2 years ago

After 20 years of service, Dr. Russell Nichols - Hanover College

After 20 years of service, Dr. Russell Nichols - Hanover College

CCL strengthens

CCL strengthens students, churchesRev. Dr. Michelle BartelTo more completely address thevocational needs of studentsand the vocational and leadershipneeds of regional churches anddenominations, Hanover Collegelaunched the Center for ChurchLeadership (CCL) January 1, 2006. A$500,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment,matched by the college’sresources, created the CCL and allowthe college to build on the success of itsvocational mentoring program.Under the direction of The Rev. Dr.Michelle Bartel, Hanover College chaplainand associate professor of theologicalstudies, the CCL will develop collaborativeprograms that provide opportunitiesfor students, clergy and laity incongregations in and around Indiana.The Center will recruit and engagemore students who wish to enterHanover’s pre-ministry program, ultimatelyto serve the church as ordainedor lay leaders. At the same time, it willserve the needs of individuals and thechurch by strengthening relationshipswith those who recognize the value ofproducing leaders educated in theliberal arts.“The Center will be a place to makepeople breathe a sigh of relief and feelexcited,” said Bartel, an ordained ministerof the Presbyterian Church (USA)who has served as co-chaplain atHanover since 2001. “The Center willbe a support, a place of resource,” shesaid. “It will both deepen and draw onthe liberal arts tradition of the collegeas it supports the life of the church.What we establish here will servechurches in the region with relevanceand thereby offer relevance and supportto churches across the country.“When vocational issues arise, clergyand laity will be provided assistance,”Bartel said. “Hanover will assistchurches with excellence and trustworthinessthrough a wealth of resourcesthat can be drawn upon to support theCenter and its programs. For instance,we have the resource of faculty membersin departments across the curriculumwho are committed to their ownspirituality and can bring their educationallives to bear on the life of thechurch through educational models,the social and natural sciences, thehumanities, the arts, and athletics.”Hanover intends for the CCL tostrengthen its historic relationship withthe Presbyterian Church by providingmutual benefit to the church, the collegeand its students. “Presbyterians arean identifiable constituency groundedin the history and traditions of this college,”Bartel said, “but the Center’s programswill be available to all individualsand congregations.”The CCL will focus on two primaryareas: a continuing education programfor ordained and lay leaders, and thecollege’s vocational and pre-ministryprograms for undergraduate students.The Center’s Director of ChurchRelations will develop relationshipswith churches and their leaders andwill aid the continuing education programby identifying educational needsand developing and promoting programsthat address scholarly, spiritualand practical issues. CCL programmingwill help equip pastors and layleaders, especially those of small- tomedium-sized congregations withinthe region, through training, spiritualdirection, consultation, presentationsand education to strengthen the lifeand ministry of the local church.The director also will supportHanover’s pre-ministry programthrough internship placements and byrecruiting students with demonstratedleadership abilities and who are activelyinvolved in their churches. Fiftythousanddollars in scholarships for studentsrecommended by their pastorswill aid that effort.Through the sequence of ExaminedLife courses, Hanover’s theological facultywill continue a broad approach tomentoring through introductorycourses. Additional faculty and staffwill mentor students in the campuswidevocational mentoring program,assisting them in exploring their relationshipwith God and their vocation.The centerpiece of the pre-ministryprogram for Hanover undergraduatesis the Consilium, a focused and intensiveform of vocational mentoring forthose pursuing a call to ministry.Consilium students gather as a groupto discuss the discernment process.Mentored in a one-on-one setting, theywill share common readings, and participatein group discussions andretreats. In addition, they will beencouraged to interact with religiousorganizations and complete an internshipas part of the discernment process.12July/August 2006

Turning theological tablesAscant few years ago, Nicole Smith Murphy ’99, turned in term papers and metassignment deadlines for Prof. Michael Duffy, chair of Hanover’s Theological Studiesdepartment. However, in a rather amazing about-face, Murphy recently servedas editor on Duffy’s first book.Murphy, a theology major who also earned a master’s degree at Vanderbilt DivinitySchool, works at Westminster John Knox Press in Louisville, coincidentally, the publisherDuffy landed with for his well-received new book The Skeptical, Passionate Christian.Murphy said that her former professor’s book “is inviting, witty, deeply personal, andfull of Mike’s trademark seemingly ludicrous but pedagogically wise questions such as‘Could God be a cat?’” She recalls Duffy providing a “warm, safe, intellectuallydemanding space to think critically about the (sacredly-held) beliefs about God and the wayhumans are supposed to live that in so many families and traditions are not permitted to be questioned.”Critical praise pours in for the book. One reviewer, John M. Buchanan, publisher of The Christian Century and senior pastor ofFourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, said: “I was hooked by page two. Duffy’s creative weaving together of his own story withthoughtful theological analysis makes this book something of an anomaly, a religious page-turner. At a time when ideological andtheological certainty stops most conversations before they begin, Michael Duffy has written a thoughtful, important, accessible, andhelpful book.”Duffy calls his book “an introduction to theological thinking that grew out of some short essays I wrote for my introductory classes.I wanted students to think carefully about the nature of this thing called theology that we were studying. The book expands on thattheme, helps readers to identify the theological questions with which they are most deeply and personally concerned, and gives thema way to find the answers to these questions. Finally, the book illustrates the whole theological process by exploring the question ofvocation: Is God calling us, as individuals or communities, to live in some ways rather than other ways?”Murphy chuckles at the role reversal at the heart of the critically important writer/editor relationship. “It was interesting, with mebeing his former student and he accustomed to critiquing my work. This time around I had the red pen, but it was really a veryfortunate relationship. Having been in so many of his classes, I knew just what he was trying to get across as I edited his writing.Ironically, I had to insist on some tough deadlines, but he was far better at meeting my deadlines than I ever was as a studentat meeting his.”Alumni EventsGolf outingAlumni from as far away asArkansas returned to HiddenCreek Golf Club for the 7thannual Louisville GolfScramble. Organizingcommittee member GregLeonhardt ’78 and KeithWhite ’80 share a laugh withSteve Collier ’77 and JohnSrofe ’79. The golf outingwas followed by dinner,which included specialguests John and JeanMatson Collier ’51 ’54and Dick andLorna Naylor.Day atthe racesTom Bruner ’61, andhis daughter Kathryn,enjoy Stephen FosterStakes Day at ChurchillDowns in June withother HC alumni. Theevent included a 91:1payoff for some luckywinners, and retiredjockey Pat Day signedautographs.The Hanoverian13

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