Auburn Seminary announces latest award

For Immediate Release
Septemeber 26, 2017
Contact: Aimee Thunberg, [email protected]

Auburn Seminary announces latest award
Vice President of Applied Research and the Center for the Study of Theological Education the Rev. Dr. Christian Scharen receives 2017 Alumnus Award for Distinguished Ministry in Special Service

NEW YORK — Auburn Seminary is proud to announce the latest honor bestowed upon one of its staff leaders. Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) of the Graduate Theological Union honored Auburn’s Vice President of Applied Research and the Center for the Study of Theological Education the Rev. Dr. Christian Scharen, with its 2017 Alumnus Award for Distinguished Ministry in Special Service. Scharen’s persistent work on faith, community and social justice, in urban African American and Latinx contexts, as well as his leadership in theological education and ministry studies, were cited as reasons for the award.

“I’m honored and humbled to receive this award for my work and leadership at Auburn,” Scharen said. “I believe that together we can contribute to a new society emerging, and that emergence will be sparked by prophetic teachers at work in institutions–like PLTS and the GTU– training faith leaders. By equipping leaders with moral courage who can take on the myriad challenges we face today, we look toward tomorrow with hope and not despair.”

The distinguished award was presented to Scharen by PLTS Rector Dr. Ray Pickett, Dean Alicia Vargas, and Seminary Relations Director Rev. Brian Stein-Webber. The ceremony happened during the organization’s annual Founder’s Day celebration on September 20, 2017.

Scharen was also the invited preacher for Founders’ Day, which was held at the Graduate Theological Union’s Jesuit School of Theology, as part of a joint Lutheran-Catholic commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. The commemoration included a lecture by Dr. Sandra Schneiders of the Jesuit School of Theology on “Reconciled Diversity: Theology and Spirituality in the Ecumenical Journey.” A panel of respondents, including Dr. Alie Ataie of Zaytuna College, Dr. Deena Aranoff of the Georgetown’s Center for Jewish Studies, Dr. Valerie Miles-Tribble of American Baptist Seminary of the West, and Dr. Peter Carlson of California Lutheran University.

PLTS promotes a new future for theological education, in which they seek “new, more practical and diverse ways of training church leaders in a multicultural world for ministry in a changing church and society.” A calling that coincides with Auburn Seminary’s mission to identify and strengthen leaders — from the pulpit to the public square — to build communities, bridge divides, pursue justice, and heal the world. Scharen’s work in particular — which is centered on practical theology and theological education, with a particular interest in what strengthens leaders of faith and moral courage in facing the big challenges of the 21st century — echoes PLTS efforts.

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Auburn Seminary identifies and strengthens leaders — from the pulpit to the public square — to build communities, bridge divides, pursue justice and heal the world.

 

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