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AWARE A quarterly publication of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

magazine February 2013

Our Calling to Care for God’s Creation Page 8

Meet Six of Our New Bold Leaders

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Aware Magazine • February 2013 Features 3 | Presidential Perspective: Carols and the Children of Sandy Hook 4 | Dorothy and Wayne Bondurant: Called to Be in Mission


6 | President Philip Amerson to Retire in December 2013 7 | To Everything There is a Season Reflections by President Amerson

Loder Hall Receives Gold LEED Certification

7 | Garrett-Evangelical Celebrates 160th Anniversary: How You Can Help 8 | Cutting Edges: Remember You are Dust, and to Dust You Shall Return 10 | Garrett-Evangelical Welcomes New Students

10 Meet Some of Garrett-Evangelical’s Newest Students

14 | Alum News 14 | IRA Charitable Rollover Extended 15 | In Memoriam

Aware is published quarterly by the development

Philip A. Amerson


office for alums and friends of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church.


Founded in 1853, the seminary serves more than 500 students from many denominations and various cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.


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2121 Sheridan Road | Evanston, IL 60201 1.800.SEMINARY |

Betty Campbell Jonathan Dodrill David Heetland April McGlothin-Eller Krista McNeil Shane Nichols JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST

Presidential Perspective Carols and the Children of Sandy Hook Dateline: December 15, 2012. The Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary faculty and staff have gathered for our annual holiday lunch and celebration. We do so while hearing updates from the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. How can one celebrate the holidays while absorbing such awful reports? Can it be true? Twenty children and six adults murdered. A deeply disturbed young man attacks them in a place where they were to be safe, their school.

vision we should adopt and accept as normative? Mr. LaPierre’s words display the way many have been bewitched into thinking and acting out of shallow theological understandings. This is a modern version of the ancient Manichean heresy. As such, all of the human beings are divided into those who are good and those who are bad. In the face of such distorted and callous thinking one sees again why the challenging work of careful theological reflection matters.

We sing the carols of the season, but In the face of such tragedy we relearn they seem out of sync with the realities the songs of lament; we see the frailty at hand. Silent Night? Joy to the World? of human existence; and we are forced, Hark! the Herald Angels Sing? I see a again, to ask questions about the nature room full of good and talented people. and activity of a loving God. It is as We genuinely wish one another a people of faith, engaging such difficult happy holiday. Still our music and questions and refusing to accept the warm wishes ring hollow in the simplistic answers, that we discover the Philip A. Amerson light of the slaughter at Sandy Hook importance of being a covenant people. School. We are in a state of communal As we are confronted with such evil, emotional shock. There are questions without we discover anew the value of personal and corporate answers. How might we respond? Why this act? prayer, and we remember the potential for redemption, Where is God for these families and for us all? Who renewal, and transformation. Here we focus again on is this killer? What is a troubled young man doing the call for transformation—for persons and for society. with weapons of war? How can we grieve with these families? How will we honor those who died? And We are reminded anew of the value of relationship with what of all of the other places in our city and nation our neighbors; we are reminded of the history of God’s where people live in daily proximity to such terror? people who journeyed through earlier times of terror. It is too soon to know all of the right words or right Such tragedies underscore the need for clear-headed responses to the slaughter of the innocents that took theological reflection. They call for faithful spiritual place at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December practices. One thinks of the Biblical themes of evil, 15, 2012. We may never know. It is a good time, salvation, and repentance. What about those songs of however, to be reminded that when we are confronted lamentation? In a time when worship is often limited by evil, we dare not lose heart. We will cry, we will to praise choruses, do we even know the songs of pray, we will refuse the easy answers, we will reflect, lament? Has our self-centered concern about declining we will study, we will teach, together we will learn… congregations and denominations led us to a place and together, in ten thousand communities and as a where we have nothing to say in response to such nation we will act. events? In the days that followed, Wayne LaPierre, head of the National Rifle Association, said, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Really? This is the only option? We are to accept that a “bad person” can only be stopped from evil by a well-armed “good person”? Really? Is this the February 2013

Aware Magazine


Dorothy and Wayne Bondurant: Called to Be in Mission Dorothy and Wayne both grew up in Christian homes, accepted Christ as their Savior at an early age, and heard a lot about missions in their local churches. They met at Dorothy’s home church, First Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) Church in Billings, Montana, when Dorothy was a senior in high school. Since Dorothy felt called to be a missionary and Wayne to be a minister, they did not see how their lives could work out together.

Seminary, Wayne was invited to work at the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Pensions, so they moved to Evanston, Illinois, in 1973. In 1979, Dorothy was invited by President Merlyn Northfelt to become his administrative assistant at GarrettEvangelical Theological Seminary. She was promoted to assistant to the president during her first year and continued in this position until his retirement. Dorothy then had the privilege of working with President Neal Fisher until she took early retirement in 1993. Wayne also retired that year after 20 years at the Board of Pensions.

