Campus View
News for friends of MTSO
April 2015

Mark Your Calendar

Spring brings a wealth of special events to campus

MTSO's Spring Semester will go out with a bang this year. A varied and compelling series of events fills April and May, beginning this week:

Religions of India in America
April 15, 7 p.m.

The Annual Lecture on World Religions and Interreligious Dialogue, presented by the Theological Consortium of Greater Columbus, welcomes Vasudha Narayanan, distinguished professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Florida and a past president of the American Academy of Religion. Bonus event: Stop by the Coffee Shop any time from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. to sample Indian cuisine and enjoy presentations by students who participated in the January cross-cultural immersion trip to India.

Ending Violence Against Women and Children
April 18, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Drew University Theological School Professor Traci C. West leads a one-day workshop, presented by the East Ohio Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA), in partnership with the West Ohio MFSA and MTSO. Advance registration is required.

Admissions Open House
April 18, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
This opportunity is open to anyone considering graduate-level theological education. To register, please email admit@mtso.edu.

Williams Institute lectures
April 22, 7 p.m.
April 23, 1 p.m.

Melanie Harris, associate professor of religion and ethics at Texas Christian University, will deliver two lectures. On April 22, she will speak on the topic “African American Environmental History and Ecowomanism: Black Self Recovery and Earth Care.” Her April 23 topic will be “Interfaith Womanism and Ecology: Sharing Values, Sharing Earth.” No registration is required.

Fifty-Third Commencement
May 23, 11 a.m.

Bishop Gregory Palmer of the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church will address the class of 2015.

United Methodist Women's History: Voices Lost and Found
May 28-30

Dana Robert will be the opening speaker for this conference in preparation for the 150th anniversary of the United Methodist Women. In addition, papers will be presented covering home and foreign mission, the effect of the work on women and communities, significant figures in the history of United Methodist Women, and deaconess history. Advance registration is required.

Come Say Hello

MTSO will be at conferences and denominational gatherings

Spring and summer bring opportunities for alumni and friends to reunite at annual conferences and other denominational gatherings.

Representatives of MTSO will be a part of many United Methodist conferences (the MTSO House at Lakeside will again be open for business), as well as the General Synod of the United Church of Christ and the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Visit the gatherings page on our website for a complete listing of the events where MTSO will have a presence. We look forward to seeing you.

Significant Ministry Steps

Share your ordination and commissioning news

As we enter a season of important new steps in the ministry journeys of many students and alumni, we want to be sure that good news of ordination and commissioning is shared with the MTSO community.

If you are being ordained or commissioned this year, please let us know by sending a quick email to vrichards@mtso.edu. Please include your name, MTSO graduation year(s) and information about your ordination, commissioning, annual conference, ministry appointment or other items as appropriate to your denomination.

Thanks, and congratulations to all who are advancing in ministry.

Social Media

Visit MTSO and Seminary Hill Farm on Instagram

What is this picture, and what does it have to do with MTSO? You'll find out when you check out MTSOedu on Instagram.

Both the school and Seminary Hill Farm now are posting to Instagram, a social media service emphasizing images. Check it out for compelling photography from our campus. Instagram augments our presence on other social media. Be sure to connect with us in these places, too:

And by the way, that's dinosaur kale, one of the many organic vegetables that grew throughout the winter inside a farm hoop house.

From The President

Thanks to the Big Give, we'll receive more than you give

As we approach the end of the school year and prepare to send another graduating class on to lives of ministry and service, I am reminded of the many partners we have in this important work. I am grateful for all that so many of you do to support the seminary and our students.

We have a wonderful opportunity to continue that support in a very impactful way. The Columbus Foundation has just announced another of its “Big Give” 24-hour online giving events. This one will be held from 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 12, to 10 a.m. the next day.

The Columbus Foundation has made $1.3 million in bonus money available, to be split on a pro rata basis among all nonprofits whose donors give during that brief period. In other words, we’ll receive more than you give.

In order for your gift to qualify for bonus-pool matching, you will need to donate to us online with a credit card through the Columbus Foundation’s website. We have posted instructions at www.mtso.edu/biggive. Per the foundation’s guidelines, all gifts will go to Methesco's Greatest Needs Fund.

You may recall that MTSO was a leading participant in the Big Give when it was last offered in the fall of 2013. You helped us raise $50,790 – an amount that was matched by the Columbus Foundation with another $6,201. Of 569 participating nonprofit organizations, MTSO was one of only 40 to receive more than 100 individual contributions and one of 44 to receive more than $50,000. The average gift to MTSO was $430 – 58 percent higher than the average across all participating organizations.

We have set a goal to raise $60,000 in this year’s event, which comes at a perfect time: We are finalizing our plans for the 2015-16 school year and building the financial support to make it a success. I hope you will circle May 12 and 13 on your calendar and seize the chance to make a gift with extra impact for MTSO.

Thank you for prayerfully considering how you can be a part of this important opportunity.

Jay Rundell

Faculty Honor

Paul Kim earns Fulbright award for research in South Korea

Professor Paul Kim has received a Fulbright award, which will fund his sabbatical research in South Korea during the upcoming Fall Semester. Kim, who holds MTSO’s Williams Chair in Biblical Studies, received the news in a March letter from Betty Castor, chair of the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

“The Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, and it is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government,” Castor wrote. “Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, and university presidents, as well as leading journalists, artists, scientists, and teachers. They have been awarded 53 Nobel Prizes.”

Kim, who is writing a commentary on Isaiah for Eerdmans’ New International Commentary on the Old Testament, will use his fall faculty fellowship to compare the exile story in the book of Isaiah with Korean resistance literature from 1910 to 1945, a time of Japanese occupation. He plans to study with Korean scholars and to do presentations on his project while in Korea.

“When we do comparative analysis, there’s a gap of 2,000 years,” Kim said. “So to make this study valid, I start with the hope and the possibility that we can find in comparison certain pertinent and even common features of sociological, political and religious phenomena of people in similar situations: exile, forced migration, trauma, uprootedness.”

Isaiah scholars have long studied and debated the relative contributions of exiles in Babylon and those remaining behind in Judah. Kim sees a similar dynamic between Koreans who were relocated to Japan and those who remained at home in the early 20th century.

“My question is: Can we find some similar features of mutual correspondences, maybe even working together, collaborating or inspiring each other? And how did they do so?” he said. “Were there tensions between the leaders in Babylon and leaders in Judah – and between leaders in Japan and leaders in Korea?”

“That will be something I hope to contribute to this scholarship.”