0556; Non-profit bulk mail permit no. 2473

seminary church

from the president |

he theme of this issue of Windows is “Transformative Learning,” and there are several thought-provoking essays from alums which lift up examples of learning experiences, in and beyond their experiences at Austin Seminary, which were profoundly transformative. Not to be a smart-aleck, but I’m wondering if there’s any true moment of learning, really, which is not transformative. I remember vividly, as I prepared in the summer of 1974 to set out from South Carolina for the exotic and far-away city of Richmond, Virginia, and my first year of seminary, a former Sunday School teacher wagging her finger in my face and saying, “Now don’t you let them change you!” Her notion of my seminary education was that it would be a series of satanic seductions in which malevolent, left-leaning professors would design all sorts of ways to destroy my faith—to knock me off the pedestal of premature certainties to which she was imploring me to cling for dear life. A little caught off-guard by her intensity, I promised, in effect, not to be transformed by my seminary experience. I would go there just to get my ticket punched, I assured her. Thanks be to God, I am pleased to report that I did not, I could not, keep that promise. Instead, from the first day of class, I found myself gratefully soaking up the rich platter of scholarship and curiosity served up throughout my seminary experience. I was a kid in a candy store! It strikes me now that every teaching moment there—if it was truly a teaching moment—was a transformative one. And, long after my last diploma, such teaching, learning moments continue. Mike Murray writes so movingly of such moments when faith leaders learn not just from familiar sacred spaces and categories but also from that greater mission field which is the whole wide world. Judy Fletcher, with her grateful memories of collaborative learning, makes me think of the flexible spaces for such collaboration amongst fellow students which will characterize the Learning and Information Center that will someday anchor our campus. Dan Fultz’s reflections on his learning experiences here lift up the essential ingredient of humility at the root of transformative learning. Kristin Galle’s ministry began just weeks before 9-11, and—ever since—she has so often been called upon to navigate deftly and faithfully through a variety of crises. Each of these essays offers testimony to the endless ways and venues in which learning is transformative. May these reflections encourage your own. Also in this issue of Windows, in addition to much news of all sorts, is this year’s Honor Roll of Donors—people, perhaps like you, who offer their own generosity as testimony to the impact of the Seminary upon their lives, the life of the church, and the healing of the world. Read their names and give thanks to God for them. They help make transformative learning possible!


President’s Schedule Sept. 15-Preach, First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, Louisiana (Theological Education Sunday) Oct. 6- Preach, First Presbyterian Church, Richardson, Texas Nov. 14- Host, Partner Lunch, Corpus Christi, Texas Feb. 11-13- Preach/Teach, Bold World Retreat, Mo-Ranch, Hunt, Texas Feb. 27-Host, Partner Lunch, Austin, Texas March 25- Host, Partner Lunch, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Faithfully yours,

Theodore J. Wardlaw President

Your voice counts! In October we will be conducting a survey about the Seminary’s mission and communication, and we want to hear what you think. To sign up to receive the survey by email, register here:

2 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

twenty-seventh speedway

Vickery legacy continues with distinguished chair in ethics


ustin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Trustee Anne Vickery Stevenson of Sugar Land, Texas, has pledged $2.5 million to establish the Edward D. Vickery Sr. Distinguished Chair of Christian Ethics. The gift is in memory of her father, a well-respected maritime attorney and long-time supporter of Austin Seminary. This is the third distinguished faculty chair established as part of the Seminary’s $44 million capital campaign.

Anne Stevenson has served as a community advocate in women’s health and faith studies. She served as a member of the board and also president of the Fort Bend County Family Health Center for ten years and has served as a Bible study leader at The Women’s Home in Houston, Texas, since 1997. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Houston; she also briefly taught elementary school. Stevenson has held a director position at Tradition

Ed Vickery served on the Austin Seminary Board of Trustees for twenty years, seventeen as chairman. From left, Vickery preparing to preside over Commencement; with daughter, Anne; breaking ground for the McCord Community Center. “Anne’s commitment to fund this chair memorializes the importance of ethics and public theology as a discipline in the life of this institution in perpetuity,” said Seminary President Theodore J. Wardlaw. “I am so pleased, and deeply grateful, that Austin Seminary now gets to draw the self-evident and appropriate association between the field of ethics and the name of Edward Downtain Vickery Sr., who epitomized by his life and work the very character of an ethical life.” The Vickery family has long supported Austin Seminary financially, prayerfully, and through their leadership. Stevenson, like her father from 1975-1995, now serves on the Austin Seminary Board of Trustees. Together with her father and brother, Edward D. Vickery Jr., Stevenson established the Dorothy B. Vickery Chair of Homiletics and Liturgical Studies, in memory of their mother and wife. The Dorothy Butler Vickery and Edward Downtain Vickery Endowed Scholarship also honors them, along with the Vickery Atrium of the McCord Community Center where the Seminary hosts many social gatherings. Throughout and beyond his lengthy service on the Austin Seminary Board, Ed Vickery completed funding for the C. Ellis and Nancy Gribble Nelson Chair of Christian Education in January 2002.

Bank since 1995. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Houston for thirty-four years and currently attends Memorial Drive United Methodist Church. Edward D. Vickery Sr. was committed to providing scholarships and education to others, as he was the recipient of scholarships that enabled the completion of his education. He received two degrees from The University of Texas at Austin: a BA in 1945 and a JD in 1948. He was a partner in the Houston law firm Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams, specializing in litigation in the areas of admiralty and maritime law, insurance coverage, and personal injury cases. He was admitted to practice in all Texas and federal courts, the Supreme Courts of Texas and the United States, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits. Among numerous memberships and honors, he was listed in “The Best Lawyers in America in Maritime Law” for more than a dozen years. He was a member of the Houston and American Bar Associations, the State Bar of Texas, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and was a proctor member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States. He was a deacon and elder of First Presbyterian Church, Houston, for forty years. Summer | Fall 2013 | 3

twenty-seventh speedway

Graduates look forward to ministry opportunities


Photo above: doctor of ministry graduates; below: master’s-degree graduates.

2013 Graduate Awards Donald Capps Award in Pastoral Care: Lauren Vernon Chalice Press Book Award: Karen Cotton Chidester Preaching Award: Lindsay Conrad Rachel Henderlite Award: Chris Dunn Hendrick-Smith Award for Mission & Evangelism: Mi-Sook Lee Carl Kilborn Book Award: Joe Tognetti Charles L. King Preaching Award: Garry Roberts John B. Spragens Award: Cathy Stone Max Sherman & Barbara Jordan Fellowship: Laura Westerlage

4 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

ustin Presbyterian Theological Seminary conferred degrees on thirty-six masters and doctoral candidates on Sunday, May 26, at University Presbyterian Church in Austin. Board of Trustee Chair Cassandra Carr presided over the ceremony, and the Reverend Trey Little (MDiv’07), pastor of First Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, delivered the commencement address. Two dual degree students also received the Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin; one candidate earned the Seminary’s first Master of Arts in Ministry Practice degree. This graduating class represents ten states, two countries, six Christian denominations, and three faiths, including Muslim and Jewish. A complete list of graduates and President Wardlaw’s Charge to the Graduates follows.

