Feb 26, 2008
Andover Newton Theological School, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary, is regarded as the country’s oldest free-standing graduate school of theology. Affiliated with the American Baptist Churches and the United Church of Christ, the school traces its roots to the 1807 founding of Andover Seminary following a breakaway from Harvard. The school has been led since 2004 by Nick Carter, an American Baptist minister.
The first class to start and finish Harvard Divinity School’s revised M.Div. program won’t graduate until June, but HDS’s move to tighten degree requirements and bolster ministry studies has already begun to reinvigorate the divinity school, officials say.
As I was growing up, the church was my one constant in a changing world. I was six months old when my father, a foreign correspondent with United Press International, was called to cover the story that would dominate the next decade, the Vietnam War. My mother and I flew from South Carolina to join him in Tokyo, then in Thailand, India, the Philippines, Hong Kong and London before finally returning to the U. S. when I was in the ninth grade. By that time I had already lived in seven countries and attended 11 schools.
A Ph.D. student in religion veered off from his friends one morning to head toward the divinity school chapel. “Where are you going?” one of his colleagues asked. “To chapel for the Lord’s Supper,” he replied. His friend thought for a moment before responding with the critical distance beloved in the academy, “Well, that’s problematic.”
“How would your introductory course in your field help prepare students for ministry?” This question consistently stumped candidates fresh from graduate school who were interviewing for a faculty position in our theological school. The candidates were bright. They could map their disciplines with precision, and they cared deeply about the role of religion in society. But even those who wanted to teach in a theological school stumbled when we asked them: “What do you think ministers really need to know about your subject in order to lead people in lives of faith and action?
I saw my father preach the other day. His hair is now white, and the skin on his face has loosened with age, but this is the same man whose face I saw above the pulpit throughout my childhood. He stood like a captain in the bow of the ship that he loves, confident that the vessel would rise and fall with his voice and break the waves of human need as it sailed to the promised land.
There are few tasks more daunting for a filmmaker than straddling the line between comedy and tragedy. It is hard enough to establish a tone for a movie without the added challenge of making the funny stuff and the melancholy moments work together like the ingredients of a magic potion.
So hats off to writer-director Tamara Jenkins (her debut film in 1998 was the semiautobiographical Slums of Beverly Hills) for succeeding where so many other moviemakers have fallen short.
Pastor dismissals in SBC mostly over 'control' Forced terminations have dropped: Forced terminations have dropped
Done got Jesus: Baylor University professor Ralph C. Wood, who grew up in east Texas, says that when he was a college student, a Baptist evangelist, after learning that Wood was an English major, asked, “Why do you need Shakespeare and them boys when you done got Jesus?” Wood says he is still trying to come up with an appropriate answer some 40 years later. (Perspectives in Religious Studies, Winter).