Courtesy Religious Herald, Apr. 10, 2012
A concentration in justice and peacebuilding will be available to master of divinity degree students at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (BTSR) beginning this fall, in a collaborative effort a seminary spokesman said would help the school “live out” its core values.
The degree will be offered through a partnership between BTSR and the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg,Va.
“This new emphasis helps BTSR live out values that have been inherent in our seminary from its founding,” said Israel Galindo, dean and professor of Christian formation and leadership. “It will expand the options for ministry in the world for our students.”
Galindo said requirements for the M.Div. degree will remain unchanged, but that the concentration “maintains the degree program goals while offering a more specific focus for ministry and study for students whose interest and ministry goals align with the concentration emphasis.”
BTSR offers similar M.Div. concentrations in areas such as youth and student ministries, Christian formation education and biblical interpretation.
Students in the program will engage the justice and peacebuilding components on the Harrisonburg campus during the center’s highly-regarded Summer Peacebuilding Institute.
“This is an added educational and formative contextualized learning experience where they will study justice and peacebuilding with about 200 persons from over 50 countries,” said Galindo.
The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding was one of the first university graduate divisions to offer master’s degrees in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. It draws on the heritage of Eastern Mennonite University, a 95-year-school with close ties to the Mennonite Church, an Anabaptist denomination and one of the historic peace churches.
“The new [M.Div.] concentration, and the partnership with the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, offers a unique emphasis that meets current ethical and emergent global realities for ministry,” said Galindo. “Our faculty is excited to offer our students this opportunity.”