NBTS News: Spring 2021
Greetings, Alums! 

It is my pleasure to share with you the latest news from NBTS and highlight the advancements that the Alumni Association has made up to this point. In a season when we are all so challenged by the pandemic and recent events in our nation, we celebrate our diversity and come together as graduates of this distinguished institution. 

What makes NBTS a distinguished institution? It is you, the graduates. NBTS alumni are doing wonderful things in the world. Whether great or small, active or retired, your work and ministry is appreciated and has impacted communities across the country and around the world. 

We are grateful for you and want to reconnect in a mutually beneficial manner. It is our hope that you will be encouraged by the updates. We look forward to hearing back from you. 

Joan Marshall
Director of Student Care and Outreach

NBTS Alumni Association updates
The NBTS Alumni Association is officially open for business. We are excited to announce that on January 1st, the inaugural slate of officers and committee chairs began their term, guiding the association as it grows.

The association exists to support and strengthen the ties among alumni near and far, current students, churches, communities, and the seminary.

For more info, please contact Joan Marshall at alum@nbts.edu
Exciting News From the Advancement Office! 

  • As part of New Brunswick Theological Seminary’s 235th Anniversary Celebration, we launched a campaign called A Light in God’s Cities. With your support, we raised $2.1 million to help current and future seminarians think critically, act justly, and lead faithfully as they pursue meaningful lives and careers.
  • We secured three emergency CARES grants:
  • $300,000 for student scholarships and compensation for lost tuition and rental income.
  • $ 12,000 for student basic needs (e.g. food, housing, transit, medical, childcare).
  • $ 12,000 for the institution to offset income lost from facility use.  
  • We created the Student Emergency Fund and have raised $23,500 to help students who face unexpected consequences of Covid 19. We are grateful for your funds and prayers that continue to support our students during these challenging times! Click here to make a donation.
Helping Hearts, Hands & Hope: NBTS Creates WELL Program to Equip African American and Latinx Pastors to Thrive in their Ministries

“Pastors play a pivotal role in their congregations, and the demands on them are great in ordinary times, much less the extraordinary challenges faced in 2021,” said Rev. Micah L. McCreary, PhD, President, NBTS. “We created the WELL Program – funded by a generous $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.–with thoughtful input from pastors and with our three core principles of ‘think critically, act justly, and lead faithfully’ in mind.”

WELL’s multi-faceted approach of assisting pastoral leaders serving two diverse contexts, African American and Latinx, seeks to revitalize their personal and professional ministry development and growth. It will create a collaborative “caring community” of pastors, NBTS faculty and staff, and experts in soundness in body and mind, finance, urban planning, and fundraising. 

Discover how WELL will equip pastors to strengthen their personal spirituality, self-care, and leadership abilities while thriving in their ministries and connecting to their congregations and communities.
Reformed Church Center hosting a record number of events this year!
The Reformed Church Center has had a busy year celebrating its twentieth anniversary year with a record number of events all being held online. The programs from this fall are available here.

We have a full schedule of events and lectures lined up for this Spring that you are encouraged to attend. You can see the full list of events here. Upcoming featured lectures include:  

  • Women’s Stories Day 2021 will be on Saturday, March 13, at 1 p.m. EST, featuring a lecture by Anna M. Jackson: “Like Trees Planted by the Water: New York City Black Women Lay Leaders of the 1950s-1970s.”

  • The first ever “Breaking the Silence” Lecture, looking at the role of slavery in the founding of NBTS. Keep an eye on the RCC events page for more details and for the date of this event.

The Reformed Church Center is also looking for proposals for our three research fellowships focused on Church history, Women’s Studies, and Worship and Liturgy for the 2021-2022 academic year. More information can be found here, or contact jbrumm@nbts.edu.

Anti-Racism workshop: Analyzing the Systems of Privilege 
On January 8-9, students, faculty, staff, and board members gathered online for our annual Anti-Racism workshop: Analyzing the Systems of Privilege Workshop. This year’s workshop was led by President Micah L. McCreary, Dean Beth Tanner, Dr. Janice McClean-Farrell, and Dr. Nathan Jérémie-Brink. This was the first time the workshop was offered online, taught fully by NBTS faculty. The workshop generated high evaluations including appreciation for having these conversations digitally, with the facilitators able to create a virtual space where people could come together and dismantle preconceptions and biases. The faculty exposed truths in our histories and helped people learn to recalibrate their hearts and minds to understand systemic racism - both historically and how it continues to inform and impact our societies.
Faculty Spotlight
This Spring 2021 semester, don’t go looking for a class taught by Associate Professor of Pastoral Care/Pastoral Theology, Dr. Raynard Smith, since he will be busy on sabbatical, writing his book, Come Sunday Morning!

According to Dr. Smith, Come Sunday Morning combines psychology and theology, and asks the question, “Are we (pastors and leaders of the church) meeting the needs of our people, when they come for worship?” 

Implementing the psychoanalytical theory of psychologist Heinz Kohut, Come Sunday Morning explores Kohut’s three psychological dynamics of experience - affirmation, idealization, and belonging - and implements them as a tool for evaluating “what transpires, psychologically, in the context of a worship experience.” 

In this way, church pastors and worship leaders will become more “intentional with their use of scripture and hymns in worship… addressing with intention the psychological needs of our congregations, in order to build healthy congregations.” Dr. Smith’s book is sure to be an invaluable resource for worship leaders and pastors!

Ever the model of the wise pastoral counselor to his students, Dr. Smith is deeply concerned for the psychological health of both the seminary’s students and Christian congregations in these days of global pandemic. Due to the pandemic’s continual, ongoing nature, Smith warns that long-term, “depression becomes a comfortable sense,” and believes in the vital importance of being highly attuned to one’s psycho-spiritual health, “to be aware and on guard, and to engage in self-care, rest, rejuvenation, and exercise.” Dr. Smith reminds us all, future and currently-serving church leaders, “to be aware that people are struggling.” 

We look forward to an upcoming excerpt from his book, and wish Dr. Smith godspeed in his return to the NBTS classroom!
Student Spotlight
One of our students was recently featured at Faithward.org about how her studies at NBTS are helping her grow a church in the Bronx, NY.
Alum Spotlight
Rock and roll icon Jon Bon Jovi recently sat down with a local pastor, NBTS graduate Terrance Porter (Class of 1997), who pours his heart into bringing people together and giving back to others. From NBC's TODAY’s Season of Giving series.
Save the date
The memorial service being planned for Rev. Allan J. Janssen, Ph.D. will be on October 2, 2021 at Greenbush Reformed Church in East Greenbush, New York, and will begin at 1:00pm.
Our campus might be partially closed, but our Admissions Office is working hard to offer opportunities for potential students to connect to NBTS. 

Admissions continues to host online Zoom information sessions. Spread the word and invite anyone you think might be interested.

 For more information contact admissions@nbts.edu.
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