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A Just Calling

By the Book | Pursuing Academia while in Ministry

by Angela Yarber (Ph.D. ’10)

For nearly 14 years I’ve had a foot in the church and a foot in academia.

I had planned to pursue a career in the performing arts, majoring in musical theatre or dance in college. A conversion experience in a Christian church in my late teens shifted my plans for life and career. Fortunately, wonderful religion professors quickly taught me that my calling in ministry can coincide with my gifts in the arts and my deep interest in feminism. As a college freshman, I served as a youth minister.

I often describe my calling as a stool. The seat is social justice and the three legs are the church, the academy, and the arts.

Perceiving the Sacred Around Us

A Letter from Acting President Riess Potterveld

Although I am new to the Office of the President at the Graduate Theological Union, I have worked on behalf of the seminaries of the GTU consortium for thirteen years in a variety of roles as fund-raiser, academic dean, and president. Students and faculty have stated that a primal value for studying and teaching at the GTU has been the access to multiple institutions embodying such rich and diverse religious traditions. Individual institutions are valuable, but the whole, creatively interacting, is uniquely valuable. As president, I feel a deep commitment to the health and sustainability of each part as well as the whole union.

Exploring sacred space

The Richard S. Dinner Center for Jewish Studies and the Center for Islamic Studies at the GTU co-sponsored their annual Madrasa/Midrasha Day of Learning on October 10 with over sixty people in attendance. Each year a topic is explored from both Jewish and Muslim perspectives.

Student Addresses America's History on Constitution Day

Randi Wren, M.A. student in Jewish Studies, addressed an intimate crowd on Monday, September 16, in the student lounge. Her Constitution Day talk stemmed from her thesis research on the theology behind the founding of America.

Here are some notable points from her talk, "The Founding Fathers and the Constitution: United by Belief in the Tenets of the Bible":

Student Stoneking New Executive Director of Fellowship of Reconciliation

Kristin Gill StonekingThe Fellowship of Reconciliation, the oldest interfaith peace and justice organization in North America, has selected Rev. Kristin Gill Stoneking as it's 24th Executive Director. Stoneking is a Ph.D. student in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on interreligious studies and nonviolence education. She is also ordained in the United Methodist Church.

In Memoriam: Robert N. Bellah

Robert BellahThe Graduate Theological Union lost a great friend and colleague on July 31 with the death of Robert N. Bellah (1927-2013), who was the Elliott Professor of Sociology, Emeritus, at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Carin Jacobs accepts position at Sonoma State University

Carin Jacobs has accepted a position to become the Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Sonoma State University. At GTU, she served as the Director of the Center for the Arts, Religion, and Education (CARE) for five years and her last day is August 9. A GTU affiliate center, CARE focuses on the link between art and theological studies.

Spotlight: Alumna explores fiction and faith

Laurie R. King (MA ‘84) was recently featured in an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel highlighting her career as a crime novelist exploring the connection between faith and fiction. King’s theological interests and training have found a creative outlet through crime novels.

Celebrated novelist, and proud Santa Cruzan, Laurie R. King has two great intellectual passions. As her international fan base is already aware, one of those is writing smart and gripping crime fiction. But, as few may know, the other is religion.

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