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VOL. 11, NO. 3 ■ MAY 2014


Nelson Grimm, professor of applied theology IT IS ESTIMATED THAT 70 PERCENT OF PEOPLE STRUGGLING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS are unable to find the help they need. Multiple factors contribute to this problem including: Inability to identify the features of mental illness ■ Uncertainty about how to go about obtaining treatment ■ Perceived or experienced prejudice against people with mental illness ■ Expectation of discrimination against people diagnosed with mental illness ■

It is more challenging for people to receive mental health care than to receive physical health care and the problem is not new. More than a decade ago the U.S. Surgeon General identified stigma associated with mental illness as the number one obstacle to progress in improving mental health in America. Stigma, experienced or perceived, increases the likelihood that individuals avoid or delay finding the help they desire or discontinue treatment. Society shapes norms and determines, formally or informally, what is acceptable and what isn’t. Stigma in its origins, referred to a type of tattoo or mark that was cut or burned into the skin of criminals, or others, to enable members of society to identify the person as inferior. Societies have developed stigmatizing attitudes toward people with all sorts of perceived vulnerabilities

or weaknesses. While the specific focus of stigma, and its intensity may vary with one people group to another, stigmatizing attitudes have been directed toward people with certain types of physical deformities or weaknesses, people with criminal records, people struggling with addictions, divorce, unemployment, those receiving treatment for mental illness, racial differences, parents of children with behavioral challenges, the elderly, or people struggling with some sort of dementia, just to name a few. Stigma is essentially an attempt to devalue another person, in part, because he or she is different from the majority. The stigma attached to mental illness is not simple or straightforward. While the stigma related to depression and anxiety disorders has declined in America since 1950, the stigma regarding other mental illnesses has increased. The role of media in shaping and perpetuating stigma regarding mental illness has received considerable attention. Surveys conducted among present and former recipients of mental health care found that they considered media coverage of mental health concerns to be strongly biased toward the sensational. In one report, one-third of patients said they felt more depressed or anxious as a result of the news stories about mental illness and 22 percent felt more withdrawn.


The Power of Stigma in Ministering to Those With Mental Illness Tribute to President Martin Legacy 150 Campaign Launched Commencement 2014 Upcoming Events Community News

Observations Al Floro, MA ‘14, was among the students and alumni who attended the Faith Communities and Mental Health Conference hosted by Agape Counseling and sponsored by NES in April.

Mental illness can devastate a family’s relationship to a congregation. A 2011 study at Baylor University showed that families with a member who has a mental illness are less likely to be involved in faith practices. The research among 24 congregations also indicates that some church communities seem to overlook their need completely.

Stigma can be an obstacle to keep Christians struggling with mental illness from getting the help Here’s some of what he they need. Contrary to some notions, mental illness is gleaned from the sessions: not the result of a person lacking discipline or A barrier to the church taking willpower, nor is it a sign that someone has sinned a meaningful role in this and is being punished by God. Mental disorders ministry is the perception that are real medical conditions. Ed Stetzer, a Southern those with mental illness are Baptist church consultant said, “We need to stop “scary” or they can “choose” hiding mental illness. Some evangelical Christians to not be ill. think that if they pray enough, their mental illness The church cannot “cure” or will go away, but they don’t look at other health even alleviate a person’s issues the same way. Individuals who become a bipolar disorder, depression Christian and have a broken leg, still have a broken or other illness any more than leg. We tend to think that Jesus fixes our head and it can “cure” cancer, lupus, or medicine fixes our body. Sometimes what is in our other serious and chronic head needs medicine.” physical illnesses. However, through sermons and educational efforts, we can strive to remove the stigma. Mental Illness is not a shortterm problem. There is a commitment of time, energy and sometimes money to help those with long-term, chronic and difficult illnesses. Many people in churches are not prepared to make that commitment—you have to have enough staff and/or volunteers who see serving those with mental illness as a ministry in order to truly be effective.