The Class of 2013 Master of Divinity Barrett Durham Abernethy Tuscaloosa, Alabama Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Livingston, Alabama

Karen Moore Black

Round Rock, Texas Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Completing candidacy requirements

James Cameron Burton

Austin, Texas United Methodist Church Year-long Clinical Pastoral Education residency, Scott and White Hospital, Temple, Texas

Andrew Wayne Chapman Austin, Texas Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Seeking a call

Lindsay Rae Conrad

Lynchburg, Virginia Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Pastoral Resident, First Presbyterian Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Andrew Redden Keyes

Loveland, Colorado Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Instructor, Loveland Dance Academy, Loveland Colorado, while seeking a call

Mi-Sook Lee

Austin, Texas United Methodist Church Associate Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas Nondenominational Year-long Clinical Pastoral Education residency program, Seton Hospitals, beginning Fall 2013

Meagan Nicole Ludwig

Allie Elizabeth Utley

Wichita, Kansas Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Clinical Pastoral Education residency through August 2013 at Seton Hospitals and seeking a call

New Orleans, Louisiana Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Chapel intern and research assistant at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

David Henry Miron

Kimberly Lauren Vernon

Albuquerque, New Mexico Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Completing candidacy requirements

Denver Lloyd Dolman

Garry Demon Roberts

Austin, Texas Missionary Baptist Youth Pastor, Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, Austin, Texas

Stephen Charles Robinson

Annapolis, Maryland Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Year-long Clinical Pastoral Education residency beginning Fall 2013, Seton Hospitals, Austin, Texas, while completing candidacy requirements

Austin, Texas Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Year-long Clinical Pastoral Education residency beginning Fall 2013, Seton Hospitals, Austin, Texas

Katie Anne Frederick

Kimberly Diane Rogers

Austin, Texas United Methodist Church Year-long Clinical Pastoral Education residency beginning Fall 2013, Baptist Health, San Antonio, Texas

Joseph John Tognetti

Longmont, Colorado Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Luling, Texas

Karen Lois McNair Cotton

Christopher Joseph Dunn

Catherine Linea Stone

San Antonio, Texas United Methodist Church Licensed Local Pastor, Kempner United Methodist Church, Kempner, Texas, while completing ordination requirements

Rebecca Weaver Longino

San Antonio, Texas United Methodist Church Associate Pastor, Colonial Hills United Methodist Church, San Antonio, Texas

Elgin, Texas United Methodist Church Seeking a lay leader position

Michelle Crystal Ruiz

Houston, Texas Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Associate Pastor, Southminster Presbyterian Church, Missouri City, Texas

Pipe Creek, Texas Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Associate Pastor, Central Presbyterian Church, Austin, Texas

Dallas, Texas Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Seeking employment as a hospital chaplain while completing candidacy requirements

Bradley Clayton Watson

Dual Degree Graduate Hurst, Texas Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Seeking employment in the field of counseling in a clinical setting

Laura Alison Westerlage

Dual Degree Graduate Haltom City, Texas Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Benefits Coordinator, Caritas of Austin, Austin, Texas

Summer | Fall 2013 | 5

twenty-seventh speedway

The Class of 2013 Master of Arts (Theological Studies) Timothy Edward Carrasco

Jessica Lynn Espinoza

Okan Dogan

Amanda Dawn Robinson

Carlsbad, New Mexico Nondenominational Seeking employment in Carlsbad, New Mexico

Istanbul, Turkey Muslim Applying to PhD and Masters programs in Islamic studies

Buda, Texas United Methodist Church Seeking employment in the San Antonio, Texas, area

Cedar Park, Texas Jewish Associate Director of the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, Austin, Texas

Master of Arts in Ministry Practice Donna Jo Shaw

San Antonio, Texas United Methodist Church Pastor, Valley Spring and Cherokee United Methodist Churches, Valley Spring, Texas

webXtra: See back cover for

commencement photos. For even more, go to: austinseminary. edu/mediagallery

Doctor of Ministry Joy Juanita Carrington

Pastor, Hopewell Presbyterian Church, Morrilton, Arkansas Doctoral Project: “Equipping Select Members of Allison Presbyterian Church for Effective Christian Witnessing: Sharing the Gospel Message with Persons in the Congregation of Differing Social Context”

Margaret Jill Duffield

Associate Pastor for Discipleship, Shandon Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina Doctoral Project: “An Ear for the Spirit: Living as the God-Taught Ones We Are”

Daniel Curtis Jones

Senior Pastor, First Christian Church, Garland, Texas Doctoral Project: “A Theology Of Hope For Pastoral Care: Reframing Life’s Losses In The Context Of God’s Future”

Mark David Keffer

Associate Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Plano, Texas Doctoral Project: “Cultivating Spiritual Disciplines In A Consumer Culture”

Robert Frederick Lohmeyer

Associate Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Kerrville, Texas Doctoral Project: “Witness to the Resurrection: Reclaiming the Funeral Service in the Reformed Tradition”

Tommy Dale Nuckels

Director of Spiritual Care, Lifeline Chaplaincy, Austin, Texas Doctoral Project: “Let The Children Come: Equipping Lay Chaplains to Provide Effective Pastoral Care To Children Who Have Experienced Grief”

Jeanie Ricketts Stanley

Pastor, San Gabriel Doctoral Project: “The Spiritual Transformation of Youth and Their Families Through Preaching and Worship” 6 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Charge to the Class of 2013

Treasure the teachers in your life By President Theodore J. Wardlaw


ell, look at you! All dressed up, and somewhere to go! Many of you already know where that somewhere is; others of you don’t yet know, but will. And, before you leave this place, this moment, and step into the future, it is my great privilege to offer to you a charge. And my charge this year has to do with teachers. I have three things I want to say to you about teachers. First of all, I charge you to remember your teachers. If it’s possible, I charge you to remember them gratefully. That will be easier with some than with others, I understand that. When I was in high school, I attended a school established in 1783 as a military school for boys, which meant that, even in my time there, almost two hundred years later, academics were mixed with military discipline. Even after it had become a public school there in Augusta, Georgia, I was, like almost everybody else, in the R.O.T.C. program and required to go to class in a military uniform (brass and shoes shined nightly so that, maybe, I would pass inspection). There was a teacher there, a math teacher, who was a survivor of the Bataan Death March. He had been captured by the Imperial Japanese Army after the three-month-long Battle of Bataan in the Philippines during World War II. And, along with 60 to 80,000 other prisoners of war—mainly Filipino and American prisoners—he had been marched for 80 miles on what became known as the March of Death. It was a march characterized by brutal physical abuse of the prisoners—they were mistreated, beaten, and bayoneted—and untold numbers of them died as a result of injuries on that march; or, if not injuries, then outright execution; and, if not execution, then the exhaustion that came from the sweltering heat or starvation or absence of medical care. Hundreds and hundreds of soldiers either died or were put to death on that march, but this man survived. I believe that march broke him, though; or, at least he seemed broken in that year that I had him for math. It was pretty well-established that he drank his way through the school day, and I had him for sixth period; and, let’s just put it this way, we didn’t learn a lot of math. Sometimes he would throw books or chalk at people; sometimes he would just


randomly tell someone, “Hey Butthead, get your books and get out of here.” He told me that a lot, actually. But he told me something else that I have not forgotten. This was the year in which my father was dying; and all my teachers knew that, but most of them felt too awkward to address it with me. You know how that is. We’re often so awkward around death. Someone is dying, and unless they bring it up, we go to the house and clear our throats and talk about football. People were like that around me; my dad was dying and nobody at school said anything. Except for this teacher. He’d pull me aside, often, and look at me with such a sad, tormented, kind face—the face of someone who understood suffering—and he would say, “I know about your dad, and I’m sorry about that; but you’re a survivor; you’re going to be all right.” This survivor told me that I was a survivor. There weren’t many people in my life at that time who had the language or the self-awareness to tell me that. So, for whatever reason, this bizarre, sad, broken, kind man is at the top of the list of the teachers whom I remember. Remember your teachers. You’ve had some wonderful ones here. They are the most important people in the ecosystem of this Seminary and of any academic institution. May you remember your favorite teachers here forever. And on their behalf, I would encourage you to reach out to them, in those moments when you need some help; because you are every bit as much a part of them now, as they are of you. Remember and give thanks for your teachers. And secondly, I charge you to stay alert to those who are preparing, even now, to become your next teachers. The important teachers of your life, after all— assuming, of course, that you continue to cultivate a teachable spirit—are not just that rarified collection of professors who help you get a diploma. They are, also, the people—some of them, at least—with whom you will work and with whom you will serve. One of them might be the Clerk of Session in the parish to which you are going; or the choir director, or that wise one who reminds you of your grandparents, or that child who shares with you some profound spiritual truth. Virtually anyone, at any point in time—however humble or exalted

Be that kind of teacher— a knight of faith, a person whose feet are on the ground and whose eyes and soul are cast toward heaven.

