Divinity

Jill Crainshaw

  • Doing Theology at the Table: God, Jesus, and Spirit Revealed in Font and Feast
    Awarded $12,000 for the period 6/1/13 to 6/1/14
    Source: Calvin Institute for Christian Worship

The Worship Renewal Grants Program is generously supported by Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment, Inc. Founded in 1937, its major areas of concern are community development, education, and religion. For more information on the grants program, including a complete list of this year’s recipients, please see: www.calvin.edu/worship.

The project enables students to explore how worship leaders do theology and how through liturgical actions, communities encounter and proclaim God in their midst. One-credit practicum courses and choir events will provide students with concrete experiences in worship leadership that include peer feedback and frameworks for theological reflection as well as opportunities to learn from worship leaders in our community.

  • Christian Hospitality and Pastoral Practices in a Multifaith Society
    Awarded $4,850 for the period 8/8/11 to 8/15/12
    Source: Association of Theological Schools

The Wake Forest University School of Divinity identifies expertise in many faiths as one of its educational goals and drawing on the resources of the Department of Religion, offers a rich curriculum. This year, it created a new faculty position in Theology and Culture for Dr. Michelle Voss Roberts, an expert in comparative theology, especially Christianity and Hinduism.

  • with Amy Russell
    Worship Renewal Grant: One Body, Many Gifts
    Awarded $11,000 for the period 6/11 to 6/12
    Source: Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Wake Forest University School of Divinity weekly chapel services give students, faculty, staff, and community friends an opportunity to sing and pray together. Each is planned and led by a third-year student. In this project, WFUSD will design and pilot a second weekly service that engages the denominational and liturgical diversity of our school. Beginning in summer 2011, students, faculty, and local pastors will discuss the chapel services, hold collaborative planning workshops, and consult with other theological schools that have vibrant chapel traditions. Students and faculty will learn more about varied worship practices through fall semester workshops and consultation. Spring semester services will model and invite theological reflection on these practices. If the pilot is successful, a permanent second worship service will model diverse liturgical patterns while strengthening the educational and formational dimensions of the worship program overall.

Mark Jensen 
Interdisciplinary Conversations: A Theology of Embodiment
Awarded $3,000 for the period 10/6/10 to 2/1/12
Source: Duke University

This project addresses modern congregations’ lack of understanding of the interrelationship of physical, emotional, and mental health, spiritual and physical wholeness, and Christian salvation, resulting in a dualistic view that runs contrary to biblical witness and modern theologies of embodiment. Most modern Christians have lost the perception of wellness as a community concern, a feature of social justice. In response, a series of interdisciplinary conversations among pastors, university faculty, mental and physical healthcare professionals, and members of the laity will be held in medical/therapeutic and local church and/or theological school settings. Discussion will revolve around i) biblical witness, focusing on the healing stories in the gospels; ii) theological, medical, and psychological theories of embodiment; and iii) aspects of pastoral care involving congregants’ wellness and noting healthcare ministries in local churches.

Shonda Jones
Community Engagement Fellows Program
Awarded $22,500 for the period 8/1/12 to 7/31/13
Source: CF Foundation

The School of Divinity’s Art of Ministry program supports a community-engagement focus for five students through their three years of study. After the cohort is built in Year 1, students participate in a summer internship, In Year 2, they pursue the same or similar interests in a different internship setting; in Year 3, they use the Art of Ministry writing project or the internship elective as a capstone experience to integrate and to summarize their learning about community engagement.

Kevin Jung   
Moving Science to the Forefront of Theological Education
Source: American Association for the Advancement of Science

The AAAS Science for Seminaries program will allow the WFUSD academic curriculum to amplify the role of science in the core, preparing future religious leaders for engagement with the wider world. Drs. Neal Walls (Biblical Studies, Old Testament), Bill Leonard (Historical Studies), and Kevin Jung (Theological Studies) will participate. In addition, WFUSD will organize a school-wide conference on science and theology to ensure that the work reaches the widest possible audience.

Gail O’Day

  • Financial Well-Being for Pastoral Leaders
    Awarded $249,964 for the period 11/1/13 to 12/31/16
    Source: Lilly Foundation

The School of Divinity is connecting many strategies to create a fresh understanding of ministry and financial well-being. Formation addresses financial literacy and financial well-being as a core pastoral practice. Education is comprised of new courses that enable students to be practical, creative, and confident, not only about their own finances, but in leading their congregations to thrive in ever-changing economic circumstances. Integration opportunities expand a summer ministry internship program to model a creative way to decrease student dependence on loans. Research will gather data about our students’ circumstances and the economic complexities that mark theological education and a life of pastoral leadership. These activities touch the entire School of Divinity community, while developing and disseminating innovative practices to prepare pastoral leaders for financial well-being, grounded in their Christian commitment to the wise stewardship of resources.

  • Clergy Making a Place: Early Career Pastors as Generative Community Leaders
    Awarded $499,997 for the period 11/1/13 to 12/31/18
    Source: Lilly Foundation

This program aims to strengthen the pastoral and civic leadership of the most promising early-career clergy serving congregations in cities and towns along the Interstate 40 corridor in North Carolina and adjacent regions of Virginia: from Greensboro, NC, to Danville, VA; Winston-Salem to Lexington; Asheville to Brevard; Statesville to Hickory. Two cohorts, each composed of 14 clergy who have been in ministry for 5-10 years, will convene nine times over 18 months and take one trip together. Participants will have opportunities for open, in-depth conversations with outstanding civic and business leaders about the most difficult social and economic challenges facing their communities. Both sides will learn from each other and build on each other’s strengths and capacities so that, together, they can more effectively engage their community’s problems. Early career clergy will explore community engagement opportunities crucial to the places they serve and to which their congregations can make vital contributions. They will have opportunities to hone their leadership skills and competence and to develop a sense of agency, so they can assume their place as generative leaders in their larger communities.

Neal Walls 
Renewing Ministers, Revitalizing Congregations
Awarded $30,000 for the period 10/11/10 to 1/15/14
Source: CF Foundation, Inc.

The School of Divinity sponsors the 2011 Holy Land Pilgrimage/Macedonian Ministries Program for pastoral renewal that begins with a spiritual journey through the summer heat to Galilee and Jerusalem and continues with a multiyear program of peer-support. Twenty parish ministers will experience the impact of sacred space in daily visits to sites associated with the life of Jesus and the Desert Mothers and Fathers of early Christian monasticism, participate in group conversations related to spiritual renewal, spend time each day in solitude and silence, build an authentic community centered on worship and prayer, and read selections that reflect on the historical and theological contexts of Christian spirituality and pilgrimage. Activities will prepare them to approach Advent with purified hearts, rested and renewed in mind, body, and spirit.