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The View from the Back Pew

Jen OwensIdentity and experience. They continually shape one another and the path of our lives. They have profoundly guided the academic journey of GTU doctoral student Jen Owens.

While earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology at Loyola Marymount, Owens was introduced to Liberation Theology which emphasizes experience. She began to focus on feminist perspectives and her own bi-cultural identity — her father is of European descent and her mother hails from an upper class family in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Historically, Bolivia has been divided between the underrepresented indigenous majority and those descended from European colonizers.

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.

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