Attentiveness

A weekly blog by President Scott W. Sunquist.

Attentiveness: Pivot Ponderings

Attentiveness: Pivot Ponderings

Gordon-Conwell has always been a mix of Bible, mission, and creativity. We have been strong on the authority of Scripture, attentive to local and cross-cultural contexts, and ever creative in finding new ways to fulfill our part of God’s mission.

Attentiveness: Baptism

Attentiveness: Baptism

Baptisms this past week brought me to tears.

Attentiveness: Missional Existence

Attentiveness: Missional Existence

We want to make sure our students are taught that one of the most important ministries they will have will be to equip parishioners—teachers, business people, artists, sales persons, or scientists—to be witnesses in how they live, work, and speak in their jobs.

Attentiveness: Many Languages

Attentiveness: Many Languages

Christian Weddings and wedding banquets are unique opportunities to see into a person’s life and learn more about their spiritual formation.

Attentiveness: Universal and Particular

Attentiveness: Universal and Particular

The particularity of Jesus as the only Savior and Lord is a scandal for many. There are so many religions, how can only one be correct?

Attentiveness: Holiness

Attentiveness: Holiness

I believe it is a good time to think together about holiness.

Attentiveness: New England

Attentiveness: New England

As Billy Graham told the story at Gordon-Conwell’s 25th anniversary commencement, Harold Ockenga asked him in the late 60s where they would locate the united seminary: Philadelphia or Boston?

Attentiveness: Conwell and CUME

Attentiveness: Conwell and CUME

From the extensive experience of many cities came the new work of providing contextualized theological education in urban Boston to Christians of diverse cultural and racial backgrounds.

Attentiveness: TEE and CUME

Attentiveness: TEE and CUME

I am a historian. While studying the history of our Boston urban program (the Campus for Urban Ministerial Education, known as CUME) a few weeks ago, I was reminded of a conversation I had this past summer with Dr. Eldin Villafañe, the first CUME director.

Attentiveness: Face to Face

Attentiveness: Face to Face

Last week our full-time faculty and another nine adjunct professors were together for about 31 hours. We sat around tables and looked at each other face-to-face.

Attentiveness: The Pastor

Attentiveness: The Pastor

My first funeral as a young pastor was the suicide of an 18-year-old woman. My second funeral was a young father of two who was a key Christian leader and an elder in a church. He died of HIV/AIDS.

Attentiveness: Content, Context, Culture

Attentiveness: Content, Context, Culture

I have been quoted as saying that the curriculum of a seminary doesn’t matter as much as the faculty who are teaching the courses.

Attentiveness: Constant Rhythms and New Beginnings

Attentiveness: Constant Rhythms and New Beginnings

We have twelve grandchildren, eleven of whom will be starting back to school in the coming weeks.

Attentiveness: Theology and the Arts

Attentiveness: Theology and the Arts

The arts, such as a beautiful painting or thoughtful poem, can direct our thoughts and meditations toward the ineffable beauty, power, and love of God, our wise Creator and loving Savior.

Attentiveness: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Attentiveness: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

When our children were growing up, they were more “Mr. Rogers kids” than they were “Sesame Street kids.”

Attentiveness: Big Pivot–Fast and Slow

Attentiveness: Big Pivot–Fast and Slow

Some things happen fast like lightning. Some things happen slowly, lugubriously, haltingly, languidly . . .

Attentiveness: It is Only Things

Attentiveness: It is Only Things

I made a table. I was only about 24 years old and knew very little about woodworking, but I wanted to learn more, and a table seemed like a good thing to make for a growing family.

Attentiveness: Lament and Thanksgiving in the Pivot

Attentiveness: Lament and Thanksgiving in the Pivot

The Gordon-Conwell community is experiencing a liminal time–that in-between time filled with feelings of both loss and yet-undefined hope; of death and the joy of new possibilities.

Attentiveness: Evil

Attentiveness: Evil

I believe we need to be both vigilant and kind as Christians.

Attentiveness: Partnership in the Pivot

Attentiveness: Partnership in the Pivot

The Big Pivot which we are entering into has come about through collaboration in research, strategy, and planning.

Attentiveness: Honoring Faithfulness

Attentiveness: Honoring Faithfulness

This past Sunday Fr. Ray Pendleton celebrated the Eucharist for the last time at the age of 90 (plus one day!).

Attentiveness: Life After Death

Attentiveness: Life After Death

“The body goes in the ground and the mind goes to sleep.” This was apparently the answer, learned by rote, that my Chinese communist students gave to the simple question, “What happens after death?”

Attentiveness: Ukraine

Attentiveness: Ukraine

Dr. Don Fairbairns sheds light on the history and religious nationalism that led to Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

Attentiveness: History and Black History

Attentiveness: History and Black History

History is very important. History creates identity. We are what we remember (or what we have been told) about our history.

Attentiveness: Vision

Attentiveness: Vision

Years ago, we sent some seminary students to Vietnam to teach Buddhist converts about the Bible. These new Christians were hungry to understand their new life in Christ.

Attentiveness: Outstanding

Attentiveness: Outstanding

More than any time in recent memory in the United States, this is a time when Christians should stand out.

Attentiveness: The Story

Attentiveness: The Story

History is above all else a story. Some histories are more true, or more accurately told, than other histories.

Attentiveness: Repetition

Attentiveness: Repetition

The repetition of the Advent and Incarnation story bears repeating over, and over again. We need to hear it over, and over again. We need to look at it from the many different angles in Scripture.

