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B u l l e t i n o f t h e C o l g at e R o c h e s t e r C r o z e r D i v i n i t y S c h o o l

Summer/Fall 2016

Faith. Critically engaged.

CRCDS: Charting the Course for Theological Education in the 21st Century

Inside... ✛ “Not Your Father’s Seminary”: Dr. Leonard Sweet (CRDS ’72) ✛ CRCDS in Transition ✛ 2016 Commencement Address by Dr. John R. Tyson

P lu s . . .

About this issue:


“In the face of all the uncertainties that surround any decision, the wise man acts in the light of his best judgment illuminated by the integrity of his profoundest spiritual insights. Then the rest is in the hands of the future and in the mind of God.” —Howard Thurman (RTS ’26)

ev. Howard Thurman (RTS ’26), author, philosopher, theologian, educator, civil rights leader and alumnus, blessed the world with remarkable insight, wisdom and vision. His astute reflections on decision making, albeit expressed in a different era, serve as an enduring guide as we face the challenges of the future. The following essay, entitled, “Each Man Must Decide,” is taken from Howard Thurman’s book, Meditations of the Heart, published in 1953.

CRCDS: Faith. Critically engaged. is a bi-annual publication of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School 1100 South Goodman Street, Rochester, New York, 14620.

PUBLISHER: Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRCDS) EDITOR: Michele Kaider-Korol DESIGN: MillRace Design

The ability to know what is the right thing to do in a given circumstance is a sheer gift of God. The element of gift is inherent in the process of decision. Perhaps gift is the wrong word; it is a quality of genius or immediate inspiration. The process is very simple and perhaps elemental. First, we weigh all the possible alternatives. We examine them carefully, weighing this and weighing that. There is always an abundance of advice available—some of it technical, some of it out of the full-orbed generosity of those who love us and wish us well. Each bit of it has to be weighed and measured in the light of the end sought. This means that the crucial consideration is to know what is the desirable end. What is it that I most want to see happen if the conditions were ideal or if my desire were completely fulfilled? Once this end is clearly visualized, then it is possible to have a sense of direction with reference to the decision that must be made. Oftentimes precious months or years pass with no solution in evidence because there is ever the hope that the ideal end may, in some miraculous manner, come to pass. Then the time for action does come at last. There comes a moment when something has to be done; one can no longer postpone the decision— the definite act resolves an otherwise intolerable situation. Once the decision is made, the die is cast. In the face of all the uncertainties that surround any decision, the wise man acts in the light of his best judgment illuminated by the integrity of his profoundest spiritual insights. Then the rest is in the hands of the future and in the mind of God. The possibility of error, of profound and terrible error, is at once the height and the depth of man’s freedom. For this, God be praised!


Summer/Fall 2016

Faith. Critically engaged.

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oin the conversation!

If you haven’t checked us out on social media, please do—we want to hear from you!

President’s Message by Rev. Marvin A. McMickle, Ph.D.


Transition Committee


“Not Your Father’s Seminary: Revisited” with Dr. Leonard Sweet (CRDS ’72)


Student Profile: Keturah Clark


2016 Commencement Address by Dr. John R. Tyson


Student Profile: Michael Brennan


Memorial & Appreciation Gifts


In Memoriam


Horizon Society


Alumni/ae Out in the World


Fall 2016 Lecture Preview: “Praise, Protest and Policy” Religion & Politics


Share your news, photos and updates: Follow us: @crcds Like us:


Dear friends,

The Rev. Marvin A. McMickle, Ph.D.

President, Colg ate Rochester Crozer Divinity School


his is truly an exciting time at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRCDS). Our beloved CRCDS is embarking on a journey to re-envision and reinterpret theological education for our present age.

My May letter to you announcing the decision by the Board of Trustees to relocate the school to a new campus setting designed to meet the needs of 21st Century education is, while certainly significant, only one of the many strategic initiatives the school is engaged in. Since my letter, I have heard from many of you who have graciously taken the time to share your thoughts on the future direction of the school and the key values and components you believe the school must retain going forward. This feedback is invaluable to me and to all of us entrusted with the task of carrying out the mission of CRCDS and securing its successful future. I hope you will continue to share your thoughts with me throughout this entire process as we transition not only from our current location, but toward a new model of theological education. We have formed a Transition Committee, headed by CRCDS alumnus, Paul Vick, with broad representation from the students, staff, faculty and the community (see the Transition Committee profile following my letter). They have begun their work and have already held initial meetings with pastors, alumni/ae and partners of the school to seek their input not only on relocation, but more importantly, on how the school can best serve this present age. We will be hosting a series of meetings throughout the fall and early winter in a variety of locations and we hope you will be able to participate either in person or through the use of technology. We will be sending a list of meetings, including dates and locations, to you soon. In the meantime, the Transition Committee and I are interested in hearing your initial thoughts and ideas and have set up a special e-mail to make it easier for you to provide your thoughts and feedback to us. The e-mail address is We are so grateful for your partnership and thank you in advance for sharing your wisdom with us as we embark on this exciting and vitally important journey.

Many people—alumni, alumnae, friends, pastors—have shared with me their sadness over the school leaving the Hill, but they have also expressed a clear understanding of why it is necessary to not only relocate, but, more importantly, why it is vital for the school to adapt its mission to meet the needs of


our current age, a commitment we have made throughout our history. I am reminded that no institution can survive, much less thrive, without adapting to the time and the people it serves. CRCDS exists today—almost 200 years after its founding— because those who have loved and cared for it over generations understood the necessity to adapt. Had the school abdicated this core responsibility, it would have withered on the vine long ago. What drove the founding of the school in Hamilton, what brought the school to Rochester (in two phases), brought the Baptist Missionary Training School (BMTS) from Illinois, brought Crozer from Pennsylvania and brought all our numerous partners over the years, including Bexley Hall and St. Bernard’s, was an unflinching commitment to critically assess the needs of theological education and to adapt the CRCDS mission accordingly to meet these ever evolving, ever-changing needs. This is an awesome and, at times, daunting responsibility, but as we all know, and as we constantly teach our students, answering God’s call to serve demands boldness, courage and a willingness to have faith and belief in the future. In a recent conversation with a concerned alumnus, I expressed a need for all of us who attended seminary years ago to recognize that the model for theological education that we were formed by would not—and does not—meet the needs of today’s students. Significant societal shifts have occurred over the past few decades that impact how people understand religion, faith, theology, spirituality and the church itself. We experience this in various forms including the decline in church attendance, the rapid “greying” of our congregations, and the struggle of our faith communities to remain solvent and relevant. I am reminded, however, that these conditions are lamentable only if we are fixated on the past and struggling to preserve and maintain old models—often for their own sake—that are not meeting the needs of people in our present age. Our ever-present challenge is to answer God’s call to reorient ourselves toward the future. When we do this, opportunities abound, challenges are enthusiastically engaged, creative solutions are discovered, new models are developed and, ultimately, our mission is given the opportunity to truly serve and to thrive.

The business world offers countless examples of companies whose failure to adapt has led directly to their demise. One need look no further than Rochester’s own Eastman Kodak Company, once known around the world for film manufacturing, to see a stark example of people failing to adapt to the future. Kodak once employed over 60, 000 people in Rochester, but now employs fewer than 5,000. This decline, interestingly, was not the result of fewer people taking pictures. In fact, we all take more pictures now than we ever did at any other time in history. What changed was how people take pictures, how we capture images. Film is gone, long ago replaced by digital photography. And as film went, so did Kodak. Ironically, Kodak itself developed the technology for the digital camera, but could not envision how this could change the future for the better until it was too late. Many of our mainline churches and seminaries face a similar challenge to adapt or face the prospect of severe diminishment or worse—closure. There is, of course, still the ever-present need in the world for God’s presence and for people to find ways to be spiritually and theologically fed. What has changed, however, similar to the situation with Kodak, is how these needs are met. Some churches and some seminaries are beginning to figure this out, but sadly, many are not. The future demands that we look forward, not backward. When we refuse to orient ourselves forward, we create an idol out of the past and that is spiritually deadly because it prevents God’s in-breaking and prevents any substantive future progress.

sive education than any seminary students in history, given the variety of ways they will likely be called to serve and the broad skill base they will need to be successful. Upon graduation, today’s students are not stepping into an established, healthy church structure. They are being asked to lead at a time when the mainline churches are struggling for relevance and for their very survival. This will demand everything our graduates can bring to the table in order to fashion a new way forward. Add these challenges to the high cost of theological education, the long hours of ministry and the relatively low salaries and we can all see why it is increasingly difficult for people to hear God’s call to ministry clearly in our present age.

“The future demands that we look forward, not backward. When we refuse to orient ourselves forward, we create an idol out of the past and that is spiritually deadly because it prevents God’s in-breaking and prevents any substantive future progress.”

The world of theological education has already changed dramatically. Long gone are the days when only 22-25 year-old males enrolled full-time in seminary, took classes exclusively on campus, in-person, during the daytime with the expressed goal of one day becoming a pastor or perhaps a missionary. Now, the overall number of people attending seminary has changed, but, importantly, so has who attends seminary, how they attend seminary and where and when they take classes. As if those changes were not significant enough, an already large (and increasing) number of students are now preparing for ministries far different from the traditional role of pastor. Thus, even the reasons why people attend seminary have shifted. Today’s students require a much broader and exten-

I admit this all sounds dire and overwhelming, except for the very real fact that the world continues to need— now more than ever—the leaders that CRCDS is uniquely equipped to provide. Were it not for this fact, we could easily declare the mission of CRCDS dead based on a conclusion that the mission was no longer needed and therefore irrelevant. I know, however, that our world, in a very real way, urgently needs CRCDS graduates and needs CRCDS to live out its mission by adapting it to the present age. The world needs leaders who are pastoral, prophetic and learned, who stand as a sign of God’s faithfulness, even in times of uncertainty and struggle. People remain hungry and thirsty. They continue to strive to find meaning in life, to deal with the many challenges we all face, to make sense of a world where violence abounds and so many continue to suffer. People still look for leaders who voice an authoritative “No!” to violence, oppression, prejudice, economic inequality, racism, sexism, ageism, xenophobia, ignorance, hate…. Each day, the news brings us clear testimony of why we need CRCDS and why CRCDS matters. Our graduates engage these issues head-on and are a tangible sign of God’s love, presence and healing in a world that seems increasingly fractured, polarized and devoid of any sense of love, fairness, caring, justice or responsibility. This is the work of CRCDS—to prepare leaders who lead, who make a difference, who are God’s change agents, who sacrifice so much so that all may have the opportunity to thrive,


and to bring the sense of peace to the world that only God’s love can provide. CRCDS matters, and we must all do our part to make sure we make decisions that not only allow it to survive, but to thrive. Where our graduates serve and how they serve has shifted dramatically, but the need for our graduates has, in fact, increased, as has the urgency for the school to re-imagine how we identify, attract and form these future leaders to meet the needs of the present and future age.

