Fr. Bernard J. O'Connor shares experience as GTF faculty

by Kyna • December, 07, 2012

Rev. Dr. Bernie Joseph O'Connor, a former official at the Vatican with the Congregation of Eastern Churches, shares his experience as a faculty member for the Graduate Theological Foundation.


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Professor Marzia Dawlatzai on Muharram/Islamic New Year

by Kyna • December, 04, 2012

The Islamic New Year recently began, and this week, we have a post from a member of our own faculty, Dr. Marzia Dawlatzai, who explains this ancient tradition.

Dr. Marzia Hashem Dawlatzai is Aisha Bint Abu Bakr Professor of Women’s Studies and was born into a family of the Pashtun Tribe in Afghanistan.  She holds a M.Th. and Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the GTF and a bachelor's degree (Faculty of Law) from Kabul University in Afghanistan.  She has worked for many years with the U.S. Military and with Pashtun tribal children.  To read her complete biography, please visit her faculty profile.


Muharram/Islamic New Year 2012

The Islamic calendar is lunar, like the Jewish calendar, with 12 months of 29 or 30 days each, for a total of 354 days.  The Islamic calendar makes no corrections to align itself with the solar calendar, so each year the Islamic holidays occur earlier and do not always fall in the same season.

The first day of the Islamic New Year is celebrated on the first day of Muharram.  Al Hijra is the day when Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) began his migration from Mecca to Medina in Islamic Year 1 (1 AH), 622 CE; the Day of Ashura (or Ashurah) is known as the most sacred day in the month of Muharram.  It is the 10th day of Muharram and is a day of fasting for many Sunni Muslims.  Many Shi’a Muslims use the day to commemorate the martyrdom of Husain Ibn Ali in 680 CE.  Some Muslims give to charity on this day.

The way the Muslims celebrate New Year’s Day is very different from other New Year celebrations; they gather in mosques and offer special prayers and listen to special readings from the Holly Kora’an.  An important part of the prayer service is the narration of the HIGRA’A of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) from Mecca to Madina.  Muslims are supposed to reflect on their lives, the manner in which they are leading their lives and about their own morality.  The day is spent in prayer and reflection.  There are no celebrations that Muslims normally associate with New Year’s Day and is known as “Maal Hijraa”.  A number of Muslims have taken to sending greeting cards to each other on this day.


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Rev. Patricia Hawkins Wells

by Kyna • December, 04, 2012

Rev. Patricia Hawkins Wells talks about why she chose Graduate Theological Foundation for graduate studies in pastoral counseling.


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Professor Muhammad A. Al-Rahman

by Kyna • December, 03, 2012

Professor Muhammad A. Al-Rahman talks about enjoying his experience with advanced religious studies at Graduate Theological Foundation.


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*** Notice to New Students ***

by Kyna • November, 28, 2012

If you have been accepted as a student, you must pay for your degree program costs prior to December 10, 2012, in order to activate your student status at the Foundation.  If payment is not received by this date, your account will be deactivated.  If you choose to reactivate at a later date, you will be subject to the program costs and guidelines set forth in the Student Handbook in use at the time of reactivation. 

Do you have questions about your student status?  Contact us now.


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Rev. Dr. Paul C.B. Schenck

by Kyna • November, 16, 2012

Rev. Dr. Paul C.B. Schenk from the Diocese of Harrisburg was at the Foundation recently and shared his experience with GTF on video.


Posted in: Student Videos  |   Views: 3576   |   No comments

Oxford Foundation Fellowships Now Available

by Kyna • November, 14, 2012

We are now accepting applications for the Oxford Foundation Fellowship.  This fellowship is designed as a post-doctoral, short-term, independent study opportunity for established academics and ministry professionals desiring to take advantage of residency and research facilities in Oxford, England.  Several Oxford Foundation Fellowships are offered annually. These fellowships are suitable for academics and ministry professionals needing to take a short-term sabbatical for topic-specific research in religious studies, theology and related fields. 


Radcliffe Camera of the University of Oxford


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Faculty to Head Selection Committee for Krister Stendahl Medal

by Kyna • November, 13, 2012

The Rev. Dr. Hugh R. Page, Jr., has accepted an appointment by the Foundation as Chairman of the Krister Stendahl Medal in Biblical Studies Selection Committee.  We are happy to welcome him as head of this new committee which will lead the annual selection of an outstanding scholar in the field of Biblical Studies to receive this distinguished award.  In honor of Stendahl’s legacy as a biblical scholar and in appreciation of his involvement and interest in the mission and commitment of the Foundation to religious pluralism, we established the Krister Stendahl Medal in Biblical Studies in 2009.


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Register now for the Winter Institute in Florida

by Kyna • November, 09, 2012

Study this winter in Florida with a renowned religious studies scholar and earn credits toward your degree!  If you'd like to graduate in 2013 and need to complete Units of Study or want to choose the Non-Project Option, or if you are looking for a unique course related to your professional ministry, the Winter Institute could be a good choice for you. 