Attentiveness: Gratitude

Attentiveness: Gratitude

Forty-nine and a half years of friendship is something to be thankful for. Nancy and I were caught up in some reflection and thanksgiving the past week through a couple of encounters.

Attentiveness: The Saints

Attentiveness: The Saints

The strength of a church and even the wholesomeness of Christianity is its connectiveness and contextuality: connected to Jesus and our great Christian tradition and presenting the Gospel in contextually appropriate ways.

Attentiveness: Clarity and Grace

Attentiveness: Clarity and Grace

We encourage students to become very involved in a local church while in seminary, not only when they are doing their practicum (field education).

Attentiveness: Twenty-Five Years

Attentiveness: Twenty-Five Years

Twenty-five years is a reason to celebrate a marriage or a birthday. It is also a great occasion to celebrate a length of time in the same ministry.

Attentiveness: Open Secret

Attentiveness: Open Secret

This past Sunday, Nancy and I (and another 250 or so others) heard a clear and inviting evangelistic sermon preached by a Gordon-Conwell alumnus at the main entrance to a very large local autumn fair. It was a beautiful public proclamation of the gospel.

Attentiveness: J Christy Wilson

Attentiveness: J Christy Wilson

There is a straight line from the missions revival in the late 19th century in the United States to our mission emphasis at Gordon-Conwell today: this line goes through J Christy Wilson.

Attentiveness: St. Michael and Missions

Attentiveness: St. Michael and Missions

This is Global Missions Week at Gordon-Conwell, when we take time to focus on God’s mission to the whole world.

Attentiveness: Uber

Attentiveness: Uber

Lyft was going to charge $116 for a ride from Logan International Airport to our home in Beverly.

Attentiveness: Wisdom

Attentiveness: Wisdom

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary: where scholars are disciples and disciples are scholars. It is an aspiration that I hope can be an inspiration for Gordon-Conwell faculty and students.

Attentiveness: Faculty Retreat

Attentiveness: Faculty Retreat

Gordon-Conwell seeks to maintain high academic standards and deep spirituality. Together. Both/And. Interwoven. Double helix. Warp and woof.

Attentiveness: Afghanistan, “How Long, O LORD?”

Attentiveness: Afghanistan, “How Long, O LORD?”

Dr. J Christy Wilson Jr. had a long and deep connection to Afghanistan before, during, and after he taught at Gordon-Conwell and retired in 1998. He was known for his unique narrative about Afghanistan and the resistance to the Gospel there being linked to its fate as a nation.

Attentiveness: Andrew Walls (1928-2021)

Attentiveness: Andrew Walls (1928-2021)

Every once in a while a person passes on who has personally influenced so many people that the accolades continue to come from surprising corners of the world.

Attentiveness: Foundation

Attentiveness: Foundation

The recent collapse of the condominium building in Surfside, Florida was a dramatic reminder that all great buildings, all great institutions, all great families, are built on strong foundations.

Attentiveness: Both/And, Part 2

Attentiveness: Both/And, Part 2

Zoroastrianism best describes the spirit of our age. It is a cosmic vision of creation where all is created by one of two gods: EITHER by the evil god Ahriman, OR by the good god Ahura Mazda. All of the world, and every part of creation is either good or evil.

Attentiveness: Church

Attentiveness: Church

I believe North Americans think far too little of the church, and of their own local church.

Attentiveness: Memories and Ministry

Attentiveness: Memories and Ministry

In ministry we are called to be faithful servants who seldom see the results of our sacrifices.

Attentiveness: Freedom!

Attentiveness: Freedom!

Freedom is not “independence,” but they are related. This past week we celebrated our nation’s independence (or at least the declaration of it) from an empire: Great Britain.

Attentiveness: Finishing Well, Part II

Attentiveness: Finishing Well, Part II

"Our calling is to be faithful in a church, seminary, mission, or other position knowing that we are not the savior or the lord of the institution."'

Attentiveness: History is Very Important

Attentiveness: History is Very Important

“The fourth and fifth centuries were the greatest period of theological writing in Christian history—even more so than the time of the Reformation.”

Attentiveness: Division and Proclamation

Attentiveness: Division and Proclamation

In the early months of 1970, my local Presbyterian Church went through a terrible split. About half of the congregation voted to remove the senior pastor.

Attentiveness: Creation

Attentiveness: Creation

For eight days in a row in late May, I walked 7 blocks east (stopping for a dark roast coffee) to the beach. I left about 5:30 am with a beach chair, Bible, and the Philokalia.

Attentiveness: Baptism

Attentiveness: Baptism

This past Sunday one of our grandchildren was baptized. Nancy (my wife) was raised Baptist, so this was a baptism in her tradition: believer’s baptism.

Attentiveness: Finishing Well

Attentiveness: Finishing Well

Last week we celebrated, laughed (I mean really, deep and full-bodied Rodney Cooper laughs), cried and prayed. It was a night of Carolina barbecue and sharing stories honoring one of the great retiring faculty of Gordon-Conwell, Dr. Rodney Cooper.

Attentiveness: Teaching Girls

Attentiveness: Teaching Girls

God has created us to experience great joy.

Redemption and Justice

Redemption and Justice

All ages have their divisions and contentious issues. However, our present age seems to be especially divisive and contentious. Let’s be clear about our age: we are still dealing with sin and its evil fruits.

