On September 11th through the 13th, 65 attendees representing the 27 Seminary Stewardship Alliance institutions convened at Centenary United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem for the third annual gathering. The purpose of the conference was to equip seminaries to integrate creation care and Sabbath values into their courses and campus cultures, with the hope that the seminarians who graduate from these institutions will share these values to the churches they pastor. Of the dozens of attendees at the gathering, eight were presidents and deans and the remainders were top-level faculty, administrators, and students. Keynote speakers included Bob Russell (retired pastor, Southeast Christian Church), Dr. Vergel Lattimore (President, Hood Theological Seminary), Dr. Sandra Richter (Old Testament Professor, Wheaton College), Dr. Gail O’Day (Dean, Wake Forest University School of Divinity) and Matthew Sleeth, M.D. (Executive Director, Blessed Earth).
Winston-Salem was an ideal location for the event, as five of the consortium members are North Carolina institutions. These institutions are Wake Forest University School of Divinity, Hood Theological Seminary, Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Duke Divinity School.
Centenary UMC, a state-wide leader in creation care, agreed to host the gathering after partnering with Blessed Earth over the past few years. “Now over fifteen years, members of Centenary have found practical ways to live our biblical faith through caring for God’s great gift of the created world. We have adopted streets and streams, renovated buildings with energy efficiency in mind, taught the theological connections of creation care, and continually seek ways to impact the members of our community, whether they have skin, feathers, fur, leaves, or other coverings,” says Rev. Jonathan Brake, associate minister.
Dr. Matthew Sleeth presents Dr. Graham Buxton (Tabor Adelaide) with the Excellence in Leadership Award.