Summer | Fall 2013 | 7

twenty-seventh speedway their circumstances—has the capacity to become your teacher, voice of the church; and because of that, students will have a greater opportunity to learn an additional octave that will if only you remain alert for the teaching moment. Looking have incalculable payoff in their vocational life beyond the back on it now, I know that I was blessed to have countless Seminary. K.C.’s teaching demonstrated that. And, in the end, teachers—wonderful people in every church I served, and the most important lessons he taught us all was how to die— wonderful people now in this Seminary setting, committed faithfully, honestly, bravely, and well. With the eyes of faith, enough—each one—to my success as a servant of the church, we know that he is with us today. He’s in the chorus of that to invest in me, if only I was able to let them. To pull me great Communion of the Saints, and maybe you’re thinking as aside, from time to time, or to be there when I called upon well today of some of the others in that communion—those them—prepared, every one of them, to teach me something who are peering over the balconies of heaven to cheer us all on important. Woe be unto the pastor who leaves the Seminary in this moment. Look, in the days and years ahead, for their with the assumption that, in that setting to which she is surrogates—those teachers whom you have not yet met. going, she will be the only teacher—the only authority, the Now lastly, I charge you to be teachers—people who, only decision-maker. No, that pastor—we, all of us—always by not just the things you say but by the lives that you live, need teachers. show forth a good witness in the name of Jesus Christ. This You and I share one very important teacher—K.C. world is porous for the presence and sight of such people. Let Ptomey. This has been a weekend when we have remembered your own lives be the best teaching sermon you ever preach. K.C., time and time again. We have brought in his hood and Professor Rigby shared with me a week or so ago a wonderful his stole and we have made a space for him today amidst his quote from the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. colleagues on the faculty. He was one of your teachers across Kierkegaard is reflecting on these three years, and he was people who understand that one of my teachers for thirtythey are mortal, and yet who one years. In the parish, when live their lives with their eyes I was the one who needed help fixed on immortality. They with something, he was the one aren’t knights in shining I called the most. Sometimes, armor; they are, instead, says in my pastoral life, there would Kierkegaard, “knights of faith.” be something in the ditch—a “Generally,” he says, “people thorny conflict in the church, travel around the world to see a difficult person, a moment of rivers and mountains, new decision—and I would bug Kay stars, colorful birds, freakish to death about it until she would fish: they indulge in the brutish finally say, “Ted, I can’t help you stupor that gawks at life and with this; call K.C.” That was her On the courtyard after graduation, Laura Westerlage visits thinks it has seen something. abiding advice, because no spouse with her comparative religion teacher, Whit Bodman. That does not occupy me,” he is, in every situation, the only and says. “But if I knew where a ultimate fount of knowledge, and so knight of faith lived, I would travel on foot to [such a person], she would say, “Call K.C.” Over the years, I turned that advice for this marvel occupies me absolutely.” into a kind of code. I’d call his office and his secretary would Be that kind of teacher—a knight of faith, a person answer, and I’d say, “Is this 1-800-Call KC?” and she’d say, whose feet are on the ground and whose eyes and soul are cast “Hello, Mr. Wardlaw, let me see if he is in.” And he would drop whatever he was doing, and listen, and give me his honest and toward heaven. Be that kind of teacher in the name of that One Who lived in the precincts of immortality, and yet Who unvarnished advice, over and over again. What a blessing he also, in the words of St. John’s gospel, “became flesh and lived was—one of my teachers. among us … full of grace and truth.” And one of yours. He loved teaching here. After serving Well, that’s my charge to you on this day. First of all, for twenty-seven years in one of the premier parishes of the remember your teachers, remember them gratefully. Secondly, Presbyterian Church, he would say, over and over again, “God stay alert to receive the wisdom from teachers yet to come. saved the best call for last.” I’m so pleased, by the way, that And finally, strive—for the sake of the world, and for the sake Trey Little is here today, because I want to say in his presence of the Gospel—strive with all your might to be teachers. a profound word of thanks that the First Presbyterian May God bless you in all of that, for all the days of your Church of San Antonio, in establishing the Zbinden Chair, lives. v gave this seminary a gift that most seminaries don’t have. It guaranteed that the voice of the academy will be, in every generation of this school’s life, tuned in a special way by the 8 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Three women elected to Seminary Board

staff notes |


Romona Jones is the new housing coordinator/administrative assistant to the Office of Business Affairs. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration/human resource management from Columbia Southern University, is working towards obtaining her MBA and is a PFTA Certified Personal Trainer. She is active in her church’s outreach program and her hobbies include cycling, swimming, and coaching little league sports.

t its May meeting, the Austin Seminary Board of Trustees elected officers and three new members: Katie Cummings, Rhashell Hunter, and Lana Russell. Beginning with the November meeting, The Reverend Thomas Are Jr. will be the chair of the board. Other officers include: Archer Frierson, vice chair; David Peeples, secretary; and B.W. Sonny Payne, treasurer. The Reverend Katie Cummings (MDiv’05) is associate pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church in Houston, Texas. Cummings served on the Seminary’s Houston Extension program advisory board and the Austin Seminary Association board. She is active in New Covenant Presbytery and has given leadership to Mo-Ranch, Houston Area Celebration Youth Retreat, and Clear Lake Presbyterian Church, Houston, where she was associate pastor of discipleship and congregational chair (2005-2008). The Reverend Dr. Rhashell D.

Hunter is director of the Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministries / Presbyterian Women program for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a post she has held since 2007. Previously she served as pastor of Community Presbyterian Church in Flint, Michigan, (1998 to 2007). She has held adjunct teaching positions at McCormick Theological Seminary and the University of Chicago Divinity School. Educated at McCormick and Trinity University, she had a career in the performing arts in New York, Dallas, and Houston. Today, Hunter integrates her gifts in the performing arts with her ministry in the church and integrates drama and dance into worship life. The Reverend Lana Russell is an owner of oil and gas businesses in Midland, Texas. She served Austin Seminary as the director of church and alumni relations from 2010-2012 and was associate pastor at Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. A former Austin Seminary student, she earned her MDiv degree and a Master of Theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.

David Perry is the part-time desktop support technician. He is studying toward a degree in business management or elementary education. His hobbies include gardening, paintball (he plays on a local team), and working with the Boy Scouts with his son. Roy Cotton is now serving full-time in the IT Department. Mona Santandrea recently experienced a couple of significant changes in her life and work. When she returned to the Seminary after giving birth to her son, Luca, she moved into her new position as executive assistant to President Ted Wardlaw. Sharon Sandberg is the new administrative assistant to the Office of Institutional Advancement. Sharon studied journalism and English at Metropolitan State College in Denver. She recently moved to Texas from North Carolina with her three cats and a turtle. Sharon enjoys kickboxing, reading, and karaoke, and is looking forward to enjoying all the music Austin has to offer.

