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Lead Change

6th Annual Bexley Seabury Leadership Institute at the Kellogg School

CHOOSE FROM 3- and 5-day options

Congregations...church organizations...judicatories. All need strong clergy and lay leaders to make a difference. Our sixth annual Bexley Seabury Leadership Institute will help leaders at all levels become more confident and more effective.

Participants will interact and collaborate with one another and with faculty from Bexley Seabury and the Kellogg School Center for Nonprofit Management at Northwestern University.

Through lectures, interactive exercises and dialogue, participants will:
• Build skills for effective leadership
• Gain a deeper understanding of complex cultural change
• Learn strategies to make your faith community more vital

Explore topics such as:
• Leading Change
• Creativity and Innovation
• Leading and Following
• Social Media Strategies
• Team Building
• Conflict Resolution and Negotiation


3-day Institute $1,450*
for lay and clergy leaders

Monday, June 20–Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Northwestern University
Wieboldt Hall
340 East Superior Street

5-day Institute Plus: $1,620**
for Masters/DMin academic credit

Monday, June 20–Friday, June 24, 2016
3 days at Wieboldt Hall
2 days at Bexley Seabury

APPLY for 3-day Institute or 5-day Institute Plus:  [link to online application coming soon]

QUESTIONS? Please call or email the Rev. Canon Suzann Holding at 773-380-6784 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

*with support from Bexley Seabury endowments
**offered for academic credit only


What Past Participants Say

The Bexley Seabury Kellogg Leadership Institute was a profoundly stimulating offering. The faculty were engaging leaders who brought years of experience to bear...I’m hoping to be able to attend again, since the program changes each year.
—The Rev. David Hedges, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Sycamore, Ill.

As religious institutions face rapid change and leaders strain to find perceptive and creative mentoring, Bexley Seabury’s Leadership Institute at the Kellogg School offers “water for parched throats,” to borrow from the psalmist...This seminar will make you want to drink more deeply.
Rev. Dr. Carol A. Tate, Kirk in the Hills Presbyterian Church, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Faculty News—Ellen Wondra

The Rev. Dr. Ellen Wondra and World Council of Churches commissioner colleagues begin work on Christian unity

CHICAGO, June 16, 2015—The Rev. Dr. Ellen K. Wondra, research professor of theology and ethics at Bexley Seabury, and her colleague commissioners on the World Council of Churches (WCC) Commission on Faith and Order today take up their charge to search for ways that participating churches can “call one another to visible unity” while responding to impediments to “Christian unity, justice and peace in today’s world.” Elected by the WCC Central Committee in 2014, Wondra is serving a seven-year term, through the 2021 WCC Assembly. The WCC Commission on Faith and Order, a global think tank of ecumenical theologians representing 33 countries, five continents, and many Christian traditions, will be in session June 16-23 at the Manastirea Caraiman near Busteni, Romania.

Wondra comes to the commission informed by her service on The Episcopal Church Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations, 2001–2006; her service on the Anglican-Roman Catholic Consultation in the U.S.A. (ARCUSA), 1992–2010; her experience as co-coordinator of the ARCUSA project on authority, 1996–2008; and by decades of ecumenical dialogue and scholarship addressing the theology and practice of the office of clerical and lay authority.

“Ellen Wondra’s election to the World Council of Churches Commission on Faith and Order is testimony to her leadership, her excellent scholarship, and her faithful service to the church,” said the Rev. Dr. Roger. A. Ferlo, president of Bexley Seabury. “It is entirely fitting that Ellen’s voice and views be made part of the global conversation on Christian unity.”

The Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, a 1972 alumnus of Seabury-Western and former Bexley Seabury board member, served with Wondra on ARCUSA. He is the retired bishop of Iowa and is currently assisting bishop in Chicago. "It is difficult to overstate the importance of the World Council of Churches Commission on Faith and Order and its contribution to the unity and mission of the Christian Church,” Bishop Epting said. “Ellen Wondra will represent The Episcopal Church, and indeed Western Christianity, well given her academic credentials and practical involvement in ecumenical dialogue over the last quarter of a century of amazing breakthroughs and promise for the future."

Wondra, a Chicago resident, holds an MDiv from Church Divinity School of the Pacific and a PhD in Christian theology from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. She became professor at Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary in 1989; was named professor of theology and ethics at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in 2004; and served as Seabury-Western’s academic dean 2008–2014. After serving eight years as editor in chief, in 2013 the Anglican Theological Review (ATR) named Wondra editor emerita. Now she is serving ATR as interim editor while a search for a new editor in chief proceeds.

