“In Christ. A New Creation.” This is San Francisco Theological Seminary’s new tagline. But it is much more than a marketing gimmick or advertising slogan. It expresses our identity, our grounding, our transformation, and our hope.
The phrase comes from II Corinthians 5:17. It’s Paul’s distillation of the Gospel. Paul tells us that in Christ we live in a new reality. Christ’s love shapes us and motivates all that we do. Everything is changed in Christ—ourselves, our relationships, our world view. “The love of Christ urges us on,” Paul says. Paul had an amazing grasp of the meaning and power of Christ’s death and resurrection, and he had an impressive ability to translate this understanding of Christ not only into words but into his life.
Here at SFTS we are taking Paul’s words to heart and translating them into our educational experience and life together. We are reshaping theological education to speak to the circumstances of a world in upheaval and a Church that seeks to be faithful and hopeful in the midst of such turmoil and change. We believe that God is in the midst of all this, “urging us on.”
As you read this annual report, I hope you’ll see that. We are seeking and supporting a new generation of leaders for the Church of the 21st century. We are not finished in this task, but we are making huge strides forward. There’s more we are committed to accomplishing, and a new energy is being unleashed to make it happen. The Holy Spirit is at work among us and through us.
I am deeply grateful for all who share with us the vision of a New Creation in Christ and who support us through prayers, encouragement, and financial contributions. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love.
Rev. James L. McDonald, Ph.D.
President and Professor of Faith & Public Life