New Testament Professor Appointed at General Seminary

New York City – The Executive Committee of the Trustees of The General Theological Seminary (GTS) on June 22, 2011 unanimously approved the appointment of the Rev. Katherine A. Shaner as Assistant Professor of New Testament. Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), Prof. Shaner is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Theology degree at Harvard Divinity School where her scholarly specialization is in the field of New Testament and Early Christian History. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled Religious and Civic Lives of the Enslaved: A Case Study of Roman Ephesos, was a finalist in the Charlotte Newcombe Dissertation Fellowship of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. She has won numerous awards for her scholarly work including a Regional Scholar Award from the Society of Biblical Literature and a Fulbright Fellowship. Prof. Shaner will replace recently retired professor of New Testament, the Rev. Dr. John Koenig.

Trustees made the appointment following an extensive search process carried out by a committee headed by the Seminary’s Interim Dean, the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee.  “Prof. Shaner was selected from a field of extremely talented scholars,” said Bishop Lee. “She has made outstanding contributions to the field of New Testament studies, has delivered many important papers, and has extensive teaching experience, having served as a fellow at Harvard Divinity School under both Prof. Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and Prof. Karen King.” Prof. Shaner has also had experience in congregational and pastoral ministries in Boston and Detroit. She has much experience in archaeological research having served as an excavation assistant with the Austrian Archaeological Institute at Ephesos in Selçuk. She expects to receive her Th.D. degree from Harvard Divinity School this coming November.

“The opportunity to join General’s faculty combines many aspects of my vocation as a pastor and a scholar,” said Prof. Shaner. “I am very excited to join the work of prayer, study, formation, and witness that this community shoulders together.”

The Seminary’s Board of Trustees in May 2011 delegated to its Executive Committee the authority to elect a New Testament faculty member on recommendation of the Dean and the New Testament Search Committee.  Prof. Shaner’s appointment also had the endorsement of Dr. David Hurd, Chair of the Seminary’s Faculty Affairs Committee. She will be residing at the Seminary and will begin her teaching duties this fall.  Bishop Lee concluded his announcement by saying he believed Prof. Shaner will bring sound scholarship, visionary energy, and pastoral sensitivity to her work.

The General Theological Seminary, located in the heart of New York City, educates and forms leaders for the church in a changing world. Founded in 1817 as the first theological seminary of the Episcopal Church, General offers certificate and degree programs including the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Theology. The Seminary is also home to the Desmond Tutu Center, a full-service conference center with sixty modern guest rooms.