This challenge has occupied my heart and mind ever since I took up the presidency of this historic and beloved school. The Trustees, faculty and staff are working tirelessly to forge this new way and are already engaged in the vitally important work identified in the strategic plan that was approved by the Board of Trustees this past February. While I will not attempt to fully explicate the entire strategic plan here, I would like to briefly share with you some of its most salient points. Our strategic planning is based on some important assumptions that continue to shape our work going forward: t


t t t




CRCDS must increase its overall enrollment in terms of both numbers of students (head count) and in terms of full-time equivalency (the number of courses each student takes).

CRCDS must reduce its endowment draw, while identifying ways to increase the overall size of the endowment (providing greater financial resources for the school and for financial aid and scholarships). CRCDS must substantially increase national awareness of the school and its mission. CRCDS must carefully evaluate and adjust both its academic programs and its delivery systems.

CRCDS must serve both degree and non-degree students and must focus on engaging both “seekers” and “nones” who are unlikely to be familiar with the work of CRCDS, but who are likely to find affinity with its courses and degrees.

CRCDS must identify a location for its operations that is better suited to support its mission in terms of technology, accessibility, maintenance costs, space utilization and a shift in theological education from a residential population to a commuter population.

CRCDS must be prepared to invest resources to achieve its future goals.

Based on these assumptions, the Strategic Planning Committee set out to identify five major goals around which the school will focus its energy for the next three years. Based on the assumptions outlined above, the Strategic Planning Committee identified five major goals for CRCDS:

t t t



Increase full-time equivalency enrollment for all Masters level students.

Expand lifelong learning opportunities to meet the needs of a broader range of the public.

Establish a plan for long-term financial sustainability including increased enrollment, increased philanthropic revenue, evaluating the suitability of current campus setting for students and overall school operations, evaluate staffing needs/models and reduce endowment draw. Establish CRCDS as a “go to” voice for progressive theological response to issues of social justice, religion and society, and civil and human rights

Expand the Doctor of Ministry program (already an area of distinction and growth for CRCDS).

While implementation of the Strategic Plan is already underway, I must emphasize that it is a living, breathing and, most importantly, responsive process, not a finished unresponsive document with a list of “To Do” items. Every institution, and especially theological schools, must constantly be thinking and planning strategically. CRCDS must bring an entrepreneurial spirit to all we do and we must be prepared to try new things, abandon things that are not working and enlist the assistance of a broad range of partners, including, most importantly, YOU! It is this last point that I hope you will consider seriously. CRCDS needs your thoughts, your ideas, your insights as we build this new model for theological education. While the move from our current campus to a new location provides a tangible opportunity for bringing the entire CRCDS family together in conversation, the actual discussion and task is so much greater than simply identifying a new place for CRCDS. We must all work together to identify the best ways to be CRCDS in this new age and to achieve our identified strategic goals. It will take all our effort, all our care and concern to fashion this new direction, this new way. We must remain open to the future while continuing to ground ourselves in our long and distinguished legacy of preparing and forming pastoral, prophetic and learned leaders who stand as a witness among us of all that is possible when we are open to God’s love. I am eager to continue this journey with you and, as always, ask your prayers for all of us who work on behalf of CRCDS. Mostly, however, I ask for your prayers for our beloved CRCDS. May God continue to guide us in our work to carry forth our legacy and mission in this new direction and new age. Yours in Christ,

Dr. Marvin A. McMickle President

C o l g at e R o c h e s t e r C r o z e r D i v i n i t y S c h o o l Transition Committee


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he Board of Trustees, together with CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle, recently established a Transition Committee to address the many changes, challenges and opportunities presented to us in our next phase of growth. The Transition Committee represents CRCDS alumni/ae, students, staff, faculty, administration and Trustees. Visit the “On the Move” tab on our website at or email to share your thoughts, comments and suggestions with us. Tom Argust (CRDS ’66) Retired, Commissioner of Community Development, City of Rochester

Melissa Morral (CRCDS ’05) Vice President of Enrollment Services, CRCDS

Rev. Dr. Richard Douglass (CRCDS, M.Div. ’85, D.Min. ’95) Pastor, Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Rochester, NY

Stephanie Sauvé (CRDS ’95) Vice President for Academic Life, Dean of Faculty, Associate Professor of Practical Theology, CRCDS

Rev. Dr. Michael Ford (CRCDS ’12) Senior Pastor, Lake Avenue Baptist Church, Rochester, NY

Gerry VanStrydonck Vice President of Finance, CRCDS

Tom McDade Clay Vice President for Institutional Advancement, CRCDS

Rev. Paul Vick (CRDS ’71) Transition Committee Chair CRCDS Life Trustee

Dr. Marvin A. McMickle President, CRCDS

Stefan Weathers President, Black Student Caucus Former President, CRCDS Student Cabinet

Rev. Stuart Mitchell III (CRDS ’70) President and CEO PathStone Corporation


“Not Your Father’s Seminary”

H O W S E M I N A R I E S M U S T R E I N V E N T T H E M S E LV E S —


A C O N V E R S A T I O N O N “ N E X S E M ” W I T H D R. L E O N A R D S W E E T ( C R D S ’ 7 2 )

ave you been back to your seminary (or college) alma mater recently? Chances are good that the buildings may look the same, but the students and the learning methods have changed radically. Like everything else it has touched, the Internet has changed seminaries forever. And the 20th century predominance of young, white male students is ending in the 21st century.

In “Not Your Father’s

Seminary” (originally published in 2008),

Len Sweet challenges

seminaries and all those

concerned with theological education to re-think and

re-imagine what it means

to be a seminary in the 21st century.


eonard Sweet has seen the changes in seminaries from the 20th to the 21st century firsthand, and is highly regarded for his discernment of culture and how the church (including theological seminaries and colleges) needs to change to be faithful. He currently serves as the E. Stanley Jones professor of evangelism at Drew Theological School in Madison, New Jersey, and as a visiting distinguished professor at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. His most recent book is The Church of the Perfect Storm (Abingdon), and he is the creator of Group’s online sermon resource PreachingPlus. YOU’VE BEEN ADVOCATING A NEW MODEL FOR THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION CALLED “NEXSEM.” WHAT DOES NEXSEM LOOK LIKE?

The essence of theological education in the future must feature the spiritual formation of the person through forming a life shaped by biblical relationships, a passion for knowing God, an understanding of the “ways of the ancestors,” and an indigenous expression of faith in a specific cultural context.

Seminaries need to reinvent the ways in which theological education delivers ideas, information, best practices, and prophecies to the tens of thousands of religious leaders who have the closest day-to-day contact with people. We need a mix/match of learning opportunities, including classroom, online, face-to-face, immersive HILTs (high-impact learning techniques), advances (Christians don’t “retreat”), hybrids, and so on.

NexSem wants to define “leadership development” more as discipleship training—forming godly character in followers of Jesus, forging a sharp theological trajectory through life, and building strong relational skills with a high degree of contextual intelligence.

Learning in the future will be both at-a-distance and up-close. It will need to be more “Facebook.” Learning will be more face-to-face (and even “in your face”). The days of students traveling great


distances to hear three-hour weekly lectures and take notes from the professor’s scratchings on a chalkboard are numbered—like it or not. Instead, instruction will be highly participatory and relational, even monastic. It will involve personal mentoring from professors and peers, ministry apprenticeship, and quality learning that is both at-a-distance and up-close. Whoever will do the best online and offline collaboration and coordination will inherit the educational world of the future. WHAT IS THE LOCAL CONGREGATION’S ROLE IN NEXSEM?

The local church is by design the most effective incubator of spiritual leaders on the planet. Who raises up leaders, who mentors leaders, for God’s mission in the world? Ephesians 4 clearly mandates that church leaders don’t only “do” ministry, they also equip others to live out their baptism as “ministers.” There must be a more effective way for seminaries and congregations to raise up and mentor leaders for God’s mission. YOU’VE STATED ELSEWHERE THAT TOO MUCH OF PREACHING ASSUMES A “GUTENBERG CULTURE” RATHER THAN A “GOOGLE CULTURE.” IS THE SAME THING TRUE FOR SEMINARIES?

The Web is the primary delivery system for learning and faith development today. Books were the primary delivery system in the modern world. It’s time we brighten the lights and turn up the heat on a problem that we all know we have: Too many seminaries are preparing church leaders for a world that’s no

In the future virtually all seminaries will have online courses. It is the fastest growing delivery modality for good reasons. It does not pluck the pastor out of the local church, and it provides better education in some ways. Here are five advantages of online learning: Student Engagement. In a traditional classroom, students can hide and slide their way through a class session. Online discussions do not just disappear into thin air but stay around posted for all to see for weeks. It’s harder to freeload online and you can never “just go and listen.” Quality of Dialogue. Online classes give students extra time to reflect and respond thoughtfully instead of just talking. The resulting dialogue is often at a higher level than classroom discussion. Better Prepared Professors. Some professors do a “walk on” in traditional classrooms, but in online classes detailed

longer there. That’s why I don’t require “papers” but “projects,” which can be completed in any or all of the five major media forms: print, audio, video, software, Internet.

What President Abraham Lincoln said in his 1862 annual message to Congress serves as the call to arms for missional education in the 21st century: “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.” Seminaries need to wake up, shake themselves out of old habits, and see the world afresh.

I got an email the other day from someone in Slovakia. His grandmother’s house has no indoor toilet, but it has highspeed Internet access. Have you seen where the number of text messages sent and received every day exceeds the population of the planet? Even the MTV generation isn’t watching all that much TV or MTV anymore. The Internet is best seen now as a utility, like water or electricity.

I believe deeply in the value of theological education. The only question is whether seminary education as we practice it is the best delivery system for the 21st century. IS IT POSSIBLE THAT SEMINARIES ARE IRRELEVANT?

No, but we need to face facts: Much of inquiry and imagination is so last century. Plus, some of the most “successful” pastors in the United States today were never “credentialed” by any seminary, such as Jim Cymbala of Brooklyn Tabernacle

preparation and planning are required. And it forces one to think more creatively about how students can accomplish the outcomes. Race, Gender, and Age. Interaction with screen text removes subtle biases. A student’s written ideas make the impression, not their physical appearance. Grounding in Ministry Context. Online students don’t have to move away from their local churches to learn how to minister in the local churches. They become less acclimated to academic culture and tend to remain rooted in the life of their congregations and communities. Face-to-face education will never completely disappear—nor should it. However, online courses will become a permanent part of the way we educate pastors in the future. Reprinted with permission by the author, Russ Gunsalus, Executive Director of the Education and Clergy Department, The Wesleyan Church, Indianapolis, IN.


“One’s baptism is one’s ordination into ministry and one’s commissioning as a missionary. Every baptized disciple has both a ministry to the body and a mission in the world. NexSem will exist to train all disciples for their tent-making ministries and missions. or Bill Hybels of Willow Creek or Brian McLaren of Cedar Ridge. Just as some of the most successful business leaders such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Steven Spielberg never finished college, many pastors of successful churches either never went to seminary or dropped out. A survey in the 1990s revealed that the pastors of 75 out of the 100 largest churches in America did not have seminary degrees.