Attentiveness: Robert E. Cooley (1930-2021)

Attentiveness: Robert E. Cooley (1930-2021)

More than any other single individual, Bob Cooley shaped one of the most influential and important seminaries in North America. It is unlikely he will ever be dethroned from that position as architect of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Attentiveness: Multicultural World

Attentiveness: Multicultural World

Two weeks ago, a major affirmation was made by the Gordon-Conwell faculty in approving a “Diversity Policy” (above). What does this mean? It is a significant cultural shift.

Attentiveness: Center of All History

Attentiveness: Center of All History

When in my Ph.D. program in graduate school, I was one of the few Evangelicals in a more mainline and pluralistic setting.

Attentiveness: Racial Violence and the Prince of Peace

Attentiveness: Racial Violence and the Prince of Peace

“Why do so many people in America have guns?” A number of times Singaporean friends asked me this question, and I must admit I did not have a good answer.

Attentiveness: Migration/Immigration

Attentiveness: Migration/Immigration

For Christians the whole concept of migration and “home” is very important.

Attentiveness: Character

Attentiveness: Character

“There are no heroes of action—only heroes of renunciation and suffering.”

Attentiveness: Seminary as Formation

Attentiveness: Seminary as Formation

I usually don’t do book reviews. However, this book is important for a blog that is located on a seminary website.

Attentiveness: Looking to Jesus

Attentiveness: Looking to Jesus

An individual, a local congregation, The Church, and even a seminary should keep both eyes focused on Jesus.

Attentiveness: Us

Attentiveness: Us

When Christians have disagreements it should be, “We are having a disagreement within the family,” and not be framed as an “us versus them.”

Attentiveness: Both/And

Attentiveness: Both/And

“Is Gordon-Conwell changing? Are you trying to change Gordon-Conwell?” Well, yes, but it may not be what you think.

Attentiveness: Remembering and MLK

Attentiveness: Remembering and MLK

God is a jealous God. Jesus is a solitary Savior of the World. All peoples, all nations, all languages will bow down to Jesus, the Lamb.

Attentiveness: Attentiveness in Three Directions

Attentiveness: Attentiveness in Three Directions

The title of this blog is attentiveness. Being attentive includes attending to one’s own soul, to the Spirit of the living God, and to those around us. Yesterday, these three came together for me.

Attentiveness: Epiphany and Infamy Part I

Attentiveness: Epiphany and Infamy Part I

January 6th was Epiphany, and this year it was also called as a day that will live in infamy.

Attentiveness: Magnificat Shaped Evangelicalism

Attentiveness: Magnificat Shaped Evangelicalism

This Christmas I am meditating on the Christmas story as a way of rectifying Evangelicalism.

Attentiveness: Whatever is True….

Attentiveness: Whatever is True….

I decided not to do a blog post starting like this:“Well, this has been a very difficult year….” Or like this:“I am sure many of us can’t wait for this pandemic and election to be over….” However, I believe Scripture directs us differently.

Attentiveness: Incarnation and Intercultural

Attentiveness: Incarnation and Intercultural

In the month of November, I took the “Matthew Challenge.” No social media. 30 minutes of prayer every day (almost). Three chapters of Gospel reading, daily. It has been life giving and re-orienting. I have never read so much of the Gospels in a month.

Attentiveness: Thanksgiving

Attentiveness: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, I mean thankfulness that is genuine, overflows into love for others.

Attentiveness: Social Conscience

Attentiveness: Social Conscience

“A sense of social responsibility, buried too long, perhaps under the wrong kind of conservative instincts, is rising to the surface, and demanding a place in the sun.”

Attentiveness: Jesus is Still on the Throne

Attentiveness: Jesus is Still on the Throne

At times it seems like the pandemic will never end. At times it seems like the election animosities will never end. At times it seems like the Church will never be united.

Attentiveness: Center is Re-Centered

Attentiveness: Center is Re-Centered

In ancient times the high places were places of worship, devotion, and often of idolatry. They got Israel in a lot of trouble. I have been told that Gordon-Conwell is on the highest point on Cape Ann. Such a point of elevation may have some positive symbolic value. I believe it does.

Attentiveness: Life’s Rhythms and Race

Attentiveness: Life’s Rhythms and Race

Character can not be formed without developing rhythms of life. Patterns for living make it possible to develop virtues.

Attentiveness: Steps Toward Culture Change

Attentiveness: Steps Toward Culture Change

How does a seminary with a tradition going back over 130 years change its culture and ethos? Here is a good place to start.

Attentiveness: Sabbath

Attentiveness: Sabbath

In my first year at Gordon-Conwell, we had just moved from Virginia with a 2 month old and a 2 year old.

Attentiveness: Bible

Attentiveness: Bible

Gordon-Conwell is about the Bible.

Attentiveness: Working Past Division

Attentiveness: Working Past Division

Last week I posted a blog that caused much distress. After helpful meetings with students, and concerns expressed from faculty, I could see the error I made: presenting an offensively romantic view of slavery from my position as an academic who can be too detached from conversations, relationships, and the feelings of many who live with the pain of racism. 

Frederick Douglass: Thirst for Knowledge

Frederick Douglass: Thirst for Knowledge

Born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, the great escaped slave and vocal leader of emancipation later took the name Douglass, with a double “s.”

