September 22, 2020
Dear Students, Faculty, and Friends of the BTI Consortium,

The first cool breezes of Fall are starting to blow through the city of Boston and I have been enjoying the strange and rare stillness of this particular Autumn in New England. I hope you too are taking moments to sit in the presence of the Divine and find small things to be grateful for.

If you are anything like me, you are getting really tired of hearing people talk about these "unprecedented times" we are living in, but it is a weird time to be a graduate student, a university faculty member, or a religious leader in the United States. More than anything, we at the BTI recognize the possible isolation of this season and we want to use our network of member schools to help all of us stay connected. So, if you would like to create a network, a book group, a discussion series, or some other form of connection, we want to help! Email Dr. Stephanie Edwards with your ideas and to find out how we can help you start your group or make connections!

Finally, as the new semester begins we want to remind you that you can use the BTI Newsletter to publicize your school and affiliated events! If you are hosting an event that you believe might be of interest to members of the BTI Consortium community, send event info (including links and graphics) to Chloe at

Chloe McLaughlin
Internal Projects Manager/Graduate Assistant

To submit events, resources, or job opportunities to be publicized in our newsletter or on our website, email information to Chloe at

The semester has begun and that means time is running out to make your final decisions about cross-registration!

September 24: Hellenic College Holy Cross- last day to Add/Drop.
September 29: Hartford Seminary- Last Day to Drop a course without financial or academic penalty.

REMEMBER: when registering for or dropping a course, you should abide by the earlier
of the two (Home/Host School) deadlines.

Good News! Now you can drop/withdraw from a course in the BTI Portal! Just log in to the portal and select the "Drop a Course" option in the menu bar. You will be able to "edit" your registered item and request to drop the class. Questions? Contact us.

Upcoming BTI Consortium Affiliated Events
Networking Series. Monday, October 5th. Sponsored by the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab and the BTI Consortium. This Zoom conversation and Q&A is geared toward early-stage students and others with a nascent interest in chaplaincy, although all are welcome. Our panelists will offer advice from their experience and training on what students might want to consider as they look to their careers and a potential future in spiritual care. The panel session will last approximately one hour, with an option for 30-minute small group discussions afterward.

This session will be conducted via a simple Zoom meeting to foster a more dynamic discussion. To register, please email Michael Skaggs with the subject line "Field Guide Session 1 Registration."
Summer 2021 Applications Due November 15. Co-sponsored by Hebrew SeniorLife, Hebrew College, and the BTI Consortium. Hebrew SeniorLife’s Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program in Boston, MA, provides geriatric-focused spiritual care training for seminary students of many faiths, future clergy seeking spiritual care skills, and aspiring or current health care chaplains. We are proud to offer the country’s only Jewish geriatric CPE program accredited by ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care & Education.

Students leave the program trained to support seniors and families through the joys and challenges of aging, loss, and end of life. They also provide 5,000 hours of care to patients at HSL’s Hebrew Rehabilitation Center each year as part of their training. The program attracts students from across North America and as far as Israel.
Upcoming ONLINE Events
Virtual Webinar Discussion. Wednesday, September 23. 1:00-2:00PM. Sponsored by the Harvard Divinity Center for the Study of World Religions and the Religious Literacy Project.
As the 2020 presidential election nears, join Lauren R. Kerby and Jeff Sharlet for a discussion of the politics of white evangelicals in the U.S. today. Kerby's book, Saving History, offers a starting point for this important conversation about how race, nationalism, and Christianity become entangled for many white evangelicals through what they learn from their leaders about American history. Their political commitments are baffling to many observers, but this conversation will explore how white evangelicals’ relationship to the nation offers a key to understanding their continued allegiance to Donald Trump. Register Now.
Zoom Talk, Wednesday, September 23rd. 12:00-1:00PM. Hosted by Boston College Center for Jewish-Christian Learning.
A growing number of Jews and Christians no longer define and describe their religions in terms of being against each other,but rather as two authentic expressions of faith, both based upon the biblical texts. This encourages us to reread the New Testament texts without presupposing supersessionism. Jesper Svartvik will suggest four fundamental issues which must be addressed in this endeavor: the portrayal of the Pharisees, the New Testament’s (especially the Gospel of John’s) discussions of “the Jews,” the role of the Law in the Pauline epistles, and, finally, the impact of the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Webinar. Thursday, September 24th. 7:00PM. Hosted by Hartford Semianry.
Congregational leaders from the three Abrahamic faiths — Rabbi Tuvia Brander, Bishop Dr. Benjamin Watts, and Imam Refai Arefin — will discuss the pastoral, spiritual and logistical challenges they face, as well as the unanticipated opportunities they encounter as they guide their communities of faith in prayer during this time of crisis and social distancing. Jews around the world are currently observing a ten-day period of intense repentance and prayer (Aseret Yimay Teshuvah) in preparation for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). It is thus, an apt time for Abrahamic siblings to learn from and support one another in their faith practices.
Deena Grant, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, will moderate.
Three Part Webinar Series. Tuesdays, began on September 15th and will continue on the 22nd and the 29th. 4:00PM. Hosted by The Boisi Center at Boston College

