Lilly Endowment Inc. recently awarded Nazarene Theological Seminary a $125,000 sustainability grant to continue its work in the critical area of financial literacy for the next generation of pastors and other church leaders. NTS was one of more than 50 theological schools in the United States to receive an initial three-year grant in 2014 to implement a program to encourage seminarians to graduate with manageable (or no) educational debt. The NTS Center for Pastoral Leadership (CPL) has headed up this work, which has included extensive counseling and educational efforts directed primarily at new students, and ongoing campus educational initiatives open to the entire student body, seminary faculty and staff. These efforts are having a great impact! According to the U.S. Department of Education, NTS has the lowest student loan default ranking in Missouri and is tied for the lowest default rate in the nation—with an amazing 0% default rate! This sustainability grant from Lilly Endowment will enable the NTS CPL to continue these important initiatives and cooperate with the denomination’s larger efforts to ensure financial wellness for all Nazarene pastors.
Our most recent version of the Alumni Association Constitution is available at www.nts.edu/alumni-constitution. In the fall of 2016 your alumni council recommended a few changes that were then approved by the NTS Board of Trustees and affirmed by a vote of the Alumni. This constitution reflects those revisions.
Dr. Steve Estep
President, NTS Alumni Association
By Tim McPherson, Dean for Advancement
“What do you need?” That is a question often asked of family and friends as a part of the Christmas giving tradition. Oft’ times the answer is, “Oh, I don’t really need anything.” Such an answer, however honest it may be, rarely prevents loved ones from giving. Such is love. Though humankind may not have known their desperate need, God gave his only begotten son. Such is the Gospel.
This season, consider a meaningful gift to Nazarene Theological Seminary “to prepare faithful and effective ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” It’s a gift that reaches family, friends and beyond to impact the world in which we live. The Seminary relies upon your support during this season of generosity to help fund its mission year ‘round. Quite frankly, as the calendar year concludes, NTS needs your gifts—both large and small.
HERE ARE SOME IMPORTANT WAYS YOU CAN GIVE:
Cyber Monday, November 28
Our CPL membership subscription will be specially priced for gifting to your favorite pastor or church leader. Stay tuned for more details! https://cpl.nts.edu/
Giving Tuesday, November 29
Please join NTS on Giving Tuesday. There are many ways to support NTS: http://www.nts.edu/support-nts/
End of Year Gifts, before December 31
Gifts to NTS are tax deductible! FYI: Donors over the age of 70.5 may now plan each year to make transfers directly from an IRA to a charity (In December 2015 the Path Act made the IRA rollover permanent!)
The Seminarian Offering, January 29
Preparations have already begun for this essential offering to be taken on Sunday, January 29, 2017. If each church would tell the story of NTS and take an offering that amounts to at least $1 per church member or attender (whichever is larger), it would dramatically increase the support of NTS. Every dollar invested provides tuition assistance, teacher salaries, multicultural programs, continuing education, library books, technological services, student housing, building improvements and much more! Be watching the mail for instructions and posters. Click here for more information and resources: http://www.nts.edu/seminarian-offering.
We give thanks for the faithful and generous friends of NTS.
Dear NTS Alumni:
At the October 1, 2016, meeting of the Nazarene Theological Seminary Alumni Council, three changes to the Alumni Association Constitution were proposed, discussed, and passed.
On Friday, October 14, these changes were approved by the NTS Board of Trustees.
Per our constitution, any changes must also be approved by a vote of the alumni. Click here to see the proposed Alumni Association Constitution changes and rationale for them.
Each change must be approved by the alumni in order to be ratified. We request you vote on these three items prior to November 3, 2016. You will receive a ballot via email or regular mail within the next week.
If you did not receive a ballot, please email email@example.com or call her at (816) 268-5434.
Full conference papers are available at http://didache.nazarene.org.
NTS is pleased to announce that Lindell and Kay Browning are the new program coordinators for 365m. The NTS 365m program allows students to receive credit toward a Master’s degree while serving in a cross-cultural setting. The Brownings will be involved in recruiting new students into the 365m program, mentoring 365m students from application through the completion of the diploma program and maintaining clear communications (between students, mentoring agents in the field and appropriate Academic Offices at NTS).