However, during Wayne’s second year at Cascade College, a small Christian college in Portland, Oregon, he also felt called to the mission field during a special Dorothy and Wayne never forgot their Dorothy and Wayne Bondurant missionary series. The next fall call to missions. Dorothy served on Dorothy transferred from Westmar College in LeMars, the missions committee in every church they attended. Iowa to Cascade. Wayne graduated in the spring of While still employed, they made a Volunteer in Mission 1958, and he and Dorothy were married that August. (VIM) trip to Chile. After retirement the Bondurants Wayne went to seminary part-time while Dorothy made VIM trips to Romania and Zimbabwe and a finished her senior year of college, graduating in 1959. study tour of Indonesia. They also joined a VIM group The next year, Wayne went to seminary full-time while called NOMADS. Traveling in their motor home, they Dorothy taught second grade. joined others with motor homes to do three-week work projects across the United States. The Bondurants did During that year they were contacted by the director 43 projects and were leaders for 18 of them over 16 of the EUB mission work in Brazil, who badly needed years. They no longer travel with NOMADS because a treasurer on the field in Brazil. The EUB mission they now care for Dorothy’s 102-year-old mother in board required that most male missionaries have a their home. Nonetheless, Dorothy has continued her seminary degree from an EUB seminary. Therefore, love for local and international missions by serving as Wayne and Dorothy moved to Naperville, Illinois in the president of the local United Methodist Women. fall of 1960, and Wayne began his studies full-time at Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETS), graduating in When asked to recall her most vivid memories of 1962. Dorothy once again taught second grade. Garrett-Evangelical, Dorothy spoke of the commitment, talent, and leadership of both presidents she worked They moved to Brazil in 1962. Their son, Marcello, with; the chapel services with beautiful organ and vocal was born in Brazil in 1963 and their daughter, Marcy, music and inspiring sermons; and working closely with was born in Billings, Montana in 1965, when they a devoted and able board of trustees. And, of course, were home on furlough. They served with the EUB the students. “The students made a strong impression mission board until 1967, when the EUB and Methodist upon me, as I saw the sacrifices they made to come to churches united. There was no need for two treasurers seminary, how many of them struggled to make ends in Brazil, so they returned to the United States. meet, and their deep dedication and commitment to their callings.” Wayne became the business manager at ETS, and Dorothy worked as a teacher/director of a preschool. Since retiring from Garrett-Evangelical, Dorothy has When ETS planned to unite with Garrett Theological taken out several significant gift annuities with the

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February 2013

seminary. When asked why, Dorothy responded, “When I am able, I take out gift annuities with GarrettEvangelical because I believe in the mission and purpose of the school; in the committed administration, faculty, and staff; and especially in the students. I chose to establish a scholarship fund because I saw the students struggle, saw how much financial aid meant to them, and realized they were going out to make a difference in the world.” When asked if she would encourage others to consider a gift annuity with Garrett-Evangelical, Dorothy responded immediately: “I don’t think there could be a better place for the investment of an annuity. The returns from my annuities have been highly satisfactory and have enabled our continued mission involvement. Knowing our financial gifts are being used in God’s work and in reaching others for Jesus Christ is important to us and is very rewarding.” Reflecting on their nearly 55 years together in mission, Dorothy stated, “I thank God for the call to missions so many years ago. I am thankful for the experiences we had with the wonderful people of Brazil. I am thankful for the employment Wayne and I both experienced for the church and for the many opportunities God provided for us through the years to continue to serve both here at home and overseas. I am thankful for Jesus Christ, salvation, and grace for each day.” GarrettEvangelical, in turn, is extremely thankful for these two faithful missionaries for Jesus Christ—and their outstanding commitment to help prepare others who will share the transformative love of Christ today and well into the future. If you share the Bondurant’s commitment to prepare bold Christian leaders for the church and the world, we invite your participation in the seminary’s Forging Our Future: Phase Three campaign. Outright gifts, pledges, and planned gift commitments are all welcome. For more information, contact David Heetland, vice president for development, at 847.866.3970 or If you would like to see what a gift annuity would look like for you, fill out and return the form, or try out our online Giving Calculator by going to, then Giving Opportunities, then Giving Calculator.

February 2013

Annuity Proposal Form The information you provide does not obligate you in any way to invest in a gift annuity. It simply allows Garrett-Evangelical to prepare an annuity illustration for you. The illustration lists the annuity income you would receive and the tax benefits available to you. I am interested in the following proposal _______ one-life _______ two-life I am considering the following amount: _________$ 1,000 (minimum amount) _________$ 5,000 _________$ 10,000 _________$ 25,000 _________Other $__________________ Single-life annuity (Complete this section if you are interested in a one life annuity.) Name_________________________________ Street_________________________________ City_________________ ST____ Zip______ Birthdate______________________________ Phone________________________________ Two-life annuity (Complete the above section and this section if you are interested in a twolife annuity.) The person I designate to receive annuity benefits upon my death is: Name________________________________ Birthdate_____________________________ Return to David Heetland at Garrett-Evangelical, 2121 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60201 or call the seminary at 847.866.3970.

Aware Magazine


President Philip A. Amerson to Retire in December 2013 At the close of the the Board of Trustees meetings in October 2012, Jerre Stead, chair of the board of trustees, announced that Dr. Philip A. Amerson has expressed his intention to retire as president of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary at the end of December 2013. Amerson has served as president since June 1, 2006.

University in 1976, a master of divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1971, and a bachelor of arts degree from Asbury College in 1967.

