News and Events
In Memoriam: John R. Bean
5.20.13 - John R. Bean, who was recognized in 1997 with DDH's Distinguished Alumnus Award, died May 18, 2013, after a brief illness. His distinguished ministry included twenty-five years as Senior Minister of North Christian Church, Columbus, Indiana; leadership throughout the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); and passionate advocacy for human dignity and rights. He was 84.
He was born December 23, 1928 in Clarksville, Arkansas, to Walter and Margaret Bean. He married Julia Peterfy in 1958; they had just celebrated their 55th anniversary. He is also survived by his two sons, Mike and Keith, and by three sisters. Mr. Bean received his undergraduate degree from Pepperdine University. He entered the University of Chicago as a Disciples Divinity House Scholar in 1951, and received his BD from the Divinity School in 1954. He began his ministry with the regional staff in Ohio. Before moving to North Christian Church as its senior minister, he served Chicago Avenue Christian Church and Northwest Christian Church, both in Columbus, Ohio. His significant leadership in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) included service as Chair of the Committee on Structural Renewal and Reform, Parliamentarian of the General Assembly, Moderator of the Indiana Region, Vice Chair of the Council on Christian Unity, and Co-Chair of the Ecumenical Partnership Committee of the Disciples of Christ and the United Church of Christ. He also served on the Board of Directors of Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, and on the Alumni/ae Council and the Centennial Campaign Cabinet at the Disciples Divinity House.
In Columbus, Indiana, John Bean served on the Mayor's Commission on Human Rights, and was a member of the Advisory Board of the Council of Job Corps Center, served on the Board of Directors of the Community Action Project, the Board of the United Way, as Vice President of the Human Relations Council, and was the founding president of the Columbus Ecumenical Assembly, a council of churches that worked, among other things, to minister to the community through the Mobile Health Clinic and raised over $100,000 a year to help disadvantaged families. In 1989, he received from the city of Columbus, Indiana, the William R. Laws Human Rights Award.
His lifelong passion for justice grew from his understanding of the catholicity and inclusivity of the people of God. He observed, "That church is not necessarily led by the Spirit which chooses never to take a public stand nor to make an imaginative decision."
In 1997, he was honored as the Distinguished Alumnus of the Disciples Divinity House of the University of Chicago. The award cited him as an “exemplar of intelligence and integrity in ministry; leader of great effectiveness and insight." It commended him: For your remarkable congregational ministry which enabled worship, education, the arts, and social responsibility to flourish together; for your influential guidance in matters of renewal and structural reform; for your advancement of ecumenism throughout the church; and for your persistent advocacy for human rights as a pastor, leader, citizen, and fellow human being. Read Bill Crowl's introduction and John Bean's remarks here.
There will be a memorial service at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at Northwood Christian Church, 4550 Central Avenue, Indianapolis, Indianapolis. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either Northwood Christian Church or the Trustees' Trust Fund at North Christian Church, 850 Tipton Lane, Columbus, IN, 47201.
William E. Crowl to be honored as Distinguished Alumnus
5.15.13 - The Alumni/ae Council has selected William E. Crowl as the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award. The Council cited his deep love for the church, especially for congregations, and his distinguished ministry throughout the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He has been a leader in shaping the future direction of the church and in mentoring and supporting young leaders.
While still a Disciples Divinity House Scholar, Bill Crowl became the founding pastor of First Christian Church of Downers Grove, Illinois. He earned his BD in 1969. He later served thriving congregations in Baltimore and Columbus, Ohio, before becoming the Regional Minister and President of the Central Rocky Mountain Region. More recently, he completed an extended interim ministry at Cherry Log (Georgia) Christian Church. He is currently the Intentional Interim Pastor at Christian Church of Arlington Heights, Illinois.
The Disciples Divinity House is among the many Disciples and ecumenical organizations that he has served. He was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1987, and was its president during DDH’s Centennial. From 2000-05 he was Associate Dean. He has been elected on three separate occasions to the Alumni/ae Council, and previously served as its president.