The Brownings bring a wealth of missionary knowledge and experience to NTS. For the past 37 years, they have served in the Middle East with the Church of the Nazarene. Lindell and Kay greatly impacted the region through their pastoral ministry and by identifying national “indigenous” leaders who could take up the ministry at the local, district and field levels. The Brownings raised their four children, now adults, in Nazareth and Jerusalem. They retired in January 2016 and now reside in Pendleton, Indiana.
“Our time in the Middle East was often tumultuous and challenging, but always fulfilling and full of God’s presence.” -– Lindell and Kay Browning
Dr. Carla Sunberg, President of NTS, shares: “Having the Brownings become a part of the NTS team at this time is exciting. Their experience overseas in a very challenging part of the world only enhances their ability to provide leadership to those who are seeking opportunities to serve cross-culturally.”
Lindell is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University (BA in Religion, 1972) and Nazarene Theological Seminary (MDiv, 1975). Lindell served as Field Strategy Coordinator of the Eastern Mediterranean Field for 25 years.
Kay is a graduate of Olivet Nazarene University (BA in Speech Communication and Education, 1972) and Bethany Nazarene University (MA in Education, 1974). She also received a Certification in English as a Second Language from Trent College in 1996. Kay taught ESL at the EMF Bible College and the Bethlehem Bible College and was also bookkeeper/secretary for the Eastern Mediterranean Field.
“Nazarene Theological Seminary was a vital part of our preparation for missions. However, before leaving for the mission field, our cross-cultural experience had only consisted of a few weeks living overseas during summer break from college. During our years as missionaries, we worked with volunteers and short-term missionaries who, just like us, would have benefited from the 365m diploma. We believe in what NTS is doing and are proud to be part of the Seminary family working with the 365m program.” -– Lindell and Kay Browning
Elie Wiesel reminds us, “Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views that place must-at that moment-become the center of the universe.”
“We are saddened and dismayed over the events of this past week,” shares Rev. Charles Tillman, Director of Black Ministries for the Church of the Nazarene. “Again, we are reminded of the need for racial justice and equality in 2016 right here in America. A young unarmed Black man being subdued by two Baton Rouge police officers is needlessly shot multiple times and killed; another Black man in Minnesota is shot and killed during a routine traffic stop with his girlfriend and young infant in the vehicle. I wake up today and learn that a Black gunman in Dallas unleashed gunfire on police officers at a peaceful demonstration. The gunman was upset and angry over the recent killings of Blacks at the hands of police. Twelve officers were shot and five killed! This is an inappropriate and horrific response to a challenging issue facing each of us today. Two wrongs will never total one right!”
Dr. Sunberg echoes the concern:
“As the Violence fills our newsfeed on almost an hourly basis we struggle to make sense of all that has transpired. Sadly, making sense of violence is rarely possible. We follow Jesus who came declaring the peace of the kingdom of God and as adopted children we embrace Jesus’ teaching from the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (NRSV)
Today we pray for peace and for God’s love to help us embrace all that is good. Echoes of the words of Micah ring in our ears, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.” (NRSV) Humbly we kneel before our God as children of the kingdom, respecting the lives of all individuals. We also recognize that current cracks have the potential to become larger fissures as pressures and tensions mount, and therefore we pray for God’s peace, wisdom and guidance. May we join hands across racial lines and truly listen to one another so that the words of Jesus will be fulfilled, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35, NRSV) “
Center for Black Leadership
Prayer moves us to action and a thoughtful response. NTS, in cooperation with MultiCultural Ministries for the Church of the Nazarene will be launching a Center for Black Leadership to be housed at NTS. This center will intentionally invest in the next generation of black leaders, inside and outside the Church of the Nazarene, while at the same time providing a platform for critical conversations around racism and injustice in the church and our society. Our desire is for the creation of new pathways that will move us forward and allow us to seriously reflect on the church’s role as peacemakers in our communities.
