FTE Blog


Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon - In Her Own Words

The loss of a life well lived can give rise to good grief. Over the past week, while pained and saddened by the passing of Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, the FTE community has paused to reflect with deep gratitude on the tremendous legacy she leaves. In both seemingly small gestures and grand strides Dr. Cannon’s teaching, mentoring, and ministry helped us remember how to be human, how to be the family of God. Sometimes good grief sends us into the picture albums, shoeboxes, and scrapbooks that enable us to tell ourselves the story of the love that will endure beyond the grave.

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By: Matthew Wesley Williams August 17, 2018


Callings

This past year has been a roller coaster of questions, reflection, doubts, and fears.nAfter spending my whole life thinking I knew what I wanted to be in this world, I decided I had been wrong. I was not called to a life of practicing medicine. When I made that decision, I voiced it aloud to various groups I belong to, including my campus ministry, which voiced affirmations and support, making me feel secure in my decision.

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By: Zoie Sheets July 27, 2018


FTE Remembers Rev. Dr. James H. Cone

Today we grieve the loss of Rev. Dr. James H. Cone, a Bill & Judith Moyers Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary. He was a friend and mentor to many in the FTE community and will be missed dearly. On behalf of FTE, I offer our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Cone’s family, friends, and colleagues.

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By: Matthew Wesley Williams May 07, 2018


Notes from further down the path: Checking in with the Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis

With her vibrant congregation, new Doctor of Ministry project, successful social media presence, and network news experience, the Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis is a living inspiration to which many Ph.D. candidates might aspire. But Lewis’ vocational trajectory has twists and even obstacles that many on a doctoral journey might find familiar.

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By: Erica Ramirez April 17, 2018


Oh the places we will go…to write

Literary great Virginia Woolf once described her desire for a room of her own, a place to write and think in peace. I agree with her wholeheartedly. Having the time and space to write are so important. However, writing time seems to be the first to be eliminated from any busy academic’s schedule. More often than not, we must be intentional about protecting both. We have to make time to write and have a physical space for writing. Carving out time and better yet, reclaiming our writing time is crucial.

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By: Lauren Frances Guerra March 23, 2018


Five Influential People You Meet in Grad School

It has been said that we are a combination of the five people we spend the most time with. I grew up with a dicho or saying in Spanish that goes: “Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres.” Translation: “Tell me who you walk with and I will tell you who you are.” Who we surround ourselves with speaks volumes about our character. I find this to be especially true in academia because academia often fosters competition over collaboration. For this reason, discernment and learning to identify who has your best interest at heart is important.

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By: Lauren Frances Guerra January 26, 2018


A Risk I Am Willing To Take

A short time ago if you had told me that I would be moving states

for

a church, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. I had been deeply wounded by a church in the past and finally found a safe place. Yet as unexpected as it was, that is exactly what my husband Will and I did! It all started like this:

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By: Ashley Easter January 18, 2018


Letting Leaders Lead

The “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia spurred a lot of subsequent activity, not only in the United States but also up in Canada. In Vancouver several groups organized an anti-immigration rally at our city hall. This rally elicited the organization of a counter-protest on the same day, in the same place. Upwards of 4,000 people quickly signed up to attend.

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By: Roger Revell January 12, 2018


Peace

A poem on peace written by Christina Schmitt, a 2015 Regional Discernment Retreat participant.

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By: Christina Schmitt November 06, 2017


Dissertation in a Nutshell: From Topic to Defense

To reach candidacy or become “ABD” is an exciting milestone in the doctoral journey. You’ve officially made it through years of coursework and passed your comprehensive exams. Now, in my opinion, you are moving into the last and perhaps most challenging stage of your formation as a scholar: the dissertation.

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By: Lauren Frances Guerra October 19, 2017


Where are the Mentors?

“Where are the mentors?” This question is my constant companion as I navigate the unchartered waters of the next great emergence in the Christian church.

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By: Kathleen Braafladt August 15, 2017


Two Pastors, a Chaplain and a Bar

“Now that my kids are adults, they aren’t interested in going to church anymore, even if I am the pastor,” the woman lamented, looking down at her plate. The other women sharing our small lunch table—a college chaplain and another pastor—frowned in sympathy.

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By: Linda Kay Klein July 24, 2017


Finding Hope

I never knew what question I was seeking the answer to until June 1, 2017. After worship one night during the Christian Leadership Forum dinner I busted into deep, flowing tears…

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By: Queen Frye June 23, 2017


Rest for the Journey Ahead

Eleven days after my seminary graduation, I boarded a plane to Atlanta for the Forum for Theological Exploration’s 2017 Christian Leadership Forum. While I was already excited to join my cohort and meet scholars whose work I admire, I walked away from the Forum feeling thankful for an additional gift: FTE’s hospitality that demonstrated that I was welcomed, honored and affirmed as a member of this community of Christian leaders.

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By: Jasmin Figueroa June 22, 2017


Learning to Breathe for a Marathon

The weekend just prior to the Christian Leadership Forum, I ran my first marathon ever. As a college cross country and track runner, I have long considered myself a distance runner. My routine 8k and 10k race distances, however, pale in comparison to the toll the marathon took on my body, mind, and spirit. I have since been relishing both the physical and the psychological break from running before I begin a new training cycle toward another fall cross country season.

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By: Isaiah Friesen June 07, 2017


Why Social Entrepreneurship Should Matter to Faith Leaders

What makes a social entrepreneur? Someone who challenges cultural perceptions about the dis-enfranchised and the displaced? A leader who upsets binaries that erase the genius we might otherwise see in one another? A change-agent who looks at surrounding culture, sniffs out creative vitality, and follows that which resembles “good news for the poor”?

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By: Dori Baker May 22, 2017


Social Justice as an Extension of Faith

This past year as I applied to Lutheran Volunteer Corps, one of my mentors asked me why I had chosen a faith-based organization focusing on social justice, rather than a secular organization. This question caught me completely off guard—I had never considered that my passion for social justice could come from anything but my faith. So many of the Scripture passages that speak to me most deeply are those that call for an end to oppression and injustice, that call for us to care for those who are in need, for those who are rejected and for those who are forgotten. From Jesus to Martin Luther King, Jr. my models of social justice are strongly tied to faith.

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By: Kasey Shultz April 28, 2017


Introducing the Leaders for Tomorrow’s Institutions

In 1968, Executive Director of the Fund for Theological Education (FTE), C. Shelby Rooks looked at the landscape of theological education. There were only 18 African American Ph.D. students in religion in the US and only 40 African American professors held Ph.D.s in the field. Building on the legacy of the Rockefeller Brothers Doctoral Fellowship, FTE began awarding the Special Opportunity for Doctoral Study of Religion for African Americans. In 1976, while looking at similar data for the Latinx community, FTE begins offering the Special Opportunity for Doctoral Study of Religion for Hispanic Americans

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By: Patrick B. Reyes April 20, 2017


Vocation is Finding Me

I had arrived weary. Tired of trite messages about God’s sovereignty, about God. Tired from fears of rejection, of misjudgment, of criticism. Tired of the Church. All I had was a little flame inside that gasped for oxygen. And I prayed, God, fuel that flame.

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By: Sophia Har April 07, 2017


Excellence in Our Fields: The System of Theological Education

What is excellence in theological education? During FTE’s annual Mentoring Consortium, a gathering of organizations who support scholars of color, we asked this very question.

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By: Patrick B. Reyes April 06, 2017

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