The School of Divinity’s learning community is composed of students, faculty, and staff from a variety of congregational and denominational backgrounds. We celebrate this diversity and are committed to equipping religious leaders who want to pursue ministry within a wide array of denominations and traditions. Because the School of Divinity is not an ordaining body, we view our role as one of supporting students as they cultivate diverse denominational and congregational connections. We also work to create opportunities for ecumenical dialogue and encounter in classrooms and through worship and co-curricular educational offerings.
This semester, students have several opportunities to learn about particular denominational groups. This week in our Tuesday chapel service, the guest preacher is Julie Peeples, pastor of Congregational United Church of Christ in Greensboro, North Carolina. During community lunch following chapel, Reverend Peeples and other denominational representatives will meet with students who are interested in learning more ministry in the United Church of Christ. Later this semester, on November 6, the guest preacher in our chapel service will be Larry Hovis, executive director of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina. Representatives from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship will join us for community lunch following chapel. Disciples of Christ leaders will join us for chapel and community lunch on November 27.
In addition to having opportunities throughout the academic year to meet leaders from various denominations, students also learn about different Christian traditions through Art of Ministry internships and through core and elective course offerings. Courses specific to denominational entities are taught regularly at the School of Divinity by denominational leaders. This semester our course schedule includes a course that focuses on sacramental theologies within Episcopalian and Lutheran traditions. We are currently making plans to offer courses either in the spring 2012 or fall 2012 terms directly related to Baptist, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ and Presbyterian traditions. These courses are designed to introduce students to denominational theologies and polities and to assist students with preparation for some denominations’ ordination exams. Students may also consult with the academic dean to explore course offerings or independent studies related to her or his denominational affiliation. Other opportunities for preparation for ministry within particular denominations include independent studies, clinical pastoral education, and third year integrative projects.
Blessings on the week ahead,
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
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