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November | 2010 | The 'CURE' for your Vocation

Archive for November, 2010

Meet Junior Class Session Representative-Elect, Matthew Downey!

Here we are again, making our way though the session. Today, we’ve got one of my newest friends, Matthew Downey. Matthew comes from the farm, so he’s a good, grounded guy with a great big heart to match his great big hugs. He’s always got a smile on his face and he loves to talk. Matthew also sings in the McChoir! It’s nice to have these new, fresh faces at McCormick that help shape our community, year by year. Enjoy all you McCormick bloggers! here’s Matt!

Peace~Shelley D.

Name: Matthew Downey

So Matt, why come to McCormick?

I came to McCormick for a variety of reasons.  It is a nice setting in the middle of a big bustling city..a.k.a  CHI-TOWN!!!  Home, down on the farm, where I grew up, is only 3 hours away. So if I ever feel like chasing pigs around or driving tractors or seeing landscape not comprised primarily of stone and asphalt I can quickly escape and stay for free!! McCormick truly represents progressive Christianity, and in such a well rounded nature.  McCormick is always striving, and never satisfied.  It is not always comfortable here.  Most of us students at any given time could tell you they could go crazy.  But we would quickly follow with the fact that we wouldn’t have it any other way.  It is a good place to be.

Any hobbies you might have?

I have lifelong hobbies.  Music: singing, and finding a piano that’s in tune.  I try to exercise regularly, but it seems to be very spurt-tastic.  Back at home I enjoy frisbee with the dogs and playing “Sheriff of the country-side” on a dirt-bike or 4-wheeler.  Movies are one of my favorite things.  Breaking reality can be very welcome.  In being truthful, I like my beer.  But it is also a vast appreciation, and recently a fellow student, Ryan Wallace, and I have brewed our own beer.  A first for me!  Upon moving to Chicago I really enjoy walking with my classical piano music on the Ipod Touch.  As I walk my favorite thing to do is look at the people I’m meeting on the sidewalk.  I smile brightly at every one of them.  It makes my day when they smile back.  Try it sometime!

What kind of involvement do you have at McCormick?

I sing in the McCormick Choir.  We have a wonderful new interim director, Mark Bowman, and his excitement for music is contagious.  I try to participate in worship whether singing, reading, or serving.  I also have the honor of being elected to Session at McCormick as a Junior Class Representative.  I am active with the Acts 10:15 organization on campus.  It is an utterly necessary learning experience.  I’m also pumped to parlay pumpkin as the secret ingredient of McCormick’s first addition of “Iron Chef”  One of the many, fun, and spontaneous ideas that pop up around here all the time.

What’s something that you’ve learned since being here at McCormick?

I have learned to ask for help.  We are all in this together.  I can ask anyone at this school for help of any nature.  They will literally drop whatever they’re doing.

What’s a hope that you have for McCormick?

I hope that at McCormick the walls will only serve the purpose of keeping the weather out.  That we may constantly strive as a community to see past we’re at to a world in need.

Part Deux: Confessions of Seminary Pets

Well, here we are again, on a cold Friday in Chicago. Last week, you heard from some of our McCormick pets, well here are a few more!

Who are your humans?

Ellie: Dave and Kristy Metz

Shiva: Melissa Gilbert

Lillie Bug: I have 2 humans. Mother and other mother (Sylvia Miller).

So, how do you like your living arrangements?

Ellie: Well, I wish we were in McCormick housing (the Metz’s live in LSTC housing), but as long as I have a good spot for my bed and a window to look out I am happy.

Shiva: I love it! There is always something going on and its the perfect place for a curious kitty.

Lillie: It’s great! My mothers are so busy that I get the run of the house! I get my pick of two enormous beds, I have my food set out for me all day and they basically leave me along! It’s amazing!

What’s your favorite place in the apartment?

Ellie: In my yellow chair by the window overlooking the sidewalk from which I can bark at any and all passerbys.

Shiva: Either sitting on Melissa’s freshly washed laundry (she doesn’t have a fur coat of her own, so I have to share mine with her), or birdwatching from the livingroom window.

Lillie: Well, you see, I have this one mother who sneezes because of my fur, so I like to sleep on her bed all day. I also like my giant stuffed dog. Oh, I also like to sit on top of the couch and look out of the window or over my mothers’ shoulders.