What can the church do to help lower the stigma often found around this subject within congregations? Here are some suggestions:

■ ■

Normalize the reality of emotional struggles. Preach or teach from the Psalms—you will find every emotion and personal struggle known to humanity. Include references to basic emotions like depression, anxiety, anger, and grief in sermons and/or discipleship classes. Develop a series on biblical personalities like David, Joseph, Elijah, John the Baptist, etc. Your congregation will be able to identify with the personal struggles of these biblical heroes. Utilize books like Reginald Johnson’s, Your


Personality and Spiritual Life to help celebrate differences among people. Diversity among people is a reflection of the Kingdom of God. Public testimonies can be helpful, but be careful not to convey the attitude that “what worked for me, will work for you”— avoid dangerous generalizations. The larger the forum, the more informed the testimony needs to be—so work with the people to help structure and guide their testimonies to be sure that they are careful about the language they use. Build friendships with people who are struggling. There's nothing like friendship to help us find language that is accurate, honoring, and inviting. Utilize existing mental health resources in small groups, forums, etc. Know the resources available in your community. Invite a guest to speak to the topic. There are many capable Christian counselors/ mental health professionals in your region who can address issues related to a range of mental health concerns. Have an annual Mental Health Sunday or Health Fair. Remind people that Jesus came to minister to the stigmatized.

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for the body of Christ to reach out to those who are stigmatized in our communities? Continue the conversation on our Facebook page. Sources This article reflects a seminar Dr. Grimm presented at the Faith Communities and Mental Health Conference hosted by Agape Counseling and sponsored by Northeastern Seminary in April. Click here for additional resources.

AS DR. JOHN MARTIN STEPS DOWN AS PRESIDENT ON JUNE 30, 2014 we reflect, with gratitude, on the ways he has shaped Northeastern Seminary. Dr. Martin had a critical role in launching NES when a small group began to explore the idea of a graduate school of theology at Roberts Wesleyan College. His experience in theological and higher education made him a strong advocate for NES in both its early years and throughout his tenure as president. In the midst of his busy schedule, Dr. Martin taught biblical studies classes and spoke regularly to first semester students. Arriving at RWC in 1996 as a leader in both undergraduate and theological education and having served as dean at a seminary, Dr. Martin is a recognized contributor to theological education through his role on the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. This stature has been extremely beneficial to NES. Likewise, Kathryn Martin has played a role in the life of NES as a most gracious host at annual gatherings at the president’s home while many on staff have

deeply appreciated her Bible teaching over the years. Perhaps most striking is that, with her passion and penchant for history, she became an expert on the important history of the Roberts family and the College. Northeastern expresses deep appreciation to the Martins for the way they have interacted with other people and each other—modeling excellence, kindness, wisdom and patience.


ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO ROBERTS WESLEYAN COLLEGE AND NORTHEASTERN SEMINARY EMBARKED on an aggressive fundraising campaign to ensure the continuation of faith focused educational experiences for future generations. The three goals of this campaign are to build a new science and nursing center, expand scholarships, and strengthen endowments for both schools. With approximately 98 percent of Northeastern students receiving scholarships, the success of this campaign will ensure that a seminary education is attainable to all who are called by God to puruse a degree at Northeastern. As of May 1, a reported $712,000 has been raised towards Northeastern Seminary’s $1 million scholarship funds goal. The seminary has also exceeded the initial endowment goal of $2.5 million. To give electronically and to find out more about Legacy 150 visit the campaign’s website or view the video. Please remember that every prayer and pledge makes a difference as we work for God’s provision for our students.

President John Martin


Capital Project Science & Nursing Center $19 million | $9,273,000 raised

Scholarship Funds 5-year totals

Roberts Wesleyan College $4.5 million | $3,372,000 raised

Northeastern Seminary $1 million | $712,000 raised

Endowments including planned gifts

Roberts Wesleyan College $15 million | $14,609,000 raised

Northeastern Seminary $2.5 million | $3,673,000 raised

On Saturday, May 17, 2014 Northeastern Seminary celebrated the accomplishments of three doctoral, 29 master’s program, and four certificate in Christian Ministry program graduates. Commencement was held in the Cultural Life Center at Roberts Wesleyan College, with Dr. John A. Martin, founding faculty member and past seminary adjunct professor of the Holy Scriptures, providing the keynote speech, titled “Called to Wise Living.”

From bottom to right: Graduation is a family affair; Dr. Martin confers degrees; platform party; waiting for the ceremony; expressing gratitude to faculty, family and friends; Be Thou My Vision; congratulations from faculty

In his speech Dr. Martin, outgoing president of Northeastern Seminary and Roberts Wesleyan College, addressed graduates with a challenge to wise living and the careful stewardship of wisdom in the midst of overwhelming cultural paradox. During the ceremony, he was recognized with an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree conferred by the Board of Trustees. Conferring degrees on the NES graduating class of 2014 was one of Dr. Martin’s last official acts as president.