An ordained elder of The United Methodist Church, President Amerson served as pastor for 21 years, including appointments at three congregations in the South President Amerson has provided Indiana (now Indiana) Conference. leadership during exciting and His work in The United Methodist challenging days, and has brought Church includes: founding member of imagination and tireless commitment Patchwork Ministries in Evansville, to theological education at the school, Indiana; vice president of the the national church, and beyond. University Senate; chairperson of Among the significant achievements the Association of United Methodist during this time, President Amerson Theological Schools; member of saw enrollments increase by over the Commission on Theological Philip and Elaine Amerson twenty percent, led a major renovation Education; and member of the of campus facilities and worked Bishop’s Task Force on Theological to double the capital campaign gifts and pledges, Education and of the Ministry Study Commission. surpassing $70 million of the $100 million goal. Under his leadership, Garrett-Evangelical emphasized The board of trustees began the search for the hospitality and sustainability, added faculty positions seminary’s next president in November. A search in Wesley and United Methodist Studies, Global committee of the board of trustees was named to Christianity and World Religions, and supported the provide leadership for this important initiative. establishment of the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader, retired bishop of Formation. During this time a renewed emphasis was The United Methodist Church and current trustee of given to strengthening the Center for the Church and Garrett-Evangelical, is serving as chair of the search the Black Experience and broadening the school’s committee that includes representatives of the board of reach through online learning. trustees, faculty, staff, and alumni. Following a national search, the committee will recommend a candidate to “I consider it a great privilege and high honor to have the board of trustees who will then select and appoint served Garrett-Evangelical in this leadership role,” stated the next president. President Amerson. “Garrett-Evangelical is made up of a remarkable group of people, from our committed The search committee is working with AGB Search, alumni/ae to our outstanding faculty, staff, and students. a firm focused exclusively on conducting searches for I am committed to a strong finish as we all continue to roles in higher education. “AGB Search is a good fit build up this extraordinary seminary together.” for our Garrett-Evangelical presidential search because they have significant experience in placing presidents, Prior to arriving at Garrett-Evangelical, President deans and other high-level leadership roles within Amerson served as president of Claremont School theological schools and seminaries,” said Bishop Rader. of Theology for six years. He has taught at several “We are pleased to be working with Dr. Tobie van der colleges and graduate schools throughout the nation. Vorm of AGB Search again who led the search that He received a doctor of philosophy degree from Emory brought President Amerson to Garrett-Evangelical.” 2013 Presidential Search Committee

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For more information and the latest news on the search committee’s efforts to find the next president of Garrett-Evangelical, visit the presidential search webpage on the seminary’s website.

February 2013

To Everything There is a Season Reflections by President Philip A. Amerson “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun.” I confess that when my 67th birthday came on January 1, 2013, my thoughts turned to how much I disliked the idea of retirement. I was approaching the opposite side of the “Peter Pan Syndrome;” rather than singing “I won’t grow up,” the song of my heart became, “I won’t retire.” I have chosen to depart my work as president of Garrett-Evangelical on December 31, 2013, but retirement? Never! The dictionary defines retirement as, “the cusp of time when a person stops working completely.” Many of my friends who have passed over this threshold joked that they “had failed retirement.” Cease working? No way. Nor did I like the language of semi-retirement. Not likely. Still, the words of Ecclesiastes rang true—to everything a season. I was a fortunate person indeed—fortunate in so many ways. This good fortune includes the great privilege of serving as a leader at Garrett-Evangelical. Others had passed the torch. I have been blessed by the

good and faithful work of folks like Merlyn Northfelt, Wayne Clymer, Jim Stein, Neal Fisher, and Ted Campbell. Now the time approaches when I will pass the torch to another. I considered titling this reflection “What I Did on My Summer Vocation.” The summer years of life are now mostly behind me, and my vocation is about to change again. One of my mentors, Robert Greenleaf, once said to me that when one retires, he should have in mind the next four vocations to be pursued. Greenleaf spent his “retirement years” writing, working as a consultant, teaching and serving as a mentor. How glad I am that he didn’t retire! In other words, life may come to a moment called retirement but I will live anticipating a series of never-ending vocations. These days I have an app on my cell phone that counts down the days until December 31, 2013. It is my lighthearted way to count down the time until I begin the next vocational chapter. That is when I step from my summer vocation into the next one. And work will continue. And I will sing that refrain, “Turn, turn, turn.”

Garrett-Evangelical Celebrates 160th Anniversary: How You Can Help Have you heard the news? Garrett-Evangelical is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year! We plan to celebrate in a number of ways, such as lifting up 160 alums who have transformed the world in positive ways and inviting persons to post at least 160 acts of kindness on our website. Another very important way we plan to honor our 160year heritage and forge our future as one of the nation’s preeminent seminaries is by making significant progress on our $100 million Forging Our Future: Phase Three endowment campaign. Reaching this goal will allow Garrett-Evangelical to continue providing outstanding

February 2013

leadership for our churches and communities—just as it has done for the past 160 years! To learn more, visit We are nearing the final lap of the largest campaign ever undertaken by the seminary—and we invite your participation. We hope that all of our alums and friends will make a special gift to our campaign in 2013. Join us at whatever level is appropriate for you: $160, $1,600, $16,000, $160,000 or $1.6 million. The first 160 people who make a commitment of at least $1,600 to the Forging our Future: Phase Three campaign in 2013 will receive a beautiful sketch of the seminary, suitable for framing. For more information, contact David Heetland at 847.866.390 or Alum Nominations | Acts of Kindness |