Favorite treats?

Ellie: I love the veggie rings from the Petco treat bar. They look like Fruit Loops!

Shiva: Cheese and Poptarts (I’m not technically allowed to eat those, but I try my best to convince Melissa to shaer hers with me)

Lillie: Once in a while I get food that is from a can and soft rather than crunchy… I like that.

What do you think about being a future preacher’s pet?

Ellie: As long as Dave and Kristy invite congregants over on a regular basis so I can jump on them and smother them with kisses, I’m okay with it. Also, since I am a shepherd, I must be pastoral… haha!

Shiva: I tried to let Melissa know that I particularly enjoy Paul’s writings by eating the book of Galatians out of her Bible. Her friend told her that I take Psalm 119:103 a little too literally: How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.

Lillie: So long as I get rule of the house, I don’t really care.

How many toys do you have in the apartment?

Ellie:11. Wait, am I supposed to count my humans’ socks? Then 33.

Shiva: I tend to ignore those “cat” toys Melissa brings home. I prefer to play with her hair ties and paper bags.

Lillie: Too many to count! I started with one bag of about 9 toys but then I discovered wrappers and shoes and pillows, so just about everything in the apartment is my toy now.

Favorite way to pass the time?

Ellie:Barking at other dogs who walk past my window and going to the Wilson Avenue Dog Beach with Dave on the days he doesn’t have class.

Shiva: I like to play fetch and sit on Melissa’s computer while she tries to write papers.

Lillie: I like to chase my toys throughout the apartment and hide them under the couch. I also like to be held by my mothers and play with their arms. It’s most fun when I’m playing and they yell. Oh, and watching the water go down the big, white bowl.

Well, how about that Chicago snow?

Ellie: My humans hate it, but I am a HUGE fan of playing in the snow and then spending hours pulling out the tiny snowballs that get stuck in my fur.

Shiva: I’m not allowed to go out and play in it, but I love watching it fall from my seat at the window.

Lillie: What is this snow? If it doesn’t happen in the apartment then I don’t get to play with it.

Remember to stay tuned in, we will be out of commission and on break all next week, Thanksgiving. But we’ll be back on the 29th, with some new stuff for you all out there!

Peace~Shelley D.

Meet Ken Sawyer, Associate Professor of Church History and Recovering Librarian

Here at McCormick, we have wonderful professors. Today, I’d like you to meet Ken Sawyer, Associate Professor of Church History. Ken’s been at this a while and he’s got lots of knowledge to share with his students and his wider community, which he is an active part of. Pretty much everyone goes through his class within their first semester, taking his History of Christianity 1 class in the Fall. I did not get this privilege as I took a class that was in the way, but I do have him now in Reformed Traditions (with Anna Case-Winters) and  I’ll have atleast 3 more classes with him before I graduate. I am not complaining in the least bit, I’m actually telling you to make sure and take his class. Not only will your knowledge be expanded in Church History, you’ll have many other fun times in class with Ken. Such as getting a Reformed Turkey activity for the holidays.

So here is the famous Ken Sawyer!

Ciao for now!


Shelley D.

Name: Ken Sawyer

Job Title: Associate Professor of Church History

Family: I am married with Patricia Cloud. We have three daughters: Elisabeth (soon to be 25), Anna (20) and Jane (20) – all quite grown – each is a blessing to us!

Congregation: Progressive Community Center, The People’s Church (48th and Wabash) http://progressivecommunitychurch.org

Favorite food: Bi Bim Bap anytime, anywhere, but especially if served in a hot stone bowl (dol sot)

Favorite Restaurant: Valois (53rd and Lake Park)

If you could be any animal, what would it be? Easy! The wondrous Okapi. (Okay, we had to look that one up!)

College/Graduate School/Post Graduate Work: After Seminary, I came to Hyde Park to go to the neighborhood university.

Why teach at McCormick? A welcoming place with profoundly friendly, faithful people.

How long have you been at McCormick? I joined the McCormick community in 1980 on the staff of the JKM library. I began classroom teaching as an adjunct teacher in 1988.

What classes do you teach/have you taught? Reformations! Early Church! Reformed Traditions! Survey! Church Mothers and Fathers! Calvin! Western Spirituality! Presbyterian History!

Why do you like to teach at McCormick? Classroom conversations – learning in the classroom. Wonderful colleagues. Partnership with the LSTC community.

