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2010-11 Newhall Fellows

Project Student Faculty

War and Peace in the New Testament

Peter Claver Ajer

Jean-Francois Racine

Womanist Conversations with Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, Edwidge Danticat

Richetta Amen and Vanessa Hawkins

Steed Davidson

Sociology of Religion and Film: Analysis and Pedagogy

In Memoriam: Sharon-Gay Smith (1942 - 2009)

Sharon-Gay Smith, Student Services, 1977

Sharon-Gay Smith, Student Services, 1977

Sharon-Gay Smith and Claude Welch at the rededication of 2465 Le Conte

Kathleen Kook helps shape a dynamic, groundbreaking community

Kathleen KookDespite the diversity among the students of incoming classes, they all share one thing in common: Kathleen Kook has been the gateway for their matriculation at GTU. But her responsibility as Associate Dean for Admissions doesn’t stop there. She and her team personally respond throughout the year to all those who inquire about the GTU. Then Kook walks prospective students through the application process and helps them decide what area and program best suits their situation and interests -- an honor according to Kook. She believes that the Admissions department’s strength derives from intentional personal attention to applicants and warmth in receiving them into the community fold. But she says, “The whole GTU is part of the Admissions team,” acknowledging the participation of the many “extraordinary” faculty members and current students who engage prospective students. Kook says that following a scholarly path is a momentous decision, and one of her goals is to ease the transition.

Lewis Rambo - 2009 Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient

Lewis RamboA Godsend. A delight. A surprise. Humbling. These are Lewis Rambo’s words, describing his feelings as the 2009 recipient of the Sarlo Excellence in Teaching Award. The award 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.

Why humbling? “Because,” Rambo says, “at this stage in the 30th year of my career at the GTU, I know how much I don’t know.”

MA student Adam Strater receives Haas/Koshland Memorial Award from Jewish Community Endowment Fund

Center for Jewish Studies (CJS) MA student Adam Strater has been awarded the prestigious Haas/Koshland Memorial Award from the Jewish Community Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. The award provides the opportunity for a student to spend one year in Israel engaged in study and personal development.
Strater is the second student from the CJS MA program to receive the Haas/Koshland Memorial Award, following Luke Noach Dzmura who received the honor in 2006.

Erin Brigham, PhD student in Systematic and Philosophical Theology, continually explores how other fields may contribute to her work in ecumenism

Erin BrighamThe journey which led PhD student Erin Brigham from her general interest in Religious Studies at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to her current dissertation topic was shaped by questions and detours along the pathway. Like many who travel in theological discourse, she began pursuing answers to the big questions theology attempts to answer — those of meaning and purpose. She landed at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley as a Systematic and Philosophical Theology MA student, and then she fell in love with the works of Elizabeth A. Johnson. Johnson’s premise that the symbol of God functions in community led Brigham to recognize that Christians have a social responsibility for how we talk about God.

State of the GTU

Dear Friends of the Graduate Theological Union,
The financial and economic crisis facing our nation has presented challenges for the GTU as well as for many other institutions and for many people in their personal lives. Many GTU friends, alumni, and staff have asked about how GTU is faring and what people can do to help. We are so grateful that our well being is on your minds and in your hearts. We especially thank those, who in this difficult time, are stepping forward to support our students and the unique interreligious programs that make us the most diverse partnership of graduate schools in the United States.

Consortial Registrar Sharon-Gay Smith Leaves GTU after 37 Years

“My job isn’t a job. It’s a ministry. And the GTU has given me community and allowed me to practice my ministry.”

Sharon-Gay SmithThat’s what Sharon-Gay Smith says of her 37 years of work at the Graduate Theological Union. In return, from 1971 when she worked the GTU’s PBX system (remember those?) and typed transcripts by hand, to 1989 when she became common registrar, to 2008, Smith has given the GTU her loyalty. Day in and day out, she has given students down-to-earth, day-to-day practical help, ranging from advice about where to find affordable housing to how to register for classes.

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