Nancy Reese retires in June After nearly twenty years, Austin Seminary has bid adios to long-time colleague Nancy Reese. Nancy served as administrative assistant to the dean before becoming executive assistant to the president in 2003. Noting Nancy’s superb gifts and dedication during good-bye festivities, President Wardlaw said, “Nancy has distinguished herself for her gracious hospitality to one and all—persons who are part of the ongoing Seminary family as well as persons who have never met her but have experienced her as the ‘front porch’ of the Seminary. On multiple trips I have made to various places around the country, I have often encountered someone who says, ‘When you get back to Austin, please say Hi to Nancy for me.’ Though they have never met her, they have been received helpfully by her on the telephone.” In her retirement Nancy plans to continue what brings her joy: creating art, gardening, sharing good times with her loved ones. Over the years Nancy has been a constant source of help with Windows and we gratefully wish her Godspeed! Summer | Fall 2013 | 9



Be prepared By Mike Murray, (MDiv’61)


resh out of seminary, I pastored churches in the Texas valley, but in 1969, I was called to a large suburban church in Pittsburgh. The congregation was filled with corporate executives from the likes of Westinghouse, U.S. Steel, Gulf Oil, and Alcoa. Much of my time was spent calling in the homes of visitors, visiting members in the hospital, and doing pastoral counseling. My senior pastor heard about a telephone ministry based on an Australian model and wanted me to direct such a ministry that would serve all of Allegheny County. Training of the volunteers—who would staff the phones at the church 24/7/365—required at least fifty hours of classroom work. The first two rounds of training, by seminary professors and by psychologists and helping professionals, frankly were not that helpful. I had just been exposed to

Essay continued following the Honor Roll of Donors 10 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary



some behavioral I must sciences methhave reods at the Center membered for Creative Livthat wisdom ing and Spiritual when I acGrowth, so for cepted the the third class, Mike Murray’s 1961 graduating class. invitation I started doing to work for some of the training myself. This form a while in the corporate, government, of training proved to be more helpful to and nonprofit worlds. As it happened, I the volunteers seeking to give those who never made it back to the paid pastorate, called an experience of being listened to although I’ve certainly worked in plenty and appreciatively understood. of churches, judicatories, and denomina Meanwhile, I continued to do my reg- tions, and I’ve served as a parish associate ular work as associate pastor. I had never for the past forty years. My career certainbeen exposed to corporate America and ly would not have appeared in a ten-year the lives of executives. At times, I felt like plan when I was a senior at Austin Semia stranger in a strange land. As I visited nary! Still, those formative years equipped with them, my (unexpressed) reaction to me to do exactly what I have spent my cawhat I heard was frequently, “Are you reer and life doing. I owe a deep debt of kidding me? Is that really the way things gratitude to the faculty and to my classwork in that world?” mates, and especially to Dr. Gribble. Ex In late 1972 I was invited to join a pressing that gratitude publicly is a great group back in Texas that would offer joy—especially since I am convinced he training to people in the workplace: team would be astounded at his influence. building, conflict resolution, communica- I would hope that the Seminary and tion skills, creative problem solving. How the Presbytery Committee on the Prepacould I say no?!? Working in that world for ration for Ministry encourages every Ausa while seemed important if I was to ef- tin Seminary student to explore his or her fectively pastor folks who spent their days missional and entrepreneurial gifts. The there. After a few years, I would go back to mission field is everywhere—not just in the pastorate. existing church buildings. Every graduate As I thought about what in my semi- of the Seminary who intends to serve as nary education opened up the path for me the pastor of an existing local congregato work in human resources training and tion should also be prepared to “evangedevelopment, Dr. Robert Gribble came to lize” (or form a new church, if you prefer mind. The truth is, he probably planted that description), thinking about how to the seed that bore fruit. Dr. Gribble had a start a “congregation” from scratch. theme to which he frequently turned: All Of course, presbyteries would have pastors should have another line of work to be more open to calling and ordaining to which they could turn if need be. Dr. seminary graduates as “evangelists” rather Gribble was a stonemason. He built huge than as pastors of existing congregations. retaining walls on the hill that sloped But the reality is that the current model down to Waller Creek and a stone home in and process, in which seminary graduates Leander. Without the pastorate or teach- have to hope that there will be a congreing, he could pick up his trowel and some gation to issue them a call, is going away. rocks, mix some mortar, and start build- New models must be developed—and the ing something! In his mind, we should all best people to develop them are those who be prepared, like Paul, to be “tentmakers.” have to implement them. v

We asked our Facebook friends, What conversation, class, professor, or event in seminary has stayed with you over the years, influencing the way you do ministry? Following are some of what they told us. To participate in occasional survey questions, “like us” on Facebook!

“Alan Lewis (Theology) because of his incredible courage and ability to pray at any time or occasion with beauty and grace.” – Kathleen Hignight ’95


“Ismael Garcia (Ethics), through the way he conducted his class. I suspect that he and I may have disagreed on many topics that came up in his Ethics class, but I always respected that he ensured that all arguments were fact-based and he did not allow unfounded statements or ad hominem attacks, no matter which side.” – Fred D. Richmond ’95

“My first class with Prof. Cindy Rigby (Theology) ... she told us that we ‘are all theologians.’ That was a revelation to me.” – Aquanetta Hicks ’08

Summer | Fall 2013 | 11

Don’t go it alone by Judy Record Fletcher (MDiv’69)


t is the end of the spring semester, my first year in seminary, and five of us are sitting in Professor Jim Wharton’s office. We are there as a group to be examined for our Old Testament comprehensive exam. While each of us would receive an individual grade, we had studied together and were being examined together. And, we had the sense that we were all in this together. This is in stark contrast to my New Testament comprehensive the semester before when I was the sole student facing Professor Stuart Currie. I remember well the time leading up to being examined. There were two days and nights of last minute cramming, alone—sustained primarily by coffee—going to take the exam, followed by hours of tears. These were the worst days in all of seminary for me! Working in groups became an incredibly important model for me in all my years of ministry. We had the “preacher group” in which a dozen of us in small East Arkansas churches met together once a month for lunch and collegial sharing. We also developed an annual continuing education event bringing in a theologian or psychologist for a few days of instruction. We were a colleague group before the term became popular! Later, a lectionary group in Tulsa met every Wednesday morning for years (and still meets!). I was in colleague groups of synod executives and another with presbytery executives. And, yes, in good Presbyterian fashion, there were countless committees and task forces and commis-

12 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

sions that were important to me as well. I was sustained in my ministry by these groups. They fed me and taught me to be a better minister, a better person. Bottom line, it was the church being the church, of course; the body of believers working together. It was Koinonia at its best. These various groups reminded me that I was not alone and that I did not have to live with the burden of individual responsibility apart from these good people. One of the buzz words in the business world today is collaboration. In companies like Apple and Microsoft, workers are moving from individual offices and cubicles to open work spaces where they labor together on projects and assignments. Such collaboration leads to increased imagination. Companies are seeing an improvement in the quality of work and the satisfaction levels of their workers. They could have learned this years ago from the Reformed Church! We believe in the wisdom of group work; it is at the heart of our polity. Time after time, group work proves to be better than what any individual working alone can achieve. While individual contribution and responsibility are signally important, working in groups helps keep our egos intact. It also strengthens our confidence and eases our burdens. Paul reminds us that “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.” I am grateful for this and glad I had help with many

Judy Fletcher, solitary and studious

difficult decisions. Various writers have written effectively about the potential loneliness of being a minister, and it is true especially of rural pastors. But this feeling of isolation can happen in any town and any place. My advice: Get out there and form a group. It can be the difference between staying in ministry or leaving it. There is much evidence to support this. In my day, the group work model was hit or miss, so I am hoping that seminaries now understand how transformative working in groups can be. Students will enter ministry more aware of the power of working with colleagues and groups rather than alone the majority of time. I believe it will enhance their ministry and their lives. I am grateful that my career of working collaboratively began in study groups at Austin Seminary, and I hope that countless numbers of pastors through the years can claim the same. So, out with Bowling Alone and in with The Wisdom of Crowds. v

