Tag: Fuller Theological Seminary

Fuller Seminary Won’t Leave Pasadena After All

Citing restrictions on selling its current Pasadena property and unexpectedly high construction costs, Fuller Theological Seminary officials announced it won’t be moving to Pomona, California, in 2021 as planned.

Fuller president Mark Labberton said Southern California’s high construction costs—higher than the school’s conservative estimates—and “differences with the City of Pasadena” over the sale of the land led the board on October 24 to vote unanimously to stay at its 13-acre Pasadena location.

“Our board just decided … that though our plans were so full of promise and hope and our welcome in Pomona had been so great, that the better and wiser decision for the long-term wellbeing of Fuller is to stay here in Pasadena,” Labberton said in a statement posted last week on the Fuller website.

For the full story see “Christianity Today.”

Fuller Seminary 2019 Missiology Lectures: Becoming Digital Neighbors

MISSIOLOGY LECTURES 2019

How does technology enable or constrain me in loving my (digital) neighbor?

The 2019 Missiology Lectures will look at how emerging technologies shape human interaction and, more specifically, inform cross-cultural or interreligious encounters.

Join us for a gathering of leading scholars of technology as it relates to theology, religion, and formation, to explore the ways in which modern technology is neither solely a dehumanizing force in the world nor a mere instrument for evangelizing the world, but rather the very means by which incarnation living happens—the media in and through which human bodies love the (digital) other.

Conference attendees will talk about technology as they interact with theologians, educators, missionaries, and ministry leaders, as well as engage in hands-on Virtual Reality experiences.

Conference Organizers: Ryan K. Bolger, Kutter Callaway, Kirsteen Kim

FULLER studio is pleased to offer a selection of the recordings to be released in the months following the event. To stay updated on this content, sign up for the FULLER studio semimonthly email.

SPEAKERS AND ABSTRACTS

 Heidi CampbellHeidi Campbell

PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATION AT TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS

When Religious Internet Memes about Mean: Loving the Religious Other

This lecture is based on research that explores the tendency for Internet memes about religion to promote problematic religious stereotypes. Specifically, this lecture investigates the role the Internet and social media plays in promoting incivility towards non-Christian religious individuals and cultures. The viral nature of Internet memes can encourage the circulation of biased narratives about the religious other online, which threatens our call to be neighborly to those treated with contempt in a digital age. By studying the dominant messages promoted by Internet memes about religion, especially related to Islam and Judaism, we see that online visual and textual discourse about minority religions within American culture relies on hostile tropes and biases about religious individuals. By investigating how such messages communicate about religious others in popular Internet memes, this lecture will ask how memes can be used as basis of dialogue that enable us to embrace and show care for the religious others in our midst, online and offline.

Respondent: Erik Aasland is affiliate assistant professor of anthropology and coordinator of global initiatives at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Pauline CheongPauline Cheong

PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATION AT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Data, Discernment, and Duty: Illuminating Engagement in the Internet of Things

As contemporary technological innovations are embedded in our “smart” homes, schools and churches, sensors in our neighborhoods, and even microchipped in ourselves, what are the human capacities and knowledge needed to thrive in an era of Big Data and the Internet of Things? Drawing upon her empirical research on intercultural communication, social media, and digital platforms, Dr. Cheong will discuss opportunities and challenges in loving our neighbors in light of intensifying mediatization. Understanding evolving and relational practices of datafication will help shed light on newer constructions of knowledge and authority, including implications for missional engagement and service.

Respondent: Marcia Clarke is affiliate professor of practical theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Ilia DelioIlia Delio, OSF

JOSEPHINE C. CONNELLY CHAIR IN THEOLOGY AT VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY

The Techno Human: Better World or Deeper Problems?

There is no doubt that technology has become embedded in human life, from global communications to biomedical enhancements. It is estimated that by 2025 the quality of human life will be significantly improved for most of the global population. But will we have a more just and sustainable planet? However, the values of enhancement cannot supplant virtues of transformation. A world of compassion and forgiveness requires that we go against our nature, not extend our nature. It is going against our nature, however, that we seek to avoid; hence the lure of artificial intelligence. In this lecture, Dr. Delio will explore the resistance of nature to transcend itself apart from the radical otherness of God and engage the cosmotheandric vision of Teilhard de Chardin and his novel idea of Ultrahumanism.