Where else do you teach? In congregations wherever asked. I have taught at Dominican University and at Catholic Theological Union.

Favorite memories at McCormick? Memories of Ogbu Kalu. Memories of Anthony Biddings. Team teaching with David Daniels. Team teaching with Anna Case-Winters. Laughing through Feast of Fools skits. (Oh, Ken. Just wait until this year!)

What are some of the biggest changes you have seen happen here at McCormick? The opening of McCormick to new generations of students.

In your opinion, what does McCormick have to offer/what makes it different from other seminaries? McCormick is very different every year because our community forms anew each year.

Favorite theologian? Ancient: Gregory of Nazianzus; Reformation: Heinrich Bullinger; Early Modern: Thomas Goodwin or Richard Sibbes or Lewis Bayley…

The best thing you can imagine doing in your spare time? Walking with my wife anywhere, but especially from Regenstein to meet our children, or swimming in Lake Michigan!

Ken has many other favorites, such as…

Macrina the younger, the book of Psalms, the LRWC, Rome and Istanbul, Cappadocia, George Eliot, cottonwood, Alvin Ailey, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Growing Power (South side of Chicago), Favorite weekend commuter: TC Anderson, Marilynne Robinson, Amanda Berry Smith, John Timothy Stone, Barack Hussein Obama, FDR, Reinhold Niebuhr, Katie Cannon, Perpetua, Bronzeville, favorite editor of one blog and two dogs (one blind): Shelley Donaldson, Evernote, Martin Bucer, Katherine Zell, Freedom of the Christian, Augsburg Confession, the Thirty-Nine Documents, “Where is this Stupendous Stranger” by Christopher Smart (d. 1771), Second Helvetic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Confession of 1967, Brief Statement of Faith, Strasbourg, Andrew Sullivan/AndrewSillivan.com, James Cleveland or Shirley Cesar or both!, W.H. Auden, Nanette Banks, Bob Cathey, B. Herbert Martin or Brad Braxton or both!, Advent, Walter Bruggemann, Jack Benny, John Boehner, Ed Grimley, Pinky and the Brain, Garry Wills, Hercule Poirot, Lawrence Walsh, the Gruber collection at the Lutheran School of Theology and the McCormick Rare Books (now at the Newberry Library), JKM, Regenstein Library.

Well there you have it. Anything you ever wanted to know about Ken Sawyer and a little more. You can find Ken in his office at the McCormick building, surrounded by books (the best way to be!), and readying himself for class. Ken is always happy to speak with students and prospective students. He is very often helping with Inquiry Into Ministry with the Office of Admissions and is a faithful servant to the students and to God!

Meet Senior Abby Mohaupt, Session Representative-Elect and Co-Editor of the Herald!

Good morning all you lovely McCormick Bloggers! Two important things in here for you.

1. If you want to follow us on our RSS feed at: http://feeds.feedburner.com/mccormicksem

2. Today we’re continuing with the introduction of our Student Session members. Abby is a Senior at McCormick who loves her kitties and our Starbucks runs (literally, we have to run) during our break in Reformed Traditions (with Ken Sawyer who you’ll be meeting very soon!). She is also a serious Jennifer Knapp fan and one of two Editors-at-Large for the Herald, McCormick’s prime news source.  Among everything else she does, she also is an amazing Educational Assistant for the Junior’s Pilgrimage in Faithfulness class. Abby lives in Chicago and is married to her awesome partner, Nathan, who does a mean Kenny from 30 Rock impression. Enjoy!

Peace~ Shelley D.


Abby Mohaupt

Why did you come to McCormick?

I came to McCormick to be challenged as a person of faith, even though I knew I was going to come to McCormick by the time I was fourteen years old. Around that time, my eighth grade teacher asked us to keep a journal of what we were thinking about. It was then that I discovered how loudly God was telling me that ministry was on the horizon for me. Then, a good minister friend of the family and I talked and he nudged me in the direction of his seminary, McCormick. I was completely devastated when I realized that I was going to have to finish high school AND college before I could come to McCormick, but now I’m grateful that you can’t be fourteen and be in seminary.

There is no other place I’d rather be for my seminary education, however. McCormick is a community that reminds me that God loves everyone and calls all kinds of people to be God’s people. McCormick responds to a diverse range of student interests and needs and I like that about us. There’s no other place where I can study environmental theology in a multi-cultural context.

