chimes.sum2013.web0729 - page 24

s we celebrate the distinguished 142-
year history of the Seminary with the
graduation of the Class of 2013, we
are cognizant of the compelling and inviting
opportunities that beckon SFTS as we train
faith leaders who are committed to shaping
a future in tune with God’s purposes in the
During our Commencement service, we
awarded 59 degrees representing the broad
spectrum of graduate theological education.
The Baccalaureate service, which was de-
signed by the class of 2013, included scrip-
ture that was read in various languages such
as Korean, Greek, Hebrew and Amharic.
This diversity represents our history and our
future; our legacy and our vision; our path
and our journey into the 21st century.
Rev. Elizabeth McCord, our Baccalau-
reate speaker and SFTS Director of Enroll-
ment shared an inspirational message with
our seminary’s future faith leaders:
“You who are graduating have demon-
strated mutual care, respect, and devotion to
one another through your years at San Fran-
cisco Theological Seminary. You have be-
come one another’s kin, one another’s people;
you share and serve the same God. Like Ruth
and Naomi, something fundamental about
who you are as people and as faith leaders
is now intertwined.” SFTS engages students,
faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, friends, con-
gregations and other church entities, as we
respond to the opportunities and challenges
facing the Church of Jesus Christ. And with
bold confidence, we open the next chapter of
the Seminary as we prepare faith leaders to
serve in churches and in our communities,
at home and around the world.
Our new strategic plan builds an innovative,
vibrant graduate theological education model
built on three initiatives: (1) establishing the new
Center for Innovation in Ministry; (2) develop-
ing flexible, outcome-oriented programs; and (3)
building an energized, well-connected, outward-
looking institution. SFTS is bringing nearly a cen-
tury and a half of history and tradition to a new
frontier, where we’ll deepen our service in Christ’s
As we recognize and celebrate the ministry of
our graduates and the Seminary’s extended fam-
ily, we also know that in order to work and flour-
ish in this new frontier, we need your financial
support. As you read this issue of Chimes, please
consider my invitation to make a generous gift to
SFTS. Know that your contribution prior to the
completion of our fiscal year (June 30) will make
a significant difference.
Your gift will enable San Francisco Theologi-
cal Seminary to provide even more pioneering,
creative and effective leadership opportunities for
ministry in the church and throughout the com-
munity as we bring this year to a close; and as we
lay the foundation for the 2014 academic year.
I am proud and enthusiastic to be at the lead-
ership helm, taking this voyage with you. Thank
you once again for your interest and your prayers
during our journey together.
Rev. Dr. James L. McDonald
President and Professor of
Faith and Public Life
“ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord.
‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’ ”
— Jeremiah 29:11, NLT
SFTS CHIMES | Summer 2013
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