Provost Progress Report July 11, 2005
Mid-summer is upon us. It hardly seems fair, given all the reading, research, projects and
vacationing we had hoped to have completed. But things are moving rapidly forward to the
beginning of a new academic year—and we can’t wait to be with our colleagues and students
again! There is so much left to learn and do in this wonderful world God has given us to share.
With all the press lately on “making poverty history” I am delighted that Eastern is part
of that great endeavor. Last Friday we commissioned nearly two dozen students from the
International Economic Development masters program to their overseas internships. In the midst
of it we heard the story of several of our alumni, deeply engaged in creating jobs in African
contexts. Eastern has been working at poverty alleviation for over 25 years in concrete programs.
What always surprises me in my times in Africa is the joy and generosity of the poor. It is
so different than the outlook I’ve rubbed up against in the West.
Recently I’ve been meditating on Paul’s response to poverty in his day (2 Corinthians 8-
9). In a context of restricted resources and the pressures of internal church conflict, Paul is
confident that the Corinthians will be generous in giving. Being able to participate in “making
poverty history” is a source of joy to him. He spends nearly two years of his ministry engaged in
gathering resources for the poor in Jerusalem.
In 2 Corinthians 9:1-15, Paul reminds us that what God seeks is a cheerful giver. The gift
is a gift only so far as it is released freely and gladly. Yet it is difficult for us to let go of the
resources that have come into our possession. We are fearful of the uncertainties of the future.
Our stinginess is due to a desire to be prudent and provide a reasonable cushion against ordinary
crises that may happen.
The desire for luxury also tightens our grip around our possessions. Having been poor or
having lived in very narrow circumstances gives us reflexes that unconsciously long for
abundance. We surround ourselves with far more than we need. It is a means for erasing the
shame or humiliation we may have felt when poor. Never again, we say to ourselves.
Or we find ourselves engaged in the status game foisted upon us by our culture. Success
and its symbols penetrate our inner sense of meaning and identity. Without some modicum of
what our social peers take as indicative of solid success, we lose our self-esteem or our sense of
what our life is about. Possessions become a marker of success. In mass society traditional status
groups no longer shape social esteem as powerfully as they once did. Increasingly the only
“clear” mark of success is the known expense of the possessions displayed for others to see.
The problem with all these obstacles to bountiful and joyful giving is that they rest upon a
false foundation. When we absorb Paul’s theology, our transformed and renewed mind becomes
the spring from which generosity flows. We look at the world differently.
Paul’s focus is God—the sort of God we serve. This God is one of infinite capability and
activity in giving: all grace...all sufficiency for all things...every good work (vs. 8). It all begins
with God’s grace. The starting point is not our need but God’s sufficiency. ‘All grace’ (every
grace in abundance) refers to the complete sum of all unmerited blessings God pours out upon us
as an expression of his good favor toward us. Like the sheep whose good shepherd is the Lord
(Psa. 23) we lack no good thing in that gracious favor.
The result is that we can count on having ‘all sufficiency for all the things’ that confront
us. God’s many-sided and exuberant outpouring of grace fills every nook and cranny, every
deficit and suffering we incur, every temptation and opportunity that tests us. God is present and
more than sufficient.
What God gives to us is proportioned to the capabilities we have, the calling we are
given, the challenges we face and the cross we must bear. The one who shapes the burden for the
back shapes the back for the burden. God asks of us nothing which we does not supply the grace
for us to accomplish.
Realizing the completeness of our security in God, willing to bear the shame and
humiliation of Christ’s humility (and not our folly or imprudence), and refusing the status games
and head trips drummed into us by our culture, we are able to overflow in ‘every good work’. We
are not mindless of good investments and the accumulation of assets. We know treasure in heaven
has far better interest rates, far better pay back, far better recognition value than anything we
might cobble together here and now.
So Paul’s request for generous and delightful sharing is not unreasonable. It is the sort of
thoughtful (thought-filled) service we render when we are not conformed to the shape of our
age’s agenda. This is possible only by an inner transformation—a renovation of outlook and
mindset. There is grace too for that: all grace that produces all sufficiency for all things’ in order
that we might abound in every good work. What more need we know and count on in order to be
generous in our giving?
I am looking forward to a year at Eastern where together we learn (and feel) God’s all
sufficiency in all things at all times, where we know the overflowing grace of God – and where
we become more and more a place where our own giving to God, to each other and to the worlds
of poverty that surround us is generous, joyful and free.