Other hobbies, etc.?

When I’m not doing homework or going to class, I’m usually working at Faith in Place (an interfaith environmental organization), working in a garden, cuddling with my cats. I also like to create mixed media art, write letters to friends, and collect books.

Which group do you represent on session?

Technically, I represent the Senior class, but as a commuter student who is also one of the co-editors of the student newspaper and a moderator of Women in Ministry and Eco-Justice, I also help represent those groups as well. But really, the seniors are my official love for session.

What’s one thing you’ve learned?

One thing I’ve learned is that I have enough time to do my schoolwork. Whenever I feel like I don’t have enough time, I think about my learning partner from South Korea with three kids and another on the way who gets all her work done without complaint. So I’ve learned to keep things in perspective. I’ve also learned that in the process for getting everything for school done, other things won’t get done. So I don’t stress out about other areas of my life.

What’s one thing you hope for here at McCormick?

My hope for McCormick is that the community challenges itself to stay true to its welcoming identity. I hope McCormick always works against racism and other forms of oppression even when its hard work. It’s hard but its worth it.

Confessions of Seminary Pets

Many of you might not know this, but we have many representatives of the more furry kind here at McCormick. McCormick has two residence buildings, the 1400 building and the Kimbark building. The Kimbark building allows for pets, while the 1400 building allows for animals to “visit.” We also have some pets living offsite as well in the Hyde Park area and in LSTC housing. We have plenty of them, so I decided to check in with some of our furry friends and here’s what I got…

Who are your humans?

Pigeon (shar-pei/lab mix) & DiDi (australian cattle dog mix): Mommy (Shelley Donaldson)

Ninja: that man and woman (Joe and Holly Medearis)

Posh:I have humans? (Once again, this one belongs to Joe and Holly)

Baby: mom-Holly and dad-Joe (Medearis)

Molly: Mom (Kathi Worthington)

Gus: Caroline (Underwood)

How are you on the living arrangements?

Pigeon: It all looks the same to me. DiDi: Not too shabby. We do sleep on a heated mattress pad while mom is in class. We used to live in Georgia where we had more room to run around, but the fleas aren’t near as bad here!

Ninja: This is month 30 of my imprisonment, so I tolerate it. It is better than the minuscule excuse of an apartment they called home in Florida.  Baby: I love it! The hardwood floors make it easier for mom to clean up, and the area rugs provide a warm seat when the floor is cold. Plus, I love the window space. Much better than Florida. Posh: Bed. Table. I love lamp.

Molly: My apartment is nice. I get to sleep in bed with mom at night, like always. The food room’s good and I have a nice warm place for my bowls, I like that a lot! I like the front door but I like the back door better ’cause cause I can see who else is outside, and I can sniff around to check up on Sam and Jack and Pigeon and DiDi and Andrew and Emma!

Gus: I love it! My human has some great leather couches that I lounge on during the day when she is gone and I have my own bedroom (closet that has been converted) with my own comfy bed! No sleeping on the bed with my human. I have my my own bed!

Where’s your favorite place in the apartment?

Pigeon: The kitchen. DiDi: The couch.

Ninja: The computer chair. Baby: Under a blanket somewhere. Posh: In the way.

Molly: My favorite place in my house is my Molly-Vision Viewers where I can watch the squirrels and little people and other dogs. I can watch all day long. I can talk to the squirrels and people too! I just don’t think they can hear me very well because they don’t talk back.

Gus: My “bedroom” of course!

Favorite treats?

DiDi: I’m partial to Beggin’ Strips. Pigeon: The trash.

Ninja: Yogurt, tuna, anything not catfood. I deserve better. Baby: I do not eat treats. I have to keep my figure. Posh: Bread.

Molly: My favorite treats are beancicles and yogurt, anything mom eats, and these groovy, crinkly sweet potato things from the pet store. Milkbones are good pretty good, too.

Gus: The occasional rawhide is nice, but I am still hoping one of those days I am going to catch a squirrel!

Favorite way to pass the time?

DiDi: Hanging out with Jack and Sam on the porch, playing Hide-the-Bones with Cassie when she visits. Pigeon: Sleeping or eating the trash… it mainly depends on if mom forgets to put the trash on the counter when she leaves.

