Graduate Theological Union

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A-twitter with American Buddhist Monk Heng Sure

You might need a list to describe Heng Sure. He’s a Buddhist monk, director of the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery, scholar, member of several interfaith organizations, GTU alumnus, teacher at Pacific School of Religion (PSR), musician, singer-songwriter of Buddhist folksongs, story teller, youth leader, and most recently, a tweeter on Twitter. Or you could drop the list and just say he is real. His name — given to him by his teacher Master Hsuan Hua when he became a monk — translated from Mandarin, means “constantly real.”

Scholar, Author, Teacher, Administrator — Above All, Mentor

Dr. Terrence Tilley, Ph.D. ’76, professor and chair of the department of Theology at Fordham University, and the GTU’s 2008 Alumnus of the Year, feels called to mentor. It is, he says, a part of his vocation in theology: “I get immense satisfaction if others are able to thrive because of a contribution I’ve made,” he says. Tilley is a prolific author and scholar, a dedicated professor recognized by students and colleagues for excellence in teaching, and a gifted administrator. He seems simply to weave mentoring into each of his many roles. His drive to help may have started when he was an undergraduate, working his way through the University of San Francisco as a nursing-orderly at St. San Francisco’s St. Mary’s Hospital.

Jerome Baggett Wins 2008 Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award

Jerome BaggettSnake-handling Pentecostals in Appalachia, Muslim feminists in the Middle East, and leaders in the Central American peace movement: These are a few of the many religious groups Jerome Baggett encourages his students to explore and “to see.” Baggett is the 2008 recipient of the Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award, which recognizes the values of interreligious sensitivity and commitment, interdisciplinary approach and content in teaching, sensitivity to ethnic and cultural diversity, and creative classroom pedagogical methods and performance.

Alumni Then and Now

Dr. Bernard Adeney-Risakotta (Ph.D. 1982) is Director of the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS), the first cooperative interreligious Ph.D. program in Indonesia. He received the GTU 2007 Alum of the Year award for his outstanding work in the field of religion. Here he talks about his interfaith journey.

A Lived Theology: Graduate's Work Focuses on Faith and Identity

For Uriah Kim, May 2004 marked a new transition: graduating from the GTU with a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies, and preparing to move east for his new position as assistant professor of Hebrew Bible at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY. Kim’s story reflects a series of such changes and life-transformations, as he explores what it means to be a person of faith, a scholar, a teacher, and an Asian-American.

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