NBTS News: Fall 2020
Greetings from President McCreary!

Since the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester, I have been meditating on the scripture, “The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. God wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.” -Isaiah 50:4 (NIV). This verse has sustained me during these turbulent times. We at NBTS have well-instructed tongues. We know the Word of the Lord that can sustain the weary, and morning by morning, Our Sovereign Lord wakens us to listen and receive instruction. This is our hope, our plan, and our mission. 

NBTS remains a vibrant resource to explore leadership for the Beloved Community. Our faculty publicly reaffirmed our ongoing commitment to anti-racist action. Our board of trustees continues to work with the President to help evaluate and improve our operations. We have a plan for a phased reopening of the campus that was approved by the NJ Office of the Secretary of Higher Education. During this time, we have not only adopted new technologies, we are also developing strategic initiatives to further strengthen the institution and our educational offerings. Our mission continues as we support our students, staff, faculty, and the greater community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this newsletter, you will see some of the many ways we are working to fulfill our mission — including Reformed Church Center events, several new partnerships, increased online services from the Sage Library, and expansion of our recruitment efforts. More than ever, we are grateful to be an institution that thinks critically, acts justly, and leads faithfully.

Rev. Micah L. McCreary, Ph.D.
Congratulations to the Reformed Church Center!

We are excited to share that this year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Reformed Church Center at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. Over the last twenty years, the Reformed Church Center has held over a hundred conferences, workshops, and classes, and has hosted dozens of research fellows and other visiting scholars. Every year the Reformed Church Center grants three fellowships: the Albert A Smith Fellowship in Reformed Church History, the Alvin J. Poppen and John R. Young Fellowship in Reformed Worship, and the Hazel B. Gnade Fellowship in RCA Women’s Studies. 

The Reformed Church Center continues its service to the RCA in this twentieth anniversary year with a variety of programs: View the full list of 2020-2021 events here.

We hope that you will be part of this anniversary year by attending these programs, all of which will be free and online. we hope you will invite your congregations and friends to join in these discussions. In addition, would you consider a special gift to the Reformed Church Center during this anniversary year with a gift of $200, or $20 per month? Your gift allows us to continue to reflect critically and prophetically on the RCA's living traditions and its pressing concerns for the next twenty years and beyond.
Women's Transformation & Leadership Partners with NBTS Certificate Program

On Saturday, September 12, 2020, ten RCA lay women from across the NYC Metro area began their 2 year journey with the NBTS Certificate Program for Church Leadership / Theological Studies. This is a pilot partnership between RCA Women’s Transformation and Leadership and NBTS, and we couldn't be more pleased with the response. These women, who make up a She is Called cohort, will be studying alongside other students from an ecumenical representation of the body of Christ.

Rev. Liz Testa, Coordinator of Women's Transformation & Leadership and NBTS alternate ex-officio board member writes, "As we actively seek out motivated leaders across the RCA and beyond, NBTS offers solid yet dynamic partnership, and I am grateful that our team is actively working with their leadership to move to the next level of engagement.   
NBTS has been wonderful to collaborate with, coming alongside our WT&L team and helping us shape this opportunity within their inaugural fully-online certificate program. Besides being completely virtual, the program has been updated to meet commissioned pastor and preaching elder requirements, something that drew people in."  
Click the image above to hear current Master of Divinity student Arlene Romaine discuss how the Certificate program set her on her current path.
Faculty Congratulates the Class of 2020

The NBTS faculty wrote this letter of support to the graduating class of 2020. In truth, this letter speaks to all of us on our own journeys during this trying time.

"We, the faculty of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, extend to each of you our heartfelt congratulations on this significant achievement, and we look forward to embracing you as you move forward in the work of ministry. 

The final term of your journey toward your degree was marked by intense disruption including widespread loss of life to a global pandemic, ongoing reminders of the brutality of anti-black racism, and righteously angry protests against the violence of anti-black racism. It is an understatement to say that this has been a difficult semester. ..."
Student Emergency Fund Response

Thank you to all those who contributed to the Student Emergency Fund in light of COVID-19 challenges! More than $15,000 was raised for students in a variety of complex situations such as family members passing, unexpected additional care-taking responsibilities, job loss, semester bills, and unemployment. We are so grateful for your funds and prayers that continue to support our students during these challenging times!
Save the Date
#GivingTuesday is Dec. 1!
NBTS Institutes Higher Faith–Higher Calling Fellowship

