Campus View
News for friends of MTSO
July 2015

Mark your calendar: Sept. 28

Alumni Day features luncheon honoring Bishop Judith Craig

Bishop Craig
Bishop Craig

Alumni Day 2015 will feature a new event and a new approach to a special MTSO tradition. Alumni, students, and current and former faculty and staff will come together Sept. 28 for a continental breakfast and fellowship before joining together in a service of thanksgiving, where this year’s recipients of the John and Ruth Mount Alumni Awards will be honored.

The day continues with a special luncheon honoring Bishop Judith Craig, MTSO’s bishop in residence and visiting professor in the Dickhaut Chair of Church Leadership. Over delicious cuisine prepared by staff of Seminary Hill Farm, the program will honor Bishop Craig’s remarkable ministry and launch the campaign for the Bishop Judith Craig Scholarship Endowment. Informal fellowship over dessert will bring the day to a close.

Alumni Day features events from 10 a.m. to mid-afternoon Sept. 28. Events are being presented at no cost to guests, though all who plan to attend are asked to complete a short online RSVP form. Guests also will be offered the opportunity to invest in the Bishop Judith Craig Scholarship Endowment.

Here is a schedule:

10 a.m.: Continental breakfast in the Gallery adjacent to the Alford Centrum.

10:30 a.m.: Service of thanksgiving honoring recipients of the John and Ruth Mount Alumni Awards for Distinguished Service in the Alford Centrum.

Noon: Luncheon honoring Bishop Judith Craig in Dunn Dining Hall.

Click here to RSVP for Alumni Day. See you on Sept. 28.


Alumni: Please share news of your work and your life

A favorite feature in each issue of The Story Magazine and Annual Report is Alum News, where members of the MTSO extended community can catch up on the activities, adventures and milestones of our alumni. With the next issue due out soon, this is a perfect time to provide your former classmates, professors and friends with an update about your life.

It’s easy to share your news and update your contact information at This year, we’ve added a new opportunity: You’re invited to share an optional photo to go with your news.

Thanks for considering what you might add to this ongoing record of the meaningful lives MTSO’s alumni are leading.


Reflections on teaching at Korea's Methodist Theological University

Numrich's class in KoreaDr. Paul Numrich, MTSO professor in the Snowden Chair for the Study of Religion and Interreligious Relations, has spent a portion of this summer at Methodist Theological University in the Republic of Korea, teaching a class on Abrahamic faiths to students of varied nationalities and Methodist affiliations. (He is fourth from the left in the class photo above.) Here, he looks back on the experience.

My 2015 journey to the Republic of Korea began at England’s University of Oxford in 2013. President Jong-Chun Park of Seoul’s Methodist Theological University gave a talk at the Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies during which he invited seminary faculty to teach at his school.

I had visited Korea once and plan to co-lead the MTSO cross-cultural trip to Korea next summer with MTSO Professor of Hebrew Bible Paul Kim, so it seemed fitting that I should take President Park up on his offer. In June, I spent two weeks teaching the course Abrahamic Faiths to Methodist students from Fiji (Methodist Church in Fiji), Kenya (Methodist Church in Kenya), Liberia (UMC), Myanmar (UMC), the Philippines (UMC), and Togo (Korean Methodist Mission for Africa).

The experience was memorable and inspiring in so many ways. Dr. Kim, who was at MTU on a Fulbright grant, was my unofficial guide on many days. MTU’s president, faculty, administrators, staff and students all welcomed me warmly, graciously accommodating my clumsy American ways. (I have not mastered Korean chopsticks.)

My students were diligent and enthusiastic, and several brought experiences of Islam that differ greatly from those of most American students. To a person, they took to heart the course objective of learning how to engage both Jews and Muslims with Christian integrity and sensitivity, and they were well aware of the important role they play as Christian leaders in the complex and often contentious interreligious relations of our day.

Methodist Theological University has a striking campus in the heart of Seoul. The school operates a successful program called International Graduate Studies of Theology, in which my course was offered. MTSO and MTU have a rich relationship. Dr. Duck-kwan Koo and Dr. Pil-hyung Yum, former presidents of MTU, are MTSO alumni. In 2009, the schools initiated an exchange program; among those to benefit is MTSO student Clara Kwon, who will study at MTU this fall.

On the last day of class I taught, my students sang a song of appreciation for my teaching and presented me with a plaque quoting Philippians 4:6 in both Korean and English: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

I recalled that the words “travel” and “travail” probably come from the same root. My journey to Korea this time had some travail about it – a long and difficult flight plus anxiety about Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. But in the end, I was blessed by my travels and by my students, whose gift continues to remind me: “Do not be anxious about anything….”


Freedom School scholars spend a day at Seminary Hill Farm

Apiarist Dave Noble talks bees with the scholars

Seminary Hill Farm enjoyed an infusion of youthful energy July 17, when about 50 scholars entering first through 12th grades visited. The students are attending the Children’s Defense Fund University District Freedom School, an eight-week, full-day literacy enrichment program hosted by Summit on 16th United Methodist Church.

The scholars’ day on campus included a sting-free visit to our beehives, and a session creating their own arrangements of farm-grown flowers. Despite afternoon thunderstorms that interfered with their plans to pick and wash vegetables, it was a busy day.

“Part of our job as farmers is to be educators,” said Farm Supervisor Noel Deehr. “We enjoy sharing with others what we’re passionate about, which is food, and passing that on to future leaders.”

“We’re also a place for people to try new things,” she said. “We handed purple carrots to all the kids, and they said, ‘What are these?’ Then they all ate them, and they were excited about it. The farm is a learning place.”