Page 1

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

winter 2019

In this Issue Educating Methodists | 6

Learning & Information Center Update | insert

Year-End Giving

You can support the mission of Austin Seminary by making a tax-deductible gift by December 31. MAIL:

Please make checks payable to Austin Seminary and mail to: Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Office of Institutional Advancement 100 East 27th Street Austin, TX 78705

ii | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary



You can make your donation on our secure website:

For stock transfers or credit card contributions over the phone:

Advancement Office, 512-404-4886






winter 2019



Educating Methodists

Theodore J. Wardlaw

Board of Trustees G. Archer Frierson II, Chair James C. Allison Janice L. Bryant (MDiv’01, DMin’11) Claudia D. Carroll Katherine B. Cummings (MDiv’05) Thomas Christian Currie Jill Duffield (DMin’13) Jackson Farrow Jr. Beth Blanton Flowers, MD Stephen Giles Jesús Juan González (MDiv’92) Walter Harris Jr. John S. Hartman Bobbi Kaye Jones (MDiv’80) Keatan A. King Steve LeBlanc J. Sloan Leonard, MD Sue B. McCoy Matthew Miller (MDiv’03) David Pardue W. David Peeples Denise Nance Pierce (MATS’11) Mark B. Ramsey Conrad M. Rocha Matthew E. Ruffner Lana E. Russell Lita Simpson Martha Crawley Tracey John L. Van Osdall David F. White Carlton D. Wilde Jr. Elizabeth C. Williams Michael G. Wright


Our Common Heritage


How Reading John Wesley Has Made Me a Better Theologian

By Bobbi Kaye Jones (MDiv’80)

By David Jensen

6 Nearly one quarter of Austin Seminary students and alumni follow the ecclesial tradition of John Wesley. The graphic for the Wesley Connection at Austin Seminary combines the heritage of the Methodist circuit rider against the backdrop of the Seminary’s Shelton Chapel steeple.


Preparing Pastors for “Real Life”

By Gary Mathews


A Methodist Student Perspective


The Wesley Connection at Austin Seminary

By Matt Cardona

By Melissa Wiginton

& departments


Trustees Emeriti B. W. Payne Max Sherman Louis Zbinden


seminary & church


twenty-seventh & speedway

13 faculty news & notes 14

Austin Seminary Association (ASA) Board Denise Odom (MDiv’99), President Matt Miles (MDiv’99), Past President Barrett Abernethy (MDiv’13), Vice President Josh Kerr (MDiv’14), Secretary Kennetha Bigham-Tsai (MDiv’03) David Gambrell (MDiv’98) Paul Harris (MATS’10) Melinda Hunt (CIM’16) Sandra Kern (MDiv’93) Carl McCormack (MDiv’95) Daniel Molyneux (MDiv’86) Noemi Ortiz (MATS’15) Valerie Sansing (MDiv’00) Sheila Sidberry-Thomas (MDiv’14) Rita Sims (DMin’15) Ayana Teter (MDiv’06) Caryn Thurman (MDiv’07) Michael Ulasewich (MDiv’05) Kristy Vits (MDiv’98)

Volume 134 | Number 1

13 Editor

Randal Whittington


Selina Aguirre Jacqueline Hefley April Long Gary Mathews Alex Pappas Alison Riemersma Sharon Sandberg Mona Santandrea Kristy Sorensen

live & learn

15 alumni news & notes 17 teaching & ministry

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

seminary church


President’s Schedule 2019 March 2-4 – Preach & Teach, First Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, North Carolina March 14 – Evening with the President, Bentonville, Arkansas April 3 – Evening with the President, Dallas, Texas April 4 – Coffee with the President, Ft. Worth, Texas April 7 – Preach, First Presbyterian Church, Clinton, South Carolina May 9 – Partner Lunch, Albuquerque, New Mexico

n this issue of Windows, we are celebrating a decades-long relationship which Austin Seminary has enjoyed with students and supporters from The United Methodist Church. Earlier in our history, the Seminary was almost exclusively Presbyterian, but for many years now our student body has numbered plus-or-minus 50% Presbyterian students and something like 25% United Methodist students; and the remaining students have covered virtually the rest of the denominational (and non-denominational) spectrum. Certainly across my sixteen-plus years as president, and for many years prior, these two mainline Protestant traditions have composed the major facets of our theological and ecclesial ethos. The result has been an invigorating and joyful ecumenical relationship—seasoned by the contributions of other traditions as well. It is a good thing, in my judgment, that at Austin Seminary many flowers have bloomed, many emphases and nuances have made room for one another, and even the good-natured arguments and contrasts have strengthened the specific claims of each tradition. I have come to love and appreciate the special atmosphere of this place—in which The United Methodist Hymnal and Glory to God sit next to one another in the pew racks of Shelton Chapel, and students learn with reverence the roots of their distinctions and their similarities. You will get a sense of this relationship as you read further. Dean David Jensen, the Frierson Distinguished Professor of Reformed Theology, expresses his deep indebtedness to John Wesley’s theology and its impact on his own teaching and writing. Melissa Wiginton, vice president for Education Beyond the Walls and Research Professor of Methodist Studies, reviews the Wesley Connection program here at the Seminary and reminds us of its vitality among United Methodist students and other members of this community. The Reverend Bobbi Kaye Jones, an alumna and the recently retired pastor of the venerable Tarrytown United Methodist Church in Austin, reflects on her time here as a student and remembers students “polishing ourselves with a tumble amongst other living stones.” Matt Cardona, a senior United Methodist student here, describes his time in this place as “the collision of two material masses” in which “iron sharpens iron.” Gary Mathews, director of alumni and church relations, lifts up a number of alums who were shaped by the Seminary’s inter-denominational dialogue. Each of these contributors testifies to the benefits of such an education. You will also get updates on the ongoing comprehensive campaign, this year’s entering class, and other important information. And, by the way, I hope you are planning on coming to the upcoming MidWinter Lectures from February 4-6. Dr. Robert Franklin, Dr. Miroslav Volf, Ms. Katelyn Beaty, and the Reverend Sarah Johnson will inspire and enlighten us. In addition, our Tuesday Luncheon speaker will be journalist Richard Oppel, former editor of The Charlotte Observer, the Austin American Statesman, and now the editor of Texas Monthly, who will reflect on how his Christian faith has influenced his vocational life. A lot is going on, so read all about it! Faithfully yours,

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter 2 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Theodore J. Wardlaw President

twenty-seventh speedway

Professor Monie dies October 30


r. Blair R. Monie, professor in the Louis H. and Katherine S. Zbinden Distinguished Chair of Pastoral Ministry and Leadership, died at his home in Dallas on October 30, following a year of treatment for pancreatic cancer. Dr. Monie taught at Austin Seminary in the areas of pastoral ministry, church administration, congregational leadership, stewardship, and liturgy since 2014. Prior to his appointment to the faculty, he served on the Austin Seminary Board of Trustees from 2003-2012. Blair Monie had a long and distinguished career as a Presbyterian pastor. He retired in 2014 after serving as pastor/ head of staff of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, Dallas, for two decades. He spent his first twenty years of ministry serving churches in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Monie earned a BA in English from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania and the MDiv and DMin from Princeton Seminary, where his doctoral thesis focused on the supervision of seminarians in field education. He is the author of the PC(USA) adult study guide Seven Days to Glory (2011). He was a member of the General Assembly Council of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), chairing the Congregational Ministries Division. He was also a member of the Committee on Theological Education (COTE), and he chaired the Ecclesiology Committee of the 217th General Assembly in 2006, with major responsibility for the Report of the Special Task Force on the Peace, Unity, and Purity of the Church. In 2013, Robert J. and Mary Wright of Dallas honored Blair Monie’s ministry at Preston Hollow by endowing the Blair R. Monie Distinguished Chair in Homiletics at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. A memorial service was held on November 17 at Preston Hollow; a service of remembrance in Shelton Chapel will occur during the spring semester. First Presbyterian Church, San Antonio, Texas, endowed the Louis H. and Katherine S. Zbinden Chair in 2002 in honor of their long-time pastor, the Reverend Louis H. Zbinden, and his wife. This endowed professorship was designed to bring the wisdom and experience of pastoral leadership into the closest proximity possible to seminary students. From the depth and breadth of personal experience leading congregations, this professor teaches pastoral ministry, church administration, congregational leadership, and stewardship. Previous holders of the chair were The Reverends Louis H. Zbinden and K.C. Ptomey.