By Dan Fultz (MDiv’91)


hen I remember our days at Austin Seminary, my mind is filled with so many beautiful thoughts. I remember the explosion of new ideas; a world I had never imagined. I rememDan’s award-winning Chili Cook-off Team ber the struggle of keeping up with reading assignments had brought apples to class. He proceeded while also trying to be present and atten- to slice the apples and then to serve them tive to my two early-elementary-age sons. to each of us individually. It was a simple I remember the sacrifices my wife made gesture, no big deal at all, except for the and the massive support she gave me. But humility and selflessness imbedded in this most of all I remember the community. simple act. This moment became for me a Never before and never again would I be symbol of the Christian life; one of selfa part of so large a group of people, work- less love for one another. When I rememing so closely together, sharing the same ber that moment I also remember the last passion. words Fred Holper said to our class just A huge part of being in that commu- moments before commencement: “There nity was not only the relationship of stu- is no meaningless ritual.” Everything we dent to student, or even the wonderful do, large or small, demonstrates to the pastoral relationship the faculty had with world the love of Christ that lives in each the students, but there was also the way of us. faculty treated each other. While each fac- Today we live in such a stress-filled ulty member had a very different theologi- world; a world where those who oppose us cal or political perspective, they all dem- are vilified and demonized; where issues onstrated a model of collegiality to one are sharply drawn with no quarter given. another and to the students. They taught As Christ’s church we are called to love as us, through their example, that we all are Christ loves us, to teach how to love those a part something greater than ourselves, who see things differently, who oppose us and that everyone is precious in their own on things we hold dear, even when they right. This paradigm of love shaped my seem to win the day. I go back, time and whole experience at Austin Seminary and again to those days at Austin Seminary has shaped my ministry since then. There when we were taught the faith not only are many examples of how this commu- in words but in how we all treated one annity, faculty, staff, and students lived out other. As I gather around a table with peothis paradigm; every single person partici- ple of strong and varied opinion, I often pated in it at one time or another. Let me picture in my mind John bringing each of illustrate with just one small example. us a little piece of apple, and I hear Fred It was senior preaching and Professor say once again, “There is no meaningless John Alsup was leading the class. John ritual.” v

“President Jack Stotts (Ethics)” – Gini Norris-Lane ’99


Paradigm of love


“Lewie Donelson (New Testament)” – Donna Bowling ’03

“Dr. Sherron George (Mission and Evangelism). Jesus said, ‘As my Father has sent me, so I am sending you.’ We are all to be apostolic in our faith.” – Dixie Anders ’01


“At graduation Ted Wardlaw (President) said as ministers our job is to ‘always show up. Be present. People need to know you’re there with them.’” – Sharon Risher ’07

“Robert Paul (Church History) Almost anything he said was worth remembering, but the ‘transformative’ one was this: ‘Don’t ever think you’re better than everyone else because you’re a pastor. There’s not a sin in the world that the church didn’t teach it.’” – Sallie Sampsell Watson ’87

Summer | Fall 2013 | 13


learning “Alan Cole’s (Pastoral Care) bereavement class. I was really prepared for my first funeral!” – Kelly Updegraff Staples ’11

“Stan Hall (Liturgics) brought worship to life in ways I could not have envisioned. On a more personal level, he believed in me—a second-career single mom—as a pastor. To this day, it serves as a reminder that we all need someone to believe in us and our potential as God’s children.” – Melodie Long ’04


“Andy Dearman (Old Testment) advanced exegesis on Psalms.” – Dick Powell ’07

“Jennifer Lord (Preaching) taught me that my sermon should always have a ‘red thread’ running through it. I literally draw a red line on a page when I start writing and continually ask myself how each thought relates to it.” –Stella Burkhalter ’10

Change is a way of life By Kristin Galle (MDiv’00)


uesday morning, a little after 9:00 a.m., I received a phone call in my new church office. “Kristin, a second plane just hit the Twin Towers. It looks like it’s not an accident.” September 11th happened in Kristin helps a fellow student prepare for graduation. the second week of my first call, three months after graduation. work as one congregation was selling their People ask what you learn in seminary; property and moving to a new neighborwas it worth it? Every class I took has been hood with new challenges. And, the abilput to use in the past twelve years of min- ity to think theologically through it all, istry. I remember Dr. Steve Reid telling guided so deftly by Prof. Cindy Rigby, has us: “After translating, researching history, been invaluable. She challenged us to concomparing what happens before and after, sider opinions past our first reaction and reading commentaries, and praying about stretched us by exposing us to a variety of this Scripture, you better have more to say theologians—ancient to current. Prof. Mithan, ‘My 2nd grade Sunday School teach- chael Jinkins prepared me for “Entry into er taught me ...’” Or, as someone else said, Ministry” (so my daughters called me “Fa“Jesus came to take away our sins, not our ther Mommy” as I wore a clerical collar in minds!” Seminary taught me to read the public). As I married a fellow student, now Bible and the news together, listening for a partner in ministry, we learned to work how God is still speaking in today’s joys and study together, and our experience and challenges. showed my daughters the importance of My call to ministry occurred through community, helping anticipate their own times of transition; what began during advanced education. a national crisis has led me to walk with In the future, a class exploring the people through both transition and crisis gifts and pitfalls of technology—how new in my work in hospital and hospice chap- tools can assist ministry through web delaincy and in Intentional Interim Ministry. sign, communication, worship, pastoral The challenge in all is to think deeply, care, and beyond—would be useful. With yet quickly on your feet. Austin Seminary church members now coming from various gave me “tools for my ministry toolbox” backgrounds, seminary training on other that I rely on every day, from conversa- denominations would be helpful. For extions, counseling, to sermons, because ample, I have served the United Church of there aren’t set answers to be memorized Christ, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian and recited verbatim. It took the integra- Church (U.S.A.), and Evangelical Lutheran tion of World Religions, Old & New Testa- Church of America! To appreciate what’s ment studies, Pastoral Care, and Preach- unique in Eucharist and baptism theology ing to accept a family’s request to lead a in each helps in dialogue with other ChrisMemorial Service for a Muslim hospice tians. Yes, we need to know our own polipatient that gave comfort to her family ty, but as resident theologians, we need to as well as her Christian neighbors. I have be familiar with others who are members pulled on Mission and Evangelism class- of our “family” in Christ. v

14 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

live learn

upcoming from education beyond the walls | Artsy Theology | Sept. 21 | Rev. Dr. Helen Boursier | Learn how to use art for ministry. No art experience necessary. For ministers, Christian educators, small group leaders, youth ministers, and mission team leaders. | 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. | Cost: $35/person; $25 each additional guest in a group (lunch included)

The Heyer Lecture: “When Missionaries and American Indians Meet” | Sept. 26| Dr. Jennifer Graber | U.T.’s Professor Graber’s scholarship is in the area of religion and violence in American prisons and on the American frontier. | Noon | FREE (lunch included)

Leading in a Diverse World | Oct. 3-5 | Rev. Eric H. F. Law | Become a more

competent leader in and for our diverse and changing communities. | Cost: $195/person before September 15; $225/person after September 15; $150/person group rate (4 or more)

Preparing for Advent: Speaking a Living Word| Oct. 12 |Rev. Dr. Kristin Saldine|The Gospel is proclaimed in many ways, but the human voice still makes the Word of God come alive. One of the best ways to prepare for the Advent season is to speak the words of the Bible aloud. For pastors, musicians, worship leaders, and all who care about God’s saving work in congregations.| 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.|Cost: $35/person; $25 each additional guest in a group (lunch included) One Service Fits All: Designing Worship for Multiple Generations| Oct. 21-23 | Rev. Theresa Cho | Churches are finding the need to change the way they worship. Learn how to plan for and lead transition confidently. For Christian educators, ministers of education, and congregational leaders of formation. In partnership with SCRAPCE. | Cost: $75 APCE members and UMC Commissioned Parish Christian Educators / $125 others