Studies conducted by Hartford Seminary reveal that congregations pastored by seminary-trained leaders are less likely to “deal openly with conflict,” are “far more likely” to lack a sense of mission or purpose, and quickly “feel threatened by changes in worship.” At the end of the day, the ultimate credentialing is not, “Do you have a degree?” but “Can you do ministry?”

Military historian Stephen Ambrose tells how Andrew Higgins, who built landing craft in World War II, refused to hire graduates of engineering schools, even though there was a lot of detail and invention involved in making those boats. He believed engineering schools taught their students what they couldn’t do. His engineers were all self-taught. He started off at the beginning of the war with 20 employees. By the middle of the war, he had 30,000 people working for him. They turned out 20,000 landing craft. Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Andrew Higgins won the war for us. He did it without engineers.” FEW WOULD DISAGREE THAT PASTORS NEED TO BE LIFELONG LEARNERS. YET YOU’VE SAID LIFELONG LEARNING IS IMPERATIVE. WHY?

For one thing, the “shelf life” of information is getting shorter and shorter. Many of us are operating from an information base that’s so stale it’s rancid.

For another, lifelong learning helps to reduce the isolation that too many pastors have either chosen or gotten themselves


into. Lifelong learning must enable imaginative, innovative, and transformative experiences to overcome the current norm of pastoral isolation and the various obstacles to participating in peer-engaged continuing education. Older pastors may actually need to learn how to learn, and to see the interconnections between various complex systems. By the way, the business world is calling continuing education human capital management or enterprise talent management.

Finally, we must get over our apprehensions about the Internet. It can be argued that the most anti-social technology ever invented was the book, which is one reason Socrates was so opposed to writing and left no writings of his own. Too many pastors are bookworms in the worst sense of the phrase: They are cobwebbed in their Gutenberg cubes. I find it interesting that Cisco Systems has recently outlawed all offices for all its employees. Digital technology means your office isn’t space in a building, it’s the space where you are. HOW CAN CHURCHES AND SEMINARIES WORK WELL TOGETHER (OTHER THAN FEEDING STUDENTS TO THEOLOGY SCHOOLS)?

There are a burgeoning number of “teaching churches” (or “learning churches,” as I prefer to call them) that are training leaders without any thought of seminaries. Most seminaries are either ignoring them or dismissing them. A smart few are partnering with them. But too often not only do these churches and seminaries not talk to each other—they live in parallel universes. Leaders of the future need new partnerships and linkages between seminaries, judicatories, local congregations, and emerging ministries. We must do theological education and ministry formation together, not separately.

The mission of ministerial education needs redefining. Thus our focus will not be on “theological” or “ministerial” education but on “missional” education—not on the certification of leadership for denominationally credentialed ministry, but rather on the content and context requirements of missional ministry that can effectively build diverse bodies of Christ for this emerging culture. Theological education is too clerical in orientation, too focused on future clergy. It needs to focus much more on how to build the future of the church.


The action-reflection model is assumed. Paul didn’t train anyone for ministry; he trained them in ministry. Ministry development should enable students to learn ministry in practice and not train them for practice, to be reflective practitioners.

I don’t propose to develop a new “core curriculum” for theological education because the whole concept of “curriculum” is problematic to me. Church leadership today requires a mentor plus action/reflection methodology in which the character, spiritual authenticity, and missional passion of the mentor are more important than the curriculum. This is the

new “core” around which some form of the old “core curriculum” in Bible, patristics, church history, theology, Christian education, church administration, etc., will be recapitulated. It will be a self-organizing approach to contextual learning in which students can choose participation in a network of teaching churches and public/corporate sector opportunities across the globe along with Web-based interaction for ongoing coaching. An open-source system trusts faculty mentors to guide learners to other faculty whose “core curriculum” best suits that student’s particular needs. In the 21st century, who you studied with will be a more important question than where you studied. The mis-education of the church’s leaders is all too apparent in the pervasive problem of the “3Ms”: money, mileage, and marriage. The traditional teaching model of seminaries requires a student to travel to a specific location, spend approximately 1,500 to 1,600 hours in a classroom, pay

tuition amounting to at least $30,000, turn in a specified number of reports and papers, and pass the required written examinations. All these pressures put enormous stress on marriages and families.

The irony is that the accumulation of knowledge does not lead to the formation of a person. The accumulation of courses does not lead to the formation of a pastor. NexSem faculty won’t “teach” anyway. They should organize learning and mentor learners. The ultimate syllabus is the student. One’s baptism is one’s ordination into ministry and one’s commissioning as a missionary. Every baptized disciple has both a ministry to the body and a mission in the world. NexSem will exist to train all disciples for their tent-making ministries and missions. ✛

C o n t i n u i n g t he conversation

Dr. Sweet joined us at CRCDS this past spring when he delivered the 2016 Stanley I. Stuber lectures. He sat down with us afterward to continue the conversation about the future of seminary education and to discuss the changes seminaries—including CRCDS—must make to not simply survive, but to thrive.

“Our mission is to move into the future, because that’s where we are.” — Dr. Leonard Sweet (CRDS ’72)

Q: Dr. Sweet, in your opinion, have seminaries adequately stepped up to the challenges they are facing? What are they doing right? What are their key obstacles to change?

A: (Laughs) What a loaded question! I’m going to give you a metaphor that nobody under the age of 30 will understand: my needle has been stuck in that deep groove for a long time. Higher education in general, but theological education in particular, sits right where the Roman Catholic Church was on the eve of the Reformation, where the British Empire was on the eve of the Revolution, or where Humpty Dumpty was on the wall just before his great fall. I wrote a book a long time ago called Soul Tsunami. The tsunami has hit. Some seminaries are changing, adapting. That’s good. But the future is coming “C.O.D.” Q: “C.O.D.?”

A: Change or Die. There’s no way around it. The problem is, some churches and some seminaries would rather die than change. Institutions are closing. Seminaries are closing and will close if they do not change.

Q: Change in what way?

A: What print did to the world 500 years ago, new technologies do in our world today. Seminaries have been very slow to adjust to this. It’s predictable: whoever masters the print form at its highest level of sophistication, literacy and advancement, are the most reluctant to adopt the new media form. The Church, who has embraced the master print culture, the book culture at its highest level of literacy, have been dragged, kicking and screaming into this new media world. But, they’ve got to go there. This is something that faculty, who by in large have been trained in this old media world of print and books, needs to embrace. Our mission is to move into the future, because that’s where we are. Q: Why the resistance?

A: It has to do with what you’re comfortable with. It’s not just seminaries that have to reinvent themselves. Faculty has to reinvent themselves. That has been a very difficult notion. For


instance, I’m on my 6th preaching style. Nobody ever told me I couldn’t go through my entire life with one preaching style. I have to do this to keep the gospel new and fresh. So the idea that the faculty can continue the text method of instruction, what we learned, is just not realistic. It’s delusional.

Q: In your opinion, what are the benefits and risks of digital technology?

A: I look at this this way: every technology is equidistant from eternity. You’ve got some real positives. At the same time, each technology brings its own negatives. What people don’t understand about print technology is that it is isolationist and individualist. Print technology, the book, took you away from others; put you in a corner by yourself. You lowered your head so you couldn’t see anything else, and you went into somebody else’s story that somebody else had written, and you totally isolated yourself. That’s why we’ve struggled with individualism and narcissism for the past 500 years, and why we are where we are today. This new technology, social media, connects us, but at the same time, it also isolates us in very dangerous ways. Every age, you’ve got to be savvy to the perils as well as the promises of each technology. Q: And the good news?

A: This new technology (and if you’re thinking 21st century, you’re not thinking correctly—these kids are 22nd century), this is going to enable the Church to have a global mission. Anyplace is everyplace. Edwin Poteat, who taught at Colgate, used to say, “The glory of the local church is state, not local.” Every church is a global church now, every church can have a worldwide impact. You have to universalize in order to love the world. I think it’s a great day for the Church. It will let the tradition guide it and guard it. It’s a missional axis in Christianity. It’s important not to miss the moment. By and large, the Church has missed its moment. I know that God will be in the future, the question is, where will the Church (as we know it) be? I know that God will prepare leaders for the Church in some way, the question is whether the seminary will be the source of that new stream of leaders. Q: What would a new seminary model look like? How have you, as an educator, adapted to change?

A: The whole system as we now have it with semesters, with quarters, where you go to a place to study—it violates “the three M’s”: money, mileage and marriage. People can’t spend the time commuting, pay the money, have relationships, have marriages—the traditional system, the old system, doesn’t accommodate students. My ideal teaching is a mix of teaching students online, then they come together face to face with me for two or three days. In other words, we form a semi-monastic


community. We do nothing but just eat together, pray together, learn together. They have spent more time with me in those two or three days than in an entire semester, sitting in a chair listening to lectures. That’s what’s transfiguring. That’s what creates metamorphosis: that immersive “plunge” with a professor face to face, and my students are also with me every week online. It’s a double whammy: they get peer learning from each other all week, they’re talking to me once a week, and then we come together for the immersive. I work with 20 doctoral students a year this way.

Q: Where do you meet with students?

A: We might go to Cambridge together for 2 days, or we go to my house for 2 days, or we might go to Washington, D.C. The whole world is out there. When it ends, students say, “We have to have a reunion!” I’ve never taught a traditional “lecture-test-drill” course where that happens. I’ve got to create post-doctoral experiences because it is so addictive and so enriching. It’s a continual learning process. It is re-learning the meaning of education, which means to draw from within, to bring out what is already there. I think it’s a massive movement for the Church. Q: Do you think the Church is lagging behind the change movement, the one that the corporate world has had to make?

A: Yes, and this is an embarrassment, because the Church used to be ahead of the corporate world. The business world used to learn from the Church. We were the creators: we were the ones who designed the educational models, we were the ones who started hospitals, we were the ones who came up with officers and agendas. At one point, the Church was ahead of it all. Now, we’re playing catch-up. I’d really like to see the Church get ahead of it again. Q: How did Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School influence you?

A: At CRCDS, I was immersed in leaders! I was mentored by some of the greats. I’m still quoting Winthrop Hudson, James Ashbrook and Charlie Nielsen. James was way ahead of his time! Ken Cauthen: I argued with him all the time, but learned so much from him. Werner Lemke—I could go on and on. These people taught me the tradition of the faith. I was taught by professors who had a primary sense that we were “doing this for the Church.” I’ve written over sixty books, and most of them have been propelled by those professors and the faith I found at CRCDS. The takeaway message is this: we need to remember that we are here not to please others. We are here to raise up a whole new generation of leaders for the Church; we are here for God’s mission in the Church.

KETURAH CLARK M.Div. candidate

“Example is leadership.”