The Award will be presented at the DDH luncheon during the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) meeting in Orlando. The luncheon will be Monday, July 15, at the Orlando Convention Center. More information on the luncheon is available here.
William E. Crowl is the seventeenth recipient of the award, which was established in 1979. Previous recipients, in chronological order, are Arthur Azlein, Irvin Lunger, Barton Hunter, Robert Thomas, Marvin Smith, William Weaver, Frank Mabee, Dan Genung, John Bean, J. Robert Moffett, Samuel Pearson, Raymond Williams, M. Ray Schultz, Ian McCrae, Don Browning, and Bonnie Miller-McLemore.
June 14 Convocation celebrates graduates; Lee Hull Moses to speak
05.10.13 - Alumna Lee Hull Moses, Senior Minister of First Christian Church, Greensboro, North Carolina, and Vice President of the Board of Trustees, will speak at the 2013 DDH Convocation. She is co-author of two books, including the recently released Hopes and Fears: Everyday Theology for New Parents and Other Tired, Anxious People. Graduating House Scholar Thandiwe Gobledale was a ministry intern with Ms. Hull Moses at First Christian Church, Greensboro, during the 2011-12 academic year.
The 2013 Convocation will be held June 14 at 5:30 p.m. with a reception following. Convocation is a formal service that marks the end of the academic year and celebrates the achievements of graduating Disciples House Scholars and ecumenical community members. Held in the Chapel of the Holy Grail on the last Friday afternoon of the spring quarter, the service is planned by the graduates. Convocation precedes the University’s Spring Convocation, which takes place in the main quadrangle on Saturday morning.
Kinnamon honored as Divinity School Alumnus of the Year
05.03.13 - Michael K. Kinnamon was honored by the University of Chicago Divinity School as its Alumnus of the Year on May 2, 2013. Internationally regarded as an ecumenist, scholar of ecumenism, and church leader, he received his MA (1976) and PhD (1980; Religion and Literature) degrees from the Divinity School as a Disciples Divinity House Scholar. His address was titled A Report from the Front Lines of a Renewal Movement Under Siege. During his visit, he also led a Craft of Teaching seminar at the Divinity School and spoke with Scholars at the Disciples Divinity House.
Michael Kinnamon served as the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches from 2008-12. His influential ecumenical leadership began in 1980 when he was called as Executive Secretary of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, and also included service as General Secretary of the Consultation on Church Union (later Churches Uniting in Christ), from 1999-2002. His extensive writing on the ecumenical movement includes co-editing the definitive The Ecumenical Movement: An Anthology of Key Texts and Voices, and authoring The Vision of the Ecumenical Movement and How it has Been Impoverished by its Friends, and, forthcoming in 2013, Can a Renewal Movement Be Renewed?: Questions for the Future of Ecumenism.
He is also a leader within and a major interpreter of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), who lectures widely and has written Disciples of Christ for the 21st Century and Disciples: Reclaiming Our Identity, Reforming Our Practice, co-authored with Jan Linn. Key to Kinnamon’s leadership has been a consistent theology of the church and of the ecumenical movement, articulated in writing, teaching, and leading. He follows theological issues to their broadest social impact, using his insight and stature to press these matters in faith communities across the country and throughout the world.
In August 2012, Michael Kinnamon began a three-year term as the Spehar-Halligan Visiting Professor of Ecumenical Collaboration in Interreligious Dialogue at Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry. Previously he was a member the faculties of Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Lexington Theological Seminary (also serving there as academic dean), and Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. He received honorary degrees from Bethany College and the Aquinas Institute of Theology.
Book-signing celebrates "Everyday Theology"
04.10.13 - On Thursday, April 18, from 5:00 to 6:30 pm, an event at the Divinity School will celebrate the publication of Hopes and Fears: Everyday Theology for New Parents and Other Tired, Anxious People by Bromleigh McCleneghan, Associate for Congregational Life, Rockefeller Chapel, and Lee Hull Moses, Senior Minister of First Christian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. Ms. Hull Moses is also Vice President of the DDH Board of Trustees and a DDH alumna. The book, which is about being not-perfect parents in a not-perfect world, is full of life, theology, and humor. The event will include a panel of respondents, wine and cheese, and books for sale and signing. Cynthia Lindner, Director of the Ministry Program (and also a DDH alumna and trustee), organized the event in conjunction with the Divinity School's Annual Ministry Conference.