Bexley Seabury is an Episcopal center for learning and discipleship offering theological education in a generous spiritual and intellectual tradition. Our mission is to equip lay and clergy leaders for bold inquiry in service of the Gospel and active engagement in congregational and community life. Learn more at bexleyseabury.edu.

Faculty Grantees

Prestigious Conant Grants awarded to two Bexley Seabury faculty members for 2015–2016

CHICAGO, June 3, 2015—Bexley Seabury announced today that two of its faculty members, the Rev. Dr. Thomas Ferguson and the Rev. Dr. Jason Fout, have each been awarded Conant Grants for 2015–2016. Given annually by the Episcopal Church, Conant Grants support research, writing, and course development to improve theological education at the 10 recognized Episcopal seminaries in the United States. Approximately 12 grants are awarded each year, funded by a trust established by William S. and Mary M. Conant in 1953.

“It’s an honor and a mark of distinction for Bexley Seabury faculty members to have earned two Conant Grants in one year, and three in three years in Jason’s case,” said Bexley Seabury President Roger Ferlo. “We’re deeply gratified and deeply appreciative.”

Ferguson, vice president for academic affairs and academic dean, will use his Conant Grant to research how the Episcopal Church's ecumenical partners have responded to increased secularization. The research will include time at the archives of the Old Catholic Church in the Czech Republic in Prague and at the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, near Geneva, Switzerland.

Fout, associate professor of Anglican theology, will use his Conant Grant, to participate in the Common Life Missions Conference 2015 in Auckland, New Zealand and to pursue further study of Scriptural Reasoning. Fout’s two prior Conant Grants supported his work in the Church of England’s Diocese of London while developing Bexley Seabury’s “Learning from London: Mission and Evangelism in the 21st Century” travel course and related research for a book on how to reimagine and revitalize worship communities.

Bexley Seabury is an Episcopal center for learning and discipleship offering theological education in a generous spiritual and intellectual tradition. Our mission is to equip lay and clergy leaders for bold inquiry in service of the Gospel and active engagement in congregational and community life. We offer Master of Divinity, Doctor of Divinity, Diploma in Anglican Studies, and Lifelong Theological Learning programs from campuses in Columbus, Ohio and Chicago. Learn more at bexleyseabury.edu.

Commencement 2015

Five newly credentialed by Bexley Seabury—three graduates earning a Master of Divinity degree and two earning a Diploma in Anglican Studies

MAY 23, 2015, COLUMBUS, Ohio—Continuing its historic service to the church of equipping entrepreneurial leaders, and carrying forward the traditions of its predecessor bodies (Bexley Hall, founded 1824 and Seabury-Western, dating to 1858) spanning three centuries, Bexley Seabury graduated five students today, conferring three degrees and awarding two diplomas.

At ceremonies in Columbus Bexley Seabury President Roger Ferlo and Academic Dean Thomas Ferguson presented the degree of Master of Divinity (MDiv) to three students who successfully completed a three-year program of study. They are: Robert Samuel Hill of the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, Ky.; Whitney Bousman Smith, Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis; and Gene Alan Stack Jr., Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio. Bexley Seabury’s MDiv program is offered in Columbus, in collaboration with Trinity Lutheran Seminary, reflecting Bexley Seabury’s dedication to learning from and working with other belief communities.

Two additional graduates, Nancy Louise Woodworth-Hill of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis and Maureen Nicole Elliott of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, were each awarded a Diploma in Anglican Studies, a course of study primarily intended for lay and clergy leaders studying in local programs of formation or at non-Episcopal seminaries.

“Today we celebrate the achievements not only of our five graduates, but also those of Trinity Lutheran graduates while renewing our shared commitment to theological rigor, generosity, and unity as believers,” said President Ferlo. “Modeling ecumenism and creative collaborations for our Anglican Studies, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Ministry students and graduates, and the church at large is an important Bexley Seabury value.”

“We come together with Trinity Lutheran Seminary in a joint commencement ceremony,” said Dean Ferguson. “This is a tangible living out of The Episcopal Church–ELCA partnership, and reflects our commitment to an ecumenical community of formation, essential to addressing the needs of an increasingly pluralistic world.”

Bexley Seabury is an Episcopal center for learning and discipleship offering theological education in a generous spiritual and intellectual tradition. Our mission is to equip lay and clergy leaders for bold inquiry in service of the Gospel and active engagement in congregational and community life. Learn more at bexleyseabury.edu.