—Albert Schweitzer

Keturah Clark is an excellent example of a young woman who exudes extraordinary competence, confidence and optimism. The newly-elected President of the

CRCDS Student Cabinet for 2016-17, Keturah is determined, capable and likeable. She describes herself as “an intelligent, easy-going, hard-working individual. I have big dreams and I pretty much carry out all of them. I try my best to be an example to all and to stay motivated to achieve my accomplishments.”

In addition to caring for three younger brothers ages 16, 19 and 20, Keturah, a graduate of the State University at Brockport, works full time as a Community Health Specialist at Trillium Health in Rochester, NY. Keturah says her job fulfills her passion for improving community health. She educates the public about sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS awareness and HIV/STD prevention and treatment. “I especially love working with young women, teaching them to advocate for themselves through education, self-awareness and building self-esteem.” Keturah is an excellent role model and exudes self-confidence. Her online professional profile states, “I am me. I love who I am.” Asked who contributes to Keturah’s extraordinary positive outlook on life, she quickly acknowledges her mother, who passed away in 2014, and her grandparents, who have been married for many decades. Keturah says, “They’ve been inseparable since they were 12 and 16 years old. They have such great respect for each other. They’re my role models.” Keturah believes that everyone can “do something right now to make the world a better place.” An advocate for the poor and homeless, Keturah spearheaded an initiative in 2012 called “Wrapping for Rochester.” Enlisting the help of other caring individuals and businesses, gifts and toys were collected, enough to provide a happy holiday for twenty lowincome families. Last year, she headed an effort to collect gently used winter coats for those in need.

Although Keturah juggles multiple roles, she maintains an abiding sense of calm and peace. “Yes, I have a lot going on,” she says. “But I handle each thing as it comes along, with faith in God’s plan for me. I had to understand that, when my mother was ill and dying, there was nothing I could do. I had to accept the situation and that’s how I live my life, by moving forward in faith.”

Keturah believes strongly in using her God-given skills to encourage and motivate others. As such, she is a mentor at Vertus Charter School for young men, owns a salon and spa called “Inner Beauty” and hopes to eventually lead a not-forprofit that will provide success-building skills for young people. Keturah is just one of the extraordinary CRCDS students positively impacting the world one person at a time.

“Everyone can do something right now to make the world a better place.”


“For Such A Time As This.” D r . J o h n R. T y s o n

CRCDS Visiting Professor of Church History and Director of United Methodist Studies

“Greetings President McMickle, Dean Sauvé, Members of the Board of Trustees, Esteemed Faculty Colleagues, Honored Graduates and their families and guests...”

The following

Commencement address

was delivered by keynote

speaker Dr. John R.

Tyson, CRCDS Visiting Professor of Church

History and Director of

United Methodist Studies on May 14, 2016.


t is with a deep sense of honor and some trepidation that I stand before you this morning. I must confess that I have never given a commencement address before, this is my solo flight. But I have preached a few sermons—and I apologize in advance if this commencement address has a sermonesque sound to it.

I have chosen a phrase from the book of Esther, in the Hebrew scriptures, as my title for this morning. The verse, to which we will return later in the address, urges us to consider the timeliness of this auspicious event we are celebrating today. You, dear graduates, have come to this place and to this honor—to this commencement upon your full time ministry—at a very significant time. By God’s hand and grace you have been called and you have been prepared “For such a time as this.” And so we do well, as Jesus suggested, “to read the signs of the times” (Mat. 16:3).

There are those who would point to recent developments in the church and our culture to suggest that this is not a very good time for you (for us) to embark upon ministry. These nay-sayers would remind us that the churches in our region are predominantly populated by greying folks, and that their number is dwindling. In some instances and in many locations, folks are staying away from church in droves. The picture painted by recent scholarly research and surveys is a gloomy one, as they tell us that 35% of the millennials (those people born between 1981 and 1996) consider themselves as having no religious identification. They are among the “nones” that refuse to identify themselves as religious. In a similar way, the Pew Research Center indicates that the number of people who selfidentify as Christians in the general populace of our land continues to plummet. Church attendance in many areas continues to fall as the median age of church-goers continues to rise (it is up to 46 years of age now); but the median age of non-attendees continues to fall (it is down to 36). Hence, pastors and church-goers rightfully bewail the absence of young adults in their services. Looking at aging congregations, and our empty pews, some folks would tell us that preparing for ministry, at a time like this, is like learning to make buggy whips in the age of self-guided automobiles. Many people of my age, “the baby boomers,” are particularly keen on lamenting the apparent demise of the church. Nostalgically, they look back to the so-called good old days of the 1950s when everyone belonged to church (and hence the statistics were quite impressive). But in truth, only 25% of those folks actually attended regularly. And it is simply wrong and mistaken to view the 1950s as some kind of golden era in American religious experience. For women—who sought equal opportunity and self-expression—the 1950s


were not a golden age; for African Americans, Latinos, and homosexuals, the 1950s were an era of injustice, segregation, violence and inequality. Behind the whitepicket fence, which typified the idyllic life in suburbia, racism, systemic injustice and other oppressive attitudes were alive, well and thriving—virtually unchallenged.

As we now hear folks bewail the demise of the “main line” or “old line” denominations, as a church historian I have to tell you that what was the apparent dominance and significance of the “main line” church was just that: an appearance. The “main line” never constituted more than 19% of the religious consensus in America. With this sort of analysis in mind then, I suggest that we turn our attention away from false nostalgia as well as from those so-called futurists who are predicting the demise of the church and see only dark clouds and severe storms on the horizon; let us look instead at these times and our own future historically, prophetically, and through the eyes of faith.

because of your academic and spiritual preparation and because of your stoutness of heart, I firmly believe that you are uniquely prepared to be part of the vanguard of this new thing that God is doing and will do among us.

In his recent work, The Sky Is Falling, the Church Is Dying And Other False Alarms, Church Historian Ted Campbell, reminds his readers that we have in our heritage and legacy, the tools and resources we need to be ready to move boldly ahead. Campbell reminds his readers of the vital role that foundational faith commitments and ecumenical engagement have always played in our faith communities. We in the “main line” have striven to remain faithful to the gospel, and we have been determined to work together with other persons of faith to make a better world. A second profound legacy Campbell points us to is our eschatological optimism and social engagement. We believe that the Kingdom of God (what Martin Luther King called the “Beloved

“I suggest that we turn our attention away from false nostalgia as well as from those so-called futurists who are predicting the demise of the church and see only dark clouds and severe storms on the horizon; let us look instead at these times and our own future historically, prophetically, and through the eyes of faith.” In her book, The Great Emergence, church historian Phyllis Tickle reminds us that every 500 years, a dramatic change and rebirth has come upon the church as the people of God. These Copernican-like revolutions are easily chronicled down through the history of God’s people from Abraham down to the present age. And the good news is that the last great emergence of new energy and a new way of doing church occurred in 1517, when an Augustinian monk nailed 95 Theses to the door of the Castle church in Wittenberg, Germany. In so doing, he began a process that utterly and dramatically altered the way Christians “did” church; altered the way people thought about their saving relationship with God and their relationships with others. It was a watershed event of the first order. While there have been many, many significant course corrections since 1517—Phyllis Tickle’s model, as well as the signs of the times—suggest that we are once again on the verge of a watershed event. We stand on the edge of a Copernican revolution for the Christian faith and the life of the church. To put it simply, the scriptures and history teach us that God is going to do a new thing among us—the question is, will we be ready to be a part of it? Graduates, because of your faith commitments,

Community”) is incrementally growing among us, through acts of selflessness, faith and courage. This presence of the Kingdom of righteousness, justice and reconciliation causes us to press for righteousness, justice and reconciliation among God’s people—in the real world. And there are many other profound legacies which we all share as part of the “main line” church heritage, and we could easily name them, but let us, instead, look more particularly to your own legacy as graduates of this fine institution, CRCDS.

Our own story starts in September of 1817, nearly 200 years ago, in a rural village—Hamilton, New York. Ten devout Baptists (eight lay men and two pastors), gathered together in the parlor of one of the participants’ homes. They had called a meeting with the dream of establishing a theological seminary, which they said would be a school for prophets. They sent out invitations far and wide. Expecting a large crowd, the meeting was set for the local church—which had a large sanctuary. But only a handful of people arrived. Undaunted, they adjourned to more comfortable surroundings down the street. They came together that day because there was no Christian training school available to Baptists (or anyone else) west of New


Jersey. In fact, there were only TWO formally educated Baptist pastors west of the Hudson River; and one of them—Rev. Daniel Hascal—chaired the meeting. After a period of profound prayer, and calling upon God for blessing and guidance, these people dedicated themselves to the proposition of establishing a school for prophets; that is, a theological seminary, where the Word of God was studied, preached, and practiced—to the end that their church and indeed their entire region would come under the powerful influence of the God’s redemptive kingdom. As a sign of their commitment, these men—of very meager financial means—dug deep in their wallets, and each contributed one dollar to begin a circle of correspondence. It was an action fund so that their dream for a seminary could someday become a reality. Within two years, the school, called the “Hamilton Literary and Theological Institute” had been formed and had rented the third floor of the local public school in order to begin instruction. By 1822, the first graduate of “the Institute,” Jonathan Wade, was commissioned for Christian ministry and dispatched to Burma as a life-long missionary of the gospel. By the grace of God and the prayerful labors of many dedicated people, the school grew and thrived.

remained in Hamilton, NY, also pressed ahead and prospered; ultimately Hamilton Literary and Theological Institute became Colgate University, and Colgate Theological Seminary. Subsequently (in 1932), Colgate and Rochester Theological seminaries joined hands and legacies to form CRDS, at their current location.

Fast forward from 1850 to 1872, when famous Systematic Theologian and church man, Augustus Hopkins Strong, became the second president of Rochester Theological Seminary. In a retrospective speech on the legacy of the school, Strong described it as a “school for prophets” as well as a “seed bed for ideas.” You see, graduates, from the time of it being envisioned in Hamilton in 1817, through its lasting incarnation here in the City of Rochester, your school has been, selfconsciously, a school for prophets and a place where new, godly ideas are welcomed, nurtured and grown.

