Author Archives: GTS News

General Seminary Welcomes Joshua Bruner as Director of Communications

Joshua A. Bruner was named the new Director of Communications for The General Theological Seminary in late March. Bruner is thrilled to join General’s staff, commenting, “While I have only been on the Close for about a month, I have been inspired by the passion and Spirit-filled movement of the community gathered here. There is an air of excitement, of joy, of resurrection. And it is a blessing to be a part of that.”

Bruner received his Master in Divinity from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale where he was particularly interested in Gender, Religion, and Culture.  Read more...

The Rev. Emily Wachner Appointed as Lecturer in Pastoral Theology

The General Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Emily Wachner to the faculty as a full-time Lecturer in Pastoral Theology. Wachner will also continue as the Director of Integrative Programs, a role she has held for the past year. In this capacity, Wachner has expanded and strengthened the Wisdom Year program, placing twelve students in Wisdom Year sites for the 2016-2017 academic year.  Read more...

Reflecting on the May Board of Trustees Meeting – Peggie Muncie

The Rev. Margaret Muncie ’74
Member, Board of Trustees
The General Theological Seminary

Dean Dunkle asked Bruce Garner and me to serve as “ad hoc” reporters for this meeting of our Board. I am not sure what that means, as ad hoc, per definition, refers to a “special purpose.” In this sense I assume it is to be from the perspective of a new board member listening and learning at her second meeting.  Read more...

Reflecting on the May Board of Trustees Meeting – Bruce Garner

Bruce Garner
Member, Board of Trustees
The General Theological Seminary

I was pleased to be asked to be one of the reporters for our meeting. An element of that involves note-taking. Anyone who has been around me and tried to read my handwriting quickly realizes the hazards inherent with that! My apologies in advance for anything I report that is less than accurate, due to my inability to read my own notes!  Read more...

Experiencing the Seminarians of Color Conference

The Rev. Sharon Sutton
M.Div. ’17

On March 16-19, I had the pleasure of joining other students at the Seminarians of Color Conference in Oviedo, Florida near Orlando. We gathered at the Canterbury Retreat Center in the Diocese of Central Florida, under the conference’s theme, “Gathering around the Jesus Movement: Evangelism and Reconciliation.” Three seminarians from GTS attended: Michael Horvath, Deborah Lee and Sharon Sutton. In total six Episcopal seminaries and three non-episcopal seminaries were represented.  Read more...

Children’s Formation Program Completes Its First Semester

The Rev. Valerie Bailey Fischer
Th.D. Student, Anglican Studies and Church History

A special Christian formation time for children during the principal worship service is a familiar practice in Episcopal Churches. This semester, six children participated in a children’s formation program during the weekly Community Eucharist service at The General Theological Seminary. While the Seminary gathered for its principal worship service, children met in a student lounge which was temporarily transformed into a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium.  Read more...

Meeting Jesus at Grand Central

The following is an adaptation of a homily delivered in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd at The General Theological Seminary on February 15, 2016, and it appeared in the The Episcopal New Yorker Spring 2016 issue, which was named the “Jesus Issue.”


Meeting Jesus at Grand Central

Deborah A. Lee
M.Div. ’17

Whenever I read the story of Joseph’s dreams of greatness and his brothers’ response, I wish I could just sidle up to one of the jealous brothers, tap him on the shoulder and say, “Bro, you are SO gonna eat crow!” I want to tell him that Joseph’s dreams will come true; that the brothers will be proved wrong.  Read more...

Notes from the Field: An Update on The Wisdom Year

The Rev. Emily Wachner
Director of Integrative Programs

This past March 1 felt a bit like Christmas Day on campus of The General Theological Seminary—it was the day that I communicated the potential matches between sites and residents, mostly rising third-year M.Div. candidates, for the upcoming 2016-2017 Wisdom Year. Each Wisdom Year resident was matched with three or four potential sites, and vice versa, depending on each site’s needs and each student’s gifts.  Read more...