GCTS: Race, Class and Ethnicity

GCTS: Race, Class and Ethnicity

How can we build signposts of the Kingdom in a world that seems increasingly divided and deaf to the cries of the poor, oppressed and unjustly treated?

Attentiveness: Gird Up Your Minds

Attentiveness: Gird Up Your Minds

At a time of pandemic and poverty, racism and rioting, and seemingly irreversible global damage, who has time for theological education?

Attentiveness: Time, Race and the “Common Father of Souls”

Attentiveness: Time, Race and the “Common Father of Souls”

Today’s national conversations about racism and justice are in need of a robust Christian theology of creation and time. I’ve recently picked up work on a book I started 10 years ago. (Time flies and I write slowly.) The chapter I am working on is about time.

Attentiveness: Saints

Attentiveness: Saints

Last week I called a retired missionary who has been protected/imprisoned in a senior housing facility since March.

Attentiveness: Pandemic Patience

Attentiveness: Pandemic Patience

Wise people noted at the beginning of this pandemic that it would not last forever, but it will last for a period of time. It seems to be lasting a very long time, and it seems to be dragging us down: psychologically, socially, economically and educationally. Spiritually, many are depressed.

Attentiveness: Racism and Evangelism

Attentiveness: Racism and Evangelism

Last week I participated in a Veritas Forum gathering on intellectual humility. It was just me and about 500 others on Zoom listening to science professors from MIT and Dartmouth. I was out of my league.

Attentiveness: Cemeteries

Attentiveness: Cemeteries

Every day I leave my home I pass a cemetery. This past Wednesday, more than other days, I paused to read some tombstones and reflect on life and death. The ancient Christians had it right. They said it is healthy every day to reflect on your death, if you would live a Christian life. In our contemporary self-absorbed world, such a saying seems ridiculous.

Attentiveness: Belonging

Attentiveness: Belonging

Am I really “attending” worship, or only watching worship on Facebook Live? Has Christianity moved from a full-contact sport to a spectator sport?

Attentiveness: Seminary 2.0 – Conclusion, Part 6

Attentiveness: Seminary 2.0 – Conclusion, Part 6

There is an old cliché that says doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. It may be overused but it seems appropriate when talking about theological education.

Attentiveness: Seminary 2.0 – Christ-likeness & Culture, Part 5

Attentiveness: Seminary 2.0 – Christ-likeness & Culture, Part 5

“It is a battle.” This was a strange answer to a question about spiritual formation. I asked Dr. Richard Ray (Presbyterian leader in publishing, pastoring, teaching and college administration) a very important question.

Attentiveness: Seminary 2.0 – Cultural Imperialism, Part 4

Attentiveness: Seminary 2.0 – Cultural Imperialism, Part 4

Context is not everything, but it is a lot. The incarnation reveals to us that when “the Word became flesh,” it took on a particular culture, not a universal culture.

Attentiveness: Context and Strategy, Part 3

Attentiveness: Context and Strategy, Part 3

Protests over racism. Pandemic. Strategic planning. What does it mean to begin a strategic planning process at a time of social upheaval?

Attentiveness: Racism and Trinity Sunday

Attentiveness: Racism and Trinity Sunday

Racism is sin. Like all forms of sin, racism can destroy. And like all forms of sin, it will be with us until Jesus returns.

Attentiveness: George Floyd

Attentiveness: George Floyd

For a second time in a month a series of posts on theological education is disrupted by national events. As we write this post, rioting and looting continue to spread across the United States, and U.S. Embassies in Africa are having to respond to criticisms and accusations about U.S. injustices.

Attentiveness: Seminary 2.0–What We Forgot, Part 2

Attentiveness: Seminary 2.0–What We Forgot, Part 2

Please don’t listen to the futurists who proclaim: “Everything is disrupted, and seminaries must be completely changed!” Yes, theological education must be transformed, but it will not be replaced by something totally different.

Attentiveness: #IRunWithAhmaud

Attentiveness: #IRunWithAhmaud

25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery loved to run. Grief. Tears. Anger. Disbelief. Like many of us in the past weeks, I have stopped looking for pandemic articles in the news and have turned to the shocking news about Ahmaud Arbery’s last steps…and the public struggle to find justice in this situation.

Attentiveness: Repent and Restart, Part I

Attentiveness: Repent and Restart, Part I

All of higher education is in an upheaval at this time. All college and seminary presidents are asking questions like: “How are we going to make it financially?” “How can we do education without gathering together?” “What will the new ‘normal’ look like next year?”

Attentiveness: Pandemic and Moral Reasoning, Part II

Attentiveness: Pandemic and Moral Reasoning, Part II

In a pandemic, which moral foundations are most important to guide us as individuals and as a society? Read more on this week's President's blog.

Attentiveness: Pandemic and Moral Reasoning

Attentiveness: Pandemic and Moral Reasoning

Is there a “Christian moral response” to this pandemic? People are responding in many different ways to enforced isolation.

Attentiveness: Alone?

Attentiveness: Alone?

Jesus on the cross was all alone. No one could die for him. In fact, He died for others. Still, he was all alone.

Attentiveness: Faith & Science Amid the Pandemic

Attentiveness: Faith & Science Amid the Pandemic

This current pandemic has created a dilemma of knowing: What do we really know? When will this be over? Who can we trust?

Attentiveness: Isolation

When a virus spreads by human contact, our health, and possibly life, is dependent upon our being alone.