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Josh Sweeden has been unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees to be the new Dean of the Faculty at Nazarene Theological Seminary. Dr. Sweeden will be coming to NTS from George Fox Evangelical Seminary/George Fox University where he has been Assistant Professor of Theology and also served with his wife, Nell, as the Richard B. Parker Co-Chair in Wesleyan Theology. Dr. Sweeden and his family will be moving to Kansas City in September. He will begin teaching at NTS in January, 2017 as associate professor of Church and Society, and will fully assume the role of Dean on July 1, 2017 when Dr. Roger Hahn steps aside as Dean of the Faculty.
Dr. Sweeden is a graduate of the Boston University School of Theology (Ph.D. Practical Theology, Concentration in Church and Society, 2012); Nazarene Theological Seminary (M.Div., 2007); Point Loma Nazarene University (B.A. Bible and Christian Ministries, 2003). Dr. Sweeden is an ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene and has served in various ministerial capacities in local churches, Nazarene higher education, as well as through Global Mission and Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.
NTS President Carla Sunberg -
“Dr. Sweeden brings a deep understanding of theological education and experience in curriculum development and educational systems to NTS. He is a dedicated churchman with a passion for connecting the academy with the life of the church. He has had a rich experience at George Fox Evangelical Seminary where he chaired the Academic Committee and served as the faculty chair of Seminary Admissions Review. He also played a key role in the Seminary’s self-study for the Association of Theological Schools and spear-headed the organization and design of an innovative and comprehensive program and curriculum revision. We look forward to having Dr. Sweeden here at NTS as we continue to partner with the church for mission.”
Dr. Sweeden on the challenges of seminary education –
“These are challenging times for many ATS schools. Over the last ten years, NTS has demonstrated its resiliency and ability to innovate, embracing the dual posture of continuity and change. For the foreseeable future, the strength of ATS schools will depend, in part, on their nimbleness—their ability to adapt and respond to rapidly changing contexts in creative and innovative ways. But mere nimbleness is insufficient, especially in the long-term. Needed is the kind of strategic thinking that continually evaluates systems and structures for integrity and efficiency. These strategic skills are best coupled with a collaborative and discerning spirit. The pastoral qualities of humility, honesty, and patience are indelible to seminary administrative leadership. Ultimately, I am committed to seeing NTS flourish and excited about the opportunity to be part of building the future of NTS as it continues to serve the church in God’s mission.”
Nazarene Theological Seminary deplores the violent and hateful slaughter of people in Orlando, FL last weekend. As human beings created in the image of God the victims should have received love and the courtesy of civil conversation rather than the impersonal and violent disregard for their person-hood and common humanity. NTS extends its sympathy and prayers to the friends and families of those who were killed or injured in Orlando. This terrible incident reminds each of us that the call of God to love and respect each other rises above issues of lifestyle and religion that separate and often dehumanize us.
President Carla Sunberg, together with the NTS community, are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Dr. Arnold Gordon Wetmore on the morning of June 9th, 2016. NTS would like to extend its deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
“Dr. Wetmore will be dearly missed. His influence reached far and wide in many capacities. As pastor during my teenage years he carved an indelible impression on me, presenting an outstanding model of pastoral care and the holy life. I am humbled to follow in his footsteps at NTS where daily his imprint is seen and felt on the institution. His legacy will live on through his family and those whom he helped to shape and form in the image of God. “
Dr. Carla Sunberg, President
“The life and ministry of Dr. Gordon Wetmore was profoundly interwoven with the life of Nazarene Theological Seminary as a student, as Heinmiller Lecturer on the Devotional Life, as Pastor of Kansas City First Church when it met in the Seminary chapel, and as seventh President. Dr. Wetmore was the president who took the risk of offering me a position on the faculty of NTS. He was both pastoral in his care for everyone he met and visionary in preparing the seminary for the 21st century. He made me a better person and I will always be grateful for the model of leadership I experienced from him.”
Dr. Roger Hahn, Dean of Faculty
Dr. Wetmore was born on June 24, 1931 in New Brunswick, Canada. He received his undergraduate education at Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) in Massachusetts and earned the B.D. from Nazarene Theological Seminary (NTS) in 1959. He also earned a doctor of ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and completed further graduate study in a number of universities and divinity schools and received the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from ENC.
