“I have a sense of giving, because I have received.”
Rev. Robert J. Shaw (CTS ’73) began his ministry journey in a time of global unrest. Bob (as he prefers) entered CTS as the Vietnam War was entering its latter years and had caused great division and challenges across our country and world. Like our most recent CTS alumni, this turbulence did not dissuade his pathway of ministerial service but emboldened him to live out God’s calling for his life.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Bob and his wife of 50 years (Susan McNeely) traveled the path that God laid before them. For more than 45 years, Bob has served in a diversity of ministerial leadership capacities including service in Brussels, Belgium and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Upon his return to the United States, Bob served in two pastorships in the Disciples of Christ Church. Additionally, he has supported 25 different churches in an interim capacity in both the Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ as they conducted their search for their new pastors.
This rich history of ministerial leadership and service all began as a result of his decision to attend CTS. It is for this reason Bob has committed his time, talent and treasure in service of the seminary. After receiving his degree, Bob served on the Alumni Board as well as Alumni representative on the Board of Trustees. From 1999 to 2002 He served as a CTS Trustee, one of his most cherished titles.
Through their commitment to service, Bob and Susan made the decision to provide a matching gift encouraging other CTS alumni to financially support the sustainability of the seminary. With their matching gift, every first-time alumni gift to the CTS Annual Fund will be matched by an additional $50. In discussing why he gives back to CTS, Bob shared “I have a sense of giving because I have received. I give out of gratitude for how God has blessed me. It’s more than giving to pay the bills and support programs. It’s the larger sense of being blessed by God and feeling grateful for what I have received from CTS.”
As for his guidance to our CTS class of 2020, in addition to giving Bob emphasizes the importance of self-care. Sharing that if you don’t have anything inside of you, you will not be able to give to others. Bob currently serves as Regional Elder for 20 congregations and pastors and recently made care calls to check-in to see how the pastors were doing during these challenging times. He shared “100% of the pastors I spoke to say their stress level is much higher and they are working harder than ever before.” It is for this reason he emphasizes a focus on self-care. He also encourages alumni to maintain the friendships and relationships developed during their time at CTS. He has almost 50 years of treasured connections with his CTS classmates who have supported each other over these many years.
We are sincerely grateful to Bob and Susan for their generous contributions to CTS.
Bob and Susan are currently retired in Indianapolis. They continue their love for travel and spend time sailing and golfing. He continues to volunteer as Regional Elder for the Christian Church as well as the Damien Center. They have one daughter who lives in the Boston area with her husband and their 5-year-old granddaughter. As any loving grandparent might say, Bob shares “if she is not the brightest little child God ever made, she’s definitely in the top 10.”
Also included in the June 2020 Christian Theological Seminary Connection
- Prof. Courtney Buggs Finishes First Year as Visiting Assistant Professor of Homiletics - Rev. Dr. Courtney Buggs joined the CTS faculty in 2019 as Visiting Assistant Professor of Homiletics, having been awarded a prestigious Louisville Institute postdoctoral fellowship. Prof. Buggs has quickly become an integral part of the CTS community, bringing her wide-ranging experience and expertise to the life of the seminary. She begins the second of her […]
- Members of the CTS Community Join Processional for Racial Justice - President David M. Mellott noted in his recent “Letter to Congregations” that members of the CTS faculty, staff, alumni, and student body participated in a Processional for Racial Justice on May 31, 2020. In the letter, President Mellott explained, “As religious leaders and people of faith in the city and the region we gathered and […]
- CTS Honors its 2020 Graduates in Unexpected Ways - Like so many other schools, colleges, and seminaries, Christian Theological Seminary had to adjust its annual commencement ceremonies this year, but the administration, staff, and faculty worked hard to honor its 2020 graduates. Although pre-commencement events and the annual graduation reception were canceled, CTS marked the occasion by sending each of the graduates a party […]
- Kerry Connelly Publishes New Book about Racial Justice - Religion News Service has just published a new article by Kerry: “How white spirituality, religious or not, allows racism to grow.” Kerry Connelly, MDiv student, recently celebrated the publication of her new book, Good White Racist?: Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice. The book, published by Westminster John Knox, was released on March 17 of […]
- Faith & Action Project Emergency Grant Recipients on WFYI’s “All IN” - In April, the CTS Faith & Action Project provided $75,000 in emergency relief grants to seven organizations whose work to reduce poverty in Indianapolis includes mental health services and family stability measures. Read more about this here. On May 18th, Lindsey Rabinowitch, Program Director of the Faith & Action Project, was joined on WFYI’s “All […]
- CTS Faculty Recommend Summer Reading - Summer often provides an opportunity to catch up on some backlogged reading. Since there are never too many recommendations, we checked in with several members of the CTS faculty to see what they are reading and what they have recently written. President David M. Mellott Recent/current reads: Ezra Klein, Why We’re Polarized (Simon & Schuster, […]
- Faith & Action Project June 2020 Newsletter - Read the newest edition of the Faith & Action Project’s monthly newsletter!
- CTS Alum and Spouse Encourage Alumni Giving Through Matching Gift - “I have a sense of giving, because I have received.” Rev. Robert J. Shaw (CTS ’73) began his ministry journey in a time of global unrest. Bob (as he prefers) entered CTS as the Vietnam War was entering its latter years and had caused great division and challenges across our country and world. Like our […]