Tuesday, June 17 Sunday, August 3-6 Friday, October 3-4 PAGE 4

This year’s graduating class boasts six ordained graduates with 13 seeking ordination postgraduation. A significant representation of this year’s class is comprised of graduates in professions that are traditionally considered non-ministry related. Many of this year’s graduates come from a diverse background of Christian traditions, including United Methodist, Baptist, Free Methodist, Nazarene, Episcopal, and nondenominational. Before graduation many students reflected and offered insight on their time at Northeastern. Hear what a few of this year’s graduates had to say about their NES experience: ■ ■ ■ ■

Conference on Ministry Kingdom Bound All Seminary Retreat

NES cares about your spiritual growth as well as academic instruction and practical training NES has been a life-changing experience Great professors, great classroom dynamics, and sound biblical exegesis It broadens your religious experience to appreciate tradition and heritage while being reflective and vision driven I wish I had it 20 years ago

On May 22, 2014 the Rochester Consortium of Theological Schools, a collaborative effort of the three theological schools in Rochester, N.Y., St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, Northeastern Seminary, and Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, hosted the first annual Preaching Conference. Event attendees shared in open dialogue and faithful responses to the thought provoking questions proposed by guest speaker Dr. Marvin McMickle on the elements of effective preaching and exegesis. Participants were challenged to discover the core or the “so what” of the message, that Dr. McMickle labeled as the sermonic claim.

June 17, 2014 Cultural Intelligence for a Changing World This year’s Conference on Ministry explores how God’s people can become more multiculturally adept during a time of rapid demographic change that is reshaping this country’s religious landscape. Dr. Soong-Chan Rah provides practical guidance for Christians wanting to minister more effectively in diverse settings. Conference dialogue draws from cultural and racial histories as well as case studies of churches and Christian groups that are succeeding in bridging ethnic divides. Integrate theological, psychological, sociological, and cross-cultural understanding into your current ministry and groups. Gain a greater understanding of how culture is rooted in Scripture and history, and uncover its practical realities in pastoral ministry. Register now.

August 3-6, 2014 For the fourth year the Rock Talk Pavilion at Kingdom Bound Festival in Darien, N.Y. will be the home base for youth ministry seminars presented by Northeastern.

Dr. Marvin McMickle presented a sermon and lectures to the more than 100 participants.

The day’s activities included the announcement of the next Preaching Conference slated for spring 2015, to be hosted by St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry. Northeastern Seminary will provide the guest speaker. Full 2015 conference details will be coming soon.

Centered on the theme “The Messiness of Ministry,” sessions on the theology of youth ministry, ministering to the whole family, and addressing social complexities are designed to equip pastors and lay leaders to engage scripture in ways that inform their ministry. Seminars will be led by NES faculty, alumni, and students and are offered daily at 12 noon and 1:30 p.m. Register for the festival, including seminars, online at:

Buffalo Thursday, June 5 Rochester Thursday, June 19 Buffalo Tuesday, July 1

6:00—7:30 pm 4:30—6:00 pm 6:00—7:00 pm

6500 Sheridan Drive, Williamsville Roberts Hall, Northeastern Seminary 6500 Sheridan Drive, Williamsville


Soong-Chan Rah

Alumni News Start Date Evangelism & Discipleship 8/25/14 Biblical Theology of Leadership 8/25/14 Theology of the City 8/25/14 Sacramental & Liturgical Theology 9/29/14 Worship Leadership 9/29/14 Strategic Planning for Churches 9/29/14 & Non-Profit Organizations Life & Theology of Martin Luther 11/10/14 Calling and Vocation 11/10/14 I & II Thessalonians 11/10/14 For audit ($150) or credit ($468/credit hour). For more information contact Faith Sharp at or 585.594.6623.