Dr. Wetmore served as pastor in the following churches: Church of the Nazarene, Monroe, WI; Wollaston Church of the Nazarene, Quincy, MA; First Church of the Nazarene, Columbus, OH and First Church of the Nazarene, Kansas City, MO. He also served as Dean of Students at his alma mater, ENC. In 1983, Dr. Wetmore was elected president of the Northwest Nazarene College (NNC) and served there until 1992, when he was elected as the seventh president of the Nazarene Theological Seminary (NTS). He served on the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene from 1970-1983 and was president of that board from 1979-1983. He also held many other board and council positions. Dr. Wetmore retired in 2000 and lived with his beloved wife, A.J., in Olathe, Kansas.
In the face of rising tuition costs, Dr. Wetmore saw a great need to assist students to be able to afford to begin or to continue attending NTS. One of the focuses of his NTS presidency was the establishment of several fully funded scholarship funds (“Scholarships of Distinction”). He encouraged many to begin scholarships, and in 1994, he began a scholarship fund in his and A.J.’s name. He faithfully gave as often and as long as he could, as he believed deeply in graduate theological education. Because of his foundational work in this area, today NTS offers over one hundred fully endowed scholarship funds to assist students with educational costs.
After retiring from NTS in 2000, Dr. Wetmore continued to serve NTS for several years as he mentored the then new NTS president, Dr. Ron Benefiel, and as he continued to raise funds for NTS.
In the last few years, Dr. Wetmore was very proud that one of his grandsons, A. Gordon Wetmore, III, planned to attend, and is now a current NTS student.
We would love to honor Dr. Wetmore’s legacy by adding to his scholarship so that more funds will be available to assist students with their tuition.
Donations may be made to Dr. Gordon and A.J. Wetmore’s scholarship by going online at nts.edu. Click on “donate now” to give with a credit or debit card. Checks may be made out to Nazarene Theological Seminary and sent to 1700 E. Meyer Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64131. Earmark the check “Wetmore.”
During our recent meeting of the NTS Board of Trustees Dr. Roger officially stated his desire to step down as Dean of the Faculty, effective July 1, 2017. Dr. Hahn will have served in this role for 15 years—the second longest tenure among the seven persons who have been Dean of the NTS Faculty.
NTS currently has 2 full-time career opportunities available:
An exciting career opportunity has become available in the NTS Office of Advancement: We are seeking a Marketing and Communications Specialist to join our team full-time. Click here to learn more.
NTS is seeking a full-time Accountant to join our Business Office team. Click here to learn more.
This fall, NTS is pleased to host the 2016 USA/Canada Theology Conference, September 28-30.
May 8 – 17, 2017, join NTS and MVNU as we walk in the footsteps of the key reformers and celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation!
Our expert faculty will bring the Reformation to life on this one-of-a-kind academic travel program. Register today, and join us as we explore Germany & Switzerland.
NTS will host its 2016 Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 1 at 4:00pm at Kansas City First Church of the Nazarene. Earlier that morning at Kansas City First Church, a member of the senior class will deliver the annual Corlett Senior Sermon.
Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri, a graduate school of theology in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, has opened a search process for the position of Dean of the Faculty, the Chief Academic Officer of the Seminary. After fifteen years of service to NTS as Dean of the Faculty, Dr. Roger Hahn has announced his desire to step down as Dean in June of 2017.
The week of January 18, 2016, the NTS Center for Pastoral Leadership (CPL) hosted a series of service projects, worship services, panel discussions and dialogues in order to honor the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and to address the important issues of race, privilege, and our responsibility as the church.
Kansas City area Churches of the Nazarene and affiliated educational institutions-including Nazarene Theological Seminary-offer their condolences to the families of Kansas City firefighters Larry Leggio and John Mesh. Both men lost their lives on October 12 while making heroic rescues of individuals trapped in a burning apartment building. Their ultimate sacrifice of life reminds us of the daily danger faced by the police officers and firefighters in our community. We are calling upon the God of all comfort to stand by the surviving family members and colleagues of these men in their dark days of loss. May the Lord bless and comfort during this time of grief as only our God can.
A memorial fund is available to help support the families of fallen firefighters. Donations can be made by check, payable to IAFF Local 42, and sent to: 320 Manchester Ave., Suite 42A | Kansas City, MO 64133.