This Week: Sept. 5 - 11

Published: September 6, 2011


The joy of learning is as indispensable in study as breathing is in running. Where it is lacking there are no real students, but only poor caricatures of apprentices, who at the end of their apprenticeship, will not even have a trade. It is the part played by joy in our studies that makes them a preparation for the spiritual life, for desire directed toward God is the only power capable of raising the soul. . . .

–from Simone Weil, Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God, 1942

Welcome, all new students!  Welcome back, returning students! 

Reading Simone Weil, a favorite writer of mine, and anticipating our first full week of classes this week, I was reminded of the sense of joyfulness that accompanies each year’s new beginning. I hope you are experiencing some joyful excitement about the learning opportunities that await you and our community in 2011-2012. New faculty and staff members are in our midst and have brought with them new course offerings, fresh perspectives, and positive energy for our shared educational endeavor. Other staff and faculty leaders who hold wisdom about our school from years of past experience are ready to advise, teach, and mentor students as they have done for many semesters prior to this one. New and returning students—you bring with you enthusiasm for study and passions for ministry of many different kinds. The anticipatory electricity and hopeful vitality of a new start enliven the air of the School of Divinity’s hallowed halls.

Please note the following as you pack your book bags and charge up your laptops for another semester of study:

  • Be sure to read any email that comes to you by way of the “divacademics” listserve. Important announcements and information about courses, schedules and other items related to our academic program are communicated through this listserve.
    • Note: Students can “drop” courses through their WIN accounts. In order to “add” a course, students must complete an “add” form. 
    September 14 Last Day to Add Classes
    October 5 Last Day to Drop Classes


    • Many students have returned to campus with tales from their summer experiences in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Congratulations to each of you who completed a basic unit of CPE. That is a significant accomplishment. Clinical pastoral education is a form of theological education that takes place in clinical settings such as hospitals, health care facilities, correctional institutions, and hospices. Through involvement with persons in crisis and in conjunction with supervision from peers and supervisors, students engage issues of ministry and pastoral care and work to develop a clearer awareness of themselves as caregivers. Students are eligible for six hours of credit upon satisfactory completion of a full unit of CPE in a program accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. To receive credit for CPE, students should have the CPE center where the program was completed provide a letter stating that a full unit of credit was awarded.

    Simone Weil scripted words in 1942 that inspire theological educators and ministry students 69 years later. Even as we take up the weightiness of this semester’s books—literally and figuratively—I hope that we can together turn our thoughts now and again to the joy of learning that initially set our feet on these journeys and that buoys our souls even when the burdens of study press upon us.


    Blessings on this new academic year!

    – Jill Crainshaw, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs