Photo by Walt Wiltschek
“It is a real joy to bring to you something that will undergird the life-long training of our ministers,” said associate general secretary Mary Jo Flory-Steury as she requested board approval for use of $150,000 from the total gift received by the Church of the Brethren. The gift is restricted to specific purposes, including to provide books and other educational resources to ministers, support self-help programs, and for Christian work in inner city Chicago.
The Wieand family has provided decades of leadership in ministerial education in the Church of the Brethren, beginning with Albert Cassel (A.C.) Wieand who was a co-founder of Bethany Theological Seminary. He and E.B. Hoff founded the seminary in Chicago in 1905, originally called Bethany Biblical Seminary. David J. Wieand taught at Bethany when the seminary was located in the Chicago area, and headed up an Advanced Pastor’s Seminar that was a continuing education program for Bethany master of divinity graduates after three years in ministry. He also was instrumental in the doctor of ministry program. Also honored by this gift is Katherine Broadwater Wieand, wife of A.C. Wieand.
The new program at the Brethren Academy follows up on the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence (SPE) program, which will be completed by June 30. SPE was funded through a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.
Sustaining Ministerial Excellence: Advanced Seminar will be a continuing education program for ordained ministers who pastor a church, do chaplaincy, or serve in another ministry setting. It will broaden opportunities for continuing education for all Church of the Brethren ministers, as its predecessor focused solely on pastors. It is intended to build on the success of SPE, using surveys and reports of the effectiveness and impact of SPE on those who participated.
The new program aims at ministers who have completed 3-5 years of ministry, but will be open to ministers in other phases of their careers. It is expected to launch in January 2014, and to have a program life of five to ten years. Julie M. Hostetter, executive director of the Brethren Academy, will serve as program coordinator.
Bethany Theological Seminary, which also received a gift from the trust, has approved use of a matching $150,000 to support the Sustaining Ministerial Excellence Advanced Seminar.
Source: 3/21/2013 Newsline