Register by December 3, 2012, to secure your place in the Winter Institute 2013 in Oviedo, Florida.  (Learn more about this Institute by reading below or clicking here for complete details.)



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“Reverend Professor,”or A Look at Clergy Who Teach

by Kyna • November, 06, 2012

An increasing number of ordained clergy are turning to collegiate teaching as either a supplement to their ministry or as an alternative to parish service.  Given the rise in the “adjunct” professorial phenomenon in America – nearly 70% of all U.S. college faculty now hold non-tenure track status ( – owing to financial constraints, universities and colleges are turning to part-time faculty to fulfill their teaching staff needs.  Given their graduate training in the cognate fields in the humanities as well as the social and behavioral sciences and, to be honest, in view of the flexibility of their daily schedule, clergy are finding that this situation makes them readily available for, and often interested in, an intellectual diversion to parish drudgery and routine by teaching a course or two at the local college.  Happily, college deans are finding them a great resource as well.


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New Sacred Music Study Opportunities

by Kyna • November, 02, 2012

Students in the Sacred Music program studying for the M.S.M. or D.S.M. can now take advantage of three new E-Tutorials offered by Dr. Vivan Robles Dettbarn-Slaughter, Professor of Sacred Music.  Focusing on Hildegard of Bingen, a practicum in church music, and religious studies in musicology, these E-Tutorials can help students complete their coursework requirements for their M.S.M. or D.S.M. degree.


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We Are A Community of Scholars: The Right Revd John Tinsley

by Kyna • November, 02, 2012

As an educational institution providing advanced training for credentialed professionals, the Graduate Theological Foundation prides itself on its affiliation with distinguished international scholars who have contributed to the work of this community as Faculty, Fellows, and Honorary Fellows.


The Right Revd John Tinsley was an instrumental figure in the history of the Graduate Theological Foundation.  Bishop of Bristol, England, he was the official representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury (the late Lord Robert Runcie) to the Foundation in 1982.  Bishop Tinsley was a longtime friend, supporter, and both faculty member and member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation.  He is a cherished member of our Community of Scholars.  (Read more about him and other scholars in our community by clicking here.)

Many years ago, we established a named professorship in honor of Bishop Tinsley.  Longtime faculty member, friend of the Foundation, and Oxford University professor, The Revd Canon Dr. Vincent Strudwick is the Bishop John Tinsley Professor of Anglican Theology here at the Foundation.  You can visit his faculty profile by clicking here.


Ernest John Tinsley (22 March 1919 – 20 July 1992) was Bishop of Bristol (UK) from 1976 to 1985. The son of a Lancashire farmer, he was educated at Durham University and was ordained an Anglican priest in the Church of England in 1943, serving curacies in Durham and South Westoe.  Subsequently, he was Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Theology at Hull University, Examining Chaplain to the Archbishop of York and to the Bishop of Sheffield, being made Professor of Theology at Leeds University in 1962 where he was made Dean of the Faculty of Arts three years later. 


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Open access in the humanities

by Kyna • October, 26, 2012

In reading a recent article on Inside Higher Ed about open access publishing, I thought it too bad that Jim Grossman, Executive Director of the American Historical Association, seemed to feel that conversation has been dominated by the "imperatives of the sciences."   Also too bad, is when handsome revenue generated for the AHA through its flagship journal, American Historical Review, is claimed as a reasonable justification for not participating in the global movement toward open access publishing.  Dan Cohen of George Mason University captured the essence of Grossman's tone when he pointed out that now is not then; "it is now 2012, not 2005"!  There is most definitely no going back.


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Doctoral Defense Schedule for 2013

by Kyna • October, 24, 2012

Foundation doctoral candidates preparing for their doctoral defense should be aware of the schedule for next year.  Effective January, 2013, doctoral candidates may schedule their doctoral defense to take place in Indiana on one of the four following dates:

First Monday of March, 2013 
(All academic and financial requirements must be met no later than December 1, 2012.)

First Monday of June, 2013
(All academic and financial requirements must be met no later than March 1, 2013.)

Second Monday of September, 2013
(All academic and financial requirements must be met no later than June 1, 2013.)

First Monday of December, 2013
(All academic and financial requirements must be met no later than September 1, 2013.)


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Study in Rome in 2013! Applications now being accepted

by Kyna • October, 05, 2012

The Centro Pro Unione's annual Summer Course in Rome is now accepting applications for 2013.  For well over a decade, the Foundation and Centro have enjoyed a fruitful relationship, and many Foundation students have studied on this course and applied the Units of Study they have completed toward their degree.   The Centro is a center of ecumenical research and sits in the heart of Rome on the Piazza Navona. 



