McCormick Announces the Distinguished Alumni/ae Awards for 2014

And there are two of them! Congratulations to the Rev. Dr. Marshall E. Hatch and Elder Carol Wehrheim.

Nominated by other alums, the Distinguished Alumnus/a award is a deep and special acknowledgement of the importance this person not only has had in the life of the one who nominates him or her, but also the impact this person has had within the church and their role as Christ's hands and feet in the world. 

This year we are pleased to honor both the Rev. Dr. Marshall Hatch (MATS, 1994; DMin 1998) and Elder Carol Wehrheim (MA, 1962). 

The Rev. Dr. Marshall Hatch is being recognized for his various roles within the community. Currently he has been the Pastor of the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church located in the heart of Chicago’s West Garfield community since 1993. Born March 11, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois, Marshall Hatch is a native of the west side. His spiritual development began in Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church under the pastorate of his father, the late Reverend Elijah Hatch. In 1985, he was ordained as a minister, and later in that same year was appointed as Pastor of the Commonwealth Missionary Baptist Church in North Lawndale. In the summer of 1998, he was selected for one of the most highly coveted fellowships at the Harvard Divinity School, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This honor was shared with three other distinguished scholars in the practice of ministry in the spring of 1999. In August 2000, Marshall Hatch was appointed to be an Adjunct Professor on the faculty of McCormick Theological Seminary. In November of 2006, he was awarded the Weston Howland Jr. Grant and Award for Civic Leadership from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. In January 2007, he served as Bates College Martin Luther King Day guest speaker in Lewiston, Maine. In 2008, he was appointed adjunct professor of Urban Ministry at Northern Baptist Seminary in Lombard, Illinois.

Throughout his ministry, Marshall Hatch has commenced numerous community outreach programs. Most notable among these are the Westside Isaiah Plan, an interfaith affordable housing development project, an annual pilgrimage to Zimbabwe, Africa, an Illinois Department of Corrections and Cook County Jail visitation and correspondence program, Mountain Men Ministries and Enterprises, a Christian Sisters women’s ministry, a Substance Abuse Task Force, and the Pilgrim Community Development Corporation (Pilgrim Village).

Rev. Hatch has a history of civic involvement spanning over two decades. He served as a member of the Chicago School Board Nominating Commission from 1989‐1991. He served as the Moderator of the Friendship Baptist District Association, and served as the National Director of Religious Affairs of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. He also serves on the boards of the Academy of Communication and Technology (ACT) Charter School and Christ The King Jesuit College Prep High School. He is a member of the National Baptist Conventions (USA and America), Illinois National Baptist State Convention, American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago, United Power for Action and Justice, and co‐convener of the L.E.A.D.E.R.S Network. He also serves on the board of the Land of Lincoln Health Co‐op, and in 2013 was appointed by Governor Quinn as a Trustee of the Lincoln Academy. Dr. Hatch’s new landmark book, “Project America”, was published in the spring of 2012.

Pastor Hatch has earned both a doctorate and master’s degrees in ministry and theological studies, respectively from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. He also holds a Master’s degree in government from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois.

Marshall Hatch is married to the former Priscilla Murchison and they are the parents of four children; Joyce, Janelle, Marshall and Maurice. 

Elder Carol Wehrheim has been deeply invested and active in religious education in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and other Reformed churches and organizations for close to 50 years. In 2001, she was named Educator of the Year by the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE).

Carol received her MA in Religious Education from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1962 and over the years she has served the larger church in a number of capacities, including serving as Director of Christian Education in three different churches (1964-74); Program Director for Woods Memorial Child Development Center in Maryland (1974-76) and Secretary for Early Childhood Development for the United Church of Christ, United Church Board from 1976-79.

From 1979 through 1982, Carol served as the Assistant Director of McCormick’s Doctor of Ministry Program and was also a Lecturer in the Field of Ministry.

Since 1982, she has worked primarily as a consultant, writer and editor. She has taught at the M. Div. level at Princeton Theological Seminary, as well as in their Continuing Education Program and led workshops nationwide and in Canada. In 2013, she was the keynote presenter for a combined educators group in the Midwest (GLAUCE-GLAPSE). Carol is also a gifted editor and writer and was the associate readability editor for the Common English Bible. She served as the general editor for the lectionary based curriculum resource that was part of the Feasting on the Word commentary series, which serves kindergarten through adults.

She has been publishing church related resources for educational ministry since 1975 and the list of publications is extensive and ecumenical, ranging from curriculum guides to two children’s Bible series; and from stewardship guides for parents and children to guides for worship and the sacraments. Carol wrote the study/action guide for “Trigger”, a film on gun violence sponsored by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program (2013) and is under contract to write a book of Bible stories for use in congregational worship.

Finally, Carol’s service to the church has been extensive. Several examples will suffice: service on the Theology and Ministry Unit of General Assembly, PC(USA); the advisory board to the Thoughtful Christian; church school teacher for 15 years, as well as Deacon and Ruling Elder at Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, New Jersey. Carol has demonstrated leadership and discernment as a Christian Educator and made exceptional contributions in ministry that will continue to have an impact on the larger church. She most certainly represents McCormick’s commitment to preparation for ministry and service, Her undeniable sense of call has made her an effective witness in service to the church of Jesus Christ.

The criteria for being selected as a Distinguished Alumnus/a are:
•  exceptional contributions to the church, by forging and strengthening connections between the local congregation and the world.
•  distinct leadership abilities and discernment; the candidate is a witness for others with a true sense of call in a specific time and place.
•  works to leave a lasting legacy in his or her work that has an impact on both a local community as well as upon the larger church;
•  represents McCormick's commitment to preparation for ministry in a diverse and global context;

These awards will be presented at McCormick Days 2014. 

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