Aware Magazine


Cutting Edges: Remember You are Dust, and to Dust You Shall Return Timothy R. Eberhart,Visiting Assistant Professor of Moral and Public Theology With sobering words and ashen smudges on our foreheads, Christians worldwide were ushered this month into the Lenten season. In an age marked by increasingly dire signs that the earth itself is suffering from multiple afflictions, even unto death, we are challenged this Lent to consider the meaning of Jesus’ passion and resurrection for a stricken planet.

left side of his body doesn’t work anymore either.” In the face of such hard truths, we are being forced to confess that our own greed, sloth, and prideful ignorance—manifest in unsustaining ways of life—are directly responsible for a sickly, impaired planet. Nothing could be more appropriate this Lenten season, therefore, than for us honestly and humbly to lament, both to our Lord and to the beloved Creation: “Oh sacred head now wounded, with grief and shame weighed down…Mine, mine was the transgression, but Thine the deadly pain” (B. Clairvaux).

Remember that to dust you shall return. The wages of human sin is death (Rom. 6:23), as Paul declares, and not only our own degeneration, but the unnatural decay of the whole groaning creation (8:21-22). Today, Remember that you are dust. We this unwelcome message comes to human beings, like all living creatures, Timothy R. Eberhart us from the scientific community, as originate from the earth. As we read we hear reports almost daily that the in the second creation story, we are earth and every form of life it sustains is in grave peril clay/soil enlivened by the breath of God (Gen. 2:7). In and that the great ecological crises of our time are and through our earthly bodies, we share in the great “anthropogenic” (i.e. caused by human activity). community of creation with all other forms of life, sentient and non-sentient, that are fashioned by our Among these crises, climate change is perhaps the common Creator. As ecologists have affirmed for years, most foreboding. Climatologist James Hansen notes what happens to the earth and its creatures happens to us. that, over the last ten thousand years, the number of parts of carbon dioxide (CO2) per million (ppm) in the It was in an earthly body, of course, that God became atmosphere has hovered around 275. Two hundred and human and dwelt among us (Jn. 1:14). God’s own life seventy-five ppm has produced temperatures warm is intimately wedded to our own, not only as enlivening enough to melt the ice sheets from the centers of our spirit, but also as terrestrial flesh. And what we will continents, allowing us to grow grain, but cold enough proclaim on Easter morning with shouts of hallelujah for mountain glaciers to provide yearly drinking water. is that what has happened in the bodily resurrection Every aspect of our creaturely life and the human of Jesus is what will happen for us and for the entire civilizations that have developed over this time have creation! “For behold, I am about to create new adapted to those climatic conditions. Since the dawn of heavens and a new earth,” so “be glad and rejoice” the Industrial Revolution, that CO2 number has risen an (Is. 65:17-18). To be clear, the hope of Easter is not an average of two ppm a year. Hansen has said that 350 is opiate for inaction. For the church is an earthly body the number we can reach before we do irreparable harm of people called to be a tangible witness amidst this to the biosphere. We are now at 395 ppm and growing. present age to the glory of the new creation that is to If individuals, communities, and governments begin come. In fact, no call could be more urgent this Lenten immediately to reduce carbon emissions worldwide, we season, and in the seasons and years to come, than for may eventually reduce that number to below 350. Even Christians to participate in the great work of healing the so, enormous damage will have already occurred. As earth through personal lifestyle changes, the conversion climate change author Bill McKibben says, “we’re like of others to ways that lead to life, and the transformation the guy who smoked for forty years and then he had a of our common public life. It is in so doing that we will stroke. He doesn’t smoke anymore [we hope], but the “practice resurrection” (W. Berry).

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Repent, and believe the Gospel. Garrett-Evangelical is committed to this gospel work. Last April, we joined with eleven other seminaries and divinity schools in a Seminary Stewardship Alliance (SSA). The inauguration of the SSA took place at the Earth Day service at the National Cathedral, where Academic Dean Lallene Rector and other seminary deans and presidents signed a covenant to integrate “creation care” into the heart of theological education. I was honored to attend as a seminary co-representative and excited to end up seated by three of today’s great environmental leaders: Wendell Berry, Bill McKibben, and Wes Jackson. Prior to the service, I asked McKibben why, of all the places he could be on Earth Day, he chose to attend this event. McKibben, a committed Christian active in his local United Methodist church, said, “Our churches represent one of the best hopes we have of making a difference on the environment, and it is our seminaries and divinity schools that will shape the church to come.” Spurred by this sense of urgency, President Amerson has charged that a new Stewardship Committee be formed to promote the just and wise care of God’s creation in all areas of our seminary life together. As the committee description affirms: Garrett-Evangelical is committed to integrating ecological perspectives and sustainable practices throughout the curriculum, worship and spiritual life, programming, buildings and grounds, and administrative operations of the seminary. This commitment also includes empowering students,

Lallene Rector, academic dean, signing the covenant for creation care with the Seminary Stewardship Alliance February 2013

Seminary Stewardship Alliance Stewardship Committee Survey faculty, and staff to be good stewards of the earth and its resources in their daily lives, while seeking out institutional collaboration with environmental groups in the Northwestern, Evanston, and Chicago communities. Because the ecological crises we face are interconnected with matters of human justice, and since the poor and marginalized are often hardest hit by realities like climate change, toxic waste, and resource depletion, the Stewardship Committee encourages efforts to tie our commitments to creation care with the seminary’s longstanding commitments to racial, gender, and socio-economic justice. This spring, the Stewardship Committee is inviting the seminary’s many constituents to share ideas and visions for how we might fulfill our institutional calling to care for God’s creation. You can participate by completing a survey at Perhaps more than ever we need to be reminded that it is the earth from which we have come and the earth to which we will return. For in truth, the redemption of our bodies and the saving of our planet are joined together. Both the earth and we belong to God. In full confidence of the resurrection, may we live as bold disciples whose hope is in the coming of the glory of the Lord.

