Friday, February 18, 2011

Dr. Norma Cook Everist presenting "Leadership for Building Trustworthy Environments within the Church and in the Public World" February 22

Dr. Norma Cook Everist, the St. John's Summit Professor for 2011, will be presenting on the topic "Leadership for Building Trustworthy Environments within the Church and in the Public World" at the next Convocation at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), scheduled for Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 11:30 am in Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center on the LTSP campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. The convocation is free and open to the public.

Dr. Everist is Professor of Church Administration and Educational Ministry at Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa. From her Wartburg biographical sketch:
Professor Norma Cook Everist came to Wartburg in 1979 after teaching at Yale Divinity School. She helps foster a seminary community atmosphere of shared power and partnership that builds on the gifts and insights of the students, which in turn enhances learning for leadership in the church and in the world.

She is a widely known lecturer across the country and the author of numerous books. Her most recent titles include Transforming Leadership, co-authored with Craig Nessan, and Christian Education as Evangelism, co-authored by twelve professors at Lutheran Seminaries of the ELCA and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
Dr. Everist is playing a strong role in the ELCA five-year Book of Faith initiative.  She is on the editorial board of the forthcoming Lutheran Study Bible.  She prepared the assessment tools for individuals and faith communities included in the book Opening the Book of Faith, and is part of a group preparing a Select video course on methods of teaching the Bible. She has served nationally and internationally on many task forces and committees in the areas of ministry, leadership, theological education, gender studies, and ministry in daily life. She is faculty editor for The Persistent Voice networking newsletter. She enjoys visiting congregations and church agencies where Wartburg graduates serve.
 Everist is a deaconess and an ordained ELCA pastor.
The St. John’s Summit professorship annually brings a distinguished visiting professor to LTSP to teach and share in the life of the seminary community. The professorship is funded by a gift from St. John’s Lutheran Church in Summit, New Jersey.

The February 22 Convocation is the latest on the LTSP Theme for the Academic Year 2010-2011, "Theological Education in the Changed Context of the Church and Society." Future convocations include:

Mar. 1: Seminary Education: What the Church Expects? – Bishop Roy Riley, New Jersey Synod

Mar. 13-17: Preaching With Power Week, UTI Convocation 3/15

Mar. 22: Hein-Fry Lectures—a speaker from abroad

Mar. 29: Nolde Lecture (to be announced)

Apr. 19: Faculty Panel—Insights from the convocation series

May 3-4: Spring Alumni Convocation 2011 - One God, Many Christs: How Jesus is Incarnated in America, Keynote Richard Wrightman Fox,Professor of History at the University of Southern California (USC) 5/3-5/4; 5/3 Earth Day—Green Team (Plaza)

May 10: Social Ministry Convocation

Convocations and programs are open to the public, and with the exception of Alumni Convocation are free of charge.

During the past few decades theological education has been undergoing change. The change is more perceptible with regard to the gender, age, and racial/ethnic composition of faculty, staff and students. Patterns of seminary attendance, academic schedule and the structure of the curricula are undergoing change. With the advent of computers, Internet and modern technology, new and creative modes of delivery of education have been developed. Students have exhibited diverse motivations and vocational aspirations. Degrees have multiplied, theological disciplines have become specialized and sources of financial support have shifted. The cost of theological education, dwindling support from denominations, debt load of students, pressure to reduce duration requirements, have all raised serious questions about the quality and sustainability of seminary education over the long haul.

These changes to some extent reflect societal changes that have impacted the church. The social location of the church and the long-stand privileges the culture had extended to Christian churches have now diminished. The religious landscape of our society has undergone change. The face of Christianity too has changed due to immigration and migration of people. Mainline denominations have experienced significant decline in membership. Denominations and denominational identity have weakened. In short the ecology of theological education has changed and will experience further changes. Much has changed and more changes are on the way!

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