Faculty Retreat – Fall 2021
October 14, 2021
Rev. Beth LaNeel Tanner, Ph.D., Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs and the Norman and Mary Kansfield Chair of Old Testament, gathered faculty in anticipation of the beginning of the 2021-2022 academic year. After a year of COVID-related challenges and few opportunities to experience in-person fellowship, the faculty retreat aimed to engage and unify the faculty to be recommitted to the mission and purpose of their upcoming work with peers and students.
Dean Tanner stated, “During the pandemic, our times together were focused on work, classes, and student needs. We missed the times of standing in the workroom and talking about children and pets, weekend plans, and vacations. We also discussed our academic lives, the classes we developed, and the papers and books we are writing. It was great to come together to fellowship and worship”
Speaking to the faculty and staff during a chapel service, Rev. Micah L. McCreary, PhD., NBTS President, urged faculty and staff to explore and understand the roots of the guiding principles to think critically, to act justly, to lead faithfully and their centrality to the mission and purpose of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary.
In Philippians 4:8, the Apostle Paul reminds the reader to focus on six virtues, or qualities, that are beneficial to all. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” These values guide the NBTS community in thinking critically about the world, church, and society.
Luke 4:17-18 calls the reader to act justly, by bringing justice to all God’s people around the world. To take on this role means to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God through a life of sacrifice and service.
Finally, how does the NBTS community lead faithfully and confer degrees on those who are sent out to minister to the world? As Jesus is transformed before his disciples in Mark 9:2, the seminary must provide a transformative experience that develops faithful leadership in its students and consistently supports those who train, guide, and inspire the faithful leaders of the future.
With these guiding words, President McCreary wished all a challenging, fulfilling, and inspirational academic year.