Ninja: Creating devious plans for world domination. Baby: Hiding under a blanket. Posh: Avoiding Ninja.

Molly: My favorite ways to spend time are watching Molly-Vision, taking walks, watching Molly-Vision, curling up next to mom and wrapping up in the soft blanket on the sofa, and eating and sleeping under the covers. I do enjoy barking at Armondo.

Gus: Catching flies, licking feet or shoes, and sleeping in a cozy little nook behind the TV.

What do you think about being future preachers’ pets?

DiDi: I’m not really sure. But we do get to travel a lot. Mom is not a fan of staying on one place for too long, so she likes jobs where we can have a place to run around. Pigeon: I’m waiting for this laying on of hands thing to happen. Didn’t Jesus heal blind people? Do you think he’d do it for dogs?

Ninja: Unacceptable. How could they even be thinking of serving someone else? Baby: It is exciting. I know mom and dad will be great. Posh: Huh?

Gus: She has preached a couple of sermons to me already, they put me to sleep every time!

How many toys do you have in the apartment?

DiDi: We only have a few cow bones to gnaw on, some rope toys to floss our teeth, and Kongs for peanut butter when mom is gone for too long. Pigeon: Pretty much an endless supply. I just happen to come across them. I can’t keep count.

Ninja: Everything is my toy. Baby: A basket full! Posh: Jingle balls! Ooo shiny!

Molly: I don’t have a lot of toys. I like them sometimes, but mostly I just hang out watching Molly-Vision.

Gus: Mostly just tennis balls. If I can find them I love to play! They go under the couches a lot.

How about that snow?!

DiDi: We have shoes for that. So it’s not so bad. It’s fun to run in. Pigeon: I like to eat it.

Ninja: Better out than in, I always say. Baby: No! Bad snow! Icky, cold, and wet! Posh: Can I eat it?

Molly: I don’t know about snow here yet, but I had snow back at home and it was okay unless it got all stuck in my feet. Then it hurts. Mostly when it’s snowy, I just want to go out to go potty and come back in. The snow hurts my feet!

Gus: Well, I was born and raised in Miami, but who am I kidding?! With this thick coat of mine I was born to be in the snow! I love to run and jump in it! No booties for me! I am a dog’s dog!

*All photos are courtesy of the humans.

There’s more to come as far as our furry friends, so stay tuned!

Peace~Shelley D.

Greetings again all my little bloggers out there! In case you didn’t know, we’re working here at McCormick to get people out there. We want to introduce you to all of our student representatives before the year is up. So, since I actually sit on our Student Session, I had to ask myself these questions. It was a bit awkward. But here’s some background: I’m a member of the Greater Atlanta Presbytery (holla if you’re a Southerner!), I have 2 dogs, Pigeon and DiDi, and I love coffee. I also work as a Student Rep and I went to the University of West Georgia where I studied Art History and Philosophy. Socrates and Kierkegaard are two of my heroes (along with Jean/John Calvin), and I am doing my field site at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Evanston, IL right now.

Hope you all enjoy!

‘Til next time!

Peace ~ Shelley D.


Shelley Donaldson

Why did you come to McCormick?

I came to McCormick because they let me have my dogs and because it was a diverse place where I could feel safe to question myself, my faith and be challenged and grow. McCormick wasn’t on my radar until a friend suggested it to me. I had no reason to come to Chicago, I thought I would end up at Austin Seminary. But once I was here, I knew McCormick was right. I had never even visited! I was accepted and moved up here. I literally came here for the very first time the night I drove in with my U-Haul and my dogs!

Which group do you represent on Session?

I represent the Board of Deacons. I’m one of 2 Co-Moderators. The Deacons are separate from the Session in that we’re our own entity. So as a Deacon on Session, I have voice but no vote. The Board of Deacons see to the matters of the community such as prayer life, worship, health, healing, babies being born and what not. We try to care for the students as best we can. We work closely with the Office of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Christine Vogel. If the students need anything, they can come to us.

What’s one thing you’ve learned?

How to pray off the cuff when asked. When I was in my first year I was in my Pilgrimage in Faithfulness class (PIF), and I had to do this worship service with some other students. I had been volunteered by one of the professors and so I said I would help. I was told only that I would do the Prayer of Thanksgiving. I’m a good Southern, Frozen Chosen Presbyterian. So I needed atleast a week to write this prayer out. I was given about 5 minutes. I bowed my head and just prayed. It was glorious! It was so freeing. I had never prayed like that before. And it happened because my classmates told me that I could if I just did it. It was a big experience for me.

