A newly-formed Church Partnerships leadership team has been established at Eastern Mennonite Seminary to administer a variety of programs aimed at strengthening relationships between the seminary and its supporting constituencies.
Del Glick, who became director of church partnerships at EMS in 2002, will head the four-person team.
Dr. Glick works with Mennonite district conferences to call forth and train new persons for ministry. He helps plan special seminars that introduce persons to seminary programs, sets up special summer course offerings at EMU and direct other projects and activities aimed at helping people to seriously explore God’s call on their lives, with pastoral ministry as a vocational option.
Jill K. Landis will serve as associate director of church partnerships. She will assist in developing partnerships between Eastern Mennonite Seminary and its supporting churches and help administer the Culture of Call and LEAP initiatives.
Gievanne M. Gonzalez has been appointed associate director of the LEAP program. Her responsibilities include developing and coordinating the summer LEAP program and year-round tasks of recruitment, marketing, mentoring and networking. Ms. Gonzales, with roots in Puerto Rico, Chicago and New York City, is a 2004 graduate of EMU with a major in communication.
Gonzalez succeeds Richard Pannell, who served as LEAP director from April 2003 through May 2004. Pannell provided primary leadership for the summer 2003 LEAP trip to Zimbabwe and Mennonite World Conference involving 50 high school youth and 11 adult leaders. He also helped create a LEAP website and connected this leadership initiative with urban centers of New York City and Philadelphia.
Ms. Landis, a 1999 EMU graduate with a major in philosophy and religion and a minor in youth ministry, is from Goshen, Ind. As part of her assignment, she has become director of the Congregational Resource Center at Eastern Mennonite Seminary. She previously served as staff assistant for Virginia Mennonite Conference.
Joe Dugan, the vice principal of Philadelphia Mennonite High School, has been named associate director of Philadelphia LEAP. He is responsible to implement the technology and video teleconferencing connections between Philadelphia Mennonite High School and EMS.
Rev. Dugan, a graduate of Biblical Theological Seminary, is an ordained minister in the Christian Missionary Alliance denomination. He will work out of his school setting in Philadelphia; Landis and Gonzalez from the seminary. Glick will divide his time between offices in Washington, D.C., and the seminary.
Major programs under the umbrella of the office of church partnerships include the "Culture of Call" and LEAP, both funded by Lilly Foundation grants.
LEAP, which stands for "Learning, Exploring and Participating," is a broad-based seminary effort to encourage ministry inquiry among high school youth. Up to 50 participants will spend four weeks in July on the seminary campus for orientation, off-campus "classroom in the world" learning experiences in both urban and rural cross-cultural settings.
"The ‘Culture of Call’ initiative is working to create a climate and environment that creatively discerns, invites, nurtures and equips gifted persons, young and older alike, for pastoral ministry," Dr. Glick said. "Efforts include planning special events related to pastoral ministry as a vocation, working with churches on setting up pastoral internships, compiling resources to help equip interns and their mentors and holding events at the seminary and on location for pilot congregations," he added.
"I’m pleased that this team models a balance of gender, age and enthnicity," Glick noted "I believe it reflects the seminary’s commitment for involvement of multi-cultural personnel, models an urban, diversified seminary office mentality, provides more connection between EMS and Philadelphia Mennonite High School and will strengthen the ‘Culture of Call’ effort."