Meet the entering class for 2018 Left: students in the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Ministry Practice, and Master of Arts (Theological Studies) programs; below: students in the Master of Arts in Youth Ministry program

Winter 2019 | 3

twenty-seventh speedway



The congregations of The 787 Collective gathered for a dinner along with young adult advisors and affiliates to celebrate the submission of their grant proposals for the first round of congregational funding. Learn more on page 14.

We noted two “ordiversaries” this fall: Jack Barden (MDiv’88), vice president for enrollment management, celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of his ordination and Church History Professor David Johnson celebrated his thirty-fifth anniversary.


The Seminary hosted three lecturers this fall: Dr. Keri Day of Princeton Seminary was the featured speaker at the student-run Hesed Lectures, September 14-15; Dr. Kathy Tovo, Austin mayor pro-tem, was the Constitution Day speaker on September 17; and Dr. Peniel E. Joseph of UT's LBJ School of Public Affairs, was the Heyer Lecturer on October 10.


background: 2018 Polity Bowl for the win!

What would the beginning of the school year be without a Blessing of the Animals service? Doggone awful, says Blanche the Basset!

{ 4 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Louisville Institute Fellow is visiting scholar

New leaders for the Austin Seminary Board of Trustees



ustin Seminary has invited Jennifer Owens-Jofré, a 2018 Louisville Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, to be visiting assistant professor of constructive theology for the next two academic years (2018-19 and 2019-20). The goals of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards, according to the Louisville Institute, are to facilitate an excellent first-time teaching experience in a theological school that the Institute trusts and to help Fellows more clearly understand and articulate their vocation as theological educators. Owens-Jofré defended her PhD in theology from the Graduate Theological Union this August. She holds the Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School and the BA and MA from Loyola Marymount University. Raised in a bi-cultural family, Owens-Jofré is a Roman Catholic laywoman whose scholarship has focused on Latina piety in Catholic congregations. She is co-editor, with Kate Dugan, of From the Pews in the Back: Young Women and Catholicism (Liturgical Press, 2009). Her chapter, “Who Will Heal the Wounds of the Church? Women’s Lay Ministry and Priestly Power,” has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming book Shared Vision, Different Voices, Many Vocations, Tina Beattie and Diana Culbertson, eds. (Paulist Press). The eight scholars chosen this year as Louisville Postdoctoral Fellows will each be mentored by a professor and a pastor. Together they comprise a peer-learning cohort that will meet six times over the two years of their fellowships. Because of her interests in young adult and Hispanic ministries, Professor Owens-Jofré will teach one course per semester in theology or practical theology, and she will work with Education Beyond the Walls on Hispanic initiatives and with young adults in the 787 Collective.

board actions | The Austin Seminary Board of Trustees took the following actions at its fall 2018 meeting: • Approved the sabbatical report of Gregory Cuéllar. • Approved the sabbatical proposal of Cynthia Rigby, February 1, 2020 - July 31, 2020. • Approved the sabbatical proposal of Eric Wall, August 1, 2019 - January 24, 2020. • Reappointed Eric Wall as assistant professor of sacred music and dean of the chapel for a three-year term, effective July 1, 2019. • Installed the following board members: W. David Pardue and David White.

ustin Presbyterian Theological Seminary welcomed two new trustees to its governing board on November 5, 2018. W. David Pardue is a partner in the law firm of Hall Estill in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma and the OU School of Law. He has been a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church since 1974, where he has served in all areas, as deacon, elder, chair of the Personnel Committee, Executive Committee, clerk of session, teacher, and choir member. He is a member of the Rotary Club in OKC and the Porsche Club of America. David F. White is the new faculty representative to the board. The C. Ellis and Nancy Gribble Nelson Professor of Christian Education at Austin Seminary, he joined the faculty in 2005. His interest in the formation of young Christians was informed by work at the Youth Theological Initiative at Candler School of Theology (Emory University, Atlanta) and the Youth Discipleship Project at Claremont School of Theology, and in the United Methodist churches he served in California, Mississippi, and Alaska. He is author of three books, the most recent of which is Dreamcare: A Theology of Youth, Spirit, and Vocation (Cascade, 2013). Professor White serves on the Advisory Board for the Yale Divinity School project Theology of Joy & the Good Life. Winter 2019 | 5

Though we proudly bear the Presbyterian name in our title and the Presbyterian spirit in our bones, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary is increasingly a place that forms leaders for all kinds of Christian ministries. Approximately twelve percent of or our alumni are serving United Methodist Church (UMC) congregations in the area that roughly corresponds with the Presbyterian Synod of the Sun. If you look at just those who have graduated since 1995, that percentage rises to 15%. In our classrooms this year, you’ll find that 44% of students are Presbyterian; 22% are Methodists, 15% are non-denominational, and 29% represent thirteen other denominations.

Educating Methodists In their time here, all students are immersed in our Presbyterian ethos—our history, our liturgy, our polity, our academic rigor—but their formation is also infused with the gifts of other traditions. And this has been a blessing for all.

6 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

at Austin

Our common heritage

“Within a Hair’s Breadth” of Difference


By Bobbi Kaye Jones


wish I had a video of my reaction when the professor in our first theology course concluded his blackboard diagram of the Wesleyan/ Arminian “position” by having the little trap door at the bottom swing open and drop us all into the fiery flames of hell. Pretty sure all the Methodist jaws swung open as well. I wish I had a video of that moment because it was the only moment of three memorable years that I felt I had made a terrible mistake. One third of our 1977 entering class was United Methodist, 7 of 21 (yes 21). I believe that was the year such a percentage became rather standard with matriculating Methodists hovering around 25% over the last decade. We seven were diverse racially, in age, in gender, and they had all selected Austin Seminary primarily for its location, not its denomination. I was such a churchhistory know-nothing that when someone asked why I chose the Presbyterian seminary instead of the Episcopal, I didn’t even understand the question. Holy Institutes, Batman! The first six weeks of required, intensive church history smarted me up a little, overwhelmed me completely, and embedded a lasting appreciation for learning in diverse community. Oh sure, John Wesley climbed right down from the Anglican branch of the tree, but I knew why I was hanging out with the Calvinists. “Within a hair’s breadth” is how Wesley

frequently described his relationship to Calvinism. “How marvelously small is the difference between us,” he also wrote. Though today’s Arminianism and Calvinism irrefutably differ from those earliest of days, that small difference continues to enhance and expand the shared learning environment of our seminary. Do any among us mainstreamers question the truth that learning is enhanced when diverse voices participate? This is standard understanding in the educational community. You know, when everybody seems to believe and express the same thing it is harder to—well—learn new things. Much less examine your beliefs. Or question, refine, or hone them. True for considering Beowulf, and true for considering Barth. Diverse perspectives allow for a wider range of intellectual discourse and, probably, encourage participation from students who otherwise might be reluctant to engage. These are immediate benefits we experience on campus and in the classroom. I read recently that intentionally diverse conversation is also more likely to develop a skill we desperately need in the church: curiosity. Congregations, and pastors, who display little interest in reaching out to understand better another’s point of view will, sure enough, shrink themselves to a smaller size. Forty years in parish ministry affirmed for me the crucial value of authentic curiosity about neighbors near and far. Daily our political and civic climates slam reminders

Bobbi Kaye Jones (MDiv’80) retired this summer from her position as senior pastor of Tarrytown United Methodist Church in Austin. She served four years as a district superintendent in the Rio Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, and she currently serves on the Austin Seminary Board of Trustees. Winter 2019 | 7

