Widening the Circle
Message from President Ferlo
A few weeks ago Dean Terry DeLisio and I had the privilege of visiting the Newberry Library in Chicago to view the Bexley Hall Rare Book Collection, which had just arrived from Columbus. Although I knew what the inventory looked like on paper, it was a moving experience to examine
some of these extraordinary holdings in person: an edition of a work by Erasmus published in his lifetime, with a woodcut by Hans Holbein's father gracing its opening page; a brilliantly hand-illuminated Muslim prayer book; hundreds and hundreds of mid-nineteenth-century American pamphlets and sermons published by small town presses throughout the Midwest; presentation copies of nineteenth-century tracts signed by Hannah More, the distinguished evangelical English poet and pamphleteer; a multi-volume travel diary in an exquisite hand, written by an early twentieth-century Bexley alumnus.
All these precious volumes had been in storage and inaccessible in Columbus for almost 20 years. They have now become part of one of the finest independent research institutions in the United States, to be permanently catalogued as "the Bexley Hall Collection--a gift of Bexley Seabury Seminary" as funds become available, and featured in an important exhibition on Religious Change that will open at the Newberry in the fall. (Bexley and Seabury alums know a lot about religious change!)
As our Board of Directors well understood in arranging this gift, making such resources as the Bexley Hall Collection available on a global scale is deeply appropriate for a unique institution like ours--a seminary "beyond walls" dedicated to widening the circle of theological scholarship and inter-religious understanding.
We are in good company. Since its founding in the late nineteenth century as an independent research library, the Newberry has had a policy of open public access--where the public high school junior writing a term paper on Native American history is as welcome as a seasoned university scholar researching her next ground-breaking monograph. Our own Bexley Seabury Board member, Canon Diane Porter, who grew up in Chicago's Hyde Park, remembers with fondness a formative trip to the Newberry as a young girl, the reward for her first-prize participation in a summer reading club. I would like to think that Philander Chase, our irascible founding bishop and the initial collector of these volumes, would have been one of the first readers to show up at the Newberry, no doubt loudly taking credit for his foresight in creating this world-class collection.
Next time you are in Chicago, make a visit to the Newberry, and ask them to show you that Erasmus volume. Our friends there will be happy to welcome you to this new way-station of our seminary beyond walls.
Is 2017 Your Year to Stretch?
Apply for DMin in Congregational Development by April 15, begin in June
We're proud that our Doctorate of Ministry in Congregational Development continues to stand out as one of the country's most well-regarded programs. But don't take our word for it! If you know any Bexley Seabury DMin CD alums, you know the magnitude of difference our DMin program makes-for those who earn the degree and for all to whom they minister.
Our low-residency, high-engagement curriculum is expressly designed for priests and pastors who are ready to re-invest in their leadership skills and deepen their theological grounding. If you are ready to gain strategic perspective and practical tools that contribute to effective and innovative ministry in today's multi-everything society-or know someone who is-please be in touch. Applications to enter the program in June 2017 are due April 15.
> PHONE Jaime at (773) 380-7045
Seminary Entrusts Scholarly Treasures to the Newberry Library
New home for the Bexley Hall Rare Book Collection
Our July 2016 consolidation from two campuses to one, in Chicago's historic Hyde Park/Woodlawn district, presented an opportunity to steward the seminary's historic collection of early Bibles, Books of Common Prayer and other volumes. What better home for the precious works on religion and culture that constitute the Bexley Hall Rare Book Collection than Chicago's
The collection consists of more than 325 titles and more than 120 bound volumes containing approximately 1,200 nineteenth-century pamphlets. Among the books in the collection are early Bibles and Books of Common Prayer, early printings of works by Erasmus, and works of theology, philosophy, and travel.
Bexley Hall acquired many of these books in response to requests by Philander Chase and Charles Pettit McIlvaine, who succeeded Chase as second Bishop of Ohio and president of Kenyon College. Bishop McIlvaine was instrumental in assembling the extraordinary collection of nineteenth-century pamphlets that form the core of the Bexley Seabury gift to the Newberry. The Bexley Hall Collection will add to the Newberry's already impressive archive of religious materials. Selected volumes from the Bexley Hall Collection will be part of the Newberry's fall 2017 exhibit, "Religious Change, 1450-1700."
