Forty days often represents some weighty symbolic moment in the biblical world, but I can honestly—and gratefully—say that my first 40 days as president of McCormick passed without a deluge (though we had a ton of rain in Chicagoland) or even a long fast in the wilderness. In such a volatile economy and tense political landscape, this is certainly a very good thing! That’s not to say that things have been quiet around here at our wonderful seminary in the Second City.
McCormick’s summers are often thought of as quiet months; but this year, the first group of students completed our new Certificate in Latin@ Theology and Ministry; Professors Ken Sawyer and Melody Knowles successfully launched the first online courses; and another group of talented D.Min. students engaged each other in our newly renovated classrooms; and the Common Ground Project coordinated two energy-filled events where young adults and pastors of color came together as they lived the Common Ground vision: Difference. Building. Connection. We facilitated leading U.S scholars as they thought strategically about the future of Asian Pacific American religions; and a number of our faculty participated in an impressive gathering of international scholars who discussed critical issues in interfaith relations. Slow months? Not here at McCormick! And it’s not even yet Labor Day.
We’ve also hired a development consultant to help us plan for our future. When she took a position at a nearby university, we celebrated Martha Stocker’s eight years with us in Seminary Relations and Development; and we welcomed Emily McGinley in her new role as Interim Director of Alumni/ae relations. There is a lot of energy here; and at risk of betraying my Southern Californian lingo, there is a good vibe on campus.
See for yourself what’s new here at McCormick. You’ll find news, updates, and important events in our life together. Everything speaks loudly and clearly that we are making significant progress toward living into our vision of being a diverse and vital presence in the Church and in the heart of Chicagoland. It has been a good first 40 days.
Peace and grace,
Frank Yamada, president