One thing you hope for here at McCormick?

I really hope that people can find their voices here and that people are shaken up a bit. I think it’s so dangerous when people are in seminary and they know it all! Nope, sorry. If seminary teaches you anything, it’s that you don’t know it all. But you can find your voice and figure out what you do believe and go from there. No matter what, you faith can always get a little stronger.

(That’s me and LauraBeth sorting at “Books for Africa”)

Meet Kristin Riegel, First Year Student and Junior Class Session Member

Welcome back all you McCormick Bloggers! If you haven’t noticed, it’s been pretty darn cold here in the Windy City for the last 48 hours. I actually had to pull out my faux-fur lined hat from Walgreens and my grandfather’s cashmere scarf and the dogs have spent less time out in the cold air (they’re not big fans…) but we’ve managed to keep warm inside here at South University Street.

Today, I want you all to meet one of our new students, Kristin Riegel. As an incoming Junior, Kristin brings a fresh face and a new voice into the McCormick community. She also serves on our Student Session as a Junior Class-Elect Session Member. Each session meeting she’s ready to go with her “God Loves Feminists” sticker on her computer ready to converse and address student concerns. She’s been a blast to get to know and shares a love of laughter that we here at McCormick value greatly. Kristin is a graduate of Macalster College in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Recently, we picked Kristin’s brain. Here’s what she had to say…


Kristin Riegel

So? Why did you come to McCormick Seminary?

Soooo many reasons! When I sent in my deposit to McCormick , I was coming for the urban setting and the emphasis on diversity and cross-cultural relations and ministries. However, after being here for three months, I realize that I’m here because this is where God wants me to be. It is clear to me now that God was calling for me to come to McCormick so that I could be immersed in a community of people who challenge me with their thoughts, experiences, theology, commitments, and passions. I am and will continue to be here because this is a place where I feel God working in me and in the community.

Sweet. Now what are some of your hobbies/activities/interests here?

The groups I am a part of are Acts 10:15, Student Session and working as a Learning Partner. My hobbies here are drinking excess amounts of coffee, chilling with my roommates (and Jeff Kline) in the 1400 building, initiating impromptu dance parties, and running by Lake Michigan.

What’s one thing you’ve learned since being at McCormick?

Laughing is the best medicine – and the best way to procrastinate.

What’s the one thing you’re hoping for here at McCormick?

That I will continue to be challenged in my faith, spiritual practices, academic work, and personal life… and that Deanna, Mo, and I will win McCormick’s Iron Chef Competition (we’re going to rock it hard).

(Photo courtesy of Kristin Riegel)

Stay tuned for more students and more information from the McCormick community!

Peace all you bloggers!

~Shelley D.

Meet the Rev. Dr. Robert Cathey! (or Bob as some of us know him)

Greetings McCormick readers. I hope that this finds you all well once again.

Now, as some of you know, we have some well-traveled professors here, and Bob Cathey is one if them. On sabbatical for the school year of 2010-2011, Bob Cathey is spending this precious time in Beirut, Lebanon, teaching and being the studly scholar that he simply is at the Near East School of Theology (NEST). After that he will be travelling to Syria and Jordan before returning home to us here at McCormick.

Now, take it from me folks, this man is a great teacher. I took his T300 (Intro to Theology) course, co-taught with our Dean of Faculty, Dr. Luis Rivera-Rodriguez, and it was great. The discussions that Bob helped to lead in class were always interesting, relevant and important.

Dr. Cathey is ordained through the Presbyterian Church (USA). He joined the faculty of McCormick in 1998 and was named as our Professor of Theology in 2008. He received his BA in Philosophy at Davidson College just outside of Charlotte, NC. (As a fellow Philosophy major myself, I have a special place in my little seminarian heart for Dr. Cathey.) He then received his Masters of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary, followed by his Ph.D. from Duke University. His wife, the Rev. Dr. Barbara Cathey, serves as the pastor of Edgewater Presbyterian Church in Chicago and has been working with McCormick Seminary as a Field Site supervisor for McCormick students during their filed site studies here (we’ll talk more about that later).