Daugherty co-chairs 9th Annual Ministry Conference at the Divinity School
04.3.13 - McKinna Daugherty, a third-year Disciples Divinity House Scholar and MDiv student, is the co-chair of this year's annual student-run Ministry Conference with Will Storm, also a third-year Divinity School MDiv student. The April 19 conference, to be held in Swift Hall, is titled Fair as the Moon, Terrible as an Army: Sexual Beings in Religious Community. It will feature Margaret Farley and Amy Frykholm as keynote speakers, Larry Greenfield as the conference's preacher, plus workshops, conversation, and worship. Ms. Daugherty, who hails from the Kansas City area, has written her senior ministry thesis on how religious communities address sexuality; last summer she received a grant from the Higher Education and Leadership Ministries (HELM) of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to study church camp curricula on sexuality for youth.
Packman, Ellingson, and Kim collaborate in new Logan Square church
03.25.13 - Disciples House Scholar Andrew Packman, an MDiv graduate and current PhD student in Theology, has joined with Divinity School MDiv classmates Neil Ellingson and Tim Kim to start a new Disciples congregation in Logan Square on Chicago’s north side. Root and Branch Christian Church “aims to give souls in Chicago deeper roots and more expansive, outstretching branches.” Its first gathering was held over dinner on Friday, March 8, with 25 persons attending. The meal opened with sharing the bread and closed with sharing the cup; in between, prayer, song, and reflection were also shared. On March 16, Root and Branch Christian Church was granted congregation-in-formation status by the Christian Church in Illinois and Wisconsin; the new church has also received a $60,000 grant from the region. Here Rebecca Ingram, chair of the region's new church establishment committee, looks on while Andrew Packman, with Mr. Ellingson and Mr. Kim, signs the covenant with the region; a communion service followed.
Students share experience at Taizé in chapel service
03.20.13 - House Scholar Allie Lundblad and House Resident Kathryn Ray led worship in the style of Taizé on Monday, March 4, the final chapel service of the winter quarter. Both Ms. Lundblad and Ms. Ray have visited the monastic community in Taizé, France. Drawing on their experiences, Ms. Lundblad and Ms. Ray, both MDiv students, crafted a time of peace and reflection. The songs most associated with Taizé are sung as meditative chants, and the service provided an opportunity to renew spirits through song-filled prayer. The community in Taizé was founded by Brother Roger during World War II. From its beginnings, it has been an ecumenical community committed to “live in communion with God through prayer and to be a leaven of peace and trust in the midst of the human family.” Over the years young people from around the world have come to visit the community and join in prayer and worship. Today, the community in Taizé welcomes young adults for weeklong or weekend retreats throughout the year.
Blaisdell to speak January 14
01.12.13 - Alumnus Chuck Blaisdell, Senior Minister of First Christian Church, Colorado Springs, will speak at the first Monday forum of the Winter quarter. His talk is entitled, "17 things I've learned in ministry over 28 years, in 8 venues, 4 regions, 1 conference, and 2 denominations." Mr. Blaisdell is the former pastor of the Hilo Coast United Church of Christ in Honomu, Hawaii, and the former regional minister for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Northern California and Nevada. In May 2012, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) in Indianapolis, another of his alma maters. In selecting him, the school noted, "Chuck has one of the finest critical minds in the Disciples of Christ today in the sense that he has a compelling vision of God and the world emerging from serious dialogue with the Bible, tradition, and experience."