“God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you
need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
I thought you might like an early peek at some of the events coming up and at some of
the blessings God has given to us for this coming year.
Academic Convocation at St. Davids: September 2, 10 A.M. All full time faculty are expected
to be present, in regalia. We will be addressed by Dean David Greenhalgh and install the new
faculty (see notes below on the “class of 2005”).
Faculty workshop dinner: Friday, September 9, 2005 6 -9:30 p.m. Venue to be announced. All
full time faculty are expected to be in attendance. It will be our kick-off for the year. President
Black will be sharing with us. We will have a chance to meet most of the new faculty.
Beginning of classes at St. Davids: Wednesday, August 31 is the start of classes for traditional
News and Notes:
A note of sadness: A former faculty member, known to many of us, passed away after a 10 month
struggle with a brain tumor: Rev. Jim Moye (who taught at Eastern in Youth Ministry from
Warner Library progress: The Library is rapidly approaching its completion. All but the
construction on the new Bookstore area is still scheduled to be completed by August 2. We are
expected to have occupancy on that date. The library itself is tentatively scheduled to reopen on
August 22. More will be announced as we get close to those dates and can confirm that plans and
reality will converge! The library staff has done much of its work this summer in a dispersed
mode and will need time to get all the pieces in place before having foot traffic.
New Faculty: God has blessed us with a number of new faculty for the fall. To be sure, it means
we are facing even more of a space crisis in finding appropriate room for them all. But it is a
wonderful challenge to have. As of today, the following will be with us for the installation at the
Academic Convocation. We have one or two more conversations that may expand this list by the
time we are all up and running again:
Palmer Seminary Faculty
Benjamin L. Hartley, Visiting Professor of Christian Mission
B.S., Wheaton College; M.S., Michigan State University; M. Div., Th.D., Boston University
Loida Martell, Associate Professor of Constructive Theology
B.Sc., University of Puerto Rico; D.V.M., Tuskegee University; M.Div., Andover Newton
Theological School; M.Phil., Ph.D., Fordham University
Francesca D. Nuzzolese, Assistant Professor of Spiritual Formation and Pastoral Care
B.D., Liceo Classico Cagnazzi; B.D., Ruschlikon Seminary, Th.M., Melbourne College of
Divinity; Th.D., Columbia Theological Seminary
College of Arts & Sciences
Andrew Bush, Associate Professor of Missions (Joined January 2005)
B.A., Princeton University; M.A., Alliance Bible Seminary; Ph.D., Princeton Theological
Benjamin Dube, Associate Professor of Biology
B.S., University of Sierra Leone; M.S., University of Florida; Ph.D., University of Zimbabwe
Thomas Franek, Director of Life Fitness Courses/Coordinator of Athletic Training
Practicums, Instructor in Biokinetics
B.S., Slippery Rock University; M.S., Indiana State University
Mark Herman, Lecturer in Computer Science and Math
B.S., M.A., Lehigh University; M.A. (Math), M.S. (Computer Science), Villanova University
David W. Hoferer, Assistant Professor of Biology
B.A., Drake University; M.A., Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; ABD, University of
Jeffrey A. Lawton, Assistant Professor in Biochemistry
B.A., LeTourneau University; Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
Joao Monteiro, Associate Professor of Sociology
B.A., M.A., Olivet Nazarene University; Ph.M., Ph.D. Drew University
Carl Mosser, Assistant Professor in Bible
B.A., Life Pacific College; M.A., Theology, M.A., New Testament, M.S., Philosophy of
Religion, Biola University; Th.M., Fuller Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of St. Andrew
Campolo College of Graduate and Professional Studies
Sandi L. Dinger, Associate Professor of Management
B.S., M.S., Clarkson University; Ph.D., State University of New York at Binghamton
Susan Edgar-Smith, Assistant Professor of School Psychology and Counseling
B.A., Connecticut College; M.A., Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College
Sharon Gramby-Sobukwe, Associate Professor of Leadership
B.A., Duke University; M.A., University of Pennsylvania; Ph.D., Temple University
Elizabeth Loeper, Lecturer in Nursing (Joined January 2005)
BSN, MSN, Villanova University College of Nursing
Michael McFee, Assistant Professor of Counseling
B.A., Wheaton College; M.A., Ph.D., Forest Institute of