Learning to Listen: Workshop Explores Transgender Experiences

Learning to Listen: Workshop Explores Transgender Experiences

This fall semester, the Rev. Dr. April Stace will lead a workshop and teach an intensive course at General called Translucent: A Spiritual Care for Trans* Families. Stace has worked with and been close to the spiritual lives of the trans* community since her chaplaincy, both in and, perhaps especially, outside of the church. “In a lot of ways,” says Stace, who also has a trans* partner, “being with [my partner] during various stages of the transition and coming out process is the best experience I have."

General Seminary Begins Academic Year With New Student Welcome

General Seminary Begins Academic Year With New Student Welcome

Welcome & Orientation Weekend kicked off on Thursday August 30th with worship, food, and fellowship in Chelsea Square. In a hot, but spirit-filled Chapel of the Good Shepherd, the Very Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle, '04, Dean and President, welcomed the students who chose General Seminary for the next step in their theological education. From as far away as Japan and China, and as close as West 23 Street, the new students sat in communion together for the first time.

IN MEMORIAM: Julius Cruse ‘99


Dr. Julius M. Cruse, Jr., who was honored by General with a Doctor of Divinity in 1999 and donated his T.S. Eliot collection to our library, died on August 20 at the age of 81, following complications from a long battle with cancer at University of Mississippi Medical Center.

His parents, Julius and Effie, and his sister Julia Cruse Corso preceded him in death. Visitation is scheduled for Friday, August 24, from 4-6:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 25, from 10-11 a.m. at St. Columb's Episcopal Church in Ridgeland, MS. A Solemn High Mass will follow the Saturday visitation at 11 a.m. at St. Columbs, where Cruse was a faithful communicant. 

Dr. Cruse recently retired from the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS after a professional tenure of almost fifty years where he served as Guyton Distinguished Professor of Pathology, Medicine and Microbiology, as well as Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine. He formerly served as the first professor of immunology at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

"The Medical Center has lost one of the great ones, and I have lost a mentor, colleague and friend," said Dr. Ralph Didlake, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the Medical Center. "He and I shared a passion for the history of medicine, and I was inspired by his intellectual energy, his curiosity and the integrity of his scholarship." 

Cruse graduated in 1958 with B.A. and B.S. degrees in chemistry from the University of Mississippi. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Graz (Austria) where he received the D.Med.Sc. Degree summa cum laude in 1960. He received the MD/PhD in pathology from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at UT Memphis.

Cruse became one of the most eminent immunologists of his time. He authored or co-authored more than 40 books and more than 300 scholarly articles in professional journals. Among his best-known works were the Illustrated Dictionary of Immunology and the Atlas of Immunology. His former students serve as professors, physicians, researchers and administrators in medical centers throughout the U.S. He was founding editor-in-chief of three international scientific journals, Immunologic Research, Pathobiology and Transgenics, as well as serving as editor-in-chief of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. In addition, he served on the editorial board of International Pathology and Human Immunology.

He was an active member of more than 20 professional societies which include the American Association of Immunologists (historian), the American Society for Investigative Pathology, the American Society for Histocompatability and Immunogenetics (Member of Council 1997-99; Chair of Publications 1987-95; Historian 2000-2015), the Societe Francaise d'Immunologie, the Transplantation Society, the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine, Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and Fellow of the Royal Society of Health and the Royal Society of Medicine (UK).

At the Medical Center, Cruse was valued for his contributions to the life of the institution. He was a life-time member of the Friends of Rowland Medical Library. He founded the Dean Billy S. Guyton Visiting Professorship in the History of Medicine and presented the fifth Guyton Lecture at the Medical Center.

Cruse was an ardent bibliophile. He gave his medical/immunology collection (4000 plus volumes) to the University of Wisconsin where he was honored by their Medical School Library in 1980 with the establishment of the Julius M. Cruse Collection in the History of Immunology. The American Association of Immunologists (AAI) recognized the significance of this valued resource and adopted it as their official History of Immunology Collection. In 1995, he donated his 3000 plus volume T.S. Eliot Collection, the largest in private hands, to the St. Mark's Library (now Christoph Keller, Jr. Library) at General.

Citing Cruse as a "devout Episcopalian whose life exemplifies the great tradition of Anglican lay people who have, within their professions and through their avocations, enriched and expanded the knowledge of the Gospel and bestowed the special gifts of their genius upon their church." General conferred the Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa on Cruse in 1999 and named the T.S. Eliot Collection in his honor. Cruse's T.S. Eliot Collection has recently been transferred to the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) at Emory University, Woodruff Library in Atlanta.

Memorials may be made to the Julius M. Cruse Professorship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (Office of Development) or to St. Columb's.

Published in the Clarion Ledger, MS from Aug. 23 to Aug. 24, 2018 


An Interview with Julie Faith Parker

An Interview with Julie Faith Parker

General is thrilled to welcome the Rev. Dr. Julie Faith Parker to our faculty as Associate Professor of Biblical Studies.  She comes most recently from teaching the Old Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.  However, her extensive education has spanned a considerable range of places, from upstate New York (B.A., Hamilton College) to Paris (studying art history) to Manhattan (M.Div., Union Theological Seminary) to Central America (studying liberation theology) to Connecticut (S.T.M., Ph.D., Yale University), and now to Chelsea Square.

Valerie Bailey Fischer Appointed Williams College Chaplain

The Rev. Valerie Bailey Fischer, Th.D. candidate and Teaching Assistant in Anglican Studies and Church History, has been appointed as the next Chaplain at Williams College. She will begin her position in July.

While at General, Bailey Fischer launched The Good Shepherd Children’s Atrium Project, a program providing Christian Formation for children at General and its wider community, as well as a formative experience for seminarians who are interested in leading similar ministries. The curriculum in use, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, is more than 50 years old and based on the Montessori principle of inspiring the child’s “inner teacher” to explore materials in a child-oriented environment.

Bailey Fischer is currently serving as priest associate at Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit, N.J. She has more than 11 years of college chaplaincy experience and nearly a decade in ordained ministry.

Raised in West Philadelphia in an African American Pentecostal tradition, Bailey Fischer participated in several other Protestant traditions before joining the Episcopal Church as a young adult. She received her B.A. from Penn State University and her M.Div. from Union, and then became university chaplain at Framingham State University, where she helped students from a variety of religious, moral, and philosophical traditions form and strengthen their communities. In addition, she assisted students in planning creative rituals and liturgies that deepened their spiritual engagement. 

Through Bailey Fischer’s ministry’s strong foundation in social justice, which included Urban Pilgrimage, the unique experiential learning program she developed at Framingham State, she galvanized the student-led development of interfaith programming to encourage learning across traditions.

Her research at General examines the ancient order of female deacons from the early church, its late-19th century revival, and its role in the ordination of women in the Episcopal Church in the United States.

As chaplain to the college, Mother Bailey Fischer will support the vitality of the many religious, spiritual, and intellectual traditions at Williams through dialogue, outreach, and advocacy. In addition, she will provide counseling and spiritual guidance for undergraduates and foster community between students and their neighbors in Williamstown and the wider world.

 “I am inspired how the chaplains, faculty, staff and students [at Williams] are engaged in issues of faith and religion in a variety of ways,” Bailey Fischer says. “I am excited to be part of this process as Chaplain to the College.”