Dr. Cathey is also heavily involved in the pursuit of interfaith dialog, working with such groups as the Council for a Parliament of World’s Religions, in which he participated in their gathering this past year in Australia. His current book, God in Postliberal Perspective:Between Realism and Non-Realism, is available on Amazon. Just go ahead and order your copy and stop debating it. You won’t regret it.

Below is a link to Dr. Cathey’s blog which details his work, travels and teachings in Beirut.


(Photo courtesy of McCormick Seminary)

Peace to all you bloggers!

~Shelley D.

Meet Ed Bird, Co-Moderator of McCormick Student Session!

Greetings again! So to continue our meet and greet here at McCormick via the web, I’m pleased to introduce you to McCormick Senior, Ed Bird.

Fun fact about Ed: he used to be a chef.

Enjoy all you McCormick bloggers!


Shelley D.

Greetings, McCormick.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Ed Bird.  I am a senior at McCormick in the M. Div. program.  It is a proud thing to say that I have many hats I wear in both McCormick and the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.  Among these, my greatest joy, privilege, and responsibility is to serve for the third year on McCormick’s Student Session.  This year, I serve as co-moderator of Student Session with Michele Edwards, with whom I have been a colleague and friend since I came to MTS in Fall 2008.

Student Session, simply, “…seeks to serve the Masters Level students and their families of McCormick Theological seminary through communication, advocacy, and nurture…”  Among our responsibilities, we seek to foster open and respectful dialogue among all entities on campus; to provide space for students to share their needs and concerns; and to enable participation of student in the life of MTS.  We are accountable to you—the student body – in this mission.

Every student has a representative on Session; every student is invited to attend Student Session meetings; every student has the right to voice at Session.

There are currently ten student groups seeking to be a community and a resource, a voice and a vote at Session for students of various identities.  They are:

Acts 10:15
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender concerns group.

Session representative: Sylvia Miller

Anti-Racism at McCormick
Students doing anti-racism work in the McCormick community.

Session representative: Caroline Underwood

Asociacion de Estudiantes Latino/as de McCormick  (A.E.L.M.)
Latino students and others interested in Latino issues.

Session Representative: Jeniffer Rodriguez

Commuter Student Group
A support group for commuter students.

Session Representative: Marge Van Der Wagen

Eco-Justice Student Group
A group for individuals concerned about environmental issues.

Session Representative: Peter Sanders

Global Community
International students and friends.

Session representative: Chingboi Guite

Korean American Students Association (K.A.S.A.)
For Korean students and their families.

Session Representative: Wonduk Jang

PanAfrican Students Organization (P.A.S.O.)
A group for African, African-American, and Caribbean heritage students.

Session representative: Walonza Lee

Students interested in peace-making work and justice issues.

Session Representative: Jon Phillips

Women in Ministry
Students interested in women’s concerns in ministry.

Session Representative: Sylvia Miller

Each of these groups sits at Session and offers concerns from the perspective of students they represent in their group. Additionally, each class (Junior, Middler, Senior) has three members of their class sitting, speaking and voting for them. McCormick Deacons also are represented by Shelley Donaldson; the McCormick Herald Newspaper by Sara Otieno; and Residence Life by Matt Ploeger.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU, what you want and hope for at McCormick, no matter what year you are or what student groups you feel most akin to.  YOUR VOICE IS CRUCIAL to make McCormick a community, a place for the Monarchy of God on Earth.

If you are not affiliated with any of the above student groups, and you want your voice heard, please consider speaking with one of the elected representatives.  They are:  Juniors; Kristin Riegel, Matthew Downey, and Jung Jae Lee.  Middlers:  Alex Wirth, Amber Ellingtion, and Tracy Nolan; and Seniors, Michele Edwards, Abby Mohaupt, and Ed Bird.

Session meets every first Monday in Rm. 241 at 4p.   If you can’t make it, get in touch with anyone listed above ASAP and share your thoughts and ask to have them brought to the table.  Session will work hard for you; already this semester we helped obtain clocks in MTS classrooms, a microwave in the vending machine area by Buchanan Lounge, and a Commuter Students bulletin board also near Buchanan, between the Lounge and Student Mailboxes.

Blessings and peace to you and yours and all of the McCormick Community.


(Photo courtesy of Ed Bird)

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