Campus View
News for friends of MTSO
May 2014

52nd Commencement

Professor Emeritus Paul Minus will address the class of 2014 

Minus (courtesy Schenck Images)

Paul Minus, whose life of service to the church and the world includes 25 years teaching at MTSO, will deliver MTSO's 2014 commencement address Saturday, May 24. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. in Dickinson Courtyard. Guests are welcome, and tickets are not required. Here is a full schedule of Graduation Weekend events.

Minus is emeritus professor of church history at MTSO, where he taught from 1964 to 1988. After earning undergraduate, theological and doctoral degrees at Yale University, Minus served as university chaplain at Florida State University before coming to MTSO. After leaving MTSO, he became founding president of the Council for Ethics in Economics. In retirement, he has served on a long list of boards and has continued to author books on a range of topics.

Minus is married to the former Jean Clegg Dickinson, whose late husband, Buford Dickinson, served as MTSO’s president from 1981 to 1985.

Baccalaureate will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 23. Graduating senior Claudine Leary will deliver the sermon.

Student Recognition

Senior awards presented at Closing Convocation 

MTSO President Jay Rundell congratulates Jennifer Stockwell, recipient of the Ronald L. Williams Book Prize

MTSO celebrated student achievement in scholarship, leadership and service at the school’s Closing Convocation and Awards Ceremony May 13.

Twelve awards were presented to outstanding graduating seniors.

The Chalice Press Book Award honors an outstanding graduate whose potential for service in Christ’s church is exceptionally high. Recipient: Randall May.

The Bishop Judith Craig Prize in Christian Education honors Bishop Craig, whose ministry began as a Christian educator. It recognizes academic excellence; a solid record of service in the local church in a field placement; positive contributions to campus life, the district or the conference; and potential for significance in professional ministry. Recipient: Mark Reed.

The Charles A. Dice Fellowship encourages and assists exceptional students in continuing their theological education beyond the Master of Divinity at another institution of recognized excellence. Selection is based on academic excellence, personal character, professional competence, and promise of usefulness in Christian ministry or the teaching profession. Recipient: Tracy Temple.

The Fellowship Seminarian Award recognizes a graduating senior who displays outstanding leadership in music or worship arts, including but not limited to dance, drama, fabric art and liturgical writing. Recipient: Kenneth Schoon.

The Gindlesperger Bible Award recognizes a graduate who has demonstrated competence in biblical studies and who is humble, diligent and anxious to learn and grow in grace. Recipient: Christina Yost.

The Hoyt Hickman Award recognizes a graduating student who has given evidence of high-quality scholarship in the study of liturgy and who is an effective leader of Christian worship. Recipient: Deborah Caulk.

The Interpretation Journal Awards are presented to five graduates who are identified by faculty as having distinguished themselves in biblical and theological studies and who intend to pursue careers in parish ministry. Recipients: Adriane Curtis, Seth Evans, Benjamin Iten, Jeeyoung Kim and Kimberly Wisecup.

The Pastoral Counseling Service and Achievement Award is presented to Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries seniors who embody the quest for excellence in professional counseling development. The recipients also demonstrate significant involvement in community service, while maintaining high standards of academic achievement. Recipients: Seth Auman and Kaylan Guzman.

The Servant Leader Award recognizes a graduating senior who has given exceptional and sacrificial service to MTSO, and has inspired others to do the same. The award consists of a water basin and a towel, evoking Jesus’ washing of his disciples’ feet. Recipient: Rebecca Guthrie.

The C. Everett and Mary Milburn Tilson Social Justice Grant honors the lives and legacies of C. Everett and Mary Milburn Tilson. This award honors the Tilsons’ lifelong devotion social justice, most notably in the civil rights movement. The grant is given to a graduating senior who has demonstrated, both in practice and profession, a commitment to a prophetic vocation of compassionate justice. Recipient: Benjamin Hall.

The David Wilcox Leadership Award honors the service and leadership of the Rev. Dr. David Wilcox within the United Methodist Church and as a trustee of MTSO. The award recognizes a graduating student preparing for ministry in the context of the local church. The recipient must reflect characteristics of servant-leadership within the MTSO community and in church ministry, and show promise to become a leader in judicatory connections. Recipients: Adriane Curtis and Claudine Leary.

The Ronald L. Williams Book Prize in Theology and Ethics honors the memory of MTSO Professor Ronald L. Williams. It is awarded to a student with extraordinary potential in theological and ethical studies and reflection. Recipient: Jennifer Stockwell.

A number of returning students also were honored at Closing Convocation.

The Nystrand Award in Homiletics honors the Rev. Dr. Philip O. Nystrand and encourages excellent preaching. It is given to a rising senior in the Master of Divinity program who demonstrates promise in homiletics. Recipient: Kenya Cummings.

The John W. and Mary Alford Family Awards are presented to students who distinguish themselves through academics, promise for pastoral ministry, ability to articulate the Christian faith, and potential for preaching. Recipients: William Halter, Lisa Kisselstein, Jennifer Leskovac, Mary Myers, Thomas Myers and Jonathan Williams.

The Zook Family Awards for Competence in Parish Ministry are presented to continuing students on the basis of promise, ability, gifts and graces for strong Christian ministry. Recipients: Jennifer Casey, Ernest Ologo, Jaetak Park and Brittany Wooten.

