What: Experience a day at SFTS, including lectures, worship and community lunch
When: Friday, May 11, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: SFTS, San Anselmo,
San Francisco Theological Seminary will open its doors to the public on Friday, May 11, with its annual Seminary for a Day. This is the perfect opportunity to check out the Seminary’s historic grounds, attend lectures with SFTS professors, worship with students and staff, and experience community lunch on campus.
Sponsored by the SFTS Auxiliary, this year’s lecturers will be Dr. Annette Schellenberg, associate professor of Old Testament, and Rev. Dr. James L. McDonald, SFTS president and professor of Faith and Public Life.
Schellenberg holds a PhD from University of Zürich, one of the cradles of Reformed Theology. In addition to teaching courses at SFTS, she is a member of the core doctoral faculty of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU). Her research interests include Old Testament anthropology (reflections on humans and humanity); wisdom literature; interrelations between the Old Testament world and the cultures and religions of its broader Ancient Near Eastern and Egyptian context; reception history of Old Testament texts (especially in music, for example Schütz, Händel); Old Testament controversies on theological questions.
A native of Switzerland, Schellenberg has an appreciation for how culture shapes theological reflections, both today and in the past. "Here in the U.S., much emphasis is put on acknowledging the different cultural contexts and realizing that not everybody else in the world thinks in the same way as one's self," she explains. "For biblical scholars in the historical-critical tradition, this is nothing new, but the basis of one's daily work."
Her published works include her dissertation, Erkenntnis als Problem. Qohelet und die alttestamentliche Diskussion um das menschliche Erkennen. (Knowledge as a Problem: Ecclesiastes and Old Testament Discussions on Human Cognition). She is working on her second book, an investigation into ancient texts that express the idea of a privileged position for humanity.
McDonald, the 11th president in SFTS history, holds a PhD in international relations from American University. He received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees from Princeton University and Union Theological Seminary in New York, respectively. Before arriving at SFTS in July 2011, McDonald worked for Bread for the World, a faith-based advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., that urges national legislators to end hunger. He managed day-to-day operations, spearheaded fund-raising, and focused on advocacy and strategic efforts to build a broad movement against hunger and poverty.
McDonald also worked in pastoral ministry for 15 years. He was associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, Ind., and then served Tabernacle United Church in Philadelphia from 1980-90.
Throughout his career, McDonald has shown a deep passion for education that makes a difference. He was an adjunct faculty member at American and George Washington universities for nearly a decade, teaching courses on world politics, foreign policy and Latin America. In the ’80s, he helped create BorderLinks, an experiential education program focused on the U.S.-Mexico border.
“The seminary is on the cutting edge of theological education.” McDonald said, “As I thought about the importance of theological education, I thought about how the church is changing, how the world is changing. Seminary is a place that plants and cultivates seeds of change.”
Seminary for a Day Schedule
Friday, May 11
Worship Service with SFTS students
Lunch, Seminary update, closing
*Shuttle will be provided
Registration deadline: May 9