Sharing Gratitude from Auburn’s Board Chair
I write to you in rising spirits. I am the newly elected Chair of the Auburn Theological Seminary Board. As a Sikh, I am in awe of the commitment of a more than two hundred year old Presbyterian seminary to a multifaith future, where our common human spirit can rise together.
Auburn is a place where people, just like you and me, of all races and faiths, are brought together to engage in challenging discussions, foster spirit-guided leadership, and support prophetic visionaries as they reimagine our world.
Leading the way forward is our visionary President, Rev. Dr. Emma Jordan-Simpson, and our dedicated, accomplished staff, who work tirelessly with preeminent religious and secular moral leaders who are on the front lines, fighting to create a more just world. Auburn identifies the most promising leaders, convenes them so they can meet and collaborate, supports and trains them, ensures they are taking care of themselves, and helps to amplify their voices—all as they translate vision into reality.
Rev. Dr. Jordan-Simpson herself is the first Black, non-Presbyterian leader in Auburn’s history. She just celebrated her first anniversary in October. She is a quiet storm, and she brings with her a vital vision for Auburn Theological Seminary in a time of deep transition, disquiet, and distrust. I trust her leadership because it is borne of deep listening, spiritual reflection, and uplift of the “brave, irreverent leaders” within each of us who would otherwise be silent or silenced.
Our community of friends has always been vital to Auburn’s work, providing us with conversation and wisdom, generosity and friendship, while also holding us to the bar—posing challenging questions, encouraging us to stay on the right path, and providing us the chance to course-correct, as this work is not simple.
Emma cherishes what she has learned about you, our courageous and generous friends, and wants to meet you and hear your insights and wisdom, your questions around faith and justice, and your desire to build a better world. And she wants to get to know each and every one of you, on a deep level, on a personal level, to know your views, to wrestle with the questions, and walk forward together with you.
As Emma works to reach out to you, I invite you to reach in and get to know someone who is extraordinary and has a vision that inspires me. You will see she is very soft-spoken. You will also recall that the greatest leaders don’t need to raise their voices. We came to see this in Emma. We hope you will come to see this as well.
Sending peace, blessings, and gratitude as we enter this holiday season,
Dr. Prabhjot Singh
Board Chair, Auburn Theological Seminary