Attentiveness: Pandemic

Pandemics have marked human history. The most recent global pandemic was the 1918–1919 Spanish flu epidemic, not SARS.

Attentiveness: Black History Month

History is very important. When history is forgotten or neglected, the loss is tragic, for we develop a false identity.

Attentiveness: MLK

I suggest we acknowledge our missed opportunity in 60s and 70s and start a new way forward, revisiting the discourse, the legislations and the sermons of the period.

GCTS Vision: Aspiration as Inspiration

An aspiration, at its best, should become an inspiration. I hope this aspiration will become an engaging inspiration in all that we do at Gordon-Conwell as we begin our second 50 years of service to the Church.

GCTS Vision: Discipleship

Love never fails. But love never stands alone, for God is love. This is why love never fails.

GCTS Vision: Global

Love never fails. But love never stands alone, for God is love. This is why love never fails.

GCTS Vision: Community

Love never fails. But love never stands alone, for God is love. This is why love never fails.

GCTS Vision: Christ-Centered

Love never fails. But love never stands alone, for God is love. This is why love never fails.

GCTS Vision: Loving

Love never fails. But love never stands alone, for God is love. This is why love never fails.

GCTS Vision: Thoughtful

The seminary buzzed last week with a two-day board meeting, the inauguration of a new seminary president and dinner for 400 celebrating our 50th anniversary.

Staff

The seminary buzzed last week with a two-day board meeting, the inauguration of a new seminary president and dinner for 400 celebrating our 50th anniversary.

50 Years or 135 Years?

Gordon-Conwell has deep roots. Although we are celebrating 50 years during this school year (beginning this week), the year 1969 is more of a date about a “restart” or “reboot” of the seminary.

Evangelicalism (Part 4/4)

1969 is not 2019. This year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the uniting of Gordon Divinity School with Temple’s School of Theology (Conwell)...

Michael E. Haynes

The Reverend Dr. Michael E. Haynes was a real Christian; so his good friend Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam shared at Haynes' memorial service.

Evangelicalism (Part 3/4)

Evangelicalism, from the beginning, broke down walls (Ephesians 2:14).

Retreat

43 faculty from four campuses and three divisions went on a retreat. It was a spiritual retreat where we sat around tables of 5 or 6 faculty to worship, pray, share our journeys and break bread.

Evangelicalism (Part 2/4)

Words only have meaning in context. Words also miscommunicate because of one’s inattentiveness to context. What about the word ‘Evangelical’?

Evangelicalism (Part 1/4)

As Gordon-Conwell begins to celebrate its 50 years of training pastors, missionaries and counselors, I want to reflect back on our beginning as a strong outpost of evangelicalism in New England.

Languages

It would be easier, of course, if we just demanded everyone learn English well to study at Gordon-Conwell, but that would be perpetuating a colonial paradigm. That colonial paradigm was not Jesus’ model, and it did not work.

Anger

The church must not be simplistic and think that gun violence is a simple issue. It is very complex. However, what is not that complex is human sin. The church still has the answer to the degree that is truly the Body of Christ, forming people into His likeness.

Academics

If our future does not have a strong emphasis on knowing and living the Scriptural life, connection to and engagement in the global church, and all of this at the highest academic standards…well, it will not be Gordon-Conwell.

Value Added

Here is a good question to ask any local church: Does your presence add value to the neighborhood or the town? In other words, if your church were to close, would your neighbors even notice? Would it make any difference?

Evangelism

By the end of the evening, 1,011 new believers were identified ... Dr. Park’s story illustrated two important points: evangelism is not a major problem in non-white cultures in North America, and there is a quiet revival going on in Boston that white (English speaking) Christians know little about.

Adjunct

The professionalization of ministry and of seminary education needs to be re-thought.

Beginnings

“We want Gordon-Conwell to continue to be Gordon-Conwell, but with a renewed missional dimension. The trajectory is from the heart of God into the nations of the world.”

Symbols

Our faith today should also be encouraged by symbols, stories, signs, markers that bring us back to the foundational truth: God’s extravagant love…

Generations

A generation later and here is the daughter of one of my disciples.

Coast to Coast

I am convinced the single most indispensable skill of leadership is: attentiveness

Gordon-Conwell Blog

Your Syllabus Saved My Ministry

Your Syllabus Saved My Ministry

I don’t expect every Gordon-Conwell syllabi to save a ministry, but I trust that they might.

Resonating with Art and the Divine Artist

Resonating with Art and the Divine Artist

Dr. Wes Vander Lugt “I don’t like it. I don’t understand it. It just doesn’t do it for me.” If you have ever responded in ...

Father, Son and …

Father, Son and …

Gordon Fee says that Moses’ prayer at Mount Sinai lies at the heart of Paul’s understanding of the Spirit: “If your presence doesn’t go with us … what else will distinguish your people from all other people on the face of the earth?”

A Man of the Spirit

A Man of the Spirit

Yet his “zeal from the pulpit” and his “passion from the Pentecostal message of the Spirit’s presence in this age authenticate him.”

Who is Responsible for Impressing God on a Child?

Who is Responsible for Impressing God on a Child?

Dr. Patricia Batten This devotional is part of Discovery Series' Heart, Soul, and Mind: Raising Kids to Know and Love God series by ...

10 Things the Church Can Learn About Missions from Jesus, Peter, and Paul

10 Things the Church Can Learn About Missions from Jesus, Peter, and Paul

Dr. Eckhard Schnabel This article originally appeared on The Gospel Coalition. When we read the New Testament to learn about ...