Respondent: Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen is professor of systematic theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Angela GorrellAngela Gorrell

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PRACTICAL THEOLOGY AT TRUETT THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Back to the Future: Immortal But Not Fully Alive

Babel-fish earbuds. The Internet of Things. Generative Adversarial Networks. And on the horizon of technological and informational change—a vision of a new humanity—superhumans made immortal by robotic limbs, microchips, gene modification, and nanosystems. How do we share the gospel in a world where people think of death as a solvable problem? What has God done in and through Jesus Christ that speaks to a digital age? How do we tell the stories of what God is doing in a new media landscape? Together, we will consider why the pursuit of becoming fully human should eclipse the quest to become immortal and, in doing so, shape Christian witness in such a time as this.

Respondent: Wilmer G. Villacorta is associate professor of intercultural studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Madison GilbertsonMadison Kawakami Gilbertson

PHD STUDENT IN PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE AT FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

CO-PRESENTING WITH SARAH A. SCHNITKER

Perhaps too often technology development has neglected the philosophical, moral, and virtue-related elements associated with its production, and therefore the potential for technology to facilitate more positive outcomes for youth has been overlooked. Drawing on the empirical research we have conducted as psychological scientists, we will explore how a virtue-focused approach to tech has the potential to facilitate positive character development outcomes. Instead of inhibiting virtue, how might technology facilitate and instill virtue among users? Rather than trying to persuade adolescents to turn off their devices (a nearly impossible task), we want to present character strength interventions where youth are already spending their time—on their screens. The present tech landscape, the development and outcomes from a virtue-focused technology app, and the missiological significance of this approach will be discussed.

Respondent: Susan L. Maros is Faculty Consultant and Affiliate Assistant Professor of Christian Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary

NoreenNoreen Herzfeld

REUTER PROFESSOR OF SCIENCE AND RELIGION AT THE COLLEGE OF SAINT BENEDICT AND SAINT JOHN’S UNIVERSITY

A New Neighbor or a Divisive Force?

The term AI conjures images of robots or the quasi-human figures of science fiction and film. We imagine digital companions and co-workers that think and act like ourselves. This vision of AI seems to enlarge our neighborhood, giving us something we innately desire—an “other” with whom we can relate, as we relate to our fellow humans. However, there are two things wrong with this vision. First, without a sensate body, computers are incapable of feeling emotion, making them a poor substitute for human relationships. Second, this isn’t the AI we have. We most frequently encounter AI not in some quasi-human or even robotic form, but in faceless algorithms that aggregate our data and manipulate our behavior online. This AI not only fails to give us new neighbors to love but has proven, so far, to be an isolating and politically divisive force, separating us from the human neighbors we already have.

Respondent: Kirsteen Kim is Associate Dean for the Center of Missiological Research (CMR) and professor of theology and world Christianity at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Sarah SchnitkerSarah A. Schnitker

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY AT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Positive Youth Development and Technology: Developing Character in Youth in the Present Technological Landscape

Perhaps too often technology development has neglected the philosophical, moral, and virtue-related elements associated with its production, and therefore the potential for technology to facilitate more positive outcomes for youth has been overlooked. Drawing on the empirical research we have conducted as psychological scientists, we will explore how a virtue-focused approach to tech has the potential to facilitate positive character development outcomes. Instead of inhibiting virtue, how might technology facilitate and instill virtue among users? Rather than trying to persuade adolescents to turn off their devices (a nearly impossible task), we want to present character strength interventions where youth are already spending their time—on their screens. The present tech landscape, the development and outcomes from a virtue-focused technology app, and the missiological significance of this approach will be discussed.

Respondent: Susan L. Maros is Faculty Consultant and Affiliate Assistant Professor of Christian Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary

Update: The Sale of Fuller Seminary’s Pasadena Campus

An update on Fuller Theological Seminary’s status regarding the sale of its Pasadena property…


Dear Fuller Community,

Earlier today the board met in an urgent session to discuss the surprising turn of events last week when the buyer for the Pasadena property withdrew. As promised, we are updating you with new developments, knowing that not all questions can be answered.

