#BriteConnect – Fall/Winter 2018/2019

December 12, 2018
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Welcome to #BriteConnect!
Fall/Winter 2018/2019

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Brite Admissions Launches #BriteConnect

Admissions staff at Brite Divinity School are charged with making and maintaining relationships with church and educational leaders who are on the front lines of ministry in order to identify potential students. From time to time, we receive feedback from stakeholders who long to stay more connected to life at Brite. #BriteConnect is one way we hope to bring our Brite family of graduates and supporters together.

#BriteConnect will be released quarterly with updates about happenings at Brite from staff, faculty, and (most of all) student perspectives. We want you to be confident in recommending Brite as a progressive, inclusive, empowering place for education and formation for ministry—in the church and beyond. Brite’s ethos of integrating and transforming Scholarship, Justice, and Practice invites your input and celebrates your ongoing engagement with this community.

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Photo of Students with Dr. Wil Gafney reading from an ancient Hebrew scroll

Are you considering seminary? Do you know someone who is? If so, NOW is the time to consider applying to Brite! Brite Divinity School has a long history of excellence in graduate theological education and preparation for ministry. January 15th is the application deadline for Brite’s Master of Divinity Major Merit fellowships. Major Merit fellowships provide for FULL TUITION, plus an annual stipend of $10,000 for three years of study. Additional merit awards include a full-tuition grant plus annual stipends ranging from $1000-$5000. Brite is distinctive as a progressive theological school in the Southwest dedicated to face-to-face learning, with the vast majority of classes taught by fulltime permanent faculty. Together we are transforming scholarship, justice, and practice. Come and see how Brite invests in your success!

Learn more about Brite Divinity School at www.brite.edu. Learn more about Fort Worth, a welcoming and growing multi-cultural city, at www.fortworth.com.

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Photo of a lit candle.Advent Greetings

In her blog article, “Wait, Watch, Wonder” the Rev. Dr. Jo Hudson, Spring 2019 adjunct faculty of Brite Divinity School, writes,

“If you’re like me you may find it hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner. For our culture it means that we are in the final throes of decorating, parties and shopping before the ‘big’ day. Of course, that is not how the church has prepared for Christmas. Instead the church has invited people to wait, watch and wonder as we prepare for the celebration of the Birth of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. We are invited to wait in the waning light of our days and the growing darkness of our nights for the Light of the World to, yet again, be born into our world and our hearts.

What that invitation to wait, watch and wonder doesn’t mean is that we are to forego all the parties and celebrations, all the lights and gifts of the season. God, nor the church, is asking us to become dower, ascetic monastics. But what it does mean is that God and the church, invite us to slow down a bit, stop occasionally, look around and see, really see what is happening around us, in creation, in our relationships, in our communities.” (Read the whole article >>)

As Advent anticipation unfolds in your community and you “wait, watch, and wonder” does someone come to mind who would be a good fit for study at Brite; gifted, inquisitive, and, most of all, ready to transform the world?

Your attention and encouragement can be integral to the discernment process for a prospective student. Could use this time to seek those persons out and send them our way? Or perhaps engage with your pastor and congregational leaders to bear witness and ask for their recommendations of potential students for Brite?

Just this week, Admissions Associate Mel Martinez, gave a tour to a bright young man from Tanzania. We can only imagine what wonders are yet before this newly admitted student. He was connected by a graduate of Brite who is a local church pastor THROUGH one of her former youth pastors who became a missionary! Our own Dr. Steve Sprinkle connected the dots for them, and this young, bright, inquisitive person is planning to join the student body in the Fall of 2019. Just imagine who YOU might bring to the experience Brite offers!

We appreciate your help in our expectant waiting, and we commit ourselves to welcoming and walking alongside applicants as they turn towards the life-giving and liberating work of preparation for ministry at Brite Divinity School.

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Photo of Melanie JonesRev. Melanie Jones Returns to Brite’s Black Church Studies Program

In January 2019, Brite Divinity School will welcome Melanie Jones to our adjunct staff to teach
“Introduction to Black Church Traditions & Cultures.” One of three intensive Spring courses, “Introduction to Black Church Traditions and Cultures” promises to “engage womanist literature, works written by Black women, as a source for doing theology and ethics.”
Class will meet the week of January 7-11, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  This course is part of Brite’s Black Church Studies Program.  Learn more >>

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Photo of Francisco Lozada, Jr.Brite Students to Journey to Borderlands in January

As part of Brite’s Latina/o Studies Program, students will be traveling to the U.S./Mexico border in January 2019 to learn first-hand about life and society in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. The “borderland” denotes an area distant from the core of the nation; it is a zone of transition of ideas, goods, and peoples (Martínez, Border People). It is a place where people and institutions are shaped by economic, political, and social forces that are reflected in the lives of communities in the “greater” borderlands (e.g., Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California) and in many rural and urban municipalities. Dr. Francisco Lozada, Jr. serves as faculty director of the Borderlands Institute. Dr. Lozada and Dr. Irasema Coronado of the University of Texas, El Paso, will co-teach this course.

The Borderlands Institute, informed by Brite’s ethos of transforming scholarship, justice, and practice, aims to bring border awareness issues to students, faculty, and religious and community leaders in a way that will shape their respective ministerial work and/or research. Students in the class receive full support to travel to the U.S./Mexico border to learn about border related issues. The Borderlands Institute is funded by the Henry Luce Foundation for Theological Education.