Philip Amerson, president, and Arnold Henning, CFO, are presented with the LEED Certificate for Loder Hall Aware Magazine


Garrett-Evangelical Welcomes New Students In September, Garrett-Evangelical welcomed a new class of students to campus. These students demonstrate a wide range of past experiences and future plans. Garrett-Evangelical is very proud of the diversity of its student body and the commitment of its students to follow their call to serve God, the Church, and their communities. Here are the stories of six promising students who are beginning their studies at Garrett-Evangelical this year.

Paige Boyer Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio Home church: Lakewood United Methodist Church, Lakewood, Ohio Degree program: Master of divinity, first year Other degrees: B.A., public communication and electronic media production Formative experiences: My journey to seminary has taken half of my life, so there are many formative experiences. While I was just 16 when I received my first nudge into ministry, I would not say that I spent the last 16 years running. I think of it as refining. After college, I spent a decade in public relations, working for national brands and local non-profits. It was at one of those nonprofits, northeast Ohio’s largest hospice organization, that I became open to God’s call in my life. Aside from the influence of my PR career, the most formative experience was returning to church in my late 20s. I visited a number of churches and after about three years searching, I finally joined Lakewood United Methodist Church. During the process of joining the church I forged a friendship with the associate pastor, a young clergy person who was the same age. The friendship with her and the support of the church were strong influences that pushed me to step away from my career to pursue this calling. Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical: Despite my decision to pursue seminary as a second career, I am thrilled that I was not limited to seminaries close to home. I chose to visit Garrett-Evangelical based on its proximity to Chicago and advice I had been given about seminaries that would most closely align with my views. Having visited a few other seminaries, I knew walk-ability and proximity to a metropolitan area were important to me. The moment I pulled up to

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the seminary, I was sold. With the lake nearby and the beautiful architecture, I felt at home. Calling: I’m studying to be an elder in The United Methodist Church. Beyond that, I am open to the movement of the Holy Spirit, but I am drawn to urban and campus ministries and have an interest in church planting. My favorite class: I entered Garrett-Evangelical with no academic biblical or theological education, so it is hard to choose just one class. I genuinely love learning, something that was true my whole life but that has been enhanced by taking time off school. I get really excited about new books and new topics, so that has been a wonderful thing about delving into the academic parts of theological study.

Annie MacNeal Hometown: Worcester, Massachusetts Home church: Epworth United Methodist Church, Worcester, Massachusetts Degree program: Master of divinity, first year Other degrees: B.A., psychology and minor, philosophy Formative experiences: I grew up in a family that was very involved in our United Methodist church. After feeling called to ministry while camping with my family at age 14, I knew there was nothing else I was meant to do. I began looking at seminaries and decided to go to the University of Massachusetts for my undergraduate work. I majored in psychology because I had always been interested in how and why people interact with the world around them. I also joined a community-service learning/social justice program, called IMPACT!, that taught me a lot about systems of February 2013

power and privilege while working toward social justice and building community. It made my calling to ministry even clearer. I joined the continuation program, Citizen Scholars, which focused on public policy and community organizing to create social change. After graduating from UMass, I became a delegate to the General Conference and Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference for the New England Annual Conference. Through these experiences I was able to tie together my passion for social justice and community building with my faith. Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical: I applied to many seminaries but chose Garrett-Evangelical because of its strong sense of community and focus on social justice. Since beginning seminary here in the fall, I have not been let down. I have met many wonderful people and learned so much in just one semester. The most surprising thing for me, but also wonderful, has been the diversity of theologies, backgrounds, and beliefs of the students and faculty at GarrettEvangelical. I have learned so much not only from my professors but also from my peers. It is great to hear different perspectives and find out where everyone is coming from as they begin this journey. Calling: When I was called, I knew I wanted to be an ordained elder (although I probably did not know that exact wording at 14). I still feel called to be an ordained elder in a local church but to also be active in the surrounding community. I believe the church needs to ignore its physical walls, build relationships with the people in its community, and take on the issues and concerns of its neighbors as well as its members.

