DR. SCOTT W. SUNQUIST
President & Professor of Missiology
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. It was a remarkable gift for all of us. 30 hours of fellowship with some remarkable people. What did I, the newest guy in the room, learn about the faculty?
- The faculty at Gordon-Conwell are a very diverse group. A number are from immigrant families. They or their families migrated for education and for a better life, or to escape violence or poverty.
- The faculty take cultures very seriously. I was caught off-guard by the attention to cultures, both ancient cultures and modern cultures. At our table each person was quick to talk about the variety of ways Christianity is expressed in different cultures. A number have written books related to cultural interpretations.
- The faculty are a very bright group of people. This should be no surprise, but it seems that all of the faculty were aggressive in going after the best learning they could acquire, and at the earliest age. With this education the faculty have researched and written some amazing works. I am only beginning to understand how accomplished they are.
- Most of the faculty have suffered a good deal. The more we talked, the more stories of loss and pain came to the fore. In our discussions it came out that suffering plays a role in both their theology and in their teaching.
- Some faculty come from very fundamentalist backgrounds and are now very supportive of the interdenominational nature of Gordon-Conwell. Others were raised with no knowledge of God and had conversions (some miraculous!) later in life.
- The faculty (again) are very diverse. Some play guitar with great aplomb, others are worship leaders, others ride motor cycles, and some are avid kayak enthusiasts. Some faculty are very, very funny, but most are introverts.
As we start our new school year, the faculty begins with a greater awareness of each other, and of God’s calling on us to be united in our scholarship, teaching and worship.
And we are hopeful!
Scott W. Sunquist, the new President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, writes a weekly blog, “Attentiveness” which is posted each Monday morning on the Gordon-Conwell web site. He welcomes comments, responses and good ideas.