Learn more about Brite’s Latina/o Church Studies Program >>

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Photo of Brite Students SmilingThe Importance of Face to Face: Why Brite Continues High-Res Education for First Masters Students

When prospective students consider Brite, their interest comes with certain expectations. In this 21st century high-tech world, some inquiries focus on options for distance learning. While Brite faculty often make use of an online platform for sharing documents and threaded discussions, this tool supports, rather than replaces, face-to-face learning—a hallmark of Brite’s ethos. The commitment to study at Brite is a commitment to embodied community, which begins in the classroom. This does reduce the pool of potential students. However, the benefits of high-residency education (as opposed to “low-residency” online and hybrid education) far outweigh the cost.

When you speak to potential students about Brite and they share concerns about moving to the area to study, here are a few talking points:

  1. Permanent Faculty – Brite maintains a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio based on a distinguished fulltime, residential faculty. Occasional elective offerings are taught by adjuncts or visiting faculty. This is distinctive in an era when many seminaries moving to online education are cutting faculty and increasingly relying on adjunct teaching. Our faculty are committed to the ethos of Brite and the success of our students, AND are present and available to students throughout their education.
  2. Diverse Experience – Brite encourages people from different cultural and religious backgrounds to gather in the classroom and the community to engage theological education. This provides safe space for learning how to navigate difficult conversations. Face-to-face education also affords participants the opportunity to build meaningful relationships as they encounter difference and explore new modes of ‘faith seeking understanding.’
  3. Community – High-residency education places a premium on the value of relationships with students, faculty, and staff. Though online learning allows students to connect virtually, there is simply no substitute for sharing a meal, collaborating in worship, having lively arguments, or creating new initiatives together. Our students will graduate from Brite Divinity School with a professional network already formed!

The next time you have a conversation about Brite, help us celebrate the value of high-residency education. Help us spread the word about how Brite is shaping a new generation of leaders to be and become change-makers through transforming scholarship, justice, and practice.

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A Message from Brite Advancement

Friends & Colleagues,

It’s time, once again, to solicit your help in fielding nominations for Brite’s Alumnae/i Council. We will appreciate receiving any nomination, especially those that would enhance the council’s racial, ethnic, denominational, and generational diversity. Help us represent all of Brite!

Please give this request your consideration and speedy response. At this time, we can accept nominations until Wednesday, December 19.

Email nominations to Terry Ewing @ t.ewing@tcu.edu. Many thanks to all!

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Upcoming Admissions Appearances

The following are tentative and confirmed appearances planned by the Admissions office at Brite Divinity School. Please feel free to join us on-site when we are near you!

January 2019
2-5 January 2019 – Atlanta, Georgia
National Festival of Young Preachers
Hosting an information table.

February 2019
5-8 February 2019 – Forth Worth, Texas
Ministers Week @ University Christian Church
Hosting an information table.

18-21 February 2019– Birmingham, Alabama
Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

26-28 February 2019 – Austin, Texas
Campus visits to:
University of Texas, St. Edwards University, and Southwestern University
Event: Panel Discussion at University Baptist Church (at UT), 27 February, 6:00 p.m.

March 2019
4-7 March 2019 – Nashville, Tennessee
Black Ministers Retreat

April 2019
4-7 April 2019 – Tampa, Florida
Various events, call/email for more information

Invite Brite to Your Event!
If you have an opportunity for Brite to be present and capture the attention of potential students, please let us know!  We would be happy to join you, as time and funding allows.  Email Mel Martinez (m.e.martinez@tcu.edu) to be in touch!

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Notable Notes: Brite Faculty in Fall 2018 News Headlines

Dr. Russell Dalton

Quoted in: “4 Bible storybooks that leave space for children’s imagination” by Emily Zimbrick-Rogers found at www.christiancentury.org. (August 2018)

Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney

Publication:  Sermon Contributor to Preaching as Resistance: Voices of Hope, Justice, and Solidarity edited by Phil Snider. (October 2018)
Subject of Article:  “Rev. Wil Gafney to speak at Eden Seminary, preach at Christ the King: Womanism is reshaping seminary education, churches and lives” by Sonya Vann, found at www.stlamerican.com  (October 2018)
Quoted in: “Weighing the Spiritual Cost when Saints Turn Out to be Scoundrels” by Cathleen Falsani, found at www.christianheadlines.com (September 2018)

Dr. Joretta Marshall

Mentioned in:  “Community, church leaders tackle topic of sex abuse in the #MeToo era” by Diane Smith, found at www.star-telegram.com. (October 2018)

Dr. Nancy Ramsay

Quoted in: “Your Veterinarian may be Suffering from Moral Injury and You may have Caused It: Here’s what people are doing to help” by Jennifer Graham, found at www.deseretnews.com (November 2018)

Dr. Bryce Rich

Published: “Male, Female, and Transgender: Notes from Theological Anthropology” by Bryce Rich, found at www.brycerich.com.  (November 2018)

Rev. Dr. Newell Williams

Mentioned in:  “First Christian Church celebrates 140 years in Waxahachie” by Ashley Ford, found at www.waxahachietx.com. (August 2018)

Thank you Dr. Carter!

After a decade of faithful service to the students of Brite Divinity School, esteemed New Testament professor, Dr. Warren Carter, will be on leave this spring before beginning his new tenure at Phillips Theological Seminary in the fall. Brite students and faculty are grateful for Dr. Carter’s contributions to this community, and will continue to benefit from his ongoing work.

Send a Note of Gratitude to Dr. Carter
Brite Divinity School, 2526 Princeton
TCU Box 298130, Fort Worth, TX 76129 (United States)
(940) 257-7513, brite-admissions@tcu.edu
Copyright © 2018 Brite Divinity School, All rights reserved.