Nurturing a Healthy Mindset in the Midst of Chaos

Nurturing a Healthy Mindset in the Midst of Chaos

Far too many of us are soul weary. But let’s remember, together, who we are. We are disciples—we are Christ-learners.

How to Rely on the Holy Spirit in Your Preaching

How to Rely on the Holy Spirit in Your Preaching

Dr. Jeffrey Arthurs This blog originally appeared in Ministry Magazine. If you created a checklist for sermon preparation, it ...

Stabilizing Community on Twisting Cultural Roads

Stabilizing Community on Twisting Cultural Roads

The importance of developing intentional learning communities and how that community can be built and flourish in digital and ...

Noticing God in Everything

Noticing God in Everything

Bible Gateway interviewed Dr. Stephen Macchia (MDiv '83, DMin '01), Director of Gordon-Conwell’s Pierce Center for Disciple Building, ...

Reflections from The Power of Sabbath Event

Reflections from The Power of Sabbath Event

On December 2, 2021, the Mockler Center for Faith and Ethics in the Public Square hosted The Power of Sabbath: A Community ...

Beyond Tribalism: Six Principles from 2 Chronicles 30

Beyond Tribalism: Six Principles from 2 Chronicles 30

This blog originally appeared on the Casket Empty website. Dr. Carol Kaminski (MA & MAR '96) I have recently been following ...

Creeds and Confessions: What’s the Difference?

Creeds and Confessions: What’s the Difference?

This article originally appeared on The Gospel Coalition's website. You may belong to a church that calls itself ...

Teología en Conjunto: An Alternative to Christian Celebrity

Teología en Conjunto: An Alternative to Christian Celebrity

This Hispanic Heritage Month, may we turn to our Hispanic brothers and sisters and consider what it means to practice teología en conjunto.

Twenty Years Later: Remembering 9/11

Twenty Years Later: Remembering 9/11

Kevin DeYoung (MDiv '02) I was in my final year at Gordon-Conwell. It was a beautiful morning–sunny, deep blue, not a cloud ...

Preventing Suicide by Providing Deep Community

Preventing Suicide by Providing Deep Community

Suicidal Christians are in our communities, and they need our ministry. They need us to provide authentic, non-judgmental deep community.

The Celebration of Rosh HaShanah

The Celebration of Rosh HaShanah

Dr. Seong Hyun Park, Assistant Professor of Old Testament and Associate Dean of Cohort-Based Education Core Curriculum & Research, shares insight on the celebration of Rosh HaShanah.

Assigned Seats

Assigned Seats

What impact did assigned seats and prayer have on one D.Min. Cohort? Read today's blog post to hear the story of two students.

The Shoemaker Center for Church Renewal

The Shoemaker Center for Church Renewal

The Ockenga Blog series is designed to highlight each of Gordon-Conwell’s centers. This week’s post spotlights the Shoemaker Center ...

Chapel Message: Pro-Neighbor

Chapel Message: Pro-Neighbor

Claude Alexander, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Senior Pastor of The Park Church in Charlotte, NC, delivered this message ...

Fulfilling the Mockler Mission in Three Ways

Fulfilling the Mockler Mission in Three Ways

This week’s Ockenga blog post highlights ways in which the Mockler Center pursues its mission and purpose.

The Mockler Center Adopts a New Name

The Mockler Center Adopts a New Name

This week’s Ockenga blog post shines the spotlight on the newly renamed Mockler Center for Faith and Ethics in the Public Square.

Advent Devotional: “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”

Advent Devotional: “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”

What a joy to sing such profound, engaging, and deep theology in a hymn like “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” Let’s walk through it together.

Advent Devotional: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

Advent Devotional: “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

One Advent carol that embodies how the people of God have waited patiently, expectantly, and hopefully is “Savior of the Nations, Come.”

Advent Devotional: “Once in Royal David’s City”

Advent Devotional: “Once in Royal David’s City”

"Once in Royal David’s City" is a beautiful Christmas hymn that brings out one of the central features of the story of Jesus in the Gospels.

Advent Devotional: “Angels We Have Heard on High”

Advent Devotional: “Angels We Have Heard on High”

Wonder is surprise mixed with admiration. It is a feeling, one that often leads us to further investigation.

Advent Devotional: “O Holy Night”

Advent Devotional: “O Holy Night”

The night is holy because our Holy God is on the move.

Advent Devotional: “Savior of the Nations, Come”

Advent Devotional: “Savior of the Nations, Come”

One Advent carol that embodies how the people of God have waited patiently, expectantly, and hopefully is “Savior of the Nations, Come.”

Advent Devotional: “Go Tell it on the Mountain”

Advent Devotional: “Go Tell it on the Mountain”

“Go Tell it in the Mountain” is a Christmas song that doesn’t have European origins. It was passed orally from one plantation to the other.

Advent Devotional: “Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabelle”

Advent Devotional: “Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabelle”

The carol “Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabelle” became a “carol” in the 1600s when the lyrics were set to new music.

The Haddon W. Robinson Center for Preaching

The Haddon W. Robinson Center for Preaching

Like many parishioners, this question (or its more non-committal cousin, "Who was Jesus?") makes seasonal appearances at Christmas and Easter, usually on the covers of news magazines looking for a holiday angle.