2014 MidWinter Lectures February 3-5 Currie Lecturer

Sam Wells

Vicar of St. Martinin-the-Fields Church, London Jones Lecturer

Rachel Held Evans

New York Times Bestselling author of Evolving in Monkey Town and A Year in Biblical Womanhood Westervelt Lecturer

Ellipsis Conference | Nov. 1-3| Rev. Dr. David White, Rev. Ross Blount, Sarah

Scot McKnight

Chancellor, Rev. Jackie Saxon, Rev. SanDawna Ashley, Rev. Dr. Paul Hooker, Ken Murdock Build community with people who want to do pastoral ministry and … something else. Learn how to tell your story of non-traditional ways of being in ministry. Meet people who are making it happen. For bi-vocational pastors, those in alternative ministries, and people interested in new forms of pastoral leadership. In partnership with Association of Presbyterian Tentmakers.| Cost: varies (see:


Cruzando La Frontera: Los Milagros de Dios | Nov. 9 | Rev. Dr. Gregory Cuéllar, Dr. Leticia Guardiola-Sáenz | En este día de educación teológica, las personas participantes y líderes de iglesias Latinas explorarán el poder transformador de los milagros de Dios, realizados por Jesucristo en medio de la mezquindad y la abundancia de la frontera del Imperio Romano y el Reino de Dios. Reflexionaremos en el significado de vivir la manifestación de los milagros de Dios en las luchas cotidianas de los hispanos nativos y nuevos inmigrantes en la zona fronteriza de Estados Unidos. Examinaremos los milagros a la luz del contexto histórico y cultural del Imperio Romano, para entender su trascendencia como manifestaciones del Reino de Dios proclamado por Jesucristo en los Evangelios. | Explore the transformative power of the miracles of God as performed by Jesus Christ in the midst of meagerness and abundance. For pastors and lay people; workshop conducted in Spanish. In partnership with Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest and Seminary of the Southwest. 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.| Cost: $15 (includes meals)

New Testament scholar, author, and creator of the blog, Jesus Creed

Shannon Johnson Kershner Pastor, Black Mountain Presbyterian Church Reunions for the Classes of 1954, 1964, 1974, 1984, 1994 & 2004-2013

AustinSeminary. edu/midwin14 Summer | Fall 2013 | 15

faculty news notes

faculty notes | In June Allan H. Cole Jr, academic dean and professor in the Nancy Taylor Williamson Distinguished Chair of Pastoral Care, delivered the Jackson William Cook Memorial Lecture at the Oklahoma University School of Medicine. The lecture was titled “Medical Professionals and Experiences of Loss.” Gregory Cuéllar, assistant professor of Old Testament, spent the summer in Cambridge, England, doing research on a Wabash Summer Fellowship. David W. Johnson, assistant professor of church history and Christian spirituality, will deliver the Seminary’s convocation address at the opening of the fall term on September 3.

Pastor Appreciation Sunday October 13, 2013

Honor your pastor & show your support for theological education with a gift to Austin Seminary. pastorappreciation We will send a personalized card to present to your pastor on Pastor Appreciation Sunday.

16 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Timothy Lincoln, director of the Stitt Library, presented a workshop at the annual conference of the American Theological Library Association in Charlotte. He had two articles published, one in the Journal of Religious & Theological Information and the other in Theological Librarianship. Kristin Saldine, associate professor of homiletics, led the annual cohort retreat of the Austin Sacred Sisters in July and will be the keynote speaker for a Labor Day retreat at First Presbyterian Church, Portland, Oregon. Jennifer Lord, the Dorothy B. Vickery Professor of Homiletics and Liturgical Studies, led a pilgrimage for Austin Seminary students along the Way of St. James in June and presented a paper at Societas Liturgia in Wurzburg, Germany, in August. David F. White, the C. Ellis and Nancy Gribble Nelson Professor of Christian Education, lectured in June on topics from his new book at Yale Divinity School’s Youth Ministry Initiative (“YMI”) which features the nation’s leading youth ministry scholars and practitioners.

Professors publish new books on fatherhood and faith, youth and vocation


cademic Dean Allan H. Cole Jr.’s latest book, Fathers in Faith: Reflections on Parenthood and a Christian Life, was published in June by Cascade Books. It features eleven essays reflecting on the joys, sorrows, challenges, and mysteries of fatherhood and living a Christian life. Personal, honest stories, commonly shared among circles of mothers, and refreshingly told from the perspective of fathers, Fathers in Faith invites readers to examine the shared experiences of parenthood and fosters wisdom, solidarity, perspective, and hope for parents of children of all ages. Cole is the editor of this book and one of the contributors. Others contributors include: M. Craig Barnes, president and professor of pastoral ministry and leadership at Princeton Theological Seminary; Dale Brown, founding director of the Buechner Institute and chair of the Department of English at King College in Bristol, Tennessee; Rodney R. Clapp, editor with Wipf and Stock Publishers; Martin B. Copenhaver, senior pastor of Wellesley Congregational Church in Wellesley, Massachusetts; Greg Garrett, acclaimed writer and professor of English at Baylor University; Albert Y. Hsu, editor at InterVarsity Press; David H. Jensen, professor in The Clarence N. and Betty Frierson Distinguished Chair of Reformed Theology at Austin Seminary; Eric Kolbell, minister and licensed psychotherapist; Michael Lindvall, pastor of the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City and a member of Austin Seminary’s Board of Trustees;

and Anthony B. Robinson, a noted author, consultant, and ordained minister. One reviewer of Fathers in Faith writes, “With honesty and emotional resonance, eleven men share their hopes and hassles through anecdotes and some very accessible theological reflection. This would make a wonderful gift to a new dad or any dad who strives to connect deeply with his children.” Allan H. Cole Jr., is the academic dean and professor in the Nancy Taylor Williamson

Distinguished Chair of Pastoral Care at Austin Seminary. He is also the author, co-author, or editor of eight books, including The Faith and Friendships of Teenage Boys (2012), A Spiritual Life: Perspectives from Poets, Prophets, and Preachers (2011), The Life of Prayer (2009), and Good Mourning, Good Grief (2008). He is father to two daughters.


rofessor David F. White’s book, Dreamcare: A Theology of Youth, Spirit, and Vocation (Cascade Books), provides suggestions for how families and Christian communities might engage young people to discover their sense of purpose in life. Recent findings disclose a pervasive sense of purposelessness that threatens young adults’ health and well being, and also the common good. However, research shows all young people also have an oftenhidden sense of purpose that can be noticed, named, and nurtured by parents and communities. Dreamcare supplements research with findings from Emory’s Youth Theological Initiative (YTI), which identifies four pathways—desire, joy, compassion, and responsibility— by which young people discover a sense of purpose. The book provides concrete suggestions for how Christian communities might engage young people in practices to cultivate a sense of purpose, including narrative resources by which to make theological sense of their impulses of desire, joy, compassion, and responsibility. David White, the C. Ellis and Nancy Gribble Nelson Professor of Christian Education, has also published Awakening Youth Discipleship in a Consumer Culture (2007) and Practicing Discernment with Youth (2005). His research has focused primarily on youth and spiritual discernment. He is ordained in the United Methodist Church and has served churches in California, Alaska, and Mississippi.

