Campus View
News for friends of MTSO
June 2015

Attention, Prospective Students

Summer Open House is July 14

Are you or someone you know considering graduate theological education? MTSO’s Summer Admissions Open House is a perfect opportunity to spend a Saturday morning learning about the possibilities.

The Summer Open House will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 14. Highlights includes opportunities to sit in on a class, tour apartments and residence halls, explore MTSO’s many financial aid options, talk with current students, faculty and admissions counselors, and learn about Seminary Hill Farm.

“Our current students tell us how valuable a campus visit was in their discernment process,” said Admissions Director Benjamin Hall. “I don’t know where your path will lead you, but I know you won’t regret the four hours you spend learning more about MTSO and the seminary experience.”

Open House is free to anyone considering graduate-level theological education. Lunch is provided, and overnight housing may be available. To reserve a spot or just learn more, please email

In addition to hosting Open House, the admissions staff travels to many career fairs and other campus events throughout the year. We already have plans to be at more than 20 events through November, and the list keeps growing. Visit our MTSO on the Road page to find out when we’ll be near you.


Solar energy array installed

A new solar array was erected on the MTSO campus in early May, on a hillside between Gault Hall and the Helen Werner Apartment Building. Plans for the 40-panel array were announced in October, when President Jay Rundell invited donors to give to the project in the amount of $750 per panel. It has been fully funded through that appeal.

The array is expected to generate 11 kilowatts of electricity for Gault Hall. It is the latest initiative in an effort to inhabit the campus in a more environmentally responsible way.

“This is one step of our ongoing commitment to make MTSO a more sustainable campus,” Rundell said. “I’m grateful to those who invested in this project.”

Summer Reunions

Reconnect with MTSO friends at conferences and gatherings

The MTSO House at Lakeside will once again open its doors to offer barbecue lunches to alumni and friends attending the West Ohio and East Ohio annual conference. Those United Methodist events are just two of the many gathering MTSO will host during a busy summer.

The West Ohio lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, June 8, at the MTSO House, 324 Sycamore Ave. The East Ohio lunch will be served 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 16. No RSVP is required for either.

Visit our conference gatherings page for details on many other upcoming events, including those at the West Virginia and Desert Southwest annual conferences, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ and the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

On our alumni events page, you’ll find information on gatherings at the annual meeting of the Black Clergywomen of the United Methodist Church and the School of Congregational Development alumni dinner.

We welcome suggestions for other opportunities to bring together alumni and friends. If you are planning or attending an event where you would like to see a presence by MTSO, please email April Casperson, vice president for institutional advancement, with information about the event.

Vocational Discernment

Alumni panel talks traditional ministry with current students

MTSO alumni shared their wisdom April 28 during the Spring Semester’s alumni discernment panel for students planning to go into traditional ministry.

The alumni panelists were Rev. Virginia Lohmann Bauman, senior pastor of St. John's United Church of Christ in Columbus; Rev. Steve Harsh, retired United Methodist pastor; Rev. Shannon Marie Berry, pastor at Asbury United Methodist Church in Greeneville, Tenn.; and Rev. Robin Baer, pastor of McConnellsburg United Methodist Church in McConnellsburg, Pa.

They shared favorite resources and encouraged students to embrace the intellectual opportunities at MTSO as both students and alumni. All panelists agreed on the importance of self-care in ministry, and much of the discussion centered on ministry challenges, including those faced by women. Students had questions about ordination processes, what names and titles the alumni pastors use in various contexts, and transformative leadership.

“It takes a great deal of courage to be in ministry these days,” said Lohmann Bowman.

This panel was part of an ongoing alumni discernment series offered through the Office of Vocational Discernment. Previous panels have included alumni in nontraditional ministry, graduate school and counseling.

Learn more about MTSO’s vocational discernment offerings at

53rd Commencement

Congratulations, class of 2015

MTSO awarded 66 graduate degrees and two certificates at the school’s 53rd commencement May 23.

On a stunning late-spring day, Bishop Gregory Palmer of the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church addressed the graduates and more than 600 guests before degrees were conferred. The graduates presented a class gift of 30 fruit trees to the school. The trees were accepted by David Wilcox, who is completing his third and final year as chair of the MTSO board of trustees.

The degrees awarded:

  • 14 Master of Arts in Counseling Ministry
  • 5 Master of Arts in Practical Theology
  • 8 Master of Theological Studies
  • 35 Master of Divinity
  • 4 Doctor of Ministry

Baccalaureate was held May 22, with graduating senior Elizabeth Clark delivering the sermon.

Video of commencement and baccalaureate is available at Selected photos from commencement are available on MTSO’s Facebook page.

Classical Music

Full Sound Chamber Group performs in Alford Centrum

MTSO is pleased to be one of the Delaware venues to host the Central Ohio Symphony’s Summer Solstice Festival the last full week of June. Full Sound Chamber Group, a string quartet, will perform in the Alford Centrum at 7:30p.m. June 22. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Full Sound Chamber Group is a five-member “improved string quartet,” in which a double-bass is added to the usual voicing of two violins, viola and cello. Its repertoire includes baroque, classical and romantic music, as well as hymns.

From The President

A thank you and a request

Jay Rundell

Greetings on behalf of our seminary community as we conclude an exciting school year. Please read through this edition of Campus View for coverage of recent events and information on summer gatherings at annual conferences and other church meetings.

I want to thank those of you who participated in the Columbus Foundation’s Big Give last month. Unfortunately, we will not receive information about your gift from the foundation until the end of this month, at virtually the same time we close our fiscal year. It would be extremely helpful to us if those who gave to MTSO through the Big Give would use the following e-mail address now to give us your name and the amount of your gift:

For those of you who haven’t given yet this year, today is a great day to do it. Our online giving page will make it easy for you to do so. A gift to Methesco’s Greatest Needs will help us end the fiscal year well. A gift to the Seminary Scholarship Fund will help make a difference for students discerning whether they can afford to start their theological education in the fall. This scholarship support is available for all master's degree programs.

I am grateful for all the ways so many of you have supported our shared mission in the past year. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with me at 740-362-3121 or with any thoughts or questions. Have a good summer!

Jay Rundell