Nurturing the Soul of Ministry: Intimacy With Others October 3-4, 2014 Mark your calendars now for Nurturing the Soul of Ministry: Intimacy with Others, with Dr. Neil Plantinga. This seminary-wide gathering will be held Saturday, October 4, at Notre Dr. Neil Plantinga Dame Retreat Center in Canandaigua, N.Y. A special overnight option at the retreat center includes a Friday evening presentation, vespers service, and accommodations. Watch for registration details at

Kathrine Page (C3) was recently inducted as the newest member of the board of directors at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts. Kathrine formerly served NES as an adjunct faculty member and as the art Kathrine Page, MA ‘01 gallery director. Sarah and Christopher (Cord) Sullivan (C25) welcomed their second son, Levi Alexander Sullivan, into their hearts and home at 2:01 p.m. on April 30, 2014. Earlier in April, Cord had also received the B. Thomas Golisano Library 2014 Association of Christian Librarians Research Award for his research project titled, Introducing the Incarnate Christ: How John’s Logos Theology Sets the Stage for the Narrative Development Sarah and Cord Sullivan of Jesus’ Identity. with son Levi. Lisette Russell (C9) recently accepted a position as part-time chaplain at the Fairport Baptist Home, Fairport, N.Y. Hisashi Ishitobi (C19) is planting a church in his hometown of Huntington Beach, Cal. with his wife Hosana and two children Mylia and Zio. Visit him on Facebook and follow Rize Church’s progress toward their official launch this fall here.

Check out the ever-changing list of job opportunities at the career services website . Positions include worship leader, senior pastor, chaplain, and more. Also view a list of recent postings around upstate N.Y. here . See if they are a good fit for you.


Now a Doctor of Strategic Leadership student at Regent University (RU) Peter Rios (C27) presented his work on spiritual formation at RU’s Round Table of Leadership and Practice Conference May 9-10. Peter has also been asked to be a contributing writer for the CNY Latino’s monthly newsletter publication. Dara Delgado (C15) is pursuing her Ph.D. in Religion and Theology, along with accepting a graduate assistantship at the University of Dayton. Phil Schultz (C19) accepted the call to pastor St. Luke Lutheran Church located in Cheektowaga, NY. He celebrated his ordination with his family and congregation during a special ceremony at St. Luke Lutheran Church on May 3. Marlena Graves (C11) has authored a book focused on how God uses desert experiences and suffering to shape us into Christ’s image, titled A Beautiful Disaster: Finding Hope in the Midst of Brokenness. To purchase a copy or to learn more about her book click here. Earlier this month Jacob Bush (C13) was ordained to the Transitional Deaconate in the Anglican Church. With his wife and children he is looking forward to being ordained into priesthood later on this year. Matthew French (C13) was commissioned for the work of an elder on May 31, at the United Methodist Upper New York Annual Conference in Syracuse.

Faculty and Staff News Dr. Barry Hamilton, professor of historical and contemporary theology, has released his most recent book, The Role of Richard Watson’s Theological Institutes in the Development of Methodism after John Wesley. Dr. Hamilton’s book explores the political implications and significance of Watson’s theological exposition on Methodist history. To learn more about his book and other literary works click here. Dr. Beth Gerhardt will be attending the 2014 Annual Seminar for Seminary and Religious Studies Faculty at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C., June 23-27. The Seminar is titled, “Moral Dilemmas and Moral Choice in the Holocaust: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Pius XII as Case Studies in Religious Leadership.” Twenty scholars from academic institutions around the world were chosen to participate in this week-long seminar that will explore the historical and theological complexities of both Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s and Pope Pius XII’s respective roles, as well as their legacies in shaping Christian understandings of the Holocaust after 1945. Maria Rambuski began on April 21, 2014 as the NES Coordinator of Communication and Special Events. Maria is a graduate of the Roberts Wesleyan College Master of Strategic Leadership Program and comes to NES with extensive experience in event planning and marketing. She currently attends Northgate Free Methodist church. Please join us as we celebrate Maria joining the team!

Athletic zip-ups (new) $35 ▪ Polos $20 ▪ Ball caps $15 ▪ T-shirts $12 ▪ Ceramic Mugs $12 Note Cubes $3 ▪ Window clings $2 To order contact the Seminary at 585.594.6800 or . Give your name, email or phone number, quantity, and size, as needed. Pick up and pay for your order at the Seminary reception desk (Rochester campus) or arrange for delivery options.


Dr. Barry Hamilton

Nelson Grimm, Maria Rambuski, and student worker Kyle Rapp sport the new NES athletic apparel

Northeastern Seminary 2265 Westside Drive Rochester, N.Y. 14624 585.594.6800

ResOund May 2014 Issue  

This issue of ResOund, Northeastern Seminary's enewsletter, features: The Power of Stigma in Ministering to Those With Mental Illness Trib...

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