FTE Blog


Sacred Work

One gray afternoon surrounded by rows of lettuce fields, I ventured onto one of the main streets in my neighborhood in Salinas, California. A car pulled up next to me on the curb. Slowly the rear passenger window rolled down. A young man showed his face. He pointed, what I would later call “God’s judgment,” a .45 in my direction and yelled “WHAT DO YOU CLAIM?”

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By: Patrick B. Reyes February 03, 2016


It Takes a Village

Yesterday FTE announced the appointment of Dr. Patrick Reyes to the position, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Doctoral Initiatives. He carries forward this sacred work, and its legacy within theological education to a new moment both rife with possibilities and fraught with increasingly complex challenges.

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By: Matthew Wesley Williams February 02, 2016


What’s your New Year’s resolution?

This is the question the advent of another year raises for many people as Christians pause to reflect on the previous year and welcome the epiphanies of God regarding the year to come.

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By: Stephen Lewis January 06, 2016


The Hope of Now

When we look at the world around us, between us and in us being strangled by loss and violence, it’s easy for our hearts to be shattered pieces on the ground of despair. It’s easier to fill our mouths with empty words of faith, hope and irrelevant idealism.

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By: Stephen Lewis December 23, 2015


Trusting Brown Hands

Conversations about theological education and diversity generally focus on opening our doors to diverse populations—here read people of various shades of brown, while generally understanding ourselves as playing hosts while maintaining a vibrant sense of our own “traditions” and ecclesial “affiliations”—here read white.

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By: Stephen Ray December 09, 2015


God Beyond Borders

Inside a small church in Toronto’s north end, I spent a recent morning listening to author Paul Sparks speak about ‘the art of the neighbourhood church.’ A Parish Organizer and Social Entrepreneur, Paul explores innovative ideas and accessible approaches to ground-level ministry in his latest work entitled “A New Parish.”

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By: Kimberly Ivany December 03, 2015


More Questions Than Answers

I sat in a fluorescent lit conference room in Peachtree City, GA. Wade in the Water echoed in the room from the morning’s worship and the floor was open for those contemplating vocation and seeking advice to share with the group. There was a space of silence as the room prepared for the next person to offer their discernments.

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By: Christina Schmitt November 09, 2015


Reflections on three years with CMTEV

In 2012 Chesterton House was one of the first organizations invited to participate in the Campus Ministry Theological Exploration of Vocation (CMTEV) initiative as a pilot round grantee. We’re into our third year of the initiative and we can honestly say that every year has begun with a surprising mix of new opportunities and new challenges.

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By: Ryan O’Dowd October 30, 2015


A call to ‘Opt-in’

Growing up in my Latino/a church1 I would often hear, “ese sabe mucha teología pero poca biblia” (“he knows a lot of theology but little about the Bible”). This backhanded comment simultaneously challenged the theologically trained on their true knowledge of God and uplifted theologians trained through informal means, namely the Bible and lo cotidiano2.

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By: Grace Vargas October 21, 2015


Theological Education, Diversity, and a Transformative Future

In July, I made a brief case for placing questions of difference and diversity at the center of theological education. In my mind, the case is getting stronger by the day not because of the article’s persuasive powers (!) but because God is moving in our midst.

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By: Eric D. Barreto October 08, 2015


Benefits of a Vocational Friendship

Several months ago a member of my congregation in suburban Houston told me that her sister in Boston was dying. My congregant was doing everything she could from afar, but as anyone who has lost a loved one knows, it’s a daunting process. As she headed up to see her sister one last time, I told her that my best friend from seminary was a pastor in the area and I would put them in touch.

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By: John Allen & Nathan Bledsoe September 16, 2015


Affirmations of Calling

I had the opportunity to meet and engage women of color that have pursued ministry and preaching as a vocation through FTE’s Ministry Exploration and Mentoring Grant; The grant was such a tremendous blessing as it enabled me to develop relationships with women that have utilized their experience and/or understanding of grief in their respective ministries.

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By: Natasha Patterson August 27, 2015


Seven Questions with Leah Gunning Francis, Author of “Ferguson & Faith”

With the timely release of Ferguson & Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community, Dr. Leah Gunning Francis discusses the significance of her work for faith communities and emerging Christian leaders.

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By: Leah Gunning Francis August 19, 2015


A Reflection on My Ministry Exploration and Mentoring Grant Experience

Today, nearly a year after my proposal was selected, I can say with unfettered confidence that this experience has proven to be transformative, empowering, and pivotal in my quest for bodily confidence within the community of faith.

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By: James Howard Hill, Jr. August 17, 2015


The Sublime Power of Belief

At particular historical moments events overwhelm our usual use of words and categories. Such was the martyrdom of the Saints at Mother Emmanuel on June 19th, 2015.

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By: Stephen Ray July 28, 2015


Theological Education After Ferguson and Long Island and Baltimore and Charleston and….

If theological education could previously assume a future apart from the questions of difference and diversity, this last year shattered such delusions. Ferguson. Long Island. Baltimore. Charleston.

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By: Eric D. Barreto July 17, 2015


The Ministry of Surrender

Productivity. Efficiency. Results. These are three highly regarded values of the work culture that I came from.

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By: Cailin Choy July 14, 2015


The Stillness

As we were sitting at the table having deep, meaningful conversation about our lives and the various stages of our journey, one of my colleagues made a statement that shook me to my core. “What are you afraid of in the stillness?”

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By: Fran Davis-Harris July 01, 2015


Racism: The Most Sinful of Legacies

People of color have known from personal and community experience that racism is still rampant. The Charleston massacre is forcing the United States to face itself.

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By: Lauren Frances Guerra June 24, 2015


What Is Thy Name

In the eighth chapter of Luke’s gospel Jesus is confronted by a man possessed by demons. The man is nameless, but is given a narrative. He is naked. He is homeless and finds rest among the dead in graveyards. He is depicted as one who is suffering.

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By: Hassan Henderson June 23, 2015

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