Education and Formation

The Very Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle
Dean and President

Many of you have heard or read my standard speech about what we do at General Seminary. In case you missed it, here it is: “We only do two things at General: Education and Formation. Each needs to be roughly in balance, and each needs to be integrated.”

In the past few years, we have spent a great deal of time developing the second of these two concepts: formation.  Read more...

Alive and Well – Scholarly Life at General Seminary

The Rev. Dr. Clair McPherson
Professor of Ascetical Theology

A false, and deadly, dichotomy persists in discussions of seminaries: a seminary, so this notion suggests, must either emphasize liturgical niceties or stress the urgencies of the social Gospel. Similarly, a dichotomy exists where a seminary must choose between clerical preparation and the education of the laity.

At The General Theological Seminary, we have been creatively exploring and developing an innovative, groundbreaking approach to Christian and priestly formation for the 21st century.  Read more...

Windows into the Chapel

Adorning the vestibule of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd at The General Theological Seminary are two magnificently etched windows honoring St. Mary the Virgin and St. Elizabeth. Alumni and Friends visiting the Close for the first time since the 1990s often remark that they don’t recall the windows, and inquire about their origin.

The windows were a gift of the Rt. Rev. Harold B. Robinson, Class of 1946 and D.D.  Read more...

Experiencing the Holy Land

Steve Schunk
M.Div. ’18

This past January, a group from The General Theological Seminary embarked on a Pilgrimage and Study Tour to Israel and the Holy Lands, and it was a resounding success for the 12 of us who travelled together. The mix included three family members, one outside faculty member, three M.Div. Juniors, one GTS faculty member, one GTS staff member and three Trustees.

In particular, this nine-day tour brought the ancient texts to life.  Read more...

Ecumenical Theological and Interdisciplinary Symposium Held at General Seminary

On December 5, 2015, The General Theological Seminary once again hosted the 23rd Annual Ecumenical Theological and Interdisciplinary Symposium, sponsored by the Academy of Romanian Scientists and The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality. The very topical theme was “Cultural Transparency and the Loss of Privacy in the Era of Digital Technology: How Is This Shaping Our Becoming and the Ethical Dilemmas Related to It.”

Prof.  Read more...

The GTS Reconciliation Pilgrimage

One night last fall GTS seminarians, Tommie Watkins ’16 and Alex Barton ’17 sat at Community Dinner with the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers and hatched two plots: what if a group from The General Theological Seminary attended the 50th anniversary pilgrimage remembering Alabama Civil Rights martyr—and seminarian—Jonathan Daniels? And what if the same group kept driving up to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland, one of the only Episcopal churches to serve as a stop on the Underground Railroad?  Read more...

The GTS Reconciliation Pilgrimage

One night last fall GTS seminarians, Tommie Watkins ’16 and Alex Barton ’17 sat at Community Dinner with the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers and hatched two plots: what if a group from The General Theological Seminary attended the 50th anniversary pilgrimage remembering Alabama Civil Rights martyr—and seminarian—Jonathan Daniels? And what if the same group kept driving up to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland, one of the only Episcopal churches to serve as a stop on the Underground Railroad?  Read more...

On the Ground at General Convention

Nancy Hennessey
M.Div. ’16

Where two or three are gathered in my name,
I am there among them. –Matthew 18:20

This verse resonated with me throughout my time at the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church held in Salt Lake City. This was my first General Convention and, while I knew my primary responsibility was to meet and greet alumni and friends of GTS, I was not ready for the overwhelming feeling that I was a part of something much larger than our booth in the exhibit hall.  Read more...

In Grateful Recognition of Our Supporters

Academic Year 2014 – 2015

As we celebrate our new and returning seminarians, and the beginning of a new chapter in the history of General Seminary, we are reminded of all God’s blessings on our community. In the midst of our challenges—Financial, Missional, and Cultural—we witness just how many people care deeply about the Seminary. A multitude of sisters and brothers have shown their continued faith and support through prayer, honest and challenging conversation, or tithing—often all of these!  Read more...