Educating Methodists at Austin Seminary of the need to form the habit of talking with people who see things differently. Of course diverse voices would have spoken had I attended a United Methodist institution, but I truly love the way I learned to sing the Lord’s song in a complex chorus at Austin Seminary. What does a (this) Presbyterian seminary have to offer Methodists, and what do Methodists bring to a (this) Presbyterian seminary? We bring ourselves, beloveds, we all bring ourselves. We enter precious conversations and sustain each other in spiritual transformations. We engage the biblical witness with nuance and discover the Word within the words. We polish ourselves with a tumble amongst other living stones, and we’ve been tumbling together for a very long time on East 27th Street. In 1952, the year I was born, J. Pat McClatchy was the first Methodist student at Austin Seminary. He was an Air Force chaplain who then served forty-one years as a Methodist pastor in the Central Texas area. For more than sixty years now, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary has educated, amazed, inspired, financially supported, and deployed United Methodist women and men for sustained, faithful, effective service in the church— primarily as pastors in churches, but also as chaplains, interim ministers, counselors, specialists in children’s and youth ministry, leaders of non-profits, and lay people. If the graduates of Austin Seminary were raptured tomorrow, my Rio Texas Annual Conference alone would be in a world of hurt—with more than eighty churches affected. And we Methodists have—I’ve been told—livened up the place with our extroversion, social holiness compulsions, and winsome Wesleyan worship. I once had a conversation with a young

student at the end of her first year. “My world is turned upside down,” she reported. Good, I thought, but spoke these words, “Tell me more about that.” Some folks know it all already and get their degree so they can get about doing what they know God has called them for. These folks should probably not come to our school unless they can handle a jaw-dropping moment or two. Dear brother “trap-door” professor went on to teach in a place more in line with his theology. At the time, I thought that was a good thing. Now, I wonder. That class was truly the only us/them moment I experienced. Now I reflect on that moment through the lens of a poem shared by President Wardlaw at Commencement last May. Poet-laureate Tracey K. Smith originally titled it “The Mowers,” then later changed it to “Political Poem.” President Wardlaw said, in his charge to the new graduates, “These two mowers are not interested in building walls— be they walls of brick or stone or words or opinions—walls to separates the us-es from the thems. They are instead exploring an unexpected discovery of empathy and understanding, and perhaps, a shared passion for the impact they are making upon their world. And none of that is enough unless they keep looking up and searching for and finding the other.” And so we do—as Methodist and Presbyterian, Baptist and non-denominational, and those from throughout the branching tree of faith—we look up, and search, and find, and then read and talk, learn and worship, translate, tumble, and transform. I am always grateful for the historic partnership between Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and The United Methodist Church, and the way Austin Seminary helped make me “me.” v

Daily, our political and civic climates slam reminders of the need to form the habit of talking with people who see things differently.

8 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Promise Practice WEAVING





Wrights set stage for library transformation $4 million gift is largest in Austin Seminary history from living donors

Mary and Bob Wright, along with their son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Stacey Wright, of Dallas, Texas, have pledged $4 million toward the new Learning and Information Center, the largest single nonPhotograph by Daniel Pappas

estate gift in Austin Seminary’s 116-year history. This is the second gift by the Wrights to the Seminary’s Weaving Promise & Practice into Ministry campaign; they also funded the Blair R. Monie Distinguished Chair of Homiletics in 2013 to honor their long-time pastor upon his retirement from Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas. President Ted Wardlaw announced the gift at the fall meeting of the Board of Trustees. “It is my pleasure to offer our profound thanks tonight to the Wright family. Bob and Mary also contributed generously to the Anderson House B ob a nd Mar y Wr ight, joined b y the ir s on a nd

student apartment building in 2007. Now they—along with their children—have

dau ghter- in - la w, Michael a nd Stace y Wr ight,

put their hearts and their resources behind The Mary and Robert J. Wright

ha ve pledged $ 4 million to ward the ne w

Learning and Information Center which will include on the fourth floor the

L ear ning a nd Infor mat ion Center at A u s t in

largest assembly space we will have, and it will bear the names of Michael and

S e minar y.

Stacey Wright.”

Bob Wright has business interests in health care, aviation, aircraft avionics, real estate, energy, and Internet technologies. Mary Wright is an artist, teacher, interior designer, and founder of Medical Space Design, Inc. Michael Wright, who serves on the Austin Seminary Board of Trustees, has experience in corporate finance, healthcare development and leasing, and corporate aviation. He is vice president of Medical Cities, Inc. and is a partner of Business Jet Center and Business Jet Access based at Dallas Love Field. Michael and Stacey have been active members of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church for more than thirty-five years. The Mary and Robert J. Wright Learning and Information Center will surround and include The David and Jane Stitt Library. Construction will begin upon completion of the fund-raising goal.



Weaving Promise & Practice into Ministry: The Campaign for Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary focuses on enhancing our ability to attract and educate men and women with the greatest promise for ministry for the sake of the church.

T he f ini shed s p ace on the top f lo or of the L ear ning a nd Infor mat ion Center w ill hou s e the large s t gather ing s p ace on the campu s .



Austin Seminary alumni set to fund Distance Education Center

The Distance

Education Center and

In 2012, the Austin Seminary Association (ASA)

Media Lab, the technology and innovation hub

Board, representing all alumni, chose to give

of the new Learning and Information Center, will

priority to funding the Distance Education Center.

enhance Austin Seminary’s capacity for digital

In 2016, the ASA elected to dedicate the Distance

instruction, professional-quality recording, and live-

Education Center in memory of alumnus

streaming capabilities. Located on the second floor

James Lee (MDiv’00) who died that year. To date,

of the new space, it is designed to stretch Austin

156 alumni have committed $411,000 toward

Seminary’s reach far beyond the campus, making

the $500,000 goal to help make this modern

theological education accessible to audiences

Distance Education Center a reality.

across geographic borders.

