General Voices: Why I Stand with The General Theological Seminary - The Rev. Dr. R. Scott White '96

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Why I Stand with The General Theological Seminary

The Rev. Dr. R. Scott White ’96 President, Alumni Executive Committee

For a number of years, I have had the pleasure of serving as a member of the Alumni Executive Committee of The General Theological Seminary (AEC). It has been a privilege and joy to serve in this role. The AEC supports alumni and encourages them to support General in prayer, to foster the search for prospective students, and to remember General in their personal stewardship. General is the place where my vocation and my faith were formed in ways that continue to shape my ministry.

In January of 2014, I stepped into a new role as President of the AEC, and in the fall of 2014, the recent crisis at General erupted. It has been a time unlike any other while I’ve been in service on the AEC. As a group, we have called all of General’s stakeholders – the faculty, the dean, the board and alumni – to put the health and wellness of General and its students first, and we continue to do so.

Personally, I stand behind the General Seminary because I believe in General’s mission to form leaders for the church in a changing world, because I believe The Episcopal Church has a deep need to form leaders in an urban setting, and simply because General holds a special place in my heart. Perhaps most of all, I continue to support General because I do not believe an institution that has formed leaders for the church for nearly 200 years should be defined by one set of events.

From my perspective, every party made mistakes, and I believe that General is capable of learning from these mistakes and reforming itself to a new way of being. I am committed to holding all involved at General to a clear recognition of where things went wrong, to what can be learned, and to the development of steps to ensure a crisis such as this does not happen again. This process is nowhere near complete, and that is all the more reason to remain engaged and present.

Our faith is founded on the belief that God is always at work renewing the face of the earth. My prayer – our prayer – is for God’s power of renewal to be at work for The General Theological Seminary.