Hope in Darkness for Pastors

Hope in Darkness for Pastors

This is the second blog post in a series about the book release of Preaching Hope in Darkness: Help for Pastors in Addressing Suicide from the Pulpit.

Announcing the New Global Scholars and Practitioners in Residence Program

Announcing the New Global Scholars and Practitioners in Residence Program

Read today's blog for an exciting sneak peek at an upcoming initiative from the Wilson Center for World Missions.

Celebrating Anglican Week at Gordon-Conwell

Celebrating Anglican Week at Gordon-Conwell

The Office of the Chapel invites our community to two chapel services to learn more about the Anglican worship tradition on November 17 and 18 at 11:10 a.m.

The J. Christy Wilson Jr. Center for World Missions

The J. Christy Wilson Jr. Center for World Missions

Like many parishioners, this question (or its more non-committal cousin, "Who was Jesus?") makes seasonal appearances at Christmas and Easter, usually on the covers of news magazines looking for a holiday angle.

Who Is This Man?

Who Is This Man?

Like many parishioners, this question (or its more non-committal cousin, "Who was Jesus?") makes seasonal appearances at Christmas and Easter, usually on the covers of news magazines looking for a holiday angle.

Five Ways a Church Can Observe National Suicide Prevention Month

Five Ways a Church Can Observe National Suicide Prevention Month

Learn more about how hard-working followers of Christ can pour into others without draining themselves.

Don’t Give Away What’s Meant for You

Don’t Give Away What’s Meant for You

Learn more about how hard-working followers of Christ can pour into others without draining themselves.

The Unexpected Death

The Unexpected Death

Holy Saturday Devotional - If we see this story through to its end, we discover hope at the point of greatest despair.

Not the Way the Story Ends

Not the Way the Story Ends

Good Friday Devotional - On this day, we remember that terrible Friday… because of what will happen on Sunday, we call this Friday “good.”

Symbols of the Suffering Servant: This Cup

Symbols of the Suffering Servant: This Cup

Maundy Thursday Devotional - Jesus drank the cup of separation for us, so we don’t have to.

Helping Children Cope Through a Pandemic

Helping Children Cope Through a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging us all to establish new ways of coping. Parents and caregivers can play an important role in helping children cope during this pandemic.

Ayudando a Los Niños a Sobrellevar Una Pandemia

Los padres y cuidadores pueden desempeñar un papel importante para ayudar a los niños a sobrellevar esta pandemia.

Anxiety and the Financial Crisis

Anxiety and the Financial Crisis

On the 6th day of Lent, we celebrated the calling of the first disciples. Matthew 4:18-22 captures the moment beautifully. “While ...

Discipleship, Intentionality and Community

“And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons.” (Mark 3:13–15 ESV)

The Sin of Hatred

The Sin of Hatred

Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D. President & Coleman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics Hatred is a sin against God ...

After Santa Fe: Talking to Your Child about Tragedy

Dr. Karen Mason Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology The Santa Fe school shooting brings home, yet again, the violent ...

National Tragedy and Self-Care

Dr. Jacqueline Dyer Director, MA in Counseling Program, Boston Campus When Santa Fe High School students and teachers went to ...

Reasons to Live — Part 5: Become the Beacon of Hope to Those Who Have No Hope

Reasons to Live: Become the Beacon of Hope to Those Who Have No Hope Karen Mason, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Counseling and ...

Reasons to Live — Part 4: The Gospel and Our Faith in Christ Offer Hope

Reasons to Live: The Gospel and Our Faith in Christ Offer Hope Karen Mason, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Counseling and ...

Reasons to Live — Part 3: The Hope of Christ

Reasons to Live: The Hope of Christ Karen Mason, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology, Gordon-Conwell ...

Reasons to Live — Part 2

Reasons to Live: Episode 2 Karen Mason, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology, Gordon-Conwell Theological ...

Reasons to Live — Part 1: Discover How Hope Can Help Alleviate Despair

Reasons to Live: Discover How Hope Can Help Alleviate Despair Karen Mason, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Counseling and ...

A Tribute to Billy Graham

A Tribute to Billy Graham Dr. Garth M. Rosell, Senior Research Professor of Church History It is difficult to imagine a world ...

Gordon-Conwell’s Long-Standing Position on Women and Ministry Preparation

Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D. President & Coleman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics (more…)

Racial Reconciliation Series: Can We All Get Along?

As part of the release of fall 2017 edition of Contact Magazine, the Office Hours Faculty Blog is proud to present the concluding ...

Racial Reconciliation Series: My Personal Experience

As part of the release of fall 2017 edition of Contact Magazine, the Office Hours Faculty Blog is proud to present a 6-week series on ...

Racial Reconciliation Series: How do we Learn to Love our Neighbor?

As part of the release of fall 2017 edition of Contact Magazine, the Office Hours Faculty Blog is proud to present a 6-week series on ...

Racial Reconciliation Series: Ministering to Families in the Urban Context

As part of the release of fall 2017 edition of Contact Magazine, the Office Hours Faculty Blog is proud to present a 6-week series on ...

Racial Reconciliation Series: Beyond Colorblind

As part of the release of fall 2017 edition of Contact Magazine, the Office Hours Faculty Blog is proud to present a 6-week series on ...

Racial Reconciliation Series: A Conversation with Dr. Emmett G. Price III

As part of the release of fall 2017 edition of Contact Magazine, the Office Hours Faculty Blog is proud to present a 6-week series on ...

