From the Worldwide Faith News archives

SFTS under Butin will seek to develop wholeness in Christian leadership

Date 20 Jun 2002 14:39:31 -0400

Note #7302 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


SFTS under Butin will seek to develop wholeness in Christian leadership

by Bill Lancaster

COLUMBUS, OH - The Rev. Philip Butin, the new president of San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS), will lead the seminary in developing a three-fold approach to shaping pastoral leadership for the church.

"Remarkably, something I've been working on all my life coheres precisely with something the seminary was already working on before I was even interviewed for president," he said in an interview Wednesday after being confirmed in his election by the 214th General Assembly (2002). "

"The way the seminary puts it is to talk about critical theological reflection, spiritual formation, and preparation in the skills and arts of ministry.  I think of that graphically as head, heart and hands, or the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments - knowing God, loving God, serving God. 

"All of these get at something the church has been on to for 1,500 years at least, which is that there is a wholeness about Christian leadership that involves formation as more than just intellectual - which would be an enlightenment way of looking at it. It's more than just experiential, and it's more than just practical. It's an integration of all three of those aspects.  
"We are already developing the kernels of this strategic plan around this threefold understanding of what wholeness in Christian leadership is all about. So I think in the next few years we'll be using the language of wholeness in Christian leadership to give identity and clarity to what we provide uniquely at SFTS."

Butin, 46, will be a teaching president, teaching courses in John Calvin, the Trinity, Worship and Sacraments, and ecumenical creeds and confessions. He has one foot in the church and one in the academy. He holds a Ph.D. in theology and church history from Duke University, and he has served several congregations across the United States, the latest being Shepherd of the Valley Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque, NM. 

He co-founded the Ecumenical Institute for Ministry in New Mexico and chairs the Presbytery of Santa Fe Committee on Commissioned Lay Pastors. His latest book is The Trinity (Geneva Press).  He has also written Revelation, Redemption and Response: Calvin's Trinitarian Understanding of the Divine-Human Relationship (Oxford University Press).
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