Stephanie Spellers Accepts New Position as Part of Program Integration

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Leading up to the Fall semester, the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, Adjunct Professor, has taken on expanded roles at The General Theological Seminary. Her new position includes key responsibilities in implementing the Seminary's new initiative, The Way of Wisdom.

Spellers will continue in her appointment as Adjunct Professor of Church and Society and takes on the additional role of Director of Mission and Reconciliation. She will teach courses and lead other offerings that relate to mission, evangelism, and reconciliation in the field of ministry, and will begin the work of expanding our offerings to the increasingly important outside community. In her undertakings she will highlight the role of mission in our education and formation of students for all types of leadership. As part of her new responsibilities, she is joining The Way of Wisdom planning team and will be offering mentor-training and resources to Wisdom Year residency sites. Spellers will continue to serve part-time as Canon for Missional Vitality in the Diocese of Long Island and as a Senior Consultant in the Center for Progressive Renewal, an ecumenical center for church development and renewal.

Spellers is a popular speaker and is the author of numerous books, including The Episcopal Way (2014), Ancient Faith, Future Mission: Fresh Expressions in the Sacramental Traditions (2010), and Radical Welcome: Embracing God, The Other and the Transforming Power of the Spirit (2006). She serves as one of two Chaplains to the House of Bishops and recently chaired the Episcopal Standing Commission on Mission and Evangelism. Along with Eric Law, she is the co-editor for the new Church's Teachings for a Changing World series.

From 2005 to 2012, Canon Spellers served as founding priest for The Crossing, an emergent congregation based at St. Paul's Cathedral in Boston. She earned an M.A. in 1996 from Harvard Divinity School and an M.Div. from Episcopal Divinity School in 2004. Prior to and concurrent with priestly ministry, she served in the administration at Harvard Divinity and worked as a religion reporter for a regional daily newspaper and as an editor for Episcopal Church Publishing.

The Way of Wisdom

The Way of Wisdom is a major initiative at The General Theological Seminary to integrate all the disciplines of formation in seminary education. Rather than separating education, formation and experience, The Way of Wisdom requires a complete blending of each. As an integral part of The Way of Wisdom, General Seminary will embark on a radical change in seminary formation during the final year: The Wisdom Year.

Through partnerships with churches, dioceses, and other ministry locations in the metropolitan area, third-year seminarians at General will get real jobs at real parishes and other ministry settings. These part-time positions will be their first job using their seminary formation, and students will learn first-hand while being the pastor, preacher, and decision-maker.

Spellers is playing an important role as part of the team working on the design and implementation of The Way of Wisdom and The Wisdom Year. As part of the implementation, the team is:

  • Participating in conversations with dioceses, parishes, and other institutions throughout the greater Metropolitan area about possible Wisdom Year residency sites and about the changing shape of both parish ministry and theological education.
  • Connecting with church leaders who will offer intensive educational opportunities for our students and the wider community throughout the year.
  • Preparing to work on two pilot sites for 2014-15 with the goal of offering The Wisdom Year to any interested Senior in 2015-16 and to all Seniors in 2016-17.
  • Managing the policies and procedures of The Wisdom Year.
  • Researching best practices in contextual education and learning more about efforts in all denominations to support students as they transition out of seminary into full-time ministry.

To read more about The Way of Wisdom, including Dean Kurt H. Dunkle's articles, "Diving into the Deep End" and "The Wisdom of Both/And," go to www.gts.edu/wisdom.