Congratulations to December graduate Alexis Vaughan
12.21.12- Alexis K. Vaughan received her MDiv degree at the University of Chicago's Convocation on December 14, and was recognized with other December graduates at a Divinity School ceremony and reception. Ms. Vaughan's senior ministry project was entitled, "Everyday I'm Hustlin': Exploring the Giving and Receiving Ends of Faith-based Empowerment Work." It offered theological and cultural commentary that built on her field experience in Kenya---an experience made possible through the Divinity School's International Ministry Travel Grant. She was involved in the "One Chicago, One Nation," a program to train leaders in interfaith/intercultural organizing sponsored by the Interfaith Youth Core, the Inter-City Muslim Action Network, and the Chicago Community Trust. She is a 2006 BA graduate of Duke University, where she was honored for her student service leadership. After graduating from Duke, she held a year long internship with Sojourners magazine. Her home congregation is the United Christian Parish of Reston, Virginia, where Joan Bell-Haynes is Senior Minister. Congratulations, Alexis!
Dunn elected to Board; Paulsell concludes service
12.3.12 - At their October meeting, the Board of Trustees elected J. Marshall Dunn to its membership. He is a former Alumni/ae Council President and the Senior Minister Emeritus of University Christian Church in Hyattsville, Maryland, a vibrant multi-racial congregation with significant outreach ministries. Marshall Dunn has given leadership across the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Following his retirement in October 2005, he served four months as the interim associate general minister of the Christian Church; he subsequently served as the interim regional minister in Capital Area. From 2011-12, he chaired a committee to develop a five-year strategic plan for Higher Education and Leadership Ministries (HELM). A beloved and energetic leader, he has been involved in camp counseling for nearly fifty years, including directing the Capital Area’s young adult conference and serving as chaplain for the senior high camp. After graduating from Hiram College, he became a Disciples Divinity House Scholar in 1965 and earned Master’s and D.Mn. degrees from the Divinity School. Marshall and Barbara Dunn have two grown children, Kristen, a DDH alumna herself who is the Director of Training at NIH, and Eric, an award-winning teacher, and three grandchildren.
The Trustees celebrated Stephanie Paulsell’s sixteen years of Board leadership, including as Secretary, chair of the Scholarship Committee, and, in 2010-11, as chair of the dean’s review committee. An MA and PhD alumna who previously served as Director of Ministry Studies at the Divinity School, Ms. Paulsell is the Houghton Professor of the Practice of Ministry at Harvard Divinity School and the author of a forthcoming book on Virginia Woolf. She is married to Kevin Madigan (they met at the House, where he was an ecumenical resident), who is the Winn Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Harvard Divinity School.
Dean Kris Culp commented, “We are grateful for Marshall Dunn’s and Stephanie Paulsell’s service. Such committed and visionary alumni/ae leadership has been and continues to be crucial for the strength of the Disciples Divinity House and its Board.”
Rolland and Leverne Pfile honored
11.26.12 - On October 7, 2012, at Downey Avenue Christian Church in Indianapolis, Angela Pfile and Dean Kris Culp, joined with Senior Minister Sue Shadburne Call and the congregation to honor Rolland and Leverne Pfile. The recognition had been set in motion a year before. Angela Pfile and Doug Job, who had met at the Disciples Divinity House when they were both Scholars and married in the Chapel of the Holy Grail, decided to establish a fund in her parents’ names at the Disciples Divinity House. (Mr. Job, who is starting a new congregation in Athens, Georgia, Evergreen Christian Church, was not able to join the October celebration.)
Leverne Barlow and Rolland Pfile likewise met at the University of Chicago Divinity School when they were both graduate students there. Rolland, who earned his B.D. in 1964, was a Disciples Divinity House Scholar; Leverne was not—at that time, women were not admitted to DDH or eligible for its scholarships. Throughout his ministry and during an era of significant social change in church and society, Rolland G. Pfile provided prophetic leadership and critical support for other prophets. After serving congregations in Pennsylvania, he was called to be Executive Secretary of the Department of Church in Society of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where he served from 1974-91. Under his leadership and with a remarkable staff, Church in Society helped Disciples to address racial and economic justice, peace, refugee resettlement, divestment in South Africa, and other issues. Later, Mr. Pfile held several interim ministries. From 1993-95, he was the convener of DDH’s centennial celebration and campaign committee.