A lu m n i who h ave m ade G i f t s or Pled ge s to t he D i s t a nc e E du c at ion Ce nter Priscilla Abbott (MDiv’88) Karen Greif (MDiv’92, Amy Meyer (MDiv’06) Nancy Taylor (MDiv’95, DMin’06) DMin’18) Barrett Abernethy (MDiv’13) Matt Miles (MDiv’99) John Guthrie (MDiv’06) Leanne (MDiv’06) & Scott Ruben Armendáriz (MDiv’61) Maurice Millican (MDiv’89) (MDiv’06) Thompson Lynn Hargrove (MDiv’01) Jack Barden (MDiv’88) Cheryl Minard (MDiv’99) Suzette Thorpe Johnson Paul Harris (MATS’10) Janell (MDiv’90) & Andy David Miron (MDiv’13) (MDiv’15) (MDiv’89) Blair Catherine Harrison (MDiv’82) Fred Morgan (MDiv’71) Caryn Thurman (MDiv’07) Timothy Blodgett (MDiv’07) John Harrison III (MDiv’15) Trudy Morphew (MDiv’98) Thomas Tickner (MDiv’84) Linda Bourianoff (MDiv’93) Dieter Heinzl (MDiv’98) Nancy Mossman (MDiv’88) Joe Tognetti (MDiv’13) Helen Boursier (MDiv’07) Pete Hendrick (MDiv’52) Michael Murray (MDiv’61) Marcia (Cert.’55) & Jerry Donna Bowling (MATS’03) Ann Herlin (MDiv’01) Carol Nelson (MDiv’85) (Diploma’55) Tompkins Jill (MDiv’14) & David Trish (MDiv’68) & George Randolph Nolen (MDiv’87) John Toppins (MDiv’50, (MDiv’14) Boyd Holland (MDiv’68) Jerri Olszewski (MDiv’94) ThM’57) Valerie Bridgeman (MDiv’90) Daryl Horton (MDiv’15) Andrew Parnell (MDiv’05) Charlotte Trafton (MDiv’06) Kathleen Brinegar (MDiv’08) Jack Hunnicutt (MDiv’54) Dale Patterson (DMin’01) Fred Tulloch (MDiv’62, James Campbell (MDiv’56) Melinda Hunt (CIM’16) Elizabeth Johnson Pense ThM’69) Alonzo Campbell (DMin’94) Hampton Hunter III (MDiv’69) Joseph Turner (MDiv’61) (DMin’82) Jeannine Caracciolo (MDiv’15) Denise Pierce (MATS’11) Mike Ulasewich (MDiv’05) & Meghan Vail (MDiv’17) Thomas Huser (MDiv’62, Stephen Plunkett (MDiv’80) Melinda Veatch (MDiv’96) DMin’90) Tammy Carter (MDiv’94) Robert Poteet (MDiv’67) Kristen Forbes Vits (MDiv’98) Sally Johnson (MDiv’89) James Collier (MDiv’69, Richard Powell Jr. (MDiv’07) Is is t h e pBobbi o li c yKaye o f Jones Aus t in S e minar y t o n o t pub lish d o n o r s ’ nam&e sLogan Vits (MA’98) DMin’84) (MDiv’80) Rebecca Reyes (MDiv’79) Wagner Richard Culp (MDiv’93, in dig i t a l ve r Jim si o Jorden ns o f (MATS’04) o ur pub li c at i o ns Gil wiRichardson t h o u t t h e(MDiv’86) ir e x p r e ss p e rLeslie missi o n . (MDiv’99) William Walker Jr. (MDiv’57) DMin’01) Lisa Juica Perkins (MDiv’11) Isabel Rivera-Velez Daniel Walker (MDiv’96) Katie Cummings (MDiv’05) Robert Kelley (MDiv’88) (MlisDiv’10) Julian Walthall (DMin’95) Thomas W. Currie III Sandra Kern (MDiv’93) Kay Roberts (MDiv’99) Michael Waschevski (MDiv’73) Joshua Kerr (MDiv’14) Alexandra Rodgers (MDiv’09) (DMin’03) Sam Cutrone Jr. (MDiv’90) Dong Kim (MDiv’95) Renée Roederer (MDiv’08) Phineas Washer Jr. (MDiv’56, Sonja (MDiv’96) & Doug J Carter King III (MDiv’70) Nancy Ross-Hullinger DMin’93) Dalglish Jr. (MDiv’93, Cheryl Kirk-Duggan (MDiv’94) Sallie Watson (MDiv’87) DMin’05) (MDiv’87) Jeff Saddington (MDiv’11) Shane Webb (MDiv’11) Don Davis Jr. (MA’96) Cynthia Kohlmann (MDiv’99) Ronald Salfen (MDiv’73, Linda Whiteside (MDiv’16) Jim DeMent Jr. (MDiv’17) Joseph Kooyers (MDiv’70) DMin’78) Walter Jay Wilkins III Consuelo Donahue Martha Langford (MDiv’07) Valerie Sansing (MDiv’00) (MDiv’78) (MDiv’96) Sam Lanham IV (MDiv’85) Teresa Sauceda (MDiv’88) John Williams (MDiv’65) Fane Downs (MDiv’88) Janet Larson (MDiv’16) Thomas Schmid (MDiv’71) Whitney Payne Wiseman Jill Duffield (DMin’13) David Laverty (MDiv’58) Dale Schultz (DMin’00) (MATS’11) Britta Dukes (MDiv’05) Kathy (MDiv’16) & Alex LeeRobert Sebesta (MDiv’55, Carol Wood (MDiv’80) Daniel Durway (MDiv’56) Cornell (MDiv’14) DMin’83) Frank Yates (MDiv’75, Barbara Dyke (MDiv’02) Lynne Lockett (MDiv’94) Sheila Sidberry-Thomas DMin’84) Wayne Eberly (DMin’09) Rebecca Longino (MDiv’13) (MDiv’14) Carl Zimmerman (MDiv’62) John Evans (MDiv’68) Robert Lowry (MDiv’01) Rita Sims (DMin’15) James Farrar (CIM’15) Ralph Madison Jr. (MDiv’61, Bart Smith (MDiv’12) Pat Felter (MDiv’94) & Shane DMin’79) Richard Spinner (MDiv’75) Whisler (MDiv’95) Dana Mayfield (MDiv’05) Gerald Stacy (DMin’92) David (MDiv’69) & Judy To make your own gift George McCall Jr. (MDiv’63) Jeanie Stanley (MDiv’99, Record (MDiv’69) Fletcher J. Pat McClatchy (MDiv’52) DMin’13) or pledge, contact Gary Daniel Fultz (MDiv’91) Carl McCormack (MDiv’95) Kelly Updegraff Staples Lemuel Garcia-Arroyo Mathews, director of (MDiv’11) Nancy Chester (MDiv’87) (MDiv’95) Karen Stocks (MDiv’85) Betty Meadows (MDiv’84) alumni and church Jesus Gonzalez (MDiv’92) Lisa Straus (MDiv’10) Brian Merritt (MDiv’98) & relations, gmathews@ William Gould Jr. (MDiv’53, Carol Howard Merritt Tamara Strehli (MDiv’05) ThM’63) (MDiv’98) Carol Tate (DMin’14) Rosemary Grattan (MDiv’11)


Crawleys extend their support to library Jim and Molly Crawley of Norman, Oklahoma, have given $500,000 to the Learning and Information Center renovation project. The gift will support their passion, the Austin Seminary Archives. Jim Crawley, who served on the Austin Seminary Board of Trustees from 2009-2015, is the founder and chairman of Crawley Petroleum Corporation, Crawley Ventures, LLC, and Crawley Family Foundation. A native of east Texas, he obtained a degree in T he Cra wle ys f irs t s u p p or ted the Wea v ing P romi s e & P rac t ice

mechanical engineering from Texas A&M before

into Mini s t r y ca mp a ig n b y f unding the Cra wle y Fa mil y

earning an MBA from Harvard Business School. He

Fello wship in 2014 . From lef t: Mar tha Cra wle y Trace y, Moll y

also serves as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors

Cra wle y, a nd Jim Cra wle y, r ight. C hr i s t ine Wag ner ( M D iv’ 16),

of First Presbyterian Church Foundation in Norman,

center, wa s the f irs t rec ip ient of the Cra wle y Fello wship.

where they are members. Their daughter, Martha Crawley Tracey, of Denver, Colorado, is a current Austin Seminary Trustee and a member of Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church.















Library campaign enters final stage of fund raising .R. EX R UNIS


S REL does not build on debt. Historically, the institution begins Austin Seminary on new buildings only HIVEconstruction CAR ARC GE RA STO

after completely raised or pledged—and the Learning and Information Center is no different. L Ebeen LTYfunds have ARR ACU F


Lead gifts have provided nearly $10 million of this $16.5 million project with projections to secure the remaining funding by the end of 2019. While this is an ambitious timeline, it will allow for a Fall 2021 opening. ES

HIV REL ION ARC ECTand Renovation of the 1950s era building willRRbring enhance its beautiful CAR it up to 21st century standards EL OLL CA



architectural features. At the same time, the rear addition to the building will be demolished, making way for ) new construction on its footprint. Resources and staff will remain available to patrons during the construction (156 EL ION R CAR


C period. The logistics of this project are tremendous, but they will positively impact this community and the EN

E F GRO Austin Seminary campus in ways that are beyond R O our imaginations. “I’m confident that the enthusiasm and

generosity of the donors who have brought REL us to this point will inspire others to join them in making this project CAR leap from renderings on a page to a reality,” says Vice President for Institutional Advancement Donna Scott. “I L RRE

CA envision the day when this building is bustling with learners of diverse backgrounds, who come from near and

far, in-person and virtually, for study, collaboration, quiet reflection, lectures and meetings—and leave more E ENC FER

M enriched and touched by those whoCONmade it all possible.” ROO



Learning & Information Center Campaign Committee Theodore J. Wardlaw, President Cassandra C. Carr San Antonio, Texas

John Hartman Houston, Texas

John L. Van Osdall Houston, Texas

Katherine Cummings Bentonville, Arkansas

Lyndon L. Olson Jr. Waco, Texas

Elizabeth C. Williams Dallas, Texas

G. Archer Frierson II Shreveport, Louisiana

Lana Russell Austin, Texas

Michael Wright Dallas, Texas


T he L e a r n i n g a n d In fo r m a t io n Ce nte r i s the f i n a l co m p o n e nt of o u r We a v i n g P ro m i s e & P rac t ice i nto M i n i s t r y ca m p a i g n . T h u s fa r we h a ve: • Funde d thre e new dis tinguishe d f acult y chairs • Cre ate d e leven full - ride f e llowships, including t wo inte rnational f e llowships • Endowe d the Colle ge of Pas toral L e ade rs • Cons truc te d and opene d the John and Sue Mc Coy s tudent apar tment building

Ple a s e co n s id e r a d d i n g yo u r s u p p o r t fo r the f i n a l p h a s e of th i s e f fo r t!