To get your own copy: Fathers in Faith and Dreamcare are available through Wipf and Stock Publications (, Amazon. com, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. Summer | Fall 2013 | 17

faculty news notes

Professor K.C. Ptomey dies May 9


he Reverend Dr. Kyser Cowart (K.C.) Ptomey Jr., professor in the Louis H. and Katherine S. Zbinden Distinguished Chair of Pastoral Ministry and Leadership, died of cancer on May 9, 2013, at his home in Nashville, Tennessee. Ptomey was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on January 31, 1942. He received a BA from Rhodes College, a Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary. He also received an honorary doctorate from Rhodes in 1998. “K.C. was one of the most inspiring and formative models in my own life—a steadfast friend, counselor, and mentor—and I know that my own testimony to his impact is multiplied many times over,” Seminary President Theodore J. Wardlaw said. “He was a fierce, compassionate, and joyful believer in the gospel of Jesus Christ. His influence on the church he loved with every fiber of his being cannot be measured. I grieve with Carol and his loved ones, and am just so thankful that so many of our students had the privilege of knowing and loving him as a cherished teacher.” Prior to joining the faculty at Austin Seminary, Ptomey served as pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville, from 1981 to 2008. He also served churches in Collierville,

Christopher and Patricia, grandchildren, Tennessee, and Henderson and Gabe, Milner, Chloe, and step-children, Arlington, Texas. John and Liz Spragens. A Service of He formerly served on the Board Witness to the Resurrection was held of Trustees of Schreiner College in at Westminster Church on May 18; Kerrville, Texas, the Board of Trustees of Rhodes College, and the alumni board President Wardlaw and The Reverend Jon Walton, pastor of First Presbyterian of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Church in New York, presided. Seminary. He also served on the board of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, as moderator and chair of several committees of the Presbytery webXtra: Homilies given at K.C.’s of Middle Tennessee, as chair of the service on May 18 are found on the Examinations Committee, Commission Covenant Network of Presbyterians on the Minister, Grace Presbytery, and Web site: as a member kcptomey. of the Committee on Theological Beadle David Watson carries K.C.’s stole into Education. the Seminary’s 2013 commencement service. He was a founding member of The Moveable Feast, a lectionarybased cohort of pastors who have gathered annually around issues related to biblical study, homiletics, and church leadership for 31 years. Ptomey is survived by his wife, Carol Tate, children,

“God saved the best call for last.” A memorial Service of Word and Sacrament honoring the life and witness of the Reverend Dr. Kyser Cowart Ptomey Jr., will be held on Tuesday, September 17, at 11:10 a.m. in Shelton Chapel. The Reverend Thomas L. Are Jr., pastor of the Village Presbyterian Church, Kansas City, and chair-elect of the Board of Trustees, will preach. Others representing Austin Seminary’s faculty, student body, and board will participate in the service. 18 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

good reads |


hose who preach—and certainly those who teach, whether professionally or simply by living—need to stay close to the poets. This has always been true, but in these times it is urgently true, for two reasons. First, our everyday language, the language of our ordinary commerce with one another, has become a pastiche of clichés, advertising slogans, and the punch-lines of forgotten jokes. We need to hear and read and speak language that is new and fresh and still has power. That is one of the services poetry can perform for us. Second, the language that surrounds us is language that is intended to lie. It is language that is used to persuade without facts, recount events while obscuring responsibility, and motivate without the necessity of thinking. We need to hear and read and speak language that endeavors to tell the truth—not just the truth that is, but the truth that is not, and the truth that should be. This is another one of the services poetry can perform for us. We are blessed to have a number of contemporary poets who are committed to speaking the truth without parroting slogans or clichés­—particularly the truth that is embedded in religious faith, and the questions that are at the heart of the religious quest. Notable among them are Wendell Berry, Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, Christian Wiman, and Luci Shaw. One of the most distinguished and ultimately helpful members of this company is Denise Levertov. Denise Levertov was born in Great Britain in 1923. Her father was an Anglican priest who had converted from Hasidic Judaism. Her mother, who had been a teacher in Wales before her marriage, homeschooled Denise and her sister for several years. At about the age of twelve, Denise became her own educational guide, and at the same time started selling the Daily Worker door-to-door. She worked as a nurse in World War II, and emigrated to the United States in 1948, where she held a number of

distinguished academic positions until her retirement in 1993. Levertov was an agnostic for much of her early career. She moved to belief through the process of writing a poem: “Mass for the Day of St. Thomas Didymus.” She would return to the subject of doubting Thomas again in a poem simply entitled, “St. Thomas Didymus,” in which the following memorable lines occur: “But when my hand / led by His hands firm clasp/entered the unhealed wound, / my fingers /encountering / rib-bone and pulsing heat, / what I felt was not / scalding pain, shame for my / obstinate need, / but light, light streaming / into me, over me, filling the room …” Levertov’s religious poetry is often from different points of view. She will speak as (or for) St. Peter being delivered from prison, Jesus returning to earthly life after the harrowing of Hell, or the fig tree cursed by Jesus. She constantly acknowledges the pain of the religious quest today: “There is anger abroad in the world, a numb thunder, / because of God’s silence.” She does not chide or condemn the tentativity or uncertainty of this quest, but she does remind us of that which is sought: “Days pass when I forget the mystery … the mystery that there is anything, anything at all, let alone cosmos, joy, memory, everything, rather than void.” Religious themes occur throughout Levertov’s work. She herself edited a volume of her religious poetry, The Stream & the Sapphire: Selected Poems on Religious Themes (New Directions, 1997). A one-volume edition of all her published poems, The Collected Poems of Denise Levertov (ed. Paul A. Lacey, New Directions: 2013), is scheduled to appear in October. This collection will be welcomed by all those who endeavor to speak as truly as they can with words of freshness, grace, and power. —Written by David W. Johnson, assistant professor of church history and Christian spirituality.

board action |


ith respect to faculty, the board of trustees took the following action in its May 2013 meeting: • Authorized a search for a faculty position in mission and evangelism. • Promoted Jennifer L. Lord to professor in the Dorothy B. Vickery Chair of Homiletics and Liturgical Studies, effective July 1, 2013. • Reappointed Song-Mi Suzie Park as assistant professor of Old Testament for a three-year term effective July 1, 2014. • Approved a sabbatical leave for Jennifer L. Lord, Dorothy B. Vickery Professor of Homiletics and Liturgical Studies, from August 1, 2014, through July 31, 2015. • Accepted the sabbatical report of Kristin E. Saldine, Associate Professor of Homiletics. • Approved a change in title for Paul K. Hooker from director of ministerial formation and advanced studies to associate dean for ministerial formation and advanced studies, with faculty rank.

webXtra: to find out where Austin Seminary faculty are preaching and teaching, go to: facultycalendar

Summer | Fall 2013 | 19

alumni news notes

We are your seminary. A dedicated community of substance, scholarship, learning, worship, and discernment, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary educates, supports, and sends leaders into faithful, imaginative ministries as intentional witnesses to engage the world as it is and is becoming.

Please send your gift of support today!

Alumni Phonathon September 23-27 alum13

class notes | 1960s Pickwick Publications has recently released a new book by Warner M. Bailey (MDiv’64), The Self-Shaming God Who Reconciles, available from and other retailers. On a rail tour of nine European countries William Glover (MDiv’66) was the guest of Paris organists for special visits to Notre Dame and St. Sulpice. He was guest preacher in the Reformed Church of Rede, Hungary, and visited former Professor Dietrich Ritschl in Reigoldswil, Switzerland. Charie Reid (MDiv’68) retired in March from 42 years of service at Grace Presbyterian Church, Walnut Creek, where she was founding director of Grace Cooperative Preschool. She is currently co-chair of COM in Presbytery of San Francisco, chair of East Bay group. Elizabeth Johnson Pense (MDiv’69) began serving as interim pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Arlington, Texas, on August 15.

1970s Fred Morgan (MDiv’71) gave the Baccalaureate address for Austin College in May. He was honored by the college with a Doctor of Divinity degree.