Lynn “Christer” Mawia Hometown: Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) Home Church: Methodist English Church, Yangon, Myanmar Degree program: Master of arts in Christian education, first year Other degrees: B.S. in university studies February 2013

To read even more student stories, visit

Formative experiences: Growing up as a pastor’s kid, I saw the church as my home and playground. The Bible bedtime stories my parents told, the catchy Sunday school songs, the evangelism mission trips of the youth group, and being a religious minority in a Buddhist country all contributed to forming a strong Christian foundation in my life. The untiring efforts of my junior high Sunday school teacher to teach my class the ropes of establishing quiet time with God and the power of unceasing prayer were inspirational and admiring. I realized through quiet time the reality of God and His purpose for me. Therefore, I thank my parents and my teacher who inspired me to pursue a career in educating younger leaders in the church. Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical: I feel blessed to be a part of the Garrett-Evangelical family. During my initial visit to the seminary, I was attracted to the tight-knit global community, spirit-filled learning environment, and the beautiful location of the seminary. As the first semester began, I quickly learned that Garrett-Evangelical encourages each student’s creativity in worship, leadership, art displays, work, and the classroom environment. Calling: I would like to work in the field of education with a connection to the Christian mission. My dream organization would be one that focuses on bringing social justice with the help of God’s guidance. Serving as a children’s ministry director or a Sunday school teacher would also be an honorable career for me. Ultimately, I would like to work with people who understand that bringing care and compassion is the initial step in introducing the grace of God. My favorite class this year: Dr. Osvaldo Vena’s “Introduction to New Testament” has been my favorite class so far. The class materials and discussions challenged me to see the Biblical world in its proper setting and to find new implications for my Burmese culture as well as the U.S. society. Dr. Vena’s oral final exam allowed each of the students to present the knowledge and insights attained during the semester in their own styles. That was very interesting, encouraging, and exciting. Aware Magazine


Garrett-Evangelical Welcomes New Students (Cont.) Fernie Rivera Hometown: El Paso, Texas Home church: Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Degree program: Master of divinity, second year

into seminary as a religion major, at times I thought I had it all figured out. In both of those classes, I saw that there was so much more to learn. I looked at theology through multiple cultures, backgrounds, and viewpoints. Most important, I learned to take a step back so that I could come to understand my theology in a whole new and deeper way.

Jake Ohlemiller

Other degrees: B.A., religion and minor, business entrepreneurship

Hometown: Suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri

Formative experiences: My junior year of high school was one of the most formative years of my life. I broke my foot right before our basketball season began. Although I never had aspirations to go pro, sports were a high priority. It was then, as I sat on the bench for weeks, that I started exploring my calling. For the first time, I missed a game to go to a church event and became a leader in various religious organizations, not only at my school, but in my annual conference as well. While at annual conference, I campaigned for a leadership position on our conference youth team. Up to this point, I was used to always coming out on top. But that night, I lost. I did not get the most votes; I would not be in charge; and I was not going to be in leadership. It was then when realized that I was doing things my way and trying to ignore God’s call on my life. I finally realized that I needed to put my agenda aside and truly follow God.

Home church: First United Methodist Church, West Lafayette, Indiana

Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical: GarrettEvangelical has become a place where I can walk into a classroom, dining hall, or even a student lounge and honestly embrace not only my story, but my culture and my experiences. I can walk into a classroom and feel that my questions and doubts are accepted. Most important, wherever I am on campus, I am surrounded with people in love with God and people who are passionately following their calling and encouraging me to follow mine. Calling: I dream of becoming an elder in The United Methodist Church where I hope to help plant churches with a contemporary feel to them. My favorite class this year: I really enjoyed Dr. Osvaldo Vena’s “Gospel of John” class and Dr. Nancy Bedford’s “Doctrine of God” class. Coming

12 Aware Magazine

Degree program: Master of divinity, first year Other degrees: B.S., agricultural engineering Formative experiences: I grew up in the St. Louis suburbs, but my spiritual home is First United Methodist Church of West Lafayette, Indiana, which I attended while studying at Purdue University. Shortly before I earned my degree, I felt God calling me to a vocation in pastoral ministry. Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical: I’m deeply grateful for the vibrant student/faculty community I’ve found at Garrett-Evangelical, and I have grown closer to God through the many friendships that have sustained me here. Studying theology has given an authentic and deep-rooted voice to my sense of vocation, and I have enjoyed gaining powerful new ways to articulate my faith to a hurting world. Calling: My call to ministry is deeply connected to a sense of place. After seeing the decayed state of many rural communities in Indiana, I hope that God will use my life to nurture life-giving relationships between people, their neighbors, and the soil. My favorite class this year: Of particular transformational value was my “Introduction to the Old Testament” course, taught by Dr. Cheryl Anderson. As we took a critical approach to the Hebrew Scriptures, I found that my faith in the biblical witness did not suffer, but actually matured! February 2013

2012-2013 Student Body Garrett-Evangelical is United Methodist affiliated and ecumenically minded, with over 32 faith traditions represented in our student body. Our students come from 32 states and 12 countries outside of the United States. Our diverse student body is made up of 51% women and 49% men and includes: 52% Caucasian 20% African American 13% Asian 15% Other Ethnic

Tiggs Washington Hometown: Buffalo, New York Home church: Calvary Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Buffalo, New York

Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical: My mentor (my professor at the time) told me about GarrettEvangelical Theological Seminary. I decided to visit and was quickly convinced by the distinguished faculty and welcoming staff and students that GarrettEvangelical was the seminary for me. I can see this has been one of the best decisions of my life. Not only did I enroll at a great seminary, but I have found a second home. I was elected as the first-year representative of the student council. I would recommend GarrettEvangelical to anybody. It is a first-class institution, and there is no place that I would rather be. Calling: Currently, I am an ordained deacon in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. I truly believe that God is calling me to urban youth ministry. GarrettEvangelical has given me the opportunity to participate in an organization called Youth Organizations Umbrella, Inc. In this program, I mentor middle school students, and we just have a great time. With my education at Garrett-Evangelical, I hope that through God I can transform lives and help build communities. My favorite class this year: My favorite class has been “Introduction to Pastoral Care.� This class has allowed me to understand what it means to provide effective and contextual pastoral care.