“The prophet is one who learns to love what God loves, who learns to will what God wills, to feel what God feels, to advocate and strive for those things which move the very heart of God. ”

By 1850, some of the faculty, trustees and students of Hamilton Literary and Theological Institute began to urge the relocation of the school to a more urban setting. They felt that the rural, isolated location was a detriment to the school when it came to serving and reaching people for God. Several new sites were studied, and the nearby boom-town of Rochester, New York was selected. But many of the Hamiltonians did not want to leave their idyllic rural setting and the mission they felt was there, and a painful schism occurred—with more than half of the Hamiltonians relocating to Rochester and the others remaining in their original locale. On May 11, 1850, two new religious institutions were established in Rochester by the Hamilton emigres; one was Rochester Theological Seminary, and the other was the University of Rochester. Classes at Rochester Theological Seminary began in November,1850. They were held in the old City Hotel, with twenty-four students enrolled. Those who


This prophetic legacy and heritage of which we speak, causes us to ask, concretely, what is a prophet? And what is the prophetic ministry for which you have been prepared? In his wonderful two-volume work, The Prophets, Jewish theologian Abraham Heschel gave wonderful expression to the prophetic consciousness. Regretfully, I cannot be so full and complete as Heschel was in that work today, but let us remind ourselves that the role of the prophet is that of being God’s messenger, who speaks God’s word of acceptance, righteousness and justice into the concrete historical situation in which one finds oneself. And as Heschel concluded: “An analysis of prophetic utterances shows that the fundamental experience of the prophet is fellowship with the feelings of God, a sympathy with the divine pathos, a communion with the divine consciousness which comes about through the prophet’s reflection of, or participation in, the divine pathos.” (28). Hence, the prophet is one who learns to love what God loves, who learns to will what God wills, to feel what God feels, to advocate and strive for those things which move the very heart of God. This means, as one of the great prophets reminds us: “God has told you, O mortal, what

is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8). In a similar way, Walter Bruggeman, in his insightful work, The Prophetic Imagination, urges that, “The task of prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us” (p.3). Because the prophet has learned to love the things that God loves, and to feel the things that God feels, she/he is a person who takes their marching orders from God, and not the dominant culture. We will not see the brokenness of our world and the supposed ineffectiveness and demise of the church as being inevitable or irrevocable. No. And over-and-against the challenges and broken values of this present age, we will champion God’s virtues, God’s values and God’s new opportunities. Empowered by God’s Spirit we will live lives full of the Spirit’s fruit; lives of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22); we will encourage and enable others to do so as well.

Your religious consciousness has grown and been nurtured in this seed-bed for new ideas. Like fellow alumnus, Walter Rauschenbusch, you have been asked to champion the inclusiveness of the gospel according to Jesus, and to marry that gospel with a prophetic reading of the real social problems that assail people all around us. In describing the role of the biblical prophets, Rauschenbusch wrote, “These men were so alive to God and felt God’s righteousness so overpoweringly that they beat their naked hands against jagged injustice and inhumanity. They were centers of religious unrest, creators

Beloved graduates, your school has always stood in the heritage and legacy of the prophetic tradition. You have been nurtured and trained in the prophetic and public ministry of God’s Word and God’s presence. Not only has your school proclaimed a prophetic gospel message, she has practiced gospel equality; African Americans—

“Like fellow alumni, Walter Rauschenbusch, you have been asked to champion the inclusiveness of the gospel according to Jesus, and to marry that gospel with a prophetic reading of the real social problems that assail people all around us.” like Mordecai Wyatt Johnson who graduated in 1920 and went on to become president of Howard University— were welcomed here on an equal footing long before that kind of opportunity was available to them in society at large. In a similar way, women have long been welcome here. Ruth Hill was admitted to your school before American women even had the right to vote, and she became the first graduate from our school—in 1922— with a full ministerial degree. You stand in a prophetic lineage with heroic spirits and voices. Like Augustus Strong, you have learned a prophet’s appreciation of the gospel of God’s grace and God’s transforming acceptance, which is married to a progressive attitude towards new ideas, and new developments and new strides for freedom and equality.

of divine dissatisfaction, and the unsparing critics of all who oppressed and corrupted the people ... .”1 Like fellow alumnus, Howard Thurman, you have been asked to consider what the church and her gospel has to say to “the least of these our brethren,” the disinherited, and to ask again what relevancy it holds for the person who has their back up against the wall.

In 1881, Mary Burdette was preceptress of the Baptist Missionary Training School, which eventually joined its legacy to ours in 1961. Mary earned the nick-name of “The Little General” for her leadership skills and prophetic insights. She left us a summary of what a well-trained missionary needed to know (in 1881): “She has ... to be able to minister to and prescribe for the sick, to comfort the afflicted, soothe the dying, to feed the hungry,


clothe the ragged; to prepare work, to organize and sustain industrial schools, Sunday schools, mother’s meetings, temperance societies, missionary societies, to teach manners and morals; to possess sanctified tact, selfcontrol and the spirit of the Master; to pray, to sing, to teach (even the pastors); and in the pursuance of their work to walk miles, if need be; to fast if need be; to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint.”

“The academic and spiritual preparation which you have received, prophetic legacy in which you stand, is more powerful, more portent, and more luminous than all the darkness that we face. ”

Like your fellow alumnus, Martin Luther King, you have been called to such a time as this, called to participate in this prophetic legacy; called to search for truth and to point the way to God’s Beloved Community amidst the brokenness and the injustice all around us. As he wrote in his Stride Toward Freedom, Dr. King reported: “It has been my conviction ever since reading Rauschenbusch that any religion which professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the social and economic conditions that scar the soul, is a spiritually moribund religion only waiting for the day to be buried.”2 And we could go on and on.... Dear Graduates, you stand in a line of dynamic and prophetic women and men, and there are many voices and many contributors to this proud legacy which you inherit today as an alumni and alumnae of this institution.

Back to the Book of Esther. My title is drawn from a larger statement from Mordecai to devout Queen Esther. Esther stands amidst dire times, astride a horrible dilemma. Apparently, she has been made queen in Babylon because of her great beauty. But there is a deeper purpose, a Divine purpose, behind this Jewish maiden’s rise to high station in the land of her captors. Haman, high vizier of the Persian Empire, has determined to exterminate all the Jewish people under his control. Queen Esther, with her good actions and godly influence, is all that stands between her people and utter destruction. She had been risen up for a time such as this…but there was a dilemma, was there not? For people of faith there always seems to be a dilemma of some sort. In this case, it was Persian law and custom—since it was illegal to go into the presence of the King unbidden, and even to make a request of the King was a matter of life and death—and

The challenges of our times are large, and fainthearted souls are predicting our demise and/or counting us out as irrelevant in the ultimate outcome. But our God is larger than the challenges we face. Our hope in God is larger and more potent than the defeatism or false nostalgia which the nay-sayers might offer. The academic and spiritual preparation which you have received, and the prophetic legacy in which you stand, is more powerful, more portent, and more luminous than all the darkness that we face. Indeed, as a church historian, I can promise you that God has never abandoned God’s people, and has indeed used difficult times to form the crucible and context of new opportunities. In faith, let us view the challenges of these times in precisely this light. We are on the cusp of a bright new beginning, a new act of God among God’s people. And You, dear graduates, stand in the vanguard; by God’s grace you have been called, trained and risen up, precisely, for just such a time as this! And so, I urge you: embrace the challenge of these times with expectancy and urgency. Remain close to the very heart of God; continue to feel the things that God feels; to love the things that God loves, and be willing to stand against the things which God hates. And know that by Divine calling, spiritual gifts, by training and legacy YOU have been prepared for a time such as this. Therefore— go forth with God’s help and God’s guidance—and make a better world.

1 2


Esther’s particular request was a matter of life and death. It would mean an end to her life if she displeased the king, and the death of her people, if her plea was not answered. So it was, that Queen Esther requested a period of prayer and fasting of her people and then resolved to enter the King’s presence unbidden—with a request that would lead to their deliverance. Her devotion and her courage were amply rewarded. She had, indeed, been risen up by God for a time such as this—and her request was granted; wicked Haman wound up dying on the gallows he had designed for others.

Christianizing the Social Order, p. 51. Stride Towards Freedom, p. 91.


“Thanks be to God who moves mountains. And thanks be to God for men and women who pick up the stones, one after another, until the mountain moves.” —Sarah Bessey

If you’ve had the opportunity to meet and speak with Michael Brennan, you’ve been blessed.

Michael is an extremely accomplished, but modest, unassuming man who has devoted his life to serving and healing others. A Family Nurse Practitioner, Michael spends his days caring for economically disadvantaged patients at St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center in Rochester, NY. In addition to his full-time practice, and his studies at CRCDS, Michael lectures on “Death and Dying in Modern Medicine” at the University of Rochester Medical School, teaches “Social Change Through Service” at St. John Fisher College, is the Director of Christian Education and Youth Pastor at the United Church of Pittsford, NY and performs what he terms the “noble and sacred work” of hospice at Isaiah House and Shepherd Home in the greater Rochester, NY area. Michael is averse to the term “busy” to describe his life and says, “We elevate busy-ness to its own idol in our culture. It’s a false God. My goal is not to be busy. My goal is to love and to serve. I prefer to say I’m actively involved in a lot of things.” Michael believes the more involved the person, the greater the need to slow down and live in the moment. Practicing mindfulness helps him with “the daily struggle of remaining centered and grounded in God’s unconditional love.” He says, “I, like so many people, spend a lot of my thought life going to the past, and running to the future—rehashing and rehearsing, I call it. Through Christian prayer and mindfulness meditation, I stay connected to the Vine.”

The biggest spiritual challenge we all face, he says, is something so many of us share: our collective sense of selfdoubt, unworthiness, guilt, shame, and sometimes, self-loathing. “If you peel back the layers,” Michael believes, “you hear this voice that says, ‘I’m not worthy, I’m not good enough.’” He says, “In the patients I’ve seen, you can often trace a patient’s illness back to their adverse childhood experiences, their micro-traumas. We’ve all been broken at some level. I, like most of humanity, have also been broken.” But, he says, “Hemingway wrote, ‘The world breaks everyone and afterwards many are strong at the broken places.’ It’s very true.”

Michael’s most striking quality is perhaps his genuine empathy for his fellow human beings. “Empathy creates human solidarity,” he says. “Jesus commands us to love one another. The starting place for love is empathy. Instead of anti-bullying campaigns, if we just teach empathy, bullying has no space.”

Speaking about empathy prompts Michael to mention Ruben Garcia, the founder of Enunciation House in El Paso, Texas. Michael says, “To me, Ruben is an example of the steadfastness of the saints. Since 1978, he has been running a refugee shelter on the Texas-Mexican border. He invited Mother Theresa to ElPaso and she came. For over 40 years he has been ministering to the poor. He is literally living the Christian walk. He is my hero.”

Another of Michael’s heroes resides a bit closer to home: his wife, Catherine Burke. He calls her “one of the most joyful and centered and loving people I know. She keeps a gratitude journal, writes it in every morning, and then just lives her day from that place of gratitude.” Catherine, a midwife, has had the opportunity to witness God’s love and grace in brand new faces, including those of her now-grown children: Conor, Mikayla, Erin and Liam.

“Through Christian prayer and mindfulness meditation, I stay connected to the Vine.” Michael jokes that he’s “on the 13-year plan” at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. “I’m taking one course per semester, and I took a five-year hiatus. So I’m chipping away at it.” All kidding aside, Michael says, “CRCDS is a fantastic place to pursue theological studies. I would tell prospective students, especially busy ones, to make time for it: make time for caring for your soul. Prioritize it, lay some other things aside, and go for it.”

Post-graduation, Michael would like to continue working with youth. “That, to me,” he says, “is a little slice of heaven: getting a group of people together with a common purpose— to make the world a better place.” We look forward to watching Michael’s continued growth and success.


