Cross-Cultural, Urban, Reformed, Ecumenical

Initiative for Incarnational Ethics Launched


Starting Fall 2018, McCormick launched a new initiative that will directly benefit students, teachers and church pastors alike.

The Initiative for Incarnational Ethics is a new project that was established to articulate Christian ethics grounded in social justice and embodied encounters. The central tasks of the Initiative are recognizing the sovereignty of God over all of life, taking seriously the social commandments of Jesus and practicing continual repentance. The initiative aims to help recalibrate, in the church and society, what it means to be human and Christian away from harmful ideals, towards a healthy reality. The task of recalibration will aid in the elimination of barriers that prevent us from recognizing the image of God in all human life and keep us from being together in true community.

In order to build an incarnational ethic, the Initiative will include four basic components:

  1. An annual consultation/conversation with local pastors representing a collaboration between the church and the academy, aimed at constructing a church based incarnational ethic.
  2. A series of faculty conversations each academic year focusing on incarnational ethics in our interdisciplinary context. These faculty conversations will assess and define the value of incarnational ethics, and integrate incarnational ethics in curriculum, pedagogy, and community life.
  3. A program of research including 1) the problem of the human, with the Harlem Renaissance as a case study; 2) reparations as a faithful Christian response to the problem of race; and 3) the issue of racial identity for justice and peacemaking.
  4. A program of collaboration, consultation and research with other students of Dr. Glen Stassen including Dr. David P. Gushee.

The initiative for Incarnational Ethics is established with the help of a grant, and through partnerships that include McCormick Theological Seminary, and Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, Dr. Reggie L Williams. It will support and advance the work of Dr. Williams, whose research and analysis emerging from the Initiative will be compiled into book projects over five years by Dr. Williams, who will also serve as Director of the Initiative. Total expenses for the Initiative will cover everything from professional development, books, supplies, speaking engagements to the Annual Faculty Collaboration, the “Gathering of Pastors,” and a Spring Semester lecture series. With success this grant may be restructured as an endowed gift to McCormick Theological Seminary to support the projects therein.

Congratulations to Dr. Reggie L. Williams and McCormick Theological Seminary for their work in obtaining this progressive, dynamic, forward thinking contribution, in the form of the Incarnational Ethics grant, which will serve our students, our faculty and the entire church community.