Historic Prayer Books on Display April 29

ChicagoConvo2015 outreach
Open viewing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Bexley Seabury, an Episcopal center for learning and discipleship will sponsor an exhibit of historic prayer books and Bibles from the Michael Morgan Collection as part of its April 29 Chicago Convocation 2015 at St. James Commons, 65 East Huron, Chicago. The public is welcome to view the exhibit from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Exhibit: Historic Prayer Books & Bibles, 1526–1903

This exhibit represents a rare opportunity to view a fascinating selection of prayer books, Bibles, and devotional volumes from the collection of Michael Morgan, church musician, psalm scholar, and author.

“The Whole Boke of Psalmes, Collected into English Metre…Very Mete to be Used by All Sorts of People…Laying Apart All Ungodly Songs and Ballades, which Tend Onely to the Nourishing of Vice and Corrupting of Youth”

–1562 First Complete Metrical Psalter in English

 

The exhibit spans nearly four centuries of church history and worship practices. Among the volumes on display will be the 1562 First Complete Metrical Psalter in English (quoted above), multiple examples of the 1611 Authorized “King James” Bible, and 1797 Book of Common Prayer with elocution instructions by Shakespearean actor David Garrick. Individuals with an interest in history, book design, theology, Christian liturgy and literature are encouraged to visit.

PLEASE RESERVE TO PARTICIPATE further

The April 29 Convocation is one of two days of prayer, study, and fellowship that Bexley Seabury hosts each year, one in Chicago and one in Columbus, for alumni, supporters, and friends.

In addition to the exhibit of historic prayer books and Bibles, the program includes:

  • 2 p.m. WORKSHOP led by collector Michael Morgan to help participants further appreciate the books on display.
  • 3 p.m. WORKSHOP led by Bexley Seabury President Roger Ferlo on current issues in Christian mission and theological education.
  • 4 p.m. KEYNOTE ADDRESS, "From Sinai to Cupertino: Technology, Social Media, and Evangelism," presented by Scott Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement.
  • 5:30 p.m. EVENSONG at St. James Cathedral followed by a closing RECEPTION at St. James Commons.

Anyone interested in participating in either or both workshops or the keynote address is asked to reserve in advance by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Additional information is available online, including public transportation and parking options.

From campuses in Columbus and Chicago, Bexley Seabury equips lay and clergy leaders for bold inquiry in service of the Gospel and active engagement in congregational and community life. Visit us at bexleyseabury.edu and follow us on Twitter, @bexleyseabury, and on Facebook.

Episcopal Church in Minnesota, Bexley Seabury Forge Partnership

ECMN, seminary plans include collaboration on formation and management training

November 19, 2014—The Episcopal Church in Minnesota (ECMN) and the Bexley Seabury Theological Seminary Federation today announced a partnership that will bring the resources and expertise of the seminary to bear on Christian formation and leadership development ministries in numerous ECMN communities.

Through the partnership, Bexley Seabury will collaborate with ECMN’s formation and leadership development initiatives among the Ojibwe and Dakota communities, and provide several scholarships to ECMN participants in the well-respected Bexley Seabury Leadership Institute, a three-day summer program offered in conjunction with the Center for Nonprofit Management, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

The seminary will also collaborate with ECMN on an "incubator initiative" that will gather young adults and other stakeholders to visit emergent congregations in the Episcopal Church and bring back the best wisdom from those faith communities, to Minnesota.

“ECMN is committed to assisting every faith community to acquire the resources they need to engage God's mission in their context," said the Rt. Rev. Brian N. Prior, Bishop of Minnesota. “This emerging partnership with Bexley Seabury has the potential of offering significant faith formation opportunities.”

The Rev. Roger Ferlo, president of Bexley Seabury, said ECMN and the seminary federation are well matched. “Episcopalians in Minnesota have understood since the days of Bishop Henry Whipple in the mid-19th century that it is essential to root theological education in the context and culture of local communities of faith,” he said. “Bexley Seabury shares this historic willingness to work collaboratively, to try new approaches, and to find ways to ensure that the best in Christian formation and training are available to people and communities that are sometimes overlooked.

“My hope is that this joint commitment to excellence in contextual formation will become a model for the church at a time when such models are keenly needed.”

ECMN and Bexley Seabury share some history relevant to their new partnership. Seabury Divinity School, one of the forerunners of Bexley Seabury, was founded by Whipple in Faribault, Minnesota in 1858. Enmegahbowh, the first Native American ordained to the Episcopal priesthood, was closely associated with Seabury from the start. The new partnership between ECMN and Bexley Seabury will be made possible by income from an endowment, known as Bishop Seabury Mission Fund, begun in 1933 when Seabury Divinity School and Western Theological Seminary merged.