Leverne B. Pfile was elected to the DDH Board of Trustees in the mid-1970s—about the time that women became eligible to be Disciples House Scholars. For over 20 years, until 1999, she gave crucial leadership including as Vice President and on two dean search committees. She helped to shape both what the Board did and how it did its work. Women who were Scholars during those years remember her presence, leadership, and advocacy as vitally important. In 1985, Ms. Pfile earned a M.S. in counseling and, in partnership with Downey Avenue Christian Church, opened Hope Counseling. In her practice, she has assisted persons in establishing sustaining patterns of relationship and interdependence.
Underwood and DeShazier to discuss "The Line," November 5
11.01.12 - A new 30-minute documentary film explores "the new face of poverty in the U.S." through stories of people living at or below the poverty line. The film, by Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Linda Midgett, was produced in conjunction with Sojourners. Julian DeShazier, Senior Minister of University Church and a DDH trustee, appears in the film. It will be screened at DDH on Monday, November 5 at 7:00 pm. Mr. DeShazier will be present to introduce and discuss the film along with alumnus Beau Underwood, who is the Campaigns Manager with Sojourners. The 7:00 pm forum will be preceded by chapel at 5:30 pm, led by Disciples Divinity House Scholar Alexis Vaughan, and by dinner at 6:00 pm.
Entering 2012-13 Disciples Divinity House Scholars announced
10.09.12 - Five persons have been selected as entering Scholars for 2012-13: Rachel Abdoler, Danielle Cox, Jeremy Fuzy, and Allison Lundblad have begun M.Div. studies; Andrew Packman has begun Ph.D. work in Theology.
Rachel Abdoler is a 2011 summa cum laude graduate of Drury University, where she majored in international politics, minored in Middle East Studies, and was named Outstanding Senior in both Political Science and in Middle East Studies. She came to Drury as a recipient of a Missouri Bright Flight Scholarship and Drury’s Presidential Scholarship. Rachel served as the vice president of the Student Union Board and as president of the International Affairs Council, and was involved in Model United Nations. She has given significant service leadership, including projects to foster multi-faith understanding, events in New Orleans and in Galveston, and a year-long service project with low income housing residents in Springfield, Missouri. She studied in Rome and interned at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC. She has studied Arabic for two years and continues her study this year. She is a member of National Avenue Christian Church in Springfield, Missouri, where she served as a co-sponsor of the youth group and which has been the context for some of her service leadership. Her goal is to become “an agent for the promotion of greater understanding and acceptance of different faith traditions.”
Danielle Cox (pictured on the right with Lundblad) was an honors student at Lynchburg College, where she majored in International Relations and graduated cum laude in 2012. She studied NGOs in India, attended a seminar on the European Union in Western Europe, participated in Model United Nations, and wrote an honors thesis on reconciliation and restoration in post-genocide Rwanda, for which she received high honors. As President of Disciples on Campus, she worked closely with the college chaplain, DDH alumna Stephanie McLemore. In 2011 as a summer intern with Disciples Volunteering at the Disciples Disaster Response mission station in Nashville, she facilitated volunteer flood relief work. For all four years of college, she was a Phillips Legacy Scholar. Danielle was also the president of the Interfaith and Community Service initiative, a representative to the Cooperative Campus Ministry, a Big Brother/Big Sister volunteer, a deacon at First Christian Church in Lynchburg, VA, a member of three honorary societies, an officer of her sorority, and a Writing Center Tutor. Her home church is First Christian Church, Houston, Texas. She plans to pursue the joint MDiv/Master of Public Policy program.