Drs. Hollinger and Mason testify on House Bill 119A, relative to end of life options

On Tuesday, Sept. 26, Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D. , President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics and Dr. ...

A Pre-Release Excerpt from Dr. Kim’s Book on the Need for Preaching with Cultural Intelligence

(more…)

Gordon-Conwell Prays for Jacksonville Campus as Well as Hurricane and Flood Victims Around the World

A Message from President Hollinger Whenever there are natural disasters around the world we are reminded again that our ...

How Christians Can Respond to the Disruption of Natural Order

Dr. Sean McDonough Professor of New Testament, Gordon-Conwell “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold…”  -- William Butler ...

Gordon-Conwell is a Praying Community: Prayer for Global Flood Victims

A Message from President Hollinger President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics Our hearts are ...

Remembering Haddon Robinson

Dr. Haddon W. Robinson, longtime faculty member, former President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and one of the world’s ...

Racism & Hatred: Gordon-Conwell Grieves with the Heart of God

Racism & Hatred: Gordon-Conwell Grieves with the Heart of God

Dennis P. Hollinger, Ph.D. President & Coleman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics Gordon-Conwell ...

Racism & Hatred

Racism & Hatred

Rev. Emmett G. Price III, Ph.D, ISBCE Executive Director: Dean of Chapel; Professor of Worship, Church & Culture The Institute ...

Remembering the Legacy of Our Friend and Mentor, Dr. Haddon W. Robinson

Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D. President & Coleman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics  Haddon Robinson was not ...

13 Reasons Why: A Gordon-Conwell Professor’s Response

A family and church response to 13 Reasons Why (TV Series 2017; creator: Brian Yorkey) Karen Mason, Ph.D. Associate Professor of ...

Where No One Has Heard: J. Christy Wilson Jr’s Enduring Missions Legacy

Ken Wilson, (MATS '84) This blog is adapted from the biography of Christy Wilson, Where No One Has Heard, published in 2016 ...

Discipleship: Learning Before the King’s Throne

James R. Critchlow Ranked Adjunct Assistant Professor in Old Testament (more…)

Looking Backward to Move Forward

Looking Backward to Move Forward

J.I. Packer, D. Phil., and Gary E. Parrett, Ed.D. (more…)

The Whole World Isn’t Watching

Sean McDonough Professor of New Testament (more…)

The Wisdom of the Gospel in the Partisan Public Square

Richard Lints, Ph.D. Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of the Hamilton Campus; Andrew Mutch Professor of Theology It is ...

Opening The Word

Dr. Edward M. Keazirian, Th.D. Assistant Professor of Greek and Director of the Greek Language Program "After fasting forty ...

To Live in Justice: The Message of Amos For Today

Eldin Villafane, Ph.D. Senior Professor of Social Ethics If there is one book in the Bible that speaks insightfully and relevantly ...

Politics and Christian Faith in an Election Year

Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D. President & Colman M. Mockler, Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics The relationship of ...

Domestic Violence In The Church

Domestic Violence In The Church

Anne B. Doll Senior Communications Advisor Approximately one in four women worldwide has suffered physical abuse by an intimate ...

The Cost of Following Jesus

Anne B. Doll Senior Communications Advisor (more…)

When The Pastor Suffers From Depression

Raymond Pendleton, Ph.D. Director of the Clinical Counseling Program, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling Recently, I had ...

How to Make Ethical Decisions in a Complex World

Dr. Patrick T. Smith Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy (more…)

Jesus and Discipleship: The View from the Great Commission

Roy E. Ciampa, Ph.D. Professor of New Testament (more…)

True Hope You Can Take to the Bank

Dr. Edward Keazirian Assistant Professor of Greek and Director of the Greek Language Program (more…)

The Role of Theology in the Life of the Church

Dr. John Jefferson Davis Chair of the Division of Christian Thought, Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics ...

Joy In A Prison Cell

 Roy E. Ciampa, Ph.D. Professor of New Testament, Chair of the Division of Biblical Studies, Director of the Th.M. program in ...

The Call At 2AM: Caring for Devastated Parishoners

 Kenneth Swetland, D.Min. Professor of Ministry and Campus Pastoral Counselor (more…)

Is Jesus Really the Only Way to God?

Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D. President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics (more…)

Made by a Maker to be a Maker

Bruce Herman, MFA Lothlórien Distinguished Chair in the Fine Arts, Department Chair, and a professor of painting and drawing at ...

Deconstructing Jesus: Separating Fact from Fiction

Rollin Grams, Ph.D. Associate Professor of New Testament These are exciting days in Jesus studies. Much is being written on the ...

Pastoral Burnout: A More Common Problem Than You Might Think

Kenneth L. Swetland, Ph.D. Senior Professor of Ministry While burnout is not a common experience of pastors (although some ...

Our Creative God

Tim Laniak, Ph.D. Professor of Old Testament and former Dean of the Charlotte Campus Let me begin this brief (and therefore ...

Weep with Those Who Weep

Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D. President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics (more…)

Terrorism Through the Eyes of Faith

Dennis Hollinger, Ph.D. President & Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics (more…)

Jesus in the Old Testament

Jesus in the Old Testament

It is only right that we should find that Jesus was both actually present in the Old Testament and accurately predicted, and that he would come first as our Savior, and then in a later second coming, would appear as the King supreme over all the earth.