APPLY NOW for 7th Annual Leadership Institute
Begins June 19, 2017 at Northwestern's Kellogg School
Topics for the 2017 Institute:
Becoming a skilled and confident leader is essential to ministry no matter the setting. Our annual Leadership Institute immerses participants in a dynamic learning experience that emphasizes strategic thinking and the real-life challenges of our culturally diverse communities. The program is scheduled for busy professionals, with 3- and 5-day options available.
Who should participate?
- Innovation Strategies
- Team Building
- Leading with Vision & Purpose: What's Your Story
- Leadership & Organizational Communication: The Art of Engaging Others
- The Art of Managing Conflict
- Leading Change
- Lay and ordained ministers of all Christian denominations
- Leaders in religious and values-based non-profits
- Institute alums ready to refresh their advanced leadership skills
- Perhaps you--or someone you know
JOIN US for "Bending Toward Justice," our 2017 Chicago Convocation, Wednesday, April 26, 2:00 to 7:00 p.m., at St. James Commons, 65 E. Huron, Chicago. Bexley Seabury is pleased to host this opportunity to learn from--and be challneged by--leaders who are on the front lines of criminal justice reform; solidarity and resistance with the Standing Rock Nation; and the struggle for racial, ethnic, and LGBTQ rights.
Please plan to join us and feel free to invite a colleague or friend.
- 2:00 PM What I Am Still Learning, presented by President Ferlo
- 3:00 PM After Standing Rock by John Floberg, responses from Gayle Fisher-Stewart, Kenji Kuramitsu, moderated by President Ferlo
- 4:00 PM Beyond the Walls Keynote Address by Gayle Fisher-Stewart
- 5:30 PM Evensong in St. James Cathedral and awarding of honorary degree to Bexley Hall alum John Floberg
- Reception with refreshments immediately following Evensong
about our guest faculty.
How Did the Stand at Standing Rock Affect You?
A request for reflections and prayers based on your experiences
As part of our April 26, 2017 Convocation, "Bending Toward Justice," we want to create a book of reflections, prayers, and images from those who experienced a shift in thinking about and acting for justice as a result of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation's protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline in which the Episcopal Church, led by Bexley Hall alum John Floberg, continues to play an important role.
Did the witness of #StandingRock water protectors against change your prayer life...inform your preaching...take you to North Dakota...stir your congregation...cause you to consider switching banks?
We welcome your written contributions and photos or other images --
please send via email to Ron Fox.
Take a Week--or Two or Three--to Study with Us in June
Register by May 1 for 5-day intensives
Whether you are seeking academic credit, continuing education credit, or an opportunity for enrichment (audit/no credit), our June term has great deal to offer.
June 5-9: Congregations in the 21st Century
explores inherited assumptions and
patterns of Christian congregational life in light of new
Students critically consider insights from
organizational, leadership, and innovation theory.
June 5-9: Community Based Wellness Ministries:
Reimagining Pastoral Care with Congregations and Their Surrounding Communities
leads this new course, offering a framework
community based wellness ministry that
serves both the congregation and the surrounding
community. Meets at the Nicholas
Center, 65 E. Huron, Chicago.
June 12-16: Community Organizing for
shares her expertise on how to develop relational
leadership skills and how to engage others
in community change. The course links organizing to biblical groundings and practical applications in congregational ministry.
June 12-16: The Structures of Community: Cities, Neighborhoods, and the New Urbanism for Church Leaders
leads an exploration of order, community, sustainability, and
livability in the built environments we inhabit
and how they affect us as we lead communities of faith.
course involves several local field trips.
Non-Profit Management and Leadership (available for academic credit only)
Northwestern University Kellogg School
Faculty, Suzann Holding, and Scott Stoner
will help participants combine lessons from the non-profit business world with theology in this
innovative leadership program. Meets in downtown Chicago.
On and Off Campus
Staff and Faculty
Director of Lifelong Theological Education and the Doctor of Ministry Program Suzann Holding and Director of Finance Bob Doak were joined in marriage February 25 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Glen Ellyn, Ill. The celebration at St. Mark's concluded with a sparkler send-off.
John Dreibelbus (SWTS '59), a popular professor at Seabury-Western who taught many seminarians from 1994 to 2004, died on March 10 from complications of Mantle cell lymphoma. His memorial service is Saturday, March 25 at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Evanston, Ill. Click here for John's obituary from the Chicago Tribune.