The Werner Merit Awards are presented to returning students who demonstrate excellence in theological studies, demonstrated in part by achieving a grade point average of 3.5 or higher. Recipients: Sam Byrd, Casey Cook, Rachael Gardner, Charlotte Goodykoontz, Ariel Hively, Susan Hollback, Patrick Kaufman, Richard Krebs, Lauren Patris de Breuil, Whitney Prose, Johari Sharp and Rina Shere.


MTSO House is back for Ohio's annual conferences

East Ohio Annual Conference barbecue

MTSO will again open its Lakeside house to alumni, students and friends during the United Methodist Church's East Ohio and West Ohio annual conferences. We hope you'll drop by. The MTSO House is at 342 Sycamore Ave., just a couple of blocks from Hoover Auditorium. Here are the scheduled events:

West Ohio Annual Conference

Monday, June 9

  • Charge Up, 8-10 a.m. Grab a cup of coffee and take advantage of our charging station to power up your phone.
  • Luncheon for Students, Alumni and Friends, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Open House, 5-7 p.m. Enjoy refreshments and conversation with President Jay Rundell.

Tuesday, June 10

  • Charge Up, 8-10 a.m. Grab a cup of coffee and take advantage of our charging station to power up your phone.

East Ohio Annual Conference

Tuesday, June 17

  • Charge Up, 8-10 a.m. Grab a cup of coffee and take advantage of our charging station to power up your phone.

Wednesday, June 18

  • Charge Up, 8-10 a.m. Grab a cup of coffee and take advantage of our charging station to power up your phone.
  • Luncheon for Students, Alumni and Friends, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Reconnect with old friends, and hear the latest MTSO news from President Jay Rundell. Come as you are. No RSVP necessary.

In addition to hospitality, MTSO is providing all those who attend the West Ohio Annual Conference with hand fans to help them beat the June heat. For East Ohio participants, MTSO will provide tote bags.

See you at Lakeside.

Ministry Milestones

Alumni and grads celebrate ordination and commissioning

We congratulate the alumni and 2014 graduates of MTSO who are being ordained and commissioned during this conference season. While many will take these steps toward service as deacons and elders in the United Methodist Church, we also celebrate those who are advancing in ministry within other and related denominations, including the United Church of Christ and the Methodist Church in Britain.

We invite you to view this year's listing, and if you are aware of someone who should be on our list but isn't, please email Danny Russell with the relevant information.

Paying Forward

A new scholarship for – and by – MTSO counseling students

Stan Ling

By Stan Ling
Director of Development

When we think of those whose generosity funds scholarships for MTSO students, we might tend to think of friends and alumni of the school. Occasionally, though, there is a gratifying exception.

A year ago, three students in our Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries program approached me with an idea. They were benefiting from excellent classroom experiences and gaining theological perspectives on approaching issues with people seeking healing. They also were aware that MACM internships and field education led to extra expenses for some students who need to drive to another part of Central Ohio.

Inspired by their own experiences and a need they had identified, these three students asked about establishing and contributing to a new scholarship to support those preparing to serve those who need healing, support, and new beginnings. As they graduate Saturday, they will leave this place better than they found it.

We in the Development Office are honored to work with these graduates to establish this new scholarship and to welcome them to the community of donors whose gifts sustain our vital mission.

From The President

News of our commencement speaker, and a staffing update 

Jay Rundell

It is finals week on campus, and commencement is just around the corner for the latest MTSO graduates to head into new lives of ministry and service.

In this issue of Campus View, you'll find news about recognition of our graduating seniors, alumni preparing for ordination and commissioning, and events at the MTSO House in Lakeside this June. Also, I have two things to bring to your attention.

First, this year's graduation speaker is Dr. Paul Minus, professor emeritus of church history. Dr. Minus was one of four MTSO faculty members arrested as a part of a civil rights witness in Jackson, Miss., 50 years ago this past Easter Sunday. He is currently engaged in issues of ecological justice and sustainability in the Claremont, Calif., area. You'll find more about commencement and Dr. Minus's background in a story below.

Second, I want to share with you some staffing changes that affect how we connect to various communities for development and recruiting. Rev. Stan Ling is retiring as a clergy member of the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church and also as MTSO's development director. Rev. April Casperson will become vice president for institutional advancement.

April has been on staff since January 2007, serving most recently as director of enrollment management and scholarship development. Going forward, she'll lead our admissions and development efforts. Claudine Leary will continue full-time as a development officer. David Allen, currently an admissions recruiter, will become director of admissions. Sally Murphy and Tashea Campbell will continue as half-time admissions recruiters.

I am grateful for Stan's work and excited to have this reconfigured advancement team in place going forward, extending our seminary's presence to multiple communities and constituencies. I hope you will feel free to contact me or any of them if we can be of service.

Jay Rundell


The MTSO farm gets a name and a new web presence 

Planting is well under way at Seminary Hill Farm

MTSO is pleased to announce the name of its organic agriculture initiative: Seminary Hill Farm. We will promote the farm in the wider community under that name while making clear the connection between sustainable agriculture and larger mission of MTSO.

The web address will direct visitors to a section of the website devoted to the farm and the role it plays in the school's commitment to sustainability and eco-theology. The same web pages will be accessible at the address

We encourage you to visit the website and help us spread the word about this exciting new chapter in the life of your seminary.