1980s Karl Heinz Schell (Ecum’80), who serves German congregations in two cities in China, visited the Seminary campus and Professor John Alsup in July 5. He assisted in worship at Sunrise Beach Federated Church, where Alsup is pastor.

was installed as pastor of Northminster Presbyterian Church in Pearl River, Louisiana, on April 21. Jack P. Foley (MDiv’91) is now the chaplain and bereavement coordinator for Floyd Medical Center and Polk Medical Center in Cedartown, Georgia. Daniel Loomis (MDiv’96) suffered serious injuries in a bike accident on July 11. He is recovering in Fort Worth, Texas. Share in his progress and lend prayer support on CaringBridge. com. Carol Howard Merritt (MDiv’98) contributed to the book, Hungry, and You Fed Me, with Richard Rohr and James Martin. She was the commencement speaker for the Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia.

2000s Barbara Auge (MDiv’02) reports that she has moved back to Jackson, Wyoming. After a season of serious health issues, she is getting along well. Jason Cashing (MDiv’06) has recently accepted a new call, serving Gregory Memorial Presbyterian Church, Prince George, Virginia; the Reverend Kelly Kaufman (MDiv’07) preached and co-presided at the Lord’s Table during his installation. Last fall Sudie Niesen Thompson (MDiv’12) married Brenton Thompson, a pastor at Crossroads Presbyterian Church in Limerick, Pennsylvania.

ordinations | Sudie Niesen Thompson (MDiv’12), ordained October 21, 2012, as pastoral associate at Arch Street Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Jayme Dunlap (MDiv’10), ordained August 17, 2013, First Presbyterian Church, Garland, Texas Sally Wright (MDiv’12), ordained June 30, 2013, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Austin, Texas Barrett Abernethy (MDiv’13), ordained and installed August 18, 2013, at First Presbyterian Church, Livingston, Alabama Lindsay R. Conrad (MDiv’13), ordained July 28, 2013, at Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church, Lynchburg, Virginia Andrew R. Keyes (MDiv’13), ordained August 4, 2013, at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Missouri City, Texas Kimberly Rogers (MDiv’13), ordained June 30, 2013, to serve Central Presbyterian Church, Austin

in memoriam | Ernest L. Helsley (MDiv’49), Dallas, Texas, July 28, 2013 Harry B. Wood Jr. (MDiv’59), Greenville, Pennsylvania, April 16, 2013 Janice L. Baldwin (MDiv’00), Waxahachie, Texas, May 7, 2013 Joyce L. Bromm (MDiv’01), Fresno, California, November 12, 2011

Anne Clifton Hebert (MDiv’87) has been called to St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Beulah, Michigan.

1990s Peggy Brown (MDiv’90)

20 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Lemuel García and John Alsup welcome Karl Heinz Schell back to Austin on a recent visit; he is on leave from his work in China.

teaching ministry

Teaching is Ministry By Allan H. Cole Jr, academic dean and professor in the Nancy Taylor Williamson Distinguished Chair of Pastoral Care


hether done in congregations, seminaries, hospitals, or at the kitchen table, teaching dwells in the heart of ministerial work. It always has. Teaching remains tethered to the Christian life because learning does. Sometimes we approach teaching more formally, such as in adult education, Confirmation classes, or from the pulpit. Other times teaching happens casually, such as in pastoral visits, in meetings of committees, or during coffee hour chats. Neither pastor, chaplain, seminary professor, nor lay Christian should miss such an opportunity. In the Great Commission, Jesus linked teaching to the work of sharing the Gospel: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:1920a). Several observations capture some of what I have learned about teaching. Teaching is an art. To teach means never ceasing to hone one’s craft, to accept that one never teaches perfectly, and to discover that one’s approaches, understandings, and gifts for teaching evolve over time. Teaching is a practice. One is always “becoming” a teacher. Teachers learn from their students. As participants in an inherently communal and interactive experience, teachers and learners may be changed as they learn together. Often teachers learn to think in new and deeper ways, and from different points of view, by virtue of these encounters. Students learn from one another. At times, the best teaching requires yielding to the exchanges between students. The best teachers recognize these opportunities and seize upon them. While they have wisdom and expertise to share, astute teachers

remain open to distributing some of the responsibility for teaching and instruction to their students. Students learn from their struggles. Good teaching requires allowing students to be uncomfortable, occasionally even to struggle, with what they are learning. This discomfort can have a lasting positive effect. Some teachers assume that if a student struggles—much less, fails—it’s because of the teaching. Though no teacher will teach every student adequately, we should never equate success in teaching with ease of learning. Students may learn as much through their struggles with a subject, concept, point of view, or course as through their comfort with any of these. Less is more. A common mistake among teachers is trying to do too much. They plan to cover more material, assign more reading, or cast the subject matter net wider than they should. This often results in rushing to get through what has been planned, in information overload, or in a dearth of conversational space in which to process material. Like good preachers, writers, or craftspeople, good teachers value focus, precision, and depth of learning. Teachers change their minds … and sometimes get it wrong. Good teachers teach with confidence and conviction, but with an equal share of humility. The latter suggests that one may change his or her mind on a matter, especially given one’s openness to learning from others and to growing as a teacher. Humility also suggests that even the most seasoned and gifted teachers make mistakes. Admitting these errors, to others and to ourselves, adds to our growth and encourages the same in others, including those whom we teach.

Good teaching depends on good reading and close observation. We never cease needing new grist for the teaching mill. We discover this grist as we pay close attention to other people and our surroundings and as we read good books (fiction, non-fiction, memoir, and biography). The same is true for good preaching. These efforts help expand our minds, touch our hearts, and create new angles of vision in us, all of which we may share with those we teach. Teachers need to change the way they teach from time to time. This may be the most challenging of my observations, but it’s true. Most people are creatures of habit, including most teachers. We tend to stay with what feels comfortable to us and with what works. Unfortunately, what works well today may not always be efficacious for those we teach. Current research on teaching and learning suggests, first, that there are a variety of ways in which people learn (we call these learning styles); and second, that learning styles themselves change over time. Not only are teachers always evolving, but so too are learners. Good teaching depends upon an ongoing dance with learners. This dance requires teachers to learn new steps, styles, and to draw on alternative types of music for accompaniment. These are a few of my observations and challenges as a teacher. Those who teach will have additional wisdom to offer about the teaching vocation. I’ve discovered that a key to becoming better at teaching is to keep at it, to be open to growth and change in my teaching, and to celebrate a calling to teach others about the Christian faith and life even as I continue to learn myself. We need look no farther than to Jesus for our model. “After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46). Summer | Fall 2013 | 21


Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary 100 East 27th Street, Austin, Texas 78705-5711

Non Profit Org U.S. Postage PAID Austin, Texas Permit No. 2473

Address Correction Requested

Commencement 2013

Graduates, clockwise from upper left: Dual Degree graduates Brad Watson and Laura Westerlage; Carl (MDiv’84, DMin’00) and Allie Utley; Donald Caps Award winner Lauren Vernon with pastoral care Professor Allan H. Cole Jr.; Trey Little (MDiv’07) delivers the Commencement address; Master of Arts (Theological Studies) graduates Jessica Espinoza and Okan Dogan; Stephen Robinson hugs a fan; Megan Ludwig visits with student Annanda Barclay; David Miron and fellow grads process into the sanctuary, Jeannie Stanley with members of San Gabriel Presbyterian Church, Georgetown, Texas; the Seminary’s very first Master of Arts in Ministry Studies graduate Donna Shaw.

webXtra: for more commencement photos, go to: or “like us” on Facebook

Summer | Fall 2013 windows  
Summer | Fall 2013 windows  

The magazine of Austin Seminary. Issue: "Transformative Learning"