Memorial & Appreciation Gifts

O c t o b e r 3 1 , 2 0 1 5 – J u ly 6 , 2 0 1 6

T h e Fu n d f o r CRCDS In Memory of:

Ms. Suzanne Rinck Armstrong Ms. June E. F. Jacobson Ms. Cheryle C. Knight Dr. James B. Ashbrook Drs. Kenneth L. and Mary Dean Rev. Charles B. Mercer

Dr. Glenn H. Asquith, Sr. Rev. Dr. Glenn Asquith, Jr.

Mr. Albert C. Barnett Ms. Gladys Rudolph

Dr. Gene E. Bartlett Drs. Kenneth V. and Sally L. Dodgson Dr. Richard N. Myers and Ms. Elizabeth Myers Dr. Bobby Joe Saucer and Ms. Elois Wyche Saucer Rev. and Mrs. Michael D. Scott Ms. Jean Kenyon Bartlett Dr. Stuart W. Campbell Rev. Dr. Lowell H. and Rev. Julie P. Fewster Dr. Richard N. Myers and Ms. Elizabeth Myers Rev. and Mrs. Michael D. Scott

Dr. Russell H. Bishop Rev. Russell H. Bishop, Jr.

Rev. Ralph Blatt Mr. William B. Storey

Ms. Marilyn W. Burdick Rev. Gary V. Burdick Rev. Henry A. Buzzell Ms. Eleanor Pope

Rev. Dr. J. Paul Cameron IV Anonymous Mr. Daniel Champion Ms. Robyn K. Dean

Dr. James E. Cheek Rev. Paul A. McDaniel

Rev. Dr. Andrew C. Davison Mr. Donald Beech Dr. Stuart W. Campbell Ms. Judith S. Craig


Rev. David Evans and Ms. Grace Norton Evans Rev. Dr. Lowell H. Fewster and Rev. Julie P. Fewster Mr. Randall C. Hall and Ms. Clara F. Hall Mr. Robert A. Peterson and Ms. Penny Peterson Rev. James L. Pike

Ms. Carolyn Robeson Edstrom Mr. Richard D. Edstrom Ms. Dorothy A. Ellmore Anonymous

Rev. E. Robert Ferris, Jr. Ms. Susanna Ferris Rev. Jerry C. Freiert Rev. Barbara A. Freiert

Dr. Milton C. Froyd Dr. C. Jack Richards Dr. Bobby Joe Saucer and Ms. Elois Wyche Saucer

Rev. Benjamin F. Garmer Rev. William A. Frederickson

Dr. William Hamilton Dr. Bobby Joe Saucer and Ms. Elois Wyche Saucer

Dr. and Mrs. William Hamilton Dr. W. Hugh Tucker

Rev. Bruce E. Hanson Anthony and Nadine Compisi Rev. Kenneth Hardy Ms. Deborah Blauw

Ms. Theresa F. Hess Rev. Douglas Hess and Ms. Becky Hess

Rev. J.D. Jackson, Sr. Dr. Bobby Joe Saucer and Ms. Elois Wyche Saucer

Dr. Theodore Keaton Dr. Bobby Joe Saucer and Ms. Elois Wyche Saucer

Rev. William Kerr Rev. Karen S. Sundland

Rev. Joseph A. King Ms. Marietta P. King

Ms. Marianna Klimenko Mr. Michael Klimenko

Ms. Janice Kuehn Rev. Vernon E. Kuehn

Rev. Ruth Lacker Ms. Nancy Krody Rev. Robert Lacker Rev. Barbara Lacker-Ware and Rev. Michael A. Ware

Dr. Werner E. Lemke Rev. Marie E. King Rev. Sandra J. Lemke Rev. Dr. Barbara J. Schwartz

Rev. Harold Loughhead Ms. Wilda J. Loughhead

Dr. LaRue A. Loughhead Ms. Claire Elizabeth Loughhead

Dr. Floyd Massey, Jr. Dr. Bobby Joe Saucer and Ms. Elois Wyche Saucer

Dr. William T. McKee Dr. Bobby Joe Saucer and Ms. Elois Wyche Saucer Ms. Agnes J. Morrison Ms. Epp K. Sonin

Dr. Charles M. Nielsen Rev. Dr. Charles K. Hartman Mr. Justin W. Nixon, Sr. Mr. Robert Nixon

Dr. Janet Elaine Olson Rev. Bruce Babcock

Rev. Hugh D. Outterson William and Linda Agnello Ms. Audrose Banks Mr. Duane Basch Mr. Glenn M. Davis and Ms. Debbie Davis Drs. Kenneth V. and Sally L. Dodgson Ms. Shirley London Ms. Lindsay Morrow-Lilly George and Joyce Parker Ms. Phyllis and Mr. Richard Pomeroy Rev. Dr. Gail A. Ricciuti and Rev. Anthony Ricciuti Ms. Martha A. Russ Ms. Pamela A. Sale and Ms. Alison Sale

Christine and Perry Shepler Mr. Eric E. Volk

Mr. Todd Overfield Ms. Lisa A. Bors Ms. Debbie Diederich Rev. Lawrence Hargrave and Ms. Brenda D. Lee Mr. Doug Tyson and Ms. Lisa Tyson

Rev. Dr. Milton E. Owen Mr. Harold F. Conner

Ms. Norma Storey Mr. William B. Storey

Mr. Gary D. Talbot Rev. M. Kathleen Talbot

Dr. Gardner C. Taylor Dr. Bobby Joe Saucer and Ms. Elois Wyche Saucer

Rev. Paul F. Thompson Ms. Sybrnee J. Thompson

Pulse Orlando Victims Rev. Donna R. Twardowski

Dr. Charles Thurman Mrs. Mattie Thurman Rev. Dr. Joel E. Tolliver

Ms. Erma Sanders Rev. Robert V. Sanders, Jr.

Rev. James E. Townsend Ms. Billie Townsend

Mr. Robert Rowsam Ms. June Morin

Dr. Michael Scrogin Dr. Bobby Joe Saucer and Ms. Elois Wyche Saucer Ms. Debbie Sexton Mr. James S. Badger*

Ms. Tayna Sexton Mr. James S. Badger*

Rev. Kenneth. H. Simpson Rev. Richard H. Watkins, Jr. and Ms. Estella Watkins

Dr. John E. Skoglund Rev. Dr. Eldon G. Ernst

Dr. Kenneth L. Smith Ms. Nancy E. Krody Rev. Dr. Joellyn Tuttle

Rev. Vincent C. Smith Rev. Jefferson D. Lewis III

Rev. Richard M. Spielmann The Rev. Canon Rudolph van der Hiel

Ms. Elizabeth A. Stevens Rev. and Mrs. Edward I. Carey Drs. Kenneth V. and Sally L. Dodgson Ms. Carol R. Dundas Ms. Louise H. Johnson Mr. Carmelo V. Smiroldo and Ms. Arlene Smiroldo Mr. Fredrick Stahl Ms. Deloris R. Stevens Ms. Diane D. Whittemore

Rev. Lucius M. Tobin Rev. William P. Diggs, Sr.

Ms. Lillian C. Ulrich Mr. Arthur J. Ulrich

Mr. Charles T. Van Goor, Jr. Ms. Carol H. Van Goor

Rev. Ronald H. Webb Ms. Lois A. Webb

Mr. MacDonald Westlake Ms. Jennie A. Findley

Ms. Brenda Williams The Rev’d Dr. W. Kenneth Williams and The Rev’d Peggy Williams

Mr. Dale Winter Mr. Harold F. Conner

Dr. J.C. Wynn Dr. Peter Fabian and Ms. Aurelia Hale-Fabian Ms. Roxie Jester Ash

Mr. Elder Young Rev. Diane A. Ellis In Honor of:

Baptist Missionary Training School Ms. Doris Farnsworth (to all of her teachers of BMTS 1952-1956) Rev. Janet Roberts Ms. Virginia A. Quiring

Rev. Dr. James A. Braker Dr. Donald F. Wheeler

Dr. W. Kenneth Cauthen Rev. Brown C. Kinnard CRCDS Faculty and Staff Rev. Andrew VanBuren Rev. Claudine P. Crooks Ms. Margaret Ackley Rev. James Crutcher Rev. Glenn Loafmann

Dr. Wilson Fallin, Jr. Dr. Bobby Joe Saucer and Ms. Elois Wyche Saucer

Dr. George Hall Mr. Kenneth G. Benne

Dr. Paul Hammer Rev. Suzanna E. Harriff

Rev. Richard Henshaw, Ph.D. Scott and Sue Anderson Rev. Dr. H. Darrell Lance Scott and Sue Anderson

Dr. Clarice Martin Ms. Robin E. Lostetter

Mr. Thomas McDade Clay Ms. Elizabeth T. Clay

Rev. Marvin A. McMickle, Ph.D. Katie and Baron Robinson Rev. Larry W. Dobson

Rev. Marvin A. McMickle, Ph.D. and Ms. Peggy McMickle Rev. Lawrence Hargrave and Ms. Brenda D. Lee Dr. Vera E. Miller Dr. Bobby Joe Saucer and Ms. Elois Wyche Saucer

Mr. Donald Millinger Rev. Gary Clinton

Barbara A. Moore, RSM, D.Min. Mr. James S. Badger* Ms. Jean Carroll Rev. Janet A. James

Ms. Margaret A. Nead Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Bishop Rev. Paul B. Raushenbush Mr. Walter Raushenbush


In Memoriam Rev. Dr. Gail A. Ricciuti Rev. Dr. Bonnie Bates Rev. Amy Williams Fowler

Dr. James A. Sanders Rev. Dr. and Mrs. David C. Marx Rev. Susan S. Shafer Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Bishop

Rev. Shiela E. Swanger Rev. Beth S. Malone

Ms. Rachel Wynn Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Bishop

Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood Dr. Bobby Joe Saucer and Ms. Elois Wyche Saucer


Gene E. and Jean Kenyon Bartlett Memorial Scholarship Fund In Honor of: Rev. Dr. Gail A. Ricciuti Rev. Lawrence Hargrave and Ms. Brenda D. Lee

Crozer Theological Seminary Fund

In Memory of: Rev. Dr. Robert Burns Rev. Dr. Albert P. Rowe Rev. Dr. Frank Tyson

William F. Davison Family Scholarship Fund

In Memory of: Rev. Dr. Andrew C. Davison Mr. Andrew C. Davison and Ms. Stephanie Davison Dr. Beverly C. Davison Thomas and Robyn Davison Mr. William Davison and Frankie Powell Paul and Carol Turnbull

Janice Lynn Cohen Memorial Fund

In Memory of: Carol Bikoff Marshall and Doris Cohen


In Memory of: Carol Cherkasky Marshall and Doris Cohen In Memory of: Steven Kreitzberg Marshall and Doris Cohen

In Memory of: Ms. Eleanor Levy Ms. Katelyn Roorda

Kent L. Kiser Memorial Scholarship Fund In Memory of: Rev. Kent L. Kiser Ms. A. Melissa Kiser

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Endowed Chair for Social Justice and Black Church Studies In Memory of: Matthew Allen LeBeau Rev. Thomas LeBeau

In Honor of: Dr. James H. Evans, Jr. Rev. Lawrence Hargrave and Ms. Brenda D. Lee In Memory of: Dr. Charles Thurman Ms. Thelma Lucas Mrs. Mattie Thurman Rev. Dr. Allen P. Weaver, Jr.