For information on how you can partner with us, please visit our website: or call Donna Scott at 512-404-4807

100 E. 27th Street Austin, Texas 78705 Phone: 512-404-4886 Email:

How Reading John Wesley Has Made Me a Better Theologian By David Jensen


am a Reformed theologian. Sometimes my tradition has acted as if Aldersgate, the site of John Wesley’s well-known conversion experience, has very little in common with Geneva, the site of John Calvin’s work of church reform. But I think the two locales have much to share with each other. For nearly two decades, I have studied and taught the theology of Wesley at Austin Seminary, an experience that has convinced me that Wesley has much to teach not only the Methodist churches, but also the church universal. What does Wesley’s theology teach us? First, Wesley portrays a God who graces creation without ceasing. In countless sermons, Wesley describes God’s goodness suffusing the universe. God does not exist “on high,” aloof or apart from the world. Rather, as Wesley writes in one of his later sermons, “there is no point of space … where God is not.” God’s goodness overflows with abundance, granting everything the pulse of life. Wherever we might venture in the world, God is already there, at work creating and redeeming. For Wesley, Jesus Christ enters creation not merely to repair the damage that humanity has brought upon creation through sin. Instead, Christ comes so that creation might participate more fully in the grace of God given to the world, to bring us into God’s very life. It is hard to imagine a more grace-filled and hopeful theology than that! Second, Wesley’s theology reminds us that Christ’s redemptive work takes root in

our lives. Christ is at work now, in places we might not otherwise expect, and summons us to respond in love. For Wesley, salvation is never a passive matter that we receive unawares. Instead, salvation is healing, and as such it is also never a “one and done” kind of affair. Salvation occurs over the long arc of one’s life as we respond to this ceaselessly gracious God. This is what most theologians call sanctification. Wesley’s version of it contains the ultimate hope of perfection, that the far horizon of our lives might be characterized not by sin, but by Christ’s love for the world. If we give up on this hope, we suggest that Christ is not really at work transforming the world. Finally, Wesley’s theology is remarkably generous in spirit. Strongly influenced by pietism, Wesley was convinced that the ultimate marker of Christian faith was not doctrinal precision, but the trajectory of a redeemed life. We don’t prove ourselves to be Christian by uttering our favorite creed without our fingers crossed. Rather, we live out the faith with others, bound by the rule of love. And as we attempt to live this life, there is room for disagreements in theology. Listen to Wesley: People “may differ from us in their opinions as well as their expressions, and nevertheless be partakers with us of the same precious faith.” In a “shout out” culture that revels in exposing others’ errors and faulty opinions, these words of Wesley are perhaps more resonant now than ever. I remain a Reformed theologian; perhaps I’m even predestined to be one. But I

David Hadley Jensen is academic dean and professor in the Clarence N. and Betty B. Frierson Distinguished Chair in Reformed Theology at Austin Seminary. His latest of his ten books, Christian Understandings of Christ: The Historical Trajectory (Fortress Press), is due out in early 2019. Winter 2019 | 9

Educating Methodists at Austin Seminary

How an Ecumenical Classroom Helps Prepare Pastors for “the Real World”


By Gary Mathews he Seminary has long valued an ecumenical dialogue. As early as the 1920s, pastors, missionaries, and scholars from Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist, and other denominations were invited to deliver lectures. Clement Janda, an ecumenical student from Sudan (1973) wrote of his time here, “I think it is significant to say that one of the unique contributions of Austin Seminary is its role to foster inter-denominational dialogue.” In the early days, ecumenical dialogue was mostly between Presbyterians—the “northern” and “southern” church, the “Cumberlands,” the Reformed Church, and the Mexican Presbyterian Church. Jerri Olsewski (MDiv’94) light-heartedly noted that during her time as a student, “diversity amongst Presbyterians was more troubling than the ecumenical diversity on campus!” Several ordained Presbyterian alumni shared thoughts on how attending an “ecumenical Presbyterian” seminary prepared them for ministry. Craig Nakagawa (MDiv’05) is an Air Force chaplain. He said that as diverse as Austin Seminary was, the real world is even more so. “Military chaplains do not choose to whom they minister, nor can they discriminate based on faith (or non-faith), gender, race, or sexual orientation. A chaplain must be prepared to be ‘present’ and pastoral to all who would cross your path. You could have as many as fifteen different denominations sitting in one Protestant worship service on any given Sunday.” Chaplain “Nak” credits his seminary experience with preparing him for such diversity. “During my time at Austin Seminary, I began to realize we are living in an ever ‘smaller’ and pluralistic world. If you are to minister and be the presence of G-d, you must throw out all preconceived notions of rightness or wrongness of faith tradition, belief, theology—whatever it may be—and love as our Master loved; wholly and unconditionally.” Ann Rosewall (MDiv’88) exemplifies ecumenicalism.

She was ordained by the PC(USA), was a chaplain for a Catholic hospital system, taught at both Methodist and Presbyterian seminaries, and is currently a pastor in the United Church of Christ. She stressed how the ecumenical learning environment at Austin Seminary helped prepare her to follow God’s call to whatever that might be. She reflected, “As a student at Austin Seminary, what I learned from other denominations was integral in every aspect of my ministry that would follow. It helped me be to better prepared to teach at a Methodist seminary and follow a call to pastor a congregation outside the PC(USA). At Austin Seminary, I discovered spirituality in diversity.” Laurie (MDiv’01) and Jim (MDiv’01) Barker serve as a PC(USA) clergy couple in Junction, Texas. Jim said, “It makes sense for Austin to open its doors to all denominations, just as Presbyterians have been welcomed within other denominations’ seminaries. And for those who have never had much exposure to other denominations, this diversity does add a layer of education that is not a part of a degree program.” Mid-October rains caused historic flooding in the Texas Hill Country. Laurie, who has lifelong connections to the UMC, including her fellow students at Austin Seminary, noted, “What helped the most during these rain/ flood events has been the deep tradition that this community has with all of our churches supporting and respecting each other. No one here thought twice about making sure the sixty to eighty state personnel sent here were fed three times a day last week during our tragedy. It is just what churches in rural communities do. It is a beautiful example of the Body of Christ actually being the Body of Christ.” Her words echo those spoken in 1973 by Clement Janda, “As ecumenical people on the campus of the Austin Seminary … we were able to contribute to the life of the school and in a small way to the life of the Kingdom of Christ.” v

Gary Mathews is director of alumni and church relations at Austin Seminary.