Degree program: Master of divinity, first year Other degrees: B.S., business Formative experiences: I grew up in the East Side of Buffalo, New York, which is an urban low income neighborhood of the city. My mother died when I was four years old, and there were not many positive role models around me. Despite my background, I was determined to make something out of my life. I graduated from McKinley High School (Buffalo), and enrolled at Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee. At the age of 19, during my tenure at Lane, I accepted my call to ministry. As time went on, I often heard people talk about seminary, but I really had no clue what a seminary or a divinity school was. At first I thought it was just an intense Bible study, so I had no interest. Nevertheless, as I began to progress in my ministry, I became more interested, and, when mentors, professors, family, friends, and others from my church advised me to go, I began to pray about it.

February 2013

These students are just six of the 506 reasons to support GarrettEvangelical this year. Our mission is to prepare bold Christian leaders for the church and our world. Gifts to the annual fund keep that vision alive by supporting our incredible diversity of students, programs, and faculty. To make your gift today, go to -Kay Burlingham, Director of annual giving

Aware Magazine


Alum News Alford Alphonse (GTS 1971) has just released his latest book Not Without Honor, a progressive biblical perspective of President Obama’s leadership. Alphonse has dedicated 40 years to active ministry in The United Methodist Church. Lucretia Hurley-Browning (G-ETS 1975) has been appointed to serve as chaplain for the Joan Karnell Cancer Center in Philadelphia. The Karnell Center is affiliated with Penn Hospital and has gained national recognition for its innovative patient care. David K. Clark (G-ETS 1982) has been appointed as vice president and dean of Bethel Seminary at Bethel University effective January 2013. Emilie M. Townes (G-ETS 1989) will serve as dean of Vanderbilt University Divinity School, effective July 1, 2013. Townes currently serves as the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Yale Divinity School. Evelyn L. Parker (G-ETS 1996) will begin serving as Associate Academic Dean of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University on June 1, 2013. She currently serves as Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Perkins School of Theology.

Rita Lester (G-ETS 1991 and 1997), professor of religion at Nebraska Wesleyan University, was named the 2012 Nebraska Professor of the Year. She was honored on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Pamela Dawn Chesser (G-ETS 1997), an ordained elder in the Holston Conference, became the director of preaching ministries at the General Board of Discipleship on January 1. Chesser was previously the chaplain at Hiwassee College and pastor of the college chapel, Buckner Memorial United Methodist Church in Madisonville, Tennessee. Amy Valdez Barker (G-ETS 2006), was appointed executive secretary of The United Methodist Church’s Connectional Table effective January 2013. Audrey Krumbach (G-ETS 2008) was appointed director of gender justice and education at the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women of The United Methodist Church beginning January 2013. Chris Quick (G-ETS 2011) was elected State’s Attorney for Lawrence County, Illinois. He ran on a platform of bringing methamphetamine under control, reducing the number of out of county prisoners, and saving the taxpayers money.

IRA Charitable Rollover Extended Through 2013 The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act provides that in 2013 an owner of a traditional or Roth IRA who is 70.5 or older may instruct the trustee of the IRA to distribute to a qualified charity up to $100,000 without the distribution being included in taxable income, and that the distribution will count toward the IRA owner’s mandatory withdrawal amount. Certain rules must be followed in order to take advantage of this tax break, including: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The IRA distribution must go directly to the charity. Private foundations and donor-advised funds are not eligible for the tax free IRA distributions. The maximum tax-free distribution you can make is $100,000 a year. No benefits (such as annuity income) can be received as a result of the gift. Charitable gifts must be made from a traditional or Roth IRA. Funds in a 401(k), 403(b), or other type of retirement account do not qualify.

If you are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity in 2013, you are encouraged to consult with your financial advisor as soon as possible. Or, contact David Heetland, vice president for development, at 847.866.3970 for more information.

14 Aware Magazine

February 2013

In Memoriam Our Christian sympathy is extended to the family and friends of the following alums who have died in Christ. 1940s Robert W. Burtner, GBI 1947, Eugene, Oregon, died on December 6, 2011. George William Chaffe, GBI 1949, Grand Rapids, Michigan, died on October 14, 2012. Solomon G. Cramer, ETS 1941, Lodi, Wisconsin, died on January 1, 2013. Merle A. Dunn, ETS 1943, Rochester, Minnesota, died on November 6, 2012. Ross M. Evans, GBI 1945, Black Mountain, North Carolina, died on February 18, 2010. Keith Eugene Hamilton, GBI 1949, Franklin, Indiana, died on January 14, 2013. Alfred Leroy Keller, ETS 1943, Clemson, South Carolina, died on November 29, 2012.