Two students this year participated in the newly instituted Higher Faith–Higher Calling Undergraduate Faith and Justice Fellowship program that started Spring, 2020. This is a partnership between New Brunswick Theological Seminary and the Rutgers University Division of Student Affairs made possible by the Van Bunschooten/NJ Fund. Destiny Morales worked with Dina’s Dwellings, which is housed at the First Reformed Church of New Brunswick, and Lauren Supplice worked with the New Jersey Congregational Center for Cancer Care, a ministry started by Highland Park Reformed Church. Destiny and Lauren met with Rev. James Brumm of NBTS regularly for historical and integrative learning. During the pandemic, Destiny continued to work at Dina’s Dwellings until they had to close to all outsiders, and Lauren continued doing offsite work for NJCCCC. They both attended Women’s Stories Day and continued to meet virtually with Rev. Brumm.

This fall, Destiny Morales continues as a fellow, meeting virtually and working in socially-distanced faith-based work in conjunction with NBTS and Rutgers. This fall, Alyssa Miller joined the program as a new fellow. We celebrate that Lauren Supplice graduated from Rutgers and is currently enrolled at NBTS in the Master of Divinity degree program.
NBTS Receives Grant to Engage Science in Curriculum with Theology and Race

This fall, as one of nine seminaries granted funding by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to begin integrating science into their core curricula, New Brunswick Theological Seminary will present a program of four courses (Analyzing and Confronting the Systems of Privilege, Contextualized Ministry and Public Faith, and History of Global Christianity I & II) and a major campus event exploring the theme “Naming the Past to Claim a Better Future: COVID-19, Pseudo-Science and Pseudo-Theology.”

This innovative Science for Seminaries project is organized by the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER) Program in partnership with the Association of Theological Schools. NBTS Vice President and Academic Dean Beth Tanner, who is also the Rev. Dr. Norman and Mrs. Mary Kansfield Professor of Old Testament Studies, and Janice McLean-Farrell, Dirk Romeyn Assistant Professor of Metro-Urban Ministry, are leading the project. 

Gardner A. Sage Library Services Move Online

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Gardner A. Sage Library moved rapidly to make services avaiable remotely to ensure that students had access to library resources and staff even though the building remains closed. A complete overhaul of the library website was made. digital library cards were created. An additional resource, the Digital Theological Library, was acquired that gave students and faculty access to over 600,000 eBooks, 60,000,000 full text articles, and 21,000 journals from over 150 databases.

Moreover, course reserve materials became accessible remotely by acquiring available titles digitally and creating an easy-to-use booklist where students can simply click a link to find their books for their classes. Online orientations to the library were held at a variety of times to help students get acquainted with the library resources available. Several other virtual tutorials and drop-in sessions have been offered to allow students to directly connect with librarians to assist them in their research.

Every effort has been made to ensure services continue to be available to support the success of our students in their courses. Library services have expanded significantly since the pandemic first closed the doors to the library, but we continue to look for ways to provide more services and resources to our community.
Volunteer for the Alumni Association!

The purpose of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary Alumni Association is to foster a spirit of loyalty and reciprocal engagement, and to promote the general welfare of NBTS. The association will exist to support the seminary’s goals and to strengthen the ties among alumni near and far, current students, communities, and the seminary.

Joan Marshall is connecting alumni as Graduating Classes and Regions. We need Class Representatives and Regional Coordinators. Won’t you Volunteer? Contact Joan Marshall at jmarshall@nbts.edu or alum@nbts.edu.
Admissions Expands
Our campus might be partially-closed, but our Admissions Office is working hard to offer opportunities for potential students to connect to NBTS.

The Director of Admissions, Rev. JerQuentin Sutton continues to host online Zoom information sessions. Spread the word —please invite anyone you think might be interested.
In Memoriam
Our community continues to mourn the loss of the Rev. Gregg A. Mast Ph.D. and the Rev. Allan J. Janssen, Ph.D. The impact of their lifelong legacy will be felt in our community for generations. Over $30,000 in memorial gifts were made online in their honor.

Thank you to all who contributed to celebrating the memory of these two amazing men in our community!
New Brunswick Theological Seminary is committed to training Christian leaders who are called to serve the local church, community and the world. Your contributions and generous gifts enable us to provide academic programs at the highest level of excellence. We covet your prayers, generous gifts, and partnerships in this mission.

If you have any questions about making a donation, please contact:

Cathy Proctor, VP of Advancement and Recruitment
New Brunswick Theological Seminary
35 Seminary Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901