10 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

A Methodist Student Perspective

On Warm and Cold Air


By Matt Cardona

am Methodist. I think that means something. I hope it means something. A question that continually runs through my mind as a student at a Presbyterian seminary is this: Is what I’m learning perfecting me in love? Usually, you can find us (Methodists), huddled together like penguins in Stotts Hall, desperately trying to keep our hearts warm.* The “frozen chosen,” are many, and Methodists must band together to keep the cold air at bay. I imagine that they, the ones who bring cold air, are equally concerned about the hot air that rises whenever we (Methodists) are together. In an imagined life, I spent time as a weatherman. When warm air clashes with cold air, it forms what we in the biz call a low-pressure zone. In short, it can be said, Methodists are BRINGERS OF RAIN! (Insert Braveheartesque-like bravado.) The reality of the matter is that my time in seminary is best characterized by the collision of two material masses. At times, it has resulted in dreary rainy weather, but ultimately it has been more like the proverb: as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. At its best, Austin Seminary provides space for the clashing: class debates, random encounters with professors, staff, and students, Friday night musings about how to solve the world’s problems, passionate conversations regarding current events, venting sessions with the Student Affairs Office … It is, all of it, a beautiful experience. Why would anyone want to experience such a thing!? The answer is simple. It’s a great big world out there, and it’s full of people who are different from us. This is the world

of the seminary; a time and a place set aside for wonder, excitement, and even danger. A space dedicated to the reality of diversity that is God’s people. My denomination, The United Methodist Church, has reached a critical juncture in our lives together. The called Special Session of the General Conference (when United Methodist delegates from across the globe will gather to discuss and vote on the denomination’s stance regarding same-sex marriage and the ordination of gay clergy) is ever looming. In February, we will forever change the landscape of Methodism (or keep it the same, depending on who you ask). Yet, Austin Seminary has proved to me that two different bodies can still help each other along, even when they can’t make up their minds about the destination. Ultimately, we ought to be confident about a couple of things. We know where we’ve come from. We have, all of us, come from God. We have, all of us, come from love. In the fray, in the differences, in seminary, I’ve become less concerned about the destination. I’m focused on the journey. Is what we’re doing, perfecting us in Love? It is my hope and prayer that our presence together in this space is perfecting all of us in love. v

* The Aldersgate Experience: During the reading of Luther’s Preface to the Epistle to Romans, John Wesley felt, “his heart strangely warmed.” Many Wesleyan scholars cite this as a pivotal point in Wesley’s faith journey—in which Wesley realized the entirety of his salvation.

Matt Cardona is a senior United Methodist student, concurrently serving as a certified candidate for ministry at Covenant United Methodist Church in Austin.

A Better Theologian Continued from page 9

have anthologies of Wesley’s sermons in my office, which I reach for often. Reading them, I am convinced, has made me a much better teacher and scholar than I would

have been if these volumes had languished on my shelf unread. v Winter 2019 | 11

Educating Methodists at Austin Seminary

The Wesley Connection at Austin Seminary


By Melissa Wiginton he sanctuary of a big downtown church was full of people on a Friday night. They had all come to see The Reverend Nadia Bolz Weber, pastor of the Church for All Saints and Sinners, for she was boltingly refreshing. She loved Jesus, she loved church, and she was tattooed, foul-mouthed, brazen, and irreverent. During a momentary lull, a voice from the back hollered, “Why are you still a Lutheran?” Everyone burst into laughter. She was, indeed, an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. I wasn’t sure whether the question came from an impatient nondenominational person or was planted by a Lutheran in hopes of a plug for their church. Her reply, though, was clear. Every tradition holds a charism, a gift, for the whole church. We are called to tend to the gift of our tradition and bring it forward to share and make the church whole. The Wesley Connection at Austin Seminary exists to bring forth the gifts of Methodism to the Seminary and her constituents. Its aim is to emphasize the Methodist heritage present in the Seminary, to provide rich learning opportunities focused on Methodist practices and doctrine, and to bridge resources across the Seminary and Methodist churches and conferences. Three activities serve to illustrate the work done by the Wesley Connection. “Emerging Methodist Voices,” a lecture series, presents the work and thought of young pastor/scholars who are leading Methodism into the future, with particular attention to Asian American, Hispanic, and African American leaders. Voices who have been amplified through this venue include Rev. Dr. Gerald Liu, Rev. Dr. Jennifer

Leath, ordained pastor in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and professor at Iliff Seminary, and Rev. Dr. Tanya Eustace Campen (MDiv’04), an alumna of Austin Seminary with a PhD from Boston University who now serves as director of Intergenerational Ministries in the Rio Texas Conference. The Wesley Connection also hosts professionals in ministry of the Capitol District of the Rio Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. Fifty elders, deacons, and ministers come to the Seminary for a morning workshop offered by Education Beyond the Walls, for worship with the Seminary community, and a meal. The Office of Admissions and the Wesley Connection also partner with Project Transformation Rio Texas, an initiative which engages college students in service with underserved children, intentional community, and vocational discernment. We help identify seminarians to work as pastors-in-residence with the interns, and we host this racially diverse group of college students on campus for a day of vocational discernment accompanied by an introduction to the gifts and possibilities of a theological education. In addition to the explicit efforts of the Wesley Connection, Seminary faculty consistently preach, teach, and accompany Methodist churches. During the spring of 2020, we will offer a Borderlands Travel Seminar built around the mission, resources, and wisdom of The United Methodist Church in South Texas. We continue to look for ways to steward the gifts of Methodism—for the Wesleyans and for the church. v

Melissa Wiginton is vice president for Education Beyond the Walls, Austin Seminary’s lifelong learning program, and Research Professor in Methodist Studies. She inaugurated the Wesley Connection at Austin Seminary program in 2014. 12 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

faculty news notes

faculty notes |

The Most Reverend Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, with Dr. Aymer during a break at the St. Augustine Seminar.

Professor Aymer invited to advise the Archbishop of Canterbury


nce each decade, bishops from the worldwide Anglican Communion gather in Canterbury, England, for the Lambeth Conference. When they convene in 2020, they will engage in Bible study around the book of I Peter and the conference’s theme, “God’s Church for God’s World: Walking, Listening, and Witnessing Together.” In November, Austin Seminary’s New Testament scholar Margaret Aymer had a hand in guiding the event. Last summer, Aymer received an invitation from the Archbishop of Canterbury to be one of thirty-five international scholars to make up the St. Augustine Seminar, November 21-23, in London. Convened by Professor Jennifer Strawbridge of the University of Oxford, they met to consider the text from I Peter and shape the biblical studies and other aspects of the Lambeth Conference. Prior to the November gathering, Professor Strawbridge said, “I have admired the work of many of those in attendance. I am excited to see what happens when so many incredible, convicted, and faithful hearts and minds are brought together to discuss scripture and the church. One of the focuses of Lambeth will be on collegiality, and my hope is that this seminar will model precisely that as we use the lens of scripture to explore what it means to walk together in a connected, but not necessarily relational, world. Moreover, my hope is that this group will think creatively about different approaches to biblical study, including ways of disagreeing well over the meaning of a text.” The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, added: “I am looking forward immensely to the St. Augustine Seminar in November. This gathering will play a significant role as we seek God’s wisdom on developing and refining themes for the Lambeth Conference … The expertise and insight of the theologians who gather will be vital in informing the thinking in areas such as the daily Bible expositions, group Bible studies, and homilies. I pray it will be a stimulating and exciting time together.” v

Margaret Aymer (New Testament) delivered the Joan and Aubrey Gearner Seminar for Stalcup School of Theology for the Laity at Brite Divinity School. Her lecture, “Listening to James, Acting Faithfully,” was given at Northway Christian Church in Dallas, on October 20, 2018. On January 27, she will preach at St. John’s UMC in Austin. Whit Bodman (Comparative Religion) will teach a Sunday school class at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, Dallas, January 13. Gregory Cuéllar (Old Testament) has an article, “A Migrant-Centric Reading of Exodus 2: Tactics of Survival for Immigrant Women and Their Unaccompanied Children,” in Biblical Interpretation (issue 4-5) 2018. He has chapters in two new books, The Postcolonial Commentary on the Old Testament (New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2018) and Ethnicity, Race, and Religion: Identities and Ideologies in early Jewish and Christian Texts, and in the Traditions of Biblical Interpretation (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2018). Carolyn Helsel (Homiletics) will be the keynote speaker at the Mo-Ranch Adult Conference, January 22-24. She speaks at Princeton Seminary’s “Women in Ministry” event on February 6-7 in Midland, Texas. She will speak at MidAmerican Nazarene University (Olathe, Kansas), February 26-27. Jennifer Lord (Homiletics and Liturgical Studies) has a chapter, “Introducing the Revised Common Lectionary,” in Connections: A Lectionary Commentary for Preaching and Worship. She was preacher and Advisory Committee member for Women in Leadership Conference, Association of Theological Schools in Pittsburgh. She preached at First Presbyterian Church, Victoria, Texas, on Theological Education