The Jamal Young Memorial Book Fund In Memory of: Mr. Jamal Young, Esq. Rev. Andrea Abbott Cheryl M. Frank Jessica Glaser Robert Hoggard Melissa M. McCarthy Troy Preston

Baptist Missionary Training School

Ms. Catherine Myrich Spencer


Ms. Goldie May Orth Myers


Ms. Betty J. Piltz Parsons

Ms. Carolyn Robeson Edstrom Rev. Elizabeth W. Fribance

Colgate Rochester Divinity School




Rev. Leonard Hall


Dr. Hans W. Florin


Rev. Peter H. Igarashi


Rev. Herbert J. Burdsall


Rev. Dr. James B. Johnson


Rev. William E. Brammer


Rev. Donald F. DeRolf


Rev. Roger J. Smith


Ms. Laura L. Elliott-Engel

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

Mr. Philip Vitullo

Mr. Jamal Young, Esq.


‘08 ‘16

Crozer Theological Seminary

Rev. William R. Snead


Rev. Dr. Albert P. Rowe


Rev. Paul J. Harrell

Rev. Dr. Robert E. Burns

Rev. Robert W. Markham III


‘67 ‘69

Friends of CRCDS

* Deceased

Mr. James S. Badger Ms. Jean Ginkel

Ms. Ethel Massey

Mr. Todd Overfield (CRCDS Staff Member)

CRC CDS Faith. Criticaally engaged. At t CRCDS, yo our education is personal l!

Fall 2016 Classes incclude:

Spring g 2017 Classes include:

* Online Courses

Contact the Admissions Office for more information: ation: Admissions@crcds.e edu or 585-340-9500 www crcds eduu

Horizon Society Rev. Donna Twardowski (CRCDS ‘08) and Marilyn A. Kane

“When asked by our attorney, it really was not difficult to decide who to name as beneficiaries in our Trust. CRCDS is the one place that forever changed our lives. ”


ev. Donna Twardowski (CRCDS ‘08) and her partner, Marilyn A. Kane, want to give others the opportunity to experience the pastoral, prophetic, learned and transformative education that CRCDS provides.

Including CRCDS in your estate planning helps ensure the flourishing of the school for years to come.

What is your legacy? Help support the future of CRCDS by including CRCDS in your estate planning.

For more information, please contact Tom McDade Clay, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at (585) 340-9648 or


Out in the World

U p d at e s , N e w s and Notes from CRCDS, CTS and B M T S A lu m n i / a e

Rev. John V. Moore

(CRDS ’44) Reverend John V. Moore's archive containing his January 1965 sermons on sexual identity and their subsequent supporting documents were recently highlighted as part of Drew University Library’s Special Collections "Out of the Vault" series along with other LGBTQ+ holdings. The program highlights powerful, but underutilized collections such as Moore's papers, that are relatively unknown to the wider academic community and the general public.

Rev. Moore served Glide Memorial Methodist Church in San Francisco as senior pastor during the early 1960s. San Francisco's gay population during his tenure encompassed ten percent of the total city population and at the time received little support from faith based organizations. Rev. Moore, along with other clergy, reached out to this underserved population and in the process became both a lightning rod for criticism as well as the recipient of praise for thoughtfully speaking on the rapidly changing role of sexual identity in the secular and sacred spheres at both the local and national levels. In January 1965, Rev. Moore preached three sermons on human sexuality which sparked what was to become a heated public dialogue within the denomination on gay issues both as civil and ecclesiastical rights. That dialogue continues to in the United Methodist Church to this day.


Rev. Robert H. Calvert

(CTS ’54) Rev. Calvert and his wife, Bonnie, moved into a beautiful senior living facility in 2015. He says, “It has been a challenge sizing down our 'stuff' from our four-bedroom house in Piscataway to our cozy four-room apartment here in Fellowship Village Senior Living. What a blessing and gift each of our children and their spouses have been in easing the move, as well as a tremendous help of Bonnie's niece, Robin, in driving up from the south twice to load and move double-axle trailers with our 'extras.” The Calvert’s 12-year old dachshund, Lily, also moved with them and has adapted wonderfully to their new home.

2015 also marked the arrival of the Calvert’s twin great grandchildren, Jonah Steven and Elizabeth Karen. Jonah and Elizabeth are the 10th set of twins born into Bonnie's McCracken family.

Rev. Paul A. McDaniel

(CRDS ’55) Rev. McDaniel retired in June 2014 after 62 years in pastoral ministry. Paul served churches in Mumford, NY, Rahway, NJ, and Chattanooga, TN.

Rev. Dr. Robert Puckett

(CRDS ’57) June, 2015 was a month of great significance for Dr. Puckett and his wife, Jane, marking both Dr. Puckett’s 90th birthday and their 70th wedding anniversary.

Rev. Ronald G. James

(CRDS ’63) Ron and his wife, Annette, recently returned to West Virginia from Hyattsville, MD. They are living near their daughter who is a great help to them. They remain in good health, “as long as they remember to take a bucket of pills each day.” They currently attend the Baptist Temple Church in Charleston, WV.

Ms. Carol Kolsti

(CRDS ’64) Carol and her husband, John, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past December (2015). They are both retired. Carol is currently part of a ministry that makes blankets and position pillows for premature babies. They also make beautiful burial gowns for the babies who are stillborn or who pass away shortly after birth. Carol shares that this is an important and much needed ministry given the significant need, with over 50 babies in the ICU at any one time.

Rev. David Matteson

(CRDS ’64) David published a book entitled, I Took Both Roads—My Journey as a Bisexual Husband. The book is available on Amazon and has received enthusiastic reviews. David says, "CRDS fueled my passion for social justice, as well as my spiritual development. My wife and I were married in the CRDS chapel, and have lived out a love that is inclusive of my gay life in ways many people find unbelievable.”

Dr. David M. Kilpatrick

(CRDS ’65) David was honored as a 2016 CRCDS Distinguished Alumnus at the Distinguished Alumni/ae Dinner in April.

Rev. Robert J. Nelson

(CRDS ’65) Bob recently published a book, Dirty Waters—a wry, no-holds-barred memoir of Bob’s time controlling some of the city’s most beautiful spots while facing some of its ugliest traditions. A guide like no other, Bob takes you through Chicago’s beloved “blue spaces” and deep into the city’s political morass. He reveals the different moralities underlining three mayoral administrations, from Harold Washington to Richard M. Daley, and navigates us through the gritty mechanisms of the Chicago machine. He also deciphers the sometimes insular world of boaters and their fraught relationship with their landbased neighbors. Ultimately, Dirty Waters is a tale of morality, of what it takes to be a force for good in the world and what struggles come from trying to stay ethically afloat in a sea of corruption. You can access an advance preview of the book at

Mr. Thomas Argust

(CRDS ’66) Tom was honored as a 2016 CRCDS Distinguished Alumnus at the Distinguished Alumni/ae Dinner in April. He is also serving on the Transition Committee overseeing the relocation of CRCDS to a new site in Rochester.

Rev. Russell H. Bishop, Jr.

(CRDS ’66) Russell and his wife, Ginger, have retired. Ginger is helping to care for two of their 12 grandchildren and Russ is active in several Quaker organizations, especially the Board of Friends Life Care Partners where he serves as Chairman.

Rev. Dr. Thomas White Wolf Fassett

(CRDS ‘67) Thom was honored with the Council for Bishops Ecumenical Award at the United Methodist General Conference. The award recognizes Thom’s outstanding contributions and witness to affirming and strengthening Christian unity and interreligious relations. Please join us in congratulating Thom on this well-deserved recognition.

Rev. Leon Oaks-Lee

(CRDS ’75) Leon retired in December, 2015 after forty years of service to four American Baptist Churches in Upstate New York. Leon and his wife, Rosemary, continue to live in Fayetteville, NY. Leon attended the CRCDS Spring Lectures and Reunion in April.

Rev. Gary Clinton

(CRDS ’71) Rev. Keiper is retired and living at a Legacy community. He served the United Methodist Churches in Western NY for many years, from 1958 to 1997, and then served as Chaplain at Wesley Gardens, in Rochester, NY from 1998 to 2012.

(CRDS ’76) Gary recently retired after a distinguished forty-year career at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. While at Penn Law, Gary served twenty-five years as Dean of Students. In recognition of his service to the school, an endowed scholarship has been established in his name along with a student emergency grant fund; in addition, a major donor society and the Student Affairs Suite will also carry Gary’s name.

Mr. Scott Anderson

Rev. Garth E. Brokaw

Rev. Allen S. Keiper

(CRDS ’72) Scott and his wife, Sue (CRDS ’75), facilitate and lead a discussion group that meets twice per month at 4th Presbyterian Church in Chicago, IL. They also serve as regular babysitters for their grandchildren.

Rev. Dr. Stephen D. Jones

(CRDS ’72) Rev. Jones is pastor at First Baptist Church in Kansas City, MO.

Rev. John P. Dick

(CRDS ’73) John retired in 2011 and is now serving as interim pastor at Wyoming Baptist Church (Cincinnati, OH). This move is a homecoming of sorts, as this was the site of John’s first senior pastor position, from 1977-1984.

Rev. Amos E. Acree, Jr.

(CRDS ’74) Rev. Acree is retired, but serves actively as a consultant in health ministry. Rev. Acree is a member of the Interfaith Team that makes presentations on spirituality and health at the University of Buffalo (NY).

Rev. Dr. Charles K. Hartman

(CRDS ’74) JDr. Hartman was the plenary speaker at Acadia Divinity College's (Nova Scotia) "Old First Church" conference in June, 2015. He was invited by Rev. Dr. Jill Bradway (CRCDS ’00/11).

(CRDS ’80) Garth was honored as a 2016 CRCDS Distinguished Alumnus at the Distinguished Alumni/ae Dinner in April. Garth is also assisting CRCDS in its relocation planning for its archival material.

Rev. Shirley M. Chan

(CRDS ’82) Shirley is currently engaged in healing ministry. She is a licensed massage therapist and uses a holistic approach, including spirituality, when ministering to individuals.

Rev. Robert W. Rice

(CRDS ’86) Bob is retired and enjoying life with family, friends and her golfing buddies.

Rev. Burton Loren Smith, Jr.

(CRDS ’86) Loren was appointed as a retired elder to Cuba UMC.

Barbara A. Moore, RSM, D. Min.

