More than 100 CTS alumni returned to campus on September 25, for a day of reconnecting with friends, faculty and the CTS campus. Throughout the day, attendees learned about new initiatives underway at CTS, enjoyed worship and music, participated in workshops led by CTS faculty and paid tribute to CTS’s first female faculty member, Dr. Sue Cardwell.
The reunion began with a CTS leadership panel providing information on new and evolving initiatives and connections taking place at CTS. Panelists included CTS President Rev. Dr. Matthew Myer Boulton, Rev. Dr. Edwin David Aponte, president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty and professor of Christianity and culture, Dr. Suzanne Coyle, associate professor of pastoral theology and marriage and family therapy and executive director of the CTS Counseling Center marriage and family therapy program, and Rev. Verity A. Jones, executive director of the Center for Pastoral Excellence. Panelists shared how the CTS community is forging new connections internally and within the greater community.
Remarking on the two years since he came to CTS in summer 2011, President Boulton noted that 2012 was a year characterized by collaboration among trustees, faculty and administrators, as they collectively engaged in a visioning process. Reflecting on the CTS vision, President Boulton used a figure eight metaphor to describe the continual integration of interior faith (prayer) and public life (social justice.) He noted that both prayer and community engagement are vital to a healthful ministry and a healthy learning environment. “Prayer always feeds into social justice,” he said, noting that an exclusive focus on prayer will lead to self-absorption, while an exclusive focus on social justice will lead to exhaustion. The figure eight metaphor, adapted from ancient monastic culture, is a visual example of how the CTS community seeks to connect inner spiritual formation with public engagement.
In 2013, CTS trustees and leadership are integrating the vision into planning and strategic initiatives. “We are going through a season of renewal and I think you can sense the waves of excitement on campus,” President Boulton said. He remarked that Archbishop Emeritus of South Africa and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu recently visited the Sweeney Chapel following an event announcing the Tutu Center. A collaboration between CTS and Butler University, the Tutu Center is home to the only chair in North America focused on Desmond Tutu’s reconciliation teachings and legacy.
Reflecting that CTS is “changing the world and changing hearts,” President Boulton noted that a commitment to change can be seen in physical changes manifesting on campus. A few of the changes include a renovated Café which provides a setting for table worship, and a newly landscaped and refurbished terrace, where many of the alumni enjoyed lunch during the reunion. “We had a moment of epiphany, and realized that CTS is not a seminary on 42nd Street, but a seminary on the riverfront,” President Boulton said.
In closing, Boulton remarked on the Momentum campaign underway at CTS. The fundraising initiative is focused on renewing, refreshing and raising CTS’s profile in the Central Indiana community.
Following the Connections workshop, alumni participated in a worship service at Sweeney chapel, dined in the newly renovated CTS Café, attended workshops presented by faculty members Dr. K. Brynolf Lyon and Rev. Dr. Frank Thomas and celebrated CTS’s first female faculty member, Dr. Sue Cardwell.
Thank you to all of the CTS alumni who made the reunion a success. If you would like to learn more about opportunities for alumni involvement at CTS, please contact Karen Horsman at firstname.lastname@example.org