The Rev. Susan Daughtry, ECMN Missioner for Formation, said she hopes that “the development of a strong relationship between ECMN and Bexley Seabury will allow the experiments and learning that blossom from the partnership to be a gift to the wider church.”

She added, “As the Episcopal Church leans back toward local formation and innovative networks, this partnership can be an icon of good news -- that seminaries can work in partnership with the specific needs of local communities, and that the wisdom of those local communities can shape and inspire our seminaries."

The Episcopal Church in Minnesota is a network of faith communities called to spiritual transformation by engaging in God's Mission.

As an Episcopal center for learning and discipleship at the crossroads of the nation, the Bexley Hall Seabury Western Seminary Federation forms lay and clergy leaders to proclaim God’s mission in the world, creating new networks of Christian formation, entrepreneurial leadership and bold inquiry in the service of the Gospel. Learn more at bexleyseabury.edu.

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Professor Wondra Elected to World Council of Churches Commission

Bexley Seabury research professor of theology and ethics
to serve until 2022

CHICAGO, September 25, 2014—The Rev. Dr. Ellen K. Wondra, research professor of theology and ethics at the Bexley Seabury Theological Seminary Federation, has been elected to the World Council of Churches Commission on Faith and Order for a term that will last until 2022.

The Standing Commission on Faith and Order, described by the World Council of Churches as “a community of ecumenical leaders and theologians who for more than a century have laboured for the visible unity of Christ’s Church through concentrated theological dialogue,” comprises nearly 50 theologians and consultants and meets for one week every two years. Wondra’s first meeting will be in June 2015.

“Ellen’s passion for ecumenical dialogue has enlivened her career and the seminary she serves,” said the Rev. Dr. Roger. A. Ferlo, president of Bexley Seabury. “Her service on the Standing Commission on Faith and Order will be a boon to Bexley Seabury, the Episcopal Church, and our ecumenical partners across the globe.”

Wondra served on the Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations of the Episcopal Church from 2001-2006 and on the Anglican-Roman Catholic Consultation in the U.S.A.  (ARCUSA) from 1992 - 2010. She was the co-coordinator of that group’s project on authority from 1996-2008.

The Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, a 1972 alumnus of Seabury and current Federation board member, served with Wondra on ARCUSA. He is the retired bishop of Iowa and is currently assisting bishop in Chicago.

“Dr. Wondra is one of the leading ecumenists in The Episcopal Church,” said Epting. “I cannot imagine what I would have done, during my years as the Presiding Bishop's Deputy for Ecumenical and Inter-religious Relations, without her wise counsel and rich experience. I am thrilled that she will now represent us on the WCC's venerable Commission on Faith and Order.”

Wondra, who holds an MDiv from Church Divinity School of the Pacific and a PhD in Christian theology from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, became professor at Bexley Hall Episcopal Seminary in 1989 and professor of theology and ethics at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in 2004. From 2008-2014, she served as Seabury’s academic dean, and from 2006 through December 2013, she served as editor of the Anglican Theological Review.

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Columbus Convocation on September 24

Bexley Seabury alumni, supporters, and friends are invited to gather in Columbus on Wednesday, September 24 for Columbus Convocation 2014. The event will include:

10 am:  Eucharist with the Bexley Seabury and Trinity Lutheran communities in Gloria Dei Chapel at Trinity Lutheran Seminary

3 pm:  Open discussion on the future of ordained ministry in a changing church with President Roger Ferlo in Schenk Chapel at Trinity Lutheran Seminary

5 pm: Reception at The Alumni House at Capital University

No RSVP is necessary. Questions can be directed to Shirla Langknecht at 614-231-2095 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bexley Seabury's annual Columbus Convocation is held in conjunction with Trinity Days at Trinity Lutheran Seminary. This year, on Thursday, September 25, Dr. Amos Yong, professor of theology and mission at Fuller Theological Seminary, will speak on "Pentecostalism, Theology, and Missiology in the 21st Century." Learn more on the Trinity Lutheran Seminary website.

A Bexley Seabury Chicago Convocation will be held in 2015 on a date to be determined.

 

New Academic Leadership: May 2014 Board of Directors Meeting

The Bexley Seabury Federation’s board of directors met on May 15 and 16 in Chicago.

At the meeting, the board approved a new academic leadership. Beginning July 1, the Rev. Dr. Tom Ferguson, will be the Federation’s vice president for academic affairs and dean of Bexley Hall. Ferguson has been dean of Bexley since 2011. The Rev. Dr. Ellen Wondra, who has been academic dean at Seabury since 2009, will become research professor of theology and ethics.