Sept. 22nd- The Republican Party and Catholic Voters in the 2020 Election
Sept. 29th- The Democratic Party and Catholic Voters in the 2020 Election

Virtual Lecture. Sunday, October 4. 4:00-5:30PM. Boston University School of Theology.
Join US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo (2019-2020) for a virtual lecture combining a talk with poetry readings grounded in spirituality. Once registered, you will be emailed a link to the online program.
Additional Events around the Consortium
Zoom Panel. Thursday, October 1. 5:30-7:00PM. Boston University School of Theology. Hosted during Boston University's Alumni Weekend 2020, Arts & the Pursuit of Justice will feature esteemed panelists who'll reflect on various artistic expressions that have accompanied social movements in recent history while showcasing their own artistry. Our panelists include Dr. Cheryl Boots (GRS’94, ’00, STH’14), Ms. Shannon Finney (STH’96), Rev. Dr. Teddy Hickman-Maynard (STH’03, ’15), and Mr. John August Swanson. Moderated by Dr. Andrew Shenton.
Virtual Panel. Thursday, September 24. 6:00-7:30PM. Sponsored by the Boisi Center at Boston College. As the 2020 presidential election approaches, this panel presentation explores a Catholic perspective on American politics. How can people of faith draw upon the Christian tradition to address the polarization that is taking place in America? What role do moral issues play when deciding on a candidate? How can we move towards greater unity and collaboration in a time of division? Moderated by Dr. Cathleen Kaveny, a panel of editors from America Media address these questions and more. Register Now.
Centering Prayer Group
The Grace Episcopal Church in Newton Centering Prayer Group meets Wednesdays from 7:00 - 8:15 pm on Zoom. Centering Prayer is a gentle form of Christian meditation that is easily learned and practiced. It is based on ancient traditions, yet has a modern relevance and can greatly enrich your personal life especially as we struggle with the pandemic of COVID-19. If you would like to learn about centering prayer prior to coming to the group on Wednesday, you can learn more here.

Even if you have not practiced centering prayer before, it is fine for you to just show up and learn with us. The group is open to all. All are welcome! We begin at 7:00 pm with a brief “check-in” to share what is happening in our lives. We then have 20 minutes of Centering Prayer. We conclude by discussing a few pages from “The Universal Christ” By Richard Rohr.
For more information, Contact Mary Malagodi.
Are you teaching in Scripture, Pedagogy, Music, or Interfaith dialogue? Consider this FREE (and now Zoom-based) program from Deus Ex Musica. Part of their Composers Project, this offering brings together a diverse array of interpretations of the book of Psalms, shared by the three Abrahamic faiths. This engaging program can be integrated into a course session, or offered as a stand-alone event. Check out more information and contact Delvyn Case with any questions or to discuss possibilities.
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