Sunday and celebrated the 28th year of her ordination to Ministry of Word and Sacrament on September 30. Jen Owens-Jofré (Constructive Theology) has two chapters in new books: Visions and Vocations (Paulist Press, 2018) and Voices from the Ancestors and Beyond: Chicanx/Latinx Decolonized Spiritual Expressions (University of Arizona Press, forthcoming). Suzie Park (Old Testament) will teach a Sunday school class on December 9 at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church (Dallas). This fall she has had several Bible studies in the Presbyterian Outlook: Oct 7, “Natural Disasters and Divine Justice” on Genesis 6; Oct 14, “Journeys, Immigration and the Voice of God” on Genesis 12; and Oct 21, “Infertility and Sarah’s Laughter” on Genesis 18. Eric Wall (Sacred Music) was music leader for the “Better Angels” Conference at Montreat Conference Center, Oct 8-11. He will be the music leader at the Mo-Ranch Adult Conference, Jan. 22-24. He will co-lead (with Mary Wall) the First Presbyterian Church, Austin, all-church retreat at Mo-Ranch, April 26-28. David White (Christian Education) will have a chapter “Charles Taylor and the Way Forward for Christian Education,” in the Journal of Youth and Theology (January 2019). He is the general editor of a book project on joy and youth ministry sponsored by a Templeton grant at Yale Divinity school, which will be published in the spring by the General Board of Higher Education and Discipleship of The United Methodist Church. Melissa Wiginton (Methodist Studies) led the “Making a Life, Not Just a Living,” retreat on vocation for Belmont University (Nashville) in October. She is co-facilitating the Courageous Leadership Initiative training with the Texas Methodist Foundation. v Winter 2019 | 13

live learn

What’s new at Education Beyond the Walls? Education Beyond the Walls (EBW) carefully cultivates experiences that nourish practitioners in mind, heart, and spirit. In everything we do we strive to embody community, creativity, and compassion. • Community: We believe that we learn best in community and that we grow best when community is diverse. We foster relationships through hospitality that creates a feeling of care and ease. • Creativity: We believe that everyone we encounter is creative and that innovation can be taught and learned. We tend to the creative spirit by incorporating music, art, and narrative into our events. • Compassion: We craft events with adults in mind, focusing on active, experiential models of learning and on content that is relevant to the changing landscape of ministry. We recognize the need for new and old ways of being church.

Instituto de Maria y Marta and Certificate in Christian Leadership Our communities and churches need the gifts of women to survive and thrive, and women need excellent women leaders to bring their gifts to fullness and to empower and encourage one another. Instituto de Maria y Marta was created to respond to this need. We are dedicated to developing women leaders for the sake of the church, the community, and the world. Our education embraces Mary’s heart and faith but also Martha’s response in action, and we want our women to be both: Mary and Martha. The education we offer is practical, relevant, respectful, empowering, transformational, and designed specifically for Hispanic women. A Certificate in Christian Leadership will be awarded to women who finish a two-year curriculum including classes, workshops, and an applied project. The newly formed Instituto de Maria y Marta launched its first cohort of the Certificate in Christian Leadership on Saturday, October 20.

Hispanic Ministries Mission Network 2019 annual gathering The Hispanic Ministries Mission Network provides a center point for Hispanic pastors and church leaders across the Synod of the Sun to come together for mutual support, for professional development, and for taking action to strengthen Hispanic congregations and leaders.

College of Pastoral Leaders (CPL) clergy renewal grants deadline Grant applications for the next class of CPL cohorts will be available on January 1; competed applications are due on May 15, 2019. For more information, please contact Erica Knisely at

14 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

787 Collective member Anna Strickland from Labyrinth Progressive Student Ministry maps out her team’s approach to the Six-Week Challenge.

787 Collective Update Austin Seminary has established an innovation hub for congregations and adults in their twenties with the goal of creating relationships of mutual trust, authenticity, and meaning-making. This year our work in the 787 Collective focused on helping congregations continue to grow their capacities toward engagement with young adults, while expanding their creativity as well as their awareness around the creative process. Groups participated in a “Six-Week Challenge” over the course of the spring in which they experimented with new ways to gather twenty-somethings and find creative expressions to bring church out of the building and into the world. Congregations were also asked to participate in a one-day intensive about the art of innovation followed by a summer of individual coaching. The Collective gathered again for a retreat in September to begin work on individual congregational proposals for grant funding to support their ongoing work. There are currently twelve congregations participating in the Collective. Follow our work at

Learn more and register for events at

alumni news notes

Alumnus Steve Miller (MDiv’15) named Ashoka Fellow

class notes | 1950s

Photograph by Jesse Littlebird /

In October, Honor Flight Houston recognized Charles E. Wolfe (MDiv'58), with an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. Charles was an Army Chaplain and was awarded the Purple Heart during his time in Vietnam.

1980s Rene Whitaker (MDiv'87) recently published two new books, Entertaining Angels and 88 Gratitudes: Always Room for More.

Austin Seminary alumnus Steve Miller (MDiv’15) has been named an Ashoka Fellow in recognition of his work to promote healing through the oral histories of those who have experienced racism. Miller is project director and founder of the HBCU Truth & Reconciliation Oral History Project. Austin Seminary is one of ten institutional partners, including seven HBCUs, who support the work of the HBCU Truth & Reconciliation Oral History Project. Each partner commits one professor and four or five students to work on the project. “The professors design the research and the questions, the students conduct the interviews, and we all work together to uncover themes based on what we hear,” says Steve. “These themes serve as the basis for further research.” Ashoka has been awarding fellowships to social entrepreneurs since 1981. According to its web site, Ashoka identifies and supports the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, learns from the patterns in their innovations, and mobilizes a global community to embrace these new frameworks. Its mission entails finding and cultivating social entrepreneurs globally whose systemschanging innovations solve deep-rooted social problems. According to Wikipedia (whose founder is himself an Ashoka Fellow), for Ashoka Fellows with ventures more than five years old, more than 80% have had their solution implemented by others; 59% have directly affected national policy; and each Ashoka fellow is helping an average of 174,000 people. From more than 500 nominations, eleven members were chosen for the 2018 U.S. class of Ashoka Fellows. The fellowship offers a stipend for up to three years to allow Fellows to dedicate themselves full time to the advancement of their ideas. In October Forbes Magazine profiled Steve and the other 2018 Ashoka Fellows.

David Leslie (MDiv’88) will be participating as a Shaker Art, Design, and Religion Fellow in a project developed by the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon (New York) and Fordham University Theology Department. David serves as executive director of the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. Sally Johnson (MDiv’89) has published her first novel, After Yesterday.

1990s Fran (Coon) Grace (MDiv’92) announced her upcoming new book, The Power of Love, will be published on February 14, 2019.

2000s Thomas, the husband of Suzanne Isaacs (MDiv’00), died August 2, in San Antonio, Texas.

Carrie Jane Ruth Cashing and her dad Megan and Jason Cashing (MDiv'06) welcomed their first child, Carrie Jane Ruth, on September 24, 2018. Everett Miller (MDiv’06) has published two new books, World War I: A Brief and Broad Overview and Light in the Darkness. Martha Langford (MDiv'07) was installed as pastor at First Presbyterian Church, La Grange, Texas, on October 1, 2018. “To Forgive a Killer,” an article by Sharon Risher (MDiv’07) as told to Abigail Pesta for Notre Dame Magazine, has been named a 2018 Front Page Award Winner by the Newswomen’s Club of New York. Alisa Secrest (MDiv'08) was installed as associate pastor for congregational nurture at Second Presbyterian Church, Little Rock, Arkansas, on August 1, 2018.

Charles Wolfe in Washington D.C. after his honor flight. Winter 2019 | 15

alumni news notes appointed as pastor of First United Methodist of Hico, Texas.

Make plans for MidWinters 2019 when we will honor Distinguished Service Award recipients

Matthew Beach (MDiv’17) relocated to California to pursue a PhD in theology at Graduate Theological Union.

PATRICIA TULL (MDiv’85) & SALLIE SAMPSELL WATSON (MDiv’87) Special reunion events are planned for the Classes of 1959, 1969, 1979, 1989, 1999, and 2009-2018.