In his new position, Ferguson will be responsible for academic affairs and faculty at the Federation’s programs in both Columbus and Chicago. Wondra will return to research and teaching, most immediately with a weekend intensive course in global Anglicanism during the spring semester in 2015. 

“I am grateful to Ellen and Tom for their joint service during the federation’s formation, and I am delighted that Ellen can now complete several writing projects and return to full-time teaching.” said Federation President Roger Ferlo. “I look forward to working closely with Tom in his new position as we continue to expand our seminary ‘beyond walls.’”

The board thanked ten outgoing members:  Mrs. Eleanor Chabraja, the Rev. Canon Carlson Gerdau, Mr. James H. Hawk, Ms. Katharine R. Koeze, the Rev. Wendy Lane, the Rev. Eugene Y. Lowe, Jr., Mr. Roger Lumpp, the Rt. Rev. Kenneth Price, the Rev. Jeffrey Queen and the Rev. Dr. Gwynne Wright, welcomed six new members, and elected its officers for 2014-2015. The Rt. Rev. Mike Klusmeyer will continue as president, while the Rev. John Denson (Seabury DMin 2009) will be vice chair, replacing the Rev. Alan Gates who was elected bishop of Massachusetts on April 5. The Rev. Charlotte Reed (Seabury ‘97) will serve as secretary and Michael Galvin will be treasurer.

The directors voted to establish the position of trustee emeriti in order to gain the counsel of longtime leaders of both Seabury-Western and Bexley Hall. Vice President for Advancement and Church Relations Conrad Selnick will oversee the recruitment of the new group, which will be named in the fall of 2014.

The board’s next meeting will be a strategic planning retreat in October in Indianapolis.

Bexley Seabury Sponsors Free Online Class with New York Times Bestselling Author Albert Cutie

Bexley Seabury Sponsors Free Online Class with New York Times Bestselling Author Albert Cutie

“Living a Spirit-Filled Life" Open Online Class and Discussion; June 8-15

DETROIT, May 26, 2014 – This Pentecost, join thousands of students around the world to learn how to live a Spirit-filled life. Students can begin registering today to take the course for free anytime between June 8 - 15. Click here to register and learn more.

Father Albert Cutie, New York Times bestselling author, talk show host, and Episcopal priest in Southeast Florida, will teach “The Big Class,” a program of ChurchNext Online Christian Learning. The course will expand on Fr. Cutie’s books and sermons that focus on how we bring God into our everyday lives. This course follows the tremendous success of Bishop Michael Curry's January class, “How to Be a Crazy Christian” for which 3,000 students from 30 countries registered.

Fr. Cutie will also moderate the course and answer online questions during the week of The Big Class. Participants can take the class anytime during the week of June 8-15 at churchnext.tv. The course takes about 45 minutes to complete and need not be taken in one sitting. No special software is required. Click here for organizational materials for congregations who wish to take the class together.  Click here for a preview clip of the course on YouTube.

Throughout Living a Spirit-Filled Life, students are encouraged to think about and to experience the Holy Spirit and its meaning for their lives. “We are living in one of the most anxious times in history,” writes Fr. Cutie. “Dramatic changes are everywhere – technology, communications, relationships – and the pace of this change has many of us reeling in anxiety.  This means many of us find it difficult to find God, even though we know God is there. A Spirit-filled life is the life in which we can let go and let God.” The Big Class will help Christians deepen their commitment to follow the Spirit and proclaim the love of God in their lives and communities.

The Big Class is a worldwide initiative in open online learning for all who want to go further in their walk with Christ and is free to everyone, everywhere, thanks to the support of Bexley Seabury, The Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida, Logos Bible Software, and Forward Movement.

ChurchNext creates online Christian learning experiences to invigorate lives and congregations. Along with our partners we are devoted to helping people grow in their Christian faith, improve their lives, and better the world. Learn more at http://www.churchnext.tv.

Media Contact

Conrad Selnick
Vice President for Advancement and Church Relations
773-380-6787 (work)
440-667-9623 (cell)
cselnick@bexleyseabury.edu

Bexley Seabury In the News

In Trust: Coming to the Table

The New Year 2013 magazine of In Trust, an organization committed to strengthening boards and governance in North American theological schools, profiles the Seabury and Bexley federation. The story is titled "Coming to the Table: Building on a shared missionary heritage, two Episcopal seminaries carefully chart a way forward."

Read the article.


Dean Ferguson on Fasting in Christianity and Judaism

Tom Ferguson was recently featured on All Sides with Ann Fisher, a local NPR show in Columbus. Listen to a 13-minute segment to hear him talk about fasting in Christianity and Judaism.

Read more...