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Bexley Seabury Stories

This page features stories that capture particularly compelling aspects of our communities. Below, you'll find fascinating people and invigorating ideas, and you will be introduced to our common life and the work of the Holy Spirit among us.

Listening to the Powerless: Diversity & Context with Professor Eric Law

law ericStudents who take Professor Eric Law’s upcoming course, Diversity & Context, can expect to wrestle with some pressing issues in today’s ministry:  how to hear the powerless, how to identify and respond to racism, and how to recognize and rejoice in diversity.

Participants can also expect to leave the weeklong intensive course with practical tools to serve congregations, help lead change and resolve conflict. The course is a core class for Bexley Seabury’s doctor of ministry in congregational development program and is also open to seminarians as well as members of the community interested in CEUs or lifelong learning.

“Students discover ways to create a gracious environment to engage people, especially in the congregation situation, to speak the truth about themselves and the organization that is the church,” Law says. “The process of getting at that is the understanding that people with different cultural backgrounds will speak their truth in different ways. In the course, we talk about the powerful and the powerless. If you get to only listen to the powerful in any situation, you won’t get the complete truth. By listening to the powerless, you get a fuller picture of what is happening.”

Law will teach his Diversity & Context course in Chicago from January 19–23, 2015. He has a long history with the seminary, where he has taught courses since Seabury’s Doctor of Ministry program was created in 1995.

The relevance of the course only increases every year.

Read more: Listening to the Powerless: Diversity & Context with Professor Eric Law

Bexley Equips Graduate for New Expressions of Ecumenical Ministry

“Behold, I will do a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19)  


Sisters Lunch lower resJon White might not have graduated from Bexley with the intent of pursuing ecumenical ministry, but when the opportunity presented itself, he was ready.

Since his 2012 graduation from seminary and his arrival that July at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Beckley, West Virginia, White has created joint services with a local Lutheran parish, started a satellite ecumenical congregation, and spearheaded a weekly, community-building lunch group 40 miles from his parish.

“I don’t know that Bexley did it formally, but I think its atmosphere of how to be two traditions together opened me up to the idea and helped me learn to speak Lutheran,” White said. “I was the sacristan for the Lutheran seminary, so I know Lutheran worship pretty well.”

St. Stephen’s was White’s first call after completing his MDiv at Bexley, where he received the seminary’s Howard Weaver and G. David White Award for the graduating student showing outstanding academic achievement. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and ordained in the Diocese of Oregon, White has seen a lot of the world. He served seven years in the Navy submarine service and later served in the Coast Guard Reserve in Portland, Oregon. Prior to ordination he worked as an engineer in the high tech industry, and lived and worked in Australia, England and Zimbabwe.

White, who began at St. Stephen’s as deacon-in-charge, became priest-in-charge in December 2012 and rector in June 2013, found it sensible and comfortable to explore shared ministries with St. Luke Lutheran Church and its pastor, Wanda Childs. St. Stephen’s is the only Episcopal church in Beckley and in all of Raleigh County, which covers about 600 square miles.

Read more: Bexley Equips Graduate for New Expressions of Ecumenical Ministry

Courage, Insight, Camaraderie, Leadership: DMin Program Continues to Galvanize and Enrich Ministry

Sure, it can be challenging and thought-provoking to pursue a doctor of ministry degree (plus you get an extra title!), but does it have any meaningful influence on day-to-day ministry?

Recent interviews with three Seabury DMin program graduates suggest that their DMin experience has had a profound and lasting impact on the direction and execution of their ministry.

Read more: Courage, Insight, Camaraderie, Leadership: DMin Program Continues to Galvanize and Enrich Ministry

Reimagining Scripture for Those of Our Faith, Their Faith & No Faith

Using sight, sound, and the study of the Word to encounter the Spirit

Forget about the black coffee and energy drinks. Those attending the free Friday afternoon workshops at the Restoring the Biblical Imagination event need not worry about suffering after-lunch lethargy. The two offerings — A Muslim, a Jew and a Christian Walk into a Cafe:  Building Relationships through Scriptural Study and The Bible for "Nones:" Sights and Sounds of Scripture — will fully engage participants' eyes, ears, minds and hearts as they experience new ways to see, hear, understand and express their faith.

The first workshop, A Muslim, a Jew and a Christian Walk into a Cafe:  Building Relationships through Scriptural Study, will introduce participants to the process of "Scriptural Reasoning," which brings together people from the three Abrahamic traditions to study and discuss each other's holy texts. The workshop is being coordinated by the Rev. Jason Fout, a Bexley Hall theology professor who studied at the University of Cambridge with David Ford, a co-founder of the Society for Scriptural Reasoning.

Scriptural Reasoning has been gradually spreading across the United States as, small group by small group, religiously observant people gather to deepen their own faith while learning from and building relationships with members of other faiths.

Read more: Reimagining Scripture for Those of Our Faith, Their Faith & No Faith

Why Didn't I Do This Earlier?

This is not hyperbole: Seabury's DMin program transforms lives, strengthens ministries, and leads students to ask, "Why didn't I do this earlier?"

Recent interviews with two DMin students and one graduate highlighted the many ways the program has helped focus their careers and lead them to a deeper understanding of creating and maintaining dynamic faith communities.

The Rev. Morgan Ibe
Morgan Ibe is in his last year of the DMin program, a program he says has been "a shot in the arm" to his ministry. He was born in Nigeria, the son of an Anglican priest who was in charge of several congregations in the Nigerian countryside. His father had a little scooter that he used to go from church to church, baptising and giving communion. "I'd ride on the back of that scooter and go with him," Ibe said. "I decided then that I wanted to go into the ministry."

Ibe, who has served as rector of Church of the Redeemer in Oklahoma City for almost two years, was drawn to the Seabury program because of its flexibility, its use of cohorts and its faculty. Once enrolled, he found that the program offered much more than he anticipated.

Read more: Why Didn't I Do This Earlier?

The Draw of Bexley Hall

During his junior year at Susquehanna University, Russ Crouthamel piled into a minivan with three other students and visited four Lutheran seminaries, driving from central Pennsylvania to Minnesota and back during his spring break.

Crouthamel had no way of knowing that an Episcopal seminary named Bexley Hall would play a crucial role in his decision to go to Trinity Lutheran.

He describes it this way: “It was a long, long road trip. By luck of the scheduling, we pulled into Trinity Lutheran Seminary on Thursday afternoon. So one of my first experiences of Trinity was the Bexley Hall Common Meal, which is prepared and served by Bexley Hall students and faculty every Thursday night for everyone at both Trinity and Bexley. To be able to see the whole community coming together for that meal—students, families, faculty—for fellowship and the chance to be together outside the classroom and outside the seminary setting, it was wonderful. It was a major factor in my decision to go to Trinity over the other seminaries.

Read more: The Draw of Bexley Hall


BexSea Mag 2014 Cover 3

2014 Bexley Seabury Magazine
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2013 Bexley Seabury Magazine
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