(CRDS ’89) Barbara, a CRDS alumna and current Professor of Preaching and Practical Theology and Director of Women and Gender Studies at CRCDS, was one of five honorees chosen to receive the prestigious Rochester Women's Network "W" award at the organization's 30th annual awards ceremony on May 24th, 2016.

Rochester Women's Network (RWN), the oldest and largest networking group for women in the greater Rochester area,

bestows the "W" award annually on a woman, nominated by her peers, who exemplifies outstanding leadership, compassion, mentoring skills and guidance in helping other women.

Dr. Moore, a beloved part of the CRCDS faculty since 2005, has dedicated her professional life to improving conditions for society's marginalized citizens. She served as Executive Director of Rochester Interfaith Jail Ministry for ten years, managed Highland Hospital's Center for Women and has been involved with the Interfaith Ministry of Preaching and Retreat work since 1972.

Rev. Dr. Brenda C. Hazel

(CRDS ’90) Brenda was elevated to Bishop on July 26, 2015. She also started a community development corporation called Raising Young Lives, Inc., focused on the needs of at-risk children and youth between the ages of 4 and 17.

Rev. Dr. Joellyn Tuttle

(CRDS ’91 and CRCDS ‘16) Joellyn received her Doctor of Ministry degree in May from CRCDS.

Rev. Sandra J. Lemke

(CRDS ’94) Rev. Lemke is retired from her role as a pastor in the United Methodist Church of Christ and as a Recreation Therapist.

Rev. Judith A. Alderman

(CRDS ’95) Judy was appointed as a retired elder to Warners UMC.

Ms. Robin E. Lostetter

(CRDS ’95) In 2014, Robin semi-retired after a first career as organist, choir director and 15 years of ordained ministry (PCUSA). She is now embarking on work as an intentional interim. Robin explains, "It seemed a shame to have finally figured out a few things about pastoral ministry and then hang up my stole!" She is back in the pulpit and loving it! Robin is very grateful for her CRCDS education. CRCDS set her on a path of advocacy, action and preaching on social justice issues: ableism, gender issues, racism and animal rights/hunger that has truly made a difference in so many lives.


Rev. Carson O. Mouser

(CRDS ’97) Carson's book, The Promise of Narrative Change: Living the Why to Thrive, has recently been published and is available for purchase from

Summerville Presbyterian Church in Rochester, NY hosted a Meet the Author and Book Signing Event in May in honor of the publication. A third of all proceeds from the event went to support the Summerville Community Garden.

Rev. Elizabeth R. Moore

(CRDS ’98) Rev. Moore is retired, but is presently serving as Interim Pastor at St. Paul's, UMC in Syracuse, NY.

Rev. Robert Walker-Smith

(CRDS ’98) Rev. Walker-Smith has accepted the call to become the 38th Pastor of First Missionary Baptist Church of Smithfield, North Carolina. He begins his official duties on July 1, 2016 and looks forward to a new journey in ministry with this 150 year old African American congregation.

Rev. Thomas LeBeau

(CRDS ’02) Tom was appointed as a full elder to Cooperstown UMC in Cooperstown, NY.

Rev. Dr. A. Michele Somerville

(CRCDS ’04 and CRCDS ‘16) Michele received her Doctor of Ministry degree from CRCDS in May.

Rev. John C. McNeill, Jr.

(CRCDS ’05) John composed an article for Princeton Theological Seminary’s Institute for Youth Ministry Blog. The link is

Ms. Robyn K. Dean

(CRCDS ’06) Robyn joined the faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID) in Rochester, NY. She is a tenure-track faculty member in NTID's American Sign Language and Interpreting Education Department.

Her responsibilities include classroom instruction to students in NTID's ASLIE Department and co-developing curriculum for the college's master's degree program in Health Care Interpreting.


Dean has published numerous journal articles, co-authored books, worked on films and has developed curricula for courses nationally and internationally. She is a sought-after workshop and conference presenter throughout the United States and abroad.

Rev. Vonda J. Fossitt

(CRCDS ’07) Vonda was promoted to Superintendent of the United Methodist Churches in the Genesee Valley District effective in July, 2016. She previously served as pastor at the High Street United Methodist Church in Binghamton, NY.

Ms. Catherine M. Lee

(CRCDS ’08) Cathy was appointed as a retired deacon to McGraw UMC in McGraw, NY.

Rev. Dr. Youngjae Jee

(CRCDS ’11) Youngjae was appointed as a full elder to Jonesville UMC in Clifton Park, NY.

Ms. Natalie O. Bowerman

(CRCDS ’12) Pastor Natalie Bowerman and her husband, Sean, celebrated the birth of their second child, Lillian Ora Bowerman, on March 5. Lillian weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces, and was 20¼ inches. Pastor Bowerman is appointed to the Vine UMC in Penn Yan, NY.

Rev. Edris Hitchcock

(CRCDS ’12) Edris was ordained in May at Hilton Baptist Church in Hilton, NY.

Rev. Sandra L. Perl

(CRCDS ’12) Sandi was appointed to Bluff Point UMC in Bluff Point, NY in addition to her appointment at the New Faith Community, "Living Well."

Rev. Mary G. Rublee

(CRCDS ’12) Mary was appointed as a full elder to Ionia UMC in addition to her current appointment at Honeoye Falls UMC, Honeoye Falls, NY.

Rev. Julius D. Jackson, Jr.

(CRCDS ’13) Julius was installed as pastor at Salem UCC in Rochester, NY in June.

Katherine S. Merriman

(CRCDS ’13) Kate is now a licensed United Methodist pastor at Mecklenburg Church in Mecklenburg, NY.

Rev. Corey Tarreto Turnpenny

(CRCDS ’13) Corey and her husband Ben welcomed a son, Wade Efan Turnpenny.

Rev. Diane E. Ellis

(CRCDS ’14) Diane has been called as Interim Minister at Union Congregational Church, UCC, in Churchville, NY.

Rev. Cynthia A. Weaver, Ph.D.

(CRCDS ’14) Cindy was ordained as an elder at the First Presbyterian Church (Ithaca, NY) in April. CRCDS faculty members Dr. Barbara Moore, Dr. Gail Ricciuti, and Dr. Stephanie Sauve participated in Cindy’s ordination service.

Rev. Sarah Campbell

(CRCDS ’14) Sara was ordained and installed at St. Stephens-Bethlehem United Church of Christ (UCC) in Amherst, NY in May.

Pastor Gary Kubitz

(CRCDS ’15) Gary was appointed as a provisional elder to First UMC Voorheesville in Voorheesville, NY.

Rev. Dr. Eileen Bourduin Vanderzwan

(CRCDS ’15) Eileen serves as Associate Pastor at Webster Presbyterian Church in Webster, NY. She shares that she is currently exploring what God might have in store for her next.

Rev. Andrea Abbott

(CRCDS ’16) Andrea was recently ordained at First Universalist Church of Central Square in Central Square, NY.

Minister Glenda Blake

(CRCDS ’16) Glenda plans to continue coursework at CRCDS while completing her degree in Communications/Psychology at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY. Glenda will continue her ministerial work at Greece Assembly of God, Greece, NY.

Pastor Frederick Dicks

(CRCDS ’16) Frederick was called as pastor of The Baptist Temple, Rochester, NY.

Pastor Cheryl M. Frank

(CRCDS ’16) Cheryl is the Associate Pastor at Greece Baptist Church.

Pastor Jessica Glaser

(CRCDS ’16) Jessica is pursuing her ordination as deacon in the United Methodist Church and will continue her work in health care improvement and justice in the greater Buffalo, NY area.

Rev. Lamont Higginbottom

(CRCDS ’16) Lamont was appointed a full member of another denomination to Olean Trinity UMC in Olean, NY.

“Praise, Protest and Policy” Religion and Politics

Mr. Robert Hoggard

(CRCDS ’16) Robert is pursuing his Ed.D. degree in Rochester, NY while continuing his full time work in fundraising. Robert is also considering a run for Rochester City Council in 2017.

Pastor Melissa M. McCarthy

(CRCDS ’16) Melissa is serving at both the Adams United Methodist Church in Adams, NY and the White Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church in White Sulphur Springs, NY.

Minister Troy Preston

(CRCDS ’16) Troy will be ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church in October, 2016.

with the American Baptist Churches of Rochester/Genesee Region in the coming months.

Brother Lawrence Thomas

(CRCDS ’16) Lawrence shares with us, "If it is the Lord's will, I seek to enter into three different ministries: jail/prison, homelessness and addiction.” Lawrence is also considering the D.Min. program at CRCDS.

Dean R. Cornwell

(CRCDS ’16) Dean is working on an internship placement with the Presbytery of the Genesee Valley. He is hoping to be a Commissioned Ruling Elder in the Presbytery of the Genesee Valley serving as a pulpit supply.

Rev. Dr. Esther J. Rowe

(CRCDS ’16) Esther is currently serving at Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Rochester, NY and is looking to become more involved

Monday, October 3

7:00 pm African American Legacy Lecture: Marvin A. McMickle, Ph.D. President of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School Location: Baber AME Church, 550 Meigs St, Rochester, NY 14607 Tuesday, October 4

10:30 am African American Legacy Worship Service 12:00 noon Community Luncheon

1:30 pm Workshop on Separation of Church and State Location: CRCDS Strong Hall Auditorium

Save the Date

2 0 1 6 Fa l l L e c t u r e s October 3–6, 2016 7:00 pm Christian Faith & LGBT Experience: Harry Bronson New York State Assembly Member Location: CRCDS Strong Hall Auditorium

7:00 pm Helen Barrett Montgomery Lecture Simone Campbell, SSS Executive Director of NETWORK Location: St. Monica Church

9:00 am* Janice Lynn Cohen Symposium: Caring for children and families where they live: Community clinics in faith-based settings Location: UR Medical Center

9:30 am Worship Service

Wednesday, October 5

*please note change in time.

6:00 pm Helen Barrett Montgomery Opening Worship Location: St. Monica Church, 831 Genesee St., Rochester NY

Thursday, October 6

10:30 am Helen Barrett Montgomery Lecture: Simone Campbell, SSS Location: CRCDS Strong Hall Auditorium

12:15 pm Helen Barrett Montgomery Community Luncheon Women of Vision Award All are welcome!

CRCDS, 1100 S. Goodman Street, Rochester, NY 14620 | For more information, call 585-340-9643 or online: Early registration and more information available at


Non-Profit Org. US Postage


Rochester, NY Permit No. 1588

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School 1100 South Goodman Street

Rochester, NY 14620

(585) 271-1320

Follow us: @crcds Like us:


B u l l e t i n o f t h e C o l g at e R o c h e s t e r C r o z e r D i v i n i t y S c h o o l

Faith. Critically engaged.

S u m m e r / Fa l l 2 0 1 6

Crcds summer fall bulletin 2016  

Faith. Critically engaged. A bi-annual publication of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, 1100 S. Goodman St., Rochester, New York, 14...

Crcds summer fall bulletin 2016  

Faith. Critically engaged. A bi-annual publication of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, 1100 S. Goodman St., Rochester, New York, 14...