James Carter Darby, GBI 1954, Phoenix, Arizona, died on November 3, 2012. Jimmie R. Ellsworth, GBI 1958, Washington, D.C., died on November 19, 2012. Charles Godwin, Jr., GBI 1951, Buckhannon, West Virginia, died on December 24, 2012. Kelsey A. Jones, GBI 1959, Washington, D.C., died on November 18, 2011. P. Boyd Mather, GBI 1959, Des Moines, Iowa, died on November 6, 2012. Lester A. Ott, GBI 1954, Mesa, Arizona, died on November 15, 2012. George E. Pingle, ETS, 1955, Chicago, Illinois, died in March 2010. Orland S. Sloat, GBI 1958, West Fargo, North Dakota, died on January 5, 2013.

Leola I. McKinley, ETS 1941, Fort Dodge, Iowa, died on January 24, 2013.

Edwin Frederick Rode, GBI 1954, Glenview, Illinois, died on Oct 16, 2012.

Charles W. Semke, ETS 1948, Plymouth, Minnesota, died on October 19, 2012.

Gerald B. Wolcott, GBI 1955, West Des Moines, Iowa, died on January 1, 2013.

George C. Vance, GBI 1949, Jacksonville, Florida, died on October 7, 2012. 1950s Thomas R. Balm, ETS 1956, Garner, Iowa, died on November 28, 2012. Wendell Robert Begg, ETS 1956, San Diego, California, died on September 7, 2009. John Franklin Bowyer, GBI 1955, Cross Lanes, West Virginia, died on September 25, 2012. Marion Clarke, GBI 1950, Charlotte, North Carolina, died on February 17, 2012.

February 2013

1960s John G. Bissett, GBI 1961, Janesville, Wisconsin, died on January 5, 2013. Paul Blankenship, GTS 1965, Memphis, Tennessee, died on November 1, 2012. Jacqueline E. Fritschle, GTS 1967, Appleton, Wisconsin, died on November 20, 2012. Sheldon L. Garriot, GTS 1963, Franklin, Indiana, died on November 29, 2012. Arthur E. Haerle, GTS 1963, Prescott, Arizona, died on August 21, 2012.

2012. Norman Lodal, GTS 1966, Hendersonville, North Carolina, died on June 24, 2012. William C. Pettibon, GTS 1963, Gerry, New York, died on October 17, 2012. Ronald W. Talkington, GTS 1962, Saint Albans, West Virginia, died on May 3, 2012. James C. Taylor, GBI, 1960, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, died on June 20, 2011. Max A. Tudor, GTS 1962, Zionsville, Indiana, died on October 24, 2012. 1970s James C. Saltzman, GTS 1971, Downers Grove, Illinois, died on December 28, 2012. George P. Weister, G-ETS 1977, Williamsport, Indiana, died on November 6, 2012. 1980s Lynn E. Grimes, G-ETS 1983, Grand Ledge, Michigan, died on January 20, 2013. Thomas Moe, G-ETS 1986, Rock Falls, Illinois, died on January 15, 2013. Kenneth K. Osborne, G-ETS 1987, Peoria, Illinois, died on June 11, 2012. 1990s Richard R. Fite, G-ETS 1996, Oconto Falls, Wisconsin, died on November 9, 2012. Arthur B. Stitzer, III, G-ETS 1994, Winslow, Illinois, died on October 22, 2011.

Leonard L. Huff, ETS 1961, Mount Morris, Illinois, died on November 6, Aware Magazine


Calendar of Events Wednesday, March 6 Sabbatical Lecture: Barry Bryant, associate professor of United Methodist and Wesleyan studies, “Renounce, Reject, Repent, and Resist: Methodist Baptismal Vows as Jihad” Contact Krista McNeil at 847.866.3903 or Wednesday, March 14 Sabbatical Lecture: Pam Holliman, associate professor of pastoral theology and pastoral psychotherapy, “Where is the Other? Engaging in the Space Between” Contact Krista McNeil at 847.866.3903 or

2121 Sheridan Road Evanston, Illinois 60201

(Academic year lectures are Wednesday, 4:00 p.m., room 205 unless otherwise noted)

Thursday, March 15 Panel Discussion: Opening Plenary of the Pacific, Asian, North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry Conference, “Dangerous Memories: Theologies in Times of War and Healing” Contact Anne Joh at 847.866.3974 or Wednesday and Thusday, April 10 and 11 Styberg Preaching Institute Workshop: J. Ellsworth Kalas, professor of homiletics at Asbury Theological Seminary, “The Exquisite Challenge of the Every Sunday Preacher” Registration and information at Contact Gennifer Brooks at 847.866.3888 or Wednesday, April 17 Sabbatical Lecture: Cheryl Anderson, professor of Old Testament, “HIV Prevention 201: Examining the Role of Culture” Contact Krista McNeil at 847.866.3903 or Thursday-Saturday, April 18-20 2013 Deacon Dialogue: “The Boundary Crossing Ministry of United Methodist Deacons” Registration and information at Contact Virginia Lee at 847.866.4549 or

Saturday, June 1 Hymn Festival Honoring Ruth Duck 9:00 a.m. at the Second Baptist Church of Evanston, Illinois Contact Erin Moore at 847.866.3902 or

For a full calendar of events, visit us at


Friday, May 31 Celebrating Contemporary Hymnody: “A Symposium Honoring Ruth Duck, Professor of Worship” Registration and information at Contact Erin Moore at 847.866.3902 or

Aware Magazine: February 2013  

A Quarterly Publication of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

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