For many months now, the trustees, administration, faculty, and staff have been working hard on multiple initiatives whose common purpose is to put Fuller on a far more focused path to a flourishing future. While there is much positive momentum, we have met major challenges to the reset for future sustainability. Since formulating our original Pasadena to Pomona move, several things have dramatically changed, including: the buyer we’ve been working with since January has dropped out owing to decisions made by the City of Pasadena, and construction costs for the Pomona campus have escalated significantly.

What are the immediate options?
The Executive Committee of Trustees, senior administrators, and the Real Estate Task Force set in motion immediately to establish two scenarios that we presented this morning to the board for review and final decision in October: (1) pivot to a combination of Pasadena/Houston/Arizona/virtual campus distribution or (2) delay but proceed with the Pomona/Houston/Arizona/virtual option.

There are strong cases for both scenarios which can be discussed in future meetings (including next week’s special employee meeting); however, there are practical measures we must enact immediately in any case, which will include the sale of properties outside the “core” of the Pasadena campus.

The Executive Committee and Administration will deliver to the October Board meeting a strategic plan and fully informed recommendations for a long-term campus strategy with all of these new developments considered. Those scenarios include:

Scenario 1: Pomona/Houston/Arizona/Virtual
The board’s original vision was a Spirit-led one that had the short and long-term future firmly in view. The decision to leave Pasadena as a strategy for establishing long-term sustainability was and is still necessary for Fuller’s viability. The original vision for Pomona is bold, mission-centered, and future thinking. We must determine a location that will best support Fuller’s future.

Scenario 2: Pasadena/Houston/Arizona/Virtual
Our original vision was a good one, but fundamental changes require a major reboot. In this scenario, we keep a portion of the Pasadena campus and split our operations with Houston, Phoenix, and virtual offices offering near-term financial benefits, avoiding escalating construction costs and the disruption associated with building a new campus.

In the next two months, we will engage the research and due diligence necessary to evaluate these scenarios for board consideration in October to determine the direction that we will pursue.

Conclusions for Now
As we wrestle with all of this, it is easy to get overwhelmed. It is important to remember that our overarching goal is to create a new and better Fuller—we are continuing to move forward on that path. There is much good news, there are many ways in which Fuller is strong, and we must remember that God is with us. Whatever scenarios the board finally approves, we will make Fuller stronger with these initiatives:

  • Simplify, streamline, and better integrate our degree programs and schools
  • Scale Fuller’s students, faculty, staff, and facility size to projected demand
  • Eliminate our operating deficit to work with a balanced budget
  • Pay off our debt
  • Reduce the cost of living for many in the Fuller community
  • Create faculty, staff, and educational environments better tuned to the 21st century
  • Raise financial resources for Fuller’s long-term benefit

Yours in Christ,

Mark

Dwight Radcliff Named Assistant Professor of Mission, Theology, and Culture and Director of the William Pannell Center for African American Church Studies

Fuller Theological Seminary is excited to announce the appointment of Dwight Radcliff Jr. as director of the William E. Pannell Center for African American Church Studies and assistant professor of mission, theology, and culture, effective July 1, 2019. Dr. Radcliff will work alongside Assistant Provost Clifton Clarke in Southern California and in collaboration with Vince Bantu, assistant professor of church history and Black church studies, in Texas in the work of the Pannell Center advancing Black church scholarship, nurturing connections with local churches, and providing mentorship and advocacy for African American students.

“Dr. Dwight Radcliff is an exciting addition to the Pannell Center team,” said Dr. Clarke. “As a former student of Fuller, Dr. Radcliff is the ideal person to support the formation of students and the promotion of Black church studies at Fuller. As a pastor and scholar, he brings tremendous ministry experience and insight with regard to the opportunities and challenges facing the Black church in America in the 21st century.” Regarding his new position, Radcliff said he hopes to “contribute significantly to the current work and legacy of the Pannell Center” as he joins Fuller leadership in an historic season of change.

For the full story see here: https://www.fuller.edu/posts/dwight-radcliff-named-assistant-professor-of-mission-theology-and-culture-and-director-of-the-william-e-pannell-center-for-african-american-church-studies/