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Bexley Seabury Inaugurates Federation, Installs Ferlo, Grants Honorary Degrees

Seminaries to Hold "Biblical Imagination" Event in Indianapolis

April 24, 2013 —The federation of Bexley Hall and Seabury Western Theological Seminary, now known as Bexley Seabury, will be inaugurated on Saturday at a Festival Eucharist in the chapel of Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. The Rt. Rev. Catherine Waynick, bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis will preside and the Very Rev. Ian Markham, dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary, will preach.

At the service, the Rev. Dr. Roger A. Ferlo will be installed as the federation's first president and the Rt. Rev. Diane Jardine Bruce, bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Los Angeles, and the Rev. Canon Carlson Gerdau, former canon to Presiding Bishops Frank Griswold and Katharine Jefferts Schori, will be granted the doctor of divinity, honoris causa. Bruce is a 2011 alumna of Seabury's Doctor of Ministry program, and Gerdau has served on the Bexley board since 1995.

On Friday, the schools will host a free public program titled "Restoring the Biblical Imagination" at Christian Theological Seminary. "We want to explore the richness of Christian symbols, especially the rich language of Scripture, in a way that encourages honest religious conversation rather than stopping it cold," said Ferlo, who designed the event and secured support for it from the Henry A. Luce Foundation. "Only by restoring our sense of generosity and beauty in our own scriptural traditions can we participate with integrity in the vibrant pluralism that more and more defines the American religious experience."

The afternoon's first workshop, titled "A Muslim, a Jew and a Christian Walk into a Cafe: Building Relationships through Scriptural Study," will introduce participants to a method of interfaith study called "Scriptural Reasoning."

"In Scriptural Reasoning, Christians, Muslims and Jews come together in conversation around our scriptures, but there is no larger agenda," said the Rev. Dr. Jason Fout, professor at Bexley and organizer of the workshop. "We engage the scriptures for the sake of God, not for the sake of saying, 'See, we all believe the same thing.' One of the wonderful things in Scriptural Reasoning is that we come as a Christian, we come as a Jew, we come as a Muslim. It is through the deep particularity of our faith that we come together. We often have a convergence, but we also disagree."

Fout will lead the workshop with Sarah Snyder of the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme in Cambridge, England, Joshua Stanton of the Center for Global Judaism at Hebrew College in Massachusetts, and Omar Shaukat, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Virginia.

The second workshop, "The Bible for Nones: Sights and Sounds of Scripture," will be an experiential workshop that uses images and sound to explore the Bible.

"Scriptural truth beyond words appeals to the heart as well as the mind," said the Rev. Dr. John Dally, organizer of the workshop and professor at Seabury. "We will explore ways of reflecting on scripture that can provide openings for conversations with the growing number of Americans who identify with no religious group."

Joining Dally at the workshop will be the Rev. Dr. Frank Yamada, president of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, and the Rev. Shaun Whitehead, associate chaplain at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York.

"Restoring the Biblical Imagination" will begin with a keynote address by Ferlo and will conclude with a panel discussion that he will moderate.



The Federation of Bexley Hall and Seabury Western Theological Seminary forms an Episcopal educational center in the Midwest that offers a new model for sustaining rigorous theological education. Our flexible academic programs, rooted in ecumenical partnerships, offer fresh options for clergy and laypeople who are preparing for ministry in a changing church. Learn more at

Media Contact

Rebecca Wilson
Canticle Communications


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Read the article.

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