Calling Church & Seminary into the 21st Century

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9780687013517: Calling Church & Seminary into the 21st Century
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The twentieth century has been the scene of constant and unparalleled change. The seminaries have not been exempt from this change, as evidenced by the inclusion of women, racial and ethnic minorities, and gays and lesbians in the ranks of students and all forms of ministry. The church has undergone major theological shifts as well, as these new ministers bring their own experiences and belief systems to the church. Donald E. Messer believes that the church must hear these experiences in order for it to continue to grow and meet the challenges of the new millennium. It is in this spirit, of opening the church to the strength of its diversity, that Messer believes God is Calling Church & Seminary into the 21st Century. Messer believes that this may best be accomplished by the church celebrating, not ignoring, the variety of voices and experiences within its community. These voices must not only be heard, but recognized as equal to those that have dominated the church for two thousand years, often to the exclusion of dissenters. The church must also learn to communicate in a new way in order to remain relevant in this era of technological advancement. The verse from Isaiah 40:3 - "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God" - takes on new meaning when viewed in the light of the recent phenomenon of the information superhighway. The church must deal in "information superhighways" as well as highways to survive in the coming millennium.

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About the Author:

Donald E. Messer is a United Methodist theologian and author of twelve books. Currently the Executive Director of the Center for the Church and Global AIDS, Messer was President of Dakota Wesleyan University from 1971-1981 and President of Illiff School of Theology from 1981-2000. He was named both President Emeritus and the Henry White Warren Professor Emeritus of Practical Theology at The Iliff School of Theology. Concern for the escalating global HIV/AIDS pandemic has prompted Dr. Messer to travel and speak in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as to initiate a Center for the Church and Global AIDS that serves as a catalyst for Christian involvement in the major issues related to global HIV and AIDS, world hunger, and clean water. A college and seminary president for 29 years, Messer holds a Ph.D. from Boston University in social ethics. In 2005 he was honored with a "Lifetime Achievement Award" from a medical university in India for his humanitarian work. Among other awards received over the years was being named "One of American's Ten Outstanding Young Men" in 1976 by the United States Jaycees. Throughout the world, the Center supports various projects of education, prevention, care and treatment, aimed at helping to create an AIDS-free and hunger-free world.

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Donald E. Messer
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