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National Hispanic Heritage Month: Bartolomé de las Casas, advocate for indigenous peoples

by Kyna • September, 28, 2012

We continue our weekly series for National Hispanic Heritage Month with a new post on one of the most famous and inspiring scholars and advocates in the "New World."

Has Las Casas inspired or influenced your own ministry? 

How important to you is it to recognize the role of the Church in the treatment of native peoples in the Americas?

Leave a comment to let us know how Las Casas has played a role in your life!  Be sure to register as a blog user in order to leave a comment -- a one-time registration that is quick and free!  Click here to register.


Bartolomé de las Casas


Born in 1484 in Seville, Spain, Bartolomé de las Casas has been an influential and important figure in the history of the Americas.  A Dominican friar known to many as "Fray" Bartolomé de las Casas, he traveled to the New World where he spent many years witnessing, writing about and opposing the abuses perpetrated upon the indigenous peoples.  Widely considered "one of the most important religious figures of the 16th-century Spanish world," ( his legacy might have been very different.


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National Hispanic Heritage Month: Sister Isolina Ferré, a superhero in education and social transformation

by Kyna • September, 21, 2012

National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 this year, and in celebration, we will be running a month-long series on Hispanic leaders in religion and education.  Our first post is by The Rev. Fr. Jorge Colón, C.Ss.R., S.T.D. (Gregorian/Rome), Ph.D. and D.D. (GTF), Fellow and François-Xavier Durrwell, C.Ss.R., Professor of Religious Studies here at the Foundation, who writes about Sor Isolina Ferré, a major figure in Puerto Rican education and social transformation. 

Dr. Colón is highly published in the fields of spirituality and theological studies, and his specialized areas of scholarship are dogma and spirituality.  He also focuses on Caribbean religion and culture, and serves as a Thesis Supervisor, Project Consultant, and instructor for many E-Tutorials at the Foundation.  (View his faculty profile in Spanish here, and in English here.)


Sor Isolina Ferré


Isolina Ferré Aguayo (September 5, 1914 – August 3, 2000) was a Puerto Rican-born Roman Catholic nun nun, member of the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity. She was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, to Antonio Ferré and Mary Aguayo, a wealthy couple who owned several companies in Puerto Rico, including factories to newspapers. She was inclined towards religious since young.  Her mother used to spend her time in charitable, activities, often donating toys to orphaned children.  Before entering the convent, she had done evangelization activities with sugar plantation workers and had organized youth groups.


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Introducing a New Online Program in Tribunal Studies

by Kyna • September, 19, 2012

We are pleased to announce the creation of a new online program in Tribunal Studies resulting in a master's or a doctorate.  Courses for the Master of Tribunal Studies (M.Tr.S.) and the Doctor of Tribunal Studies (D.Tr.S.) may be completed online under the instruction of new faculty members, The Rev. Fr. David Mulvihill, J.C.D., Judge of the Illinois Ecclesiastical Court of Appeals since 2005, and The Rev. Fr. John Mulvihill, J.C.L., Ed.D., Adjutant Judicial Vicar of the Illinois Ecclesiastical Court of Appeals since 2006.  Visit Dr. David Mulvihill's faculty profile here, and Dr. John Mulvihill's faculty profile here.


Culminating in a five-day residential Case-Base Tribunal Studies Practicum in Chicago, Illinois, this online program is the first of its kind in this hemisphere and is designed for working professionals seeking to further their studies in Canon Law without having to give up their jobs.  Read more about this new program from Dr. David Mulvihill and Dr. John Mulvihill below.


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Canon Strudwick Delivers Opening Address to Major Conference

by Kyna • September, 12, 2012

Congratulations to The Revd Canon Dr. Vincent Strudwick on delivering the opening address to the 2012 Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative International Conference Series this month in England.  With a theme of "Shaping the Wisdom, Sharing the Dream," Canon Strudwick spoke to a number of distinguished theologians from the U.K. and Europe.  The GCGI International Conference Series is held all over the world, and this year was held in Oxfordshire, England.  It strives to further the discussion of values and globalisation in an effort to support the common good. 

Read an excerpt of Canon Strudwick's address below, and click on the link at the bottom to access the complete address. You can visit his faculty profile by clicking here or on the photo below.




Posted in: Oxford  |   Views: 3391   |   No comments

Academic Publishing: Why Not Let the Scholars Decide?

by Kyna • August, 30, 2012

As we have discussed in a previous blog posting entitled, “The State of Academic Publishing, Present and Future,” dated 16 August 2012, there is presently an on-going internecine battle occurring between “traditionalists” and “modernists” over journal publishing – its process, its value, its cost.  Certainly, the battle lines are being drawn in the U.S.   The philosophical issues are tremendous and the practical implications for such things as hiring and tenure practices are astounding.



Posted in: Faculty posts  |   Views: 1178   |   No comments