Graduate Theological Union

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Creative Leadership in Islamic Studies

CIS Graduates Are Expanding the Conversation--and Impacting Their Communities

by Doug Davidson

When the GTU celebrates commencement in May 2014, four extraordinary students will be their Master of Arts degrees in the field of Islamic Studies. In many ways, these four scholar-practitioners, among the first graduates of this new master’s program at the GTU’s Center for Islamic Studies, exemplify the diversity of background, academic interests, and professional trajectories that make the GTU unique in the field of interreligious education.

Women & Religion at GTU

by Flora A. Keshgegian

Recently, the GTU’s Women’s Studies in Religion program held a special event celebrating more than four decades of excellence and achievement. In honor of Women’s History Month, WSR hosted a discussion featuring professors Margaret McManus (ABSW), Kathryn Poethig  (GTU ’97), Boyung Lee (PSR), and moderator Flora Keshgegian (GTU). Offering recollections from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, the panelists stitched together a lively “herstory” and shared hopes for the future of women’s studies at the GTU.

 

Alum of the Year: Uriah Kim

by Doug Davidson

When Uriah Kim first visited the Graduate Theological Union as a prospective doctoral student in the spring of 1998, he sensed immediately that it was a special place, pulsing with the vitality of serious intellectual and spiritual discovery. “I remember meeting with GTU students and alumni on Holy Hill, and I could immediately sense the energy. The GTU is a place that stimulates your mind, your spirit—everything.”

Why We Need To Be Interreligious

by Arthur Holder

At its February 2014 meeting, the GTU Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution that affirms the interreligious nature of the Graduate Theological Union and opens the way for other religious traditions to join the Protestant, Catholic, Unitarian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Muslim communities already represented here. The statement highlighted the representation of the world’s diverse religious traditions as essential to the GTU’s nature and integral to its mission. It went on to encourage the GTU President to work to “expand and foster representation of the world’s great religious traditions” by seeking out new candidates for consideration as program units, affiliates, and centers for inclusion in the GTU.

 

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.

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