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A Message from Department Chair Jerry Sittser

Dearest Friends of Whitworth's Theology Department,

It is a pleasure to provide some opening comments to this year's theology newsletter.  On May 13 we graduated a large and competent class of 32 theology majors; most of these students were deeply invested in service of various kinds and show promise that they will continue that commitment over a lifetime. They were a pleasure to teach and know. Our graduates appear to be headed almost everywhere: into law school and seminary (eight different seminaries, at that!), grad programs in counseling, Young Life staff and international service, and a host of others places. We are so very proud of them.

No faculty members were on sabbatical this year, which means we operated in full force as a department. Our faculty members were busy serving on various task forces and committees, and of course spending a great deal of time with students. Jonathan Moo, who just completed his second year, has already developed a strong presence on campus: he oversees our Greek program, teaches the book of Revelation as well as the class Theology & Ecology, and is taking some 20 students to Tall Timber next January for his first off-campus course, dedicated to the topic of the Bible and ecology.

Our commitment to scholarship continues, too. Adam Neder recently published a book on Karl Barth and Jonathan Moo published a book on 4 Ezra. Others are awaiting publication of books already completed: Keith Beebe on the Cambuslang revivals, Roger Mohrlang on the apostle Paul, and myself on redemption. Karin Heller is writing an occasional blog for a national publication, Jim Edwards is writing a commentary on the gospel of Luke, and Karen Petersen Finch is preparing lectures on Calvin for Beeson Divinity School, which she will visit this fall. As you can see, little moss is growing under our feet.

We are glad to announce, too, that the Welch Family Foundation granted us $50,000 for student scholarships and research assistants, which means a great deal of money will be going directly to our students. We are very grateful for the generosity of the Welch family for this gift!

We also want to acknowledge out indebtedness to others who contribute so much to our department: to our lecturers, Scott Starbuck and Jeremy Wynne; to Kent McDonald, Mindy Smith, Terry McGonigal and Dottie Mohrlang, who teach so ably for us; to Tim Dolan, the director of the M.A. in Theology Program; to our student assistants; and especially to Debbie Stierwalt, our program administrator, who keeps everything running smoothly.

We are grateful to you, too, for your support and prayers. Grace and peace to you.

Jerry Sittser



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