Jeremy Fuzy is a 2011 summa cum laude graduate of Drury University, where he majored in Religion/Philosophy and in Politics and Government, and was named Outstanding Senior in Religion/Philosophy. He served as president of the Religion/Philosophy Club, president of the International Affairs Council, member of the University’s Student Promotion/Tenure Committee, bass guitarist for the Marshfield Performing Arts Society, and stage manager for “The Jellybean Conspiracy,” a two-act drama. He was involved in Model United Nations and elected to the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society. He studied in London, Prague, and Kraków one summer and, another, in Rome. He grew up in Marshfield, Missouri, where he was active in the United Methodist church. However, it was the formal study of religion and theology, together with his experience at National Avenue Christian Church during college and the mentorship of Drury professor Peter Browning, that became decisive for his pursuit of the MDiv degree. Last year, Jeremy co-sponsored the National Avenue youth group and volunteered at the Harvest on Wheels Farmer’s Market.
At Oberlin College, 2012 BA graduate Allison Lundblad studied religion broadly and deeply, including focused work in Near Eastern mythology, Pseudo-Dionysius, Catherine of Sienna, and on mercy and wrath in the Qur'an. Theology is her central interest, especially the public consequences of our attempts to make sense of God. Her senior capstone project, for which she received high honors, addressed Pierre Hadot’s interpretation of Origen. Allie was a Haskell Fellow in Ancient Near Eastern Studies and received the Religion Department’s Clyde Holbrook Memorial Prize. She was also a Fund for Theological Education Undergraduate Fellow and a HELM Leadership Fellow. She was deeply engaged in service and ministry as the organizer of Oberlin’s weekly Taizé service, as a community service volunteer, and as a youth worker at Washington Avenue Christian Church in Elyria, Ohio, where she planned a “30-hour famine event” to raise awareness of world hunger. During one winter term she led a group to France for the “Spirituality of Taizé.” In her home region of North Carolina, she served as a paid camp staff member and directed a Junior Camp, and she was the keynote speaker for the women’s retreat. This past summer she was an intern at HELM. She plans to do the joint MDiv/MA in Social Service Administration; she is also considering PhD work.
2012 MDiv graduate Andrew Packman accepted an offer of admission to the PhD program in Theology, and continues as a Disciples Divinity House Scholar. His interests include: eschatology and philosophies of history; the intersection of aesthetics, phenomenology, and theories of moral motivation and error; and relations among theological anthropology, memory, and cultural identity. In 2011 as a recipient of the Divinity School’s International Ministry Travel Grant, he returned to Bosnia to study reconciliation. Some of his reflections on that experience were published in the Christian Century (January 11, 2012) as “Table Manners: Unexpected Grace at Communion.” Andrew previously traveled to Bosnia with a Week of Compassion Seminarians Delegation. Last year, he co-chaired the Divinity School’s annual student-run Ministry Conference. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Loyola University in Chicago, and he completed a two-year internship at First Christian Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with alumnus Michael Karunas. He was ordained in August in his home congregation, First Christian Church of Centralia, Illinois.
Landon to preach opening chapel and present forum, October 8
09.20.12 - Dennis Landon, President of Higher Education and Leadership Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), will preach the opening chapel service at the beginning of the 2012-13 academic year. He will also present the year's first forum, offering reflections entitled, More fun than you might expect: Confessions of a Denominational Bureaucrat.
After becoming its president in 1997, he led what had been the Division of Higher Education in clarifying its mission, focusing its energies on leader development, and hence adopting its present name. Mr. Landon continues to lead HELM's mission to nurture transforming leaders for the church and the larger society in partnership with Disciples-related colleges and universities, theological schools, and ministries to and with students.
A native of Canton, Pennsylvania, Dennis Landon is a graduate of Columbia University and of the Divinity School and the Disciples Divinity House of the University of Chicago. He was ordained in 1975 and served as pastor for congregations in Wisconsin and Indiana for 12 years. He then served as executive director of East Central Colleges, a consortium of independent colleges in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He also served on the town council and as acting municipal judge for the Town of Bethany, West Virginia, and as a director for Wabash Valley Human Services as well as a variety of other community groups. Mr. Landon is a trivia expert and a contributor to a book of humorous essays on the work of Franz Bibfeldt, the world's most famous non-existent theologian. He is married to Lana Hartman Landon, a writer, teacher, and PhD alumna of DDH and the Divinity School; they live in St. Louis, Missouri.