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CIS Director Jiwa to speak at KAICIID Global Forum in Vienna

Munir Jiwa, Director of the Center for Islamic Studies and Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, has been selected to speak at the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) Global Forum in Vienna, Austria, taking place November 18-19.

What’s that you see? Interfaith panel explores art and spirituality

The Graduate Theological Union, in conjunction with the Center for Arts, Religion and Education, sponsored Modern Divine: An Interfaith Panel on Art and Spirituality on October 27 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

Spreading the Word: Alumnus Kelchner Takes Reins of Advancement

Simply put, Alan Kelchner (Ph.D. ‘03) has done it all when it comes to the Graduate Theological Union: student, alumnus, professor, trustee, and now executive staff, serving as the interim Vice President for Advancement.

Being Latin@ and a Scholar

by Sandra Chavez

I look at my life and realize how incredible it is to find myself at the GTU in Berkeley. I am an American citizen, born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, but my abuelita (grandmother) is quick to remind me, “Mexican comes before American.  You are Mexican-American and do not forget it.”

Digital Reformation: How Technology Shapes the Dynamic Classroom

The world is literally at our fingertips. Pull out your smart phone <tap tap tap> and you can Google huge libraries of information, see the world thanks to YouTube, and even converse via discussions boards, Facebook, Skype, and text. This ability to access information has revolutionized our culture, particularly how we view education.

Jody Passanisi, a.k.a. Jacqueline Pearce, (M.A. '05) with her colleague Shara Peters astutely observes in a post at Scientific American, “[E]ducated people were those who knew a great deal of information about one or many subjects...In this 'Age of Information,' access to facts and data is no longer available only to the educated elite...So, as a society, what is an 'educated person'?”

Articulating an answer to that query is difficult, but most educators agree that the Digital Revolution has changed the way that students learn and how we live everyday. So it's no surprise that more conversations and alterations are taking place to incorporate technology as a key component in the classroom.

The Changing Landscape of Theological Education

How Seminaries Are Adapting to New Realities

The handwriting is on the wall. As Americans distance themselves from the label of Christian, preferring “spiritual” or no affiliation, attendance continues to slip across mainline denominations. Schools for ministerial formation are struggling with lower enrollments and less denominational financial support. The composition of the Christian Church is changing and the seminaries must change with it.

Ministry of the Mind

By the Book | Pursuing Academia while in Ministry

Andrew Kille, left, takes part in a "Bathing the Buddha" ceremonyby D. Andrew Kille (Ph.D. ’97)

After graduating with my M.Div. from American Baptist Seminary of the West in 1975, I ministered at Grace Baptist Church of San Jose for thirteen years, ten of them as the Senior Pastor.

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.

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