Lindsay, Brad, and their baby

2010s Lindsay Hatch (MDiv’10) and husband, Brad, welcomed a daughter, Lyndon Berke, born September 13, 2018.

on Sunday, August 19 and installed as associate pastor at Grand Lakes Presbyterian Church, Katy, Texas.

in memoriam |

David Wolfe (DMin’18) has retired except for a teaching assignment in Kenya this December. David also volunteers as a counselor at Western State Hospital in Staunton, Virginia.

Hans-Richard Nevermann (1953-54), March 9, 2018, Berlin, Germany

ordinations |

David J. Gallaher (MDiv’64), August 12, 2018, New Braunfels, Texas

Tony Spears (MDiv’15) was ordained by Metropolitan Community Church, Austin, Texas, on October 13. Wendy Manuel (MDiv’16) was ordained in Minneapolis,

Frank A. Simcik (MDiv’60), September 12, 2018, Temple, Texas

Ernest E. Atkinson (DMin’84), March 3, 2013, Tyler, Texas June M. White (MDiv’01), December 29, 2017, Kerrville, Texas

Trim your tree with our new

Austin Seminary Tony Spears' Austin Seminary family surround him at his ordination.

Christmas Ornament These silver-plated ornaments cost $20 and are available for a limited time. To get yours, email mccorddesk@ or call 512-404-4800.

Lindsey and Mitchell Kolls (MDiv’12), welcomed Emily Claire, born October 2, 2018. Scott Spence (MDiv’12) is now pastor and teacher at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Waterloo, Iowa. Chad Lawson (MDiv’15) was installed as pastor at Canyon Lake Presbyterian Church, Texas, on Sept. 16, 2018. Eric Peterson (MDiv’15) has been called as the director of spiritual life at the Presbyterian Pan American School, Kingsville, Texas. Don Moore (MDiv’16) was

16 | Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Minnesota, on August 18, by the Upper Midwest Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Wendy is a chaplain for Grace Hospice in Minneapolis. Gayle Evers (MDiv’18) was ordained by Journey Imperfect Faith Community in Austin, Texas, on October 21. Gayle serves as chaplain for the non-profit FreedHearts. Tyler Henderson (MDiv’18) was ordained by New Covenant Presbytery Fran Grace visited campus as part of a book tour for The Power of Love.

teaching ministry

Nurturing future leaders with sacred music treasures By Eric Wall, Assistant Professor of Sacred Music and Dean of the Chapel


ne of the recent and very special gifts to the Austin Seminary community has been the establishing of the Hal H. and Martha S. Hopson Endowed Symposium Fund. The name “Hopson” may ring a figurative and even literal bell with you as you read this. If it does, it’s because Hal and Martha are long-time giants in church music. Perhaps you have been in one of their choirs, at any age. You may have sung or rung one of Hal’s hundreds of compositions and arrangements for choirs and handbells. You have almost certainly sung one of his hymntunes. Church musicians, pastors, and congregations have long treasured the repertory of song that bears the name “Hopson”—now a fund at Austin Seminary bears the same name. Thanks to many generous gifts to the worship life of the Seminary and especially to a gift from the Hopson children, the Hopson Endowed Symposium Fund enables us to expand what we do on campus for church music. The Hal H. and Martha S. Hopson Endowed Symposium Fund was established in 2016 to honor the lives and work of Hal and Martha Hopson. The purpose of the fund is to promote the life of music and worship in the church and to enhance the work of the sacred music program at Austin Seminary. The fund generates resources to provide students and practitioners with educational opportunities beyond the classroom. The academic year of 2017-2018 was the first year of the Hopson Fund “in action,” bringing a variety of resources, events, and guests to our campus. Two of these were connected to the Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary observances. The first of these was the addition to Shelton Chapel, in October of 2017, of a new congregational song resource: Psalms

For All Seasons, a recent publication that offers multiple ways to sing the Psalms in worship. It now sits sideby-side in our pews with Glory to God and The United Methodist Hymnal. Also in October of 2017 was a special music event: “Here I Sing: Music and Reformation.” Our guests on campus were Dr. Paul Roberts (president) and Dr. Tony McNeill (program director and musician) from Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary in Atlanta, and Ara Carapetyan (director) and the Chancel Choir of University Presbyterian Church, Austin. Together with our Seminary Choir, they offered an evening that riffed musically and theologically on the well-known Reformation phrase associated with Martin Luther, “Here I Stand.” This event, like reformation itself, was on the move, beginning in the chapel, continuing to the Lance Circle, and concluding in Stotts Hall. In February of 2018, three guests —Josh Taylor (First Presbyterian, Dallas), Beth Mueller (Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian, Austin), and John Leedy (MDiv’11) (University Presbyterian, Austin)—offered conversation and perspective on youth and worship for our MAYM student cohort. In March, faculty and student musicians and speakers joined in a special chapel service that explored the music and theology of Johann Sebastian Bach. In April, we welcomed another guest musician to campus: Chi Yi Chen Wolbrink lectured on aspects of Asian church music, worked with the Seminary Choir, and led music in Tuesday chapel. For the current school year, more is happening thanks to the Hopson Fund: a performance of Messiaen’s great organ work for Christmas, “La Nativité du Seigneur,” with student-written reflections interspersed; a workshop on

Spanish/English bilinguality in church music; and the anticipated presence on campus in the spring of John Bell, long-time musician with the Iona Community in Scotland. As we note above, the Hopson Fund exists in part “to promote the life of music and worship in the church.” This happens, to be sure, “down the road,” as all of our work here at Austin Seminary does—everything is seeded for a future that God unfolds. But it also happens now and in this place. The life of music and worship here is itself the life of music and worship in the church. It is why the ministry of serving here is so rich with relationships, teaching, care, mentoring, accompanying, worship, singing, praying. These are also gifts of the Hopson Fund events and opportunities. Our acquaintance with music and musicians deepens our worship life, renews our singing, expands our imaginations. The next time you find yourself singing from Glory to God or The United Methodist Hymnal (or other song collections), take a moment and check the index of composers: you will find Hal Hopson’s name there. Hal and Martha have nurtured generations of church musicians, and now the fund that bears their name is nurturing our seminary community and the church leaders who are formed here. There is a special and gratifying attention given here at Austin Seminary to the gifts of music in the worship of the church. The Hal H. and Martha S. Hopson Fund helps us to bring some of those gifts to special life for this community. v

Winter 2019 | 17

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


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

MidWinters 2019, February 4-6 The Reverend Dr. Robert Michael Franklin is The James T. and Berta R. Laney Professor in Moral Leadership and Senior Advisor to the President, Emory University CURRIE LECTURES: Moral Agency and Leadership

“Throughout history when human communities have faced seemingly insurmountable challenges, we see examples of women and men with integrity, courage, and imagination who have emerged to help lead them forward. Who are these moral leaders and how do they come to be such? What and how do they think and act? And, what exact impacts do they make or enable?” – RMF

Ms. Katelyn Beaty is an essayist and speaker; she is the author of A Woman’s Place: A Christian Vision for your Calling in the Office, the Home, and the World. JONES LECTURES: New Norms for a New Era “In my two lectures, I will examine this moment in contemporary culture through the lenses of faith and the media. In the first lecture, I will consider the surprising support by evangelicals of a controversial political leader. In the second, I will look at issues of truth and witness in an era of 'fake news.'” – KB

Dr. Miroslav Volf is The Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology and Founding Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, Yale Divinity School

WESTERVELT LECTURES: Trampling on Pearls? Theology and What Matters the Most “Truly flourishing life is the most important concern of our lives, the pearl for which it’s worth selling everything else we might have—wealth, power, fame, or pleasure. That’s also the purpose of theology: to discern, articulate, and commend visions of flourishing life in the light of God’s selfrevelation in Jesus Christ. But like the swine of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:6), many of us, ordinary people and intellectuals alike, and especially in the affluent West, trample that pearl under our feet, seeing in it nothing fit to satisfy our hunger.” –MV


The Reverend Sarah Johnson is Associate Pastor

of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas.


Mr. Rich Oppel is Interim

Editor-in-Chief for Texas Monthly magazine.

Register @