By Melva Lowery
“Theological studies will change if there is diversity… Need voices that listen and speak and are not here just to [sit in the back] pass”-Dr. Daniel Rodriguez.
…these words of encouragement and wisdom pierced the Buchanan Lounge and walls of McCormick Theological Seminary who was blessed to play host to 8 Morehouse College students on March 7, 2012. These men were visiting the Chicago area for a week as part of a “Seminary Swing Tour” the Martin Luther King, Jr. Chapel hosts annually. The students of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, spent a day with the McCormick Community as one of three seminaries on their agenda. The conversation for this visit started through the Common Ground Project’s “Taste of Seminary” event held last summer 2011 under the leadership of Emily McGinley, and was coordinated through the Office of Student Affairs-Recruitment Office. The seven students along with their staff leader were greeted by the newly inaugurated president, Frank Yamada and walked through a discernment process and look at the Masters level programs offered by McCormick from the Dean of Students, Christine Vogel and Director of Admissions, Jocelyn Cadwallader. They were engaged in conversation about what seminary and church leadership will look like in the year 2040. A line up of McCormick leadership ranged from alum to faculty and staff who demonstrated diversity not just in race and culture, but in their beliefs and confidence in students to be the “both and” leader and scholar as stated by Dr. Braxton during the faculty/staff greeting.
As we enter the 2040 conversation with our new President, this visit to McCormick is the spark of many similar conversations McCormick is initiating. These are taking place in in classrooms, in communities, and in churches as McCormick trains the next leaders.
Thanks, by name, to those who stepped up to make this visit a success:
Jerome Adams, Rev. Nannette Banks, Dr. Brad Braxton, Ken Crews, Dr. David Daniels, Dr. Sharon Ellis-Davis, Shelley Donaldson, Michele Edwards , Gary Foster, Marsha Lockwood, Dr. Daniel Rodriguez, Wes Pitts, Alicia Rhine, Albert Jones, Jevon Moore, and Al White. Thank you! The People are Better because You Served!
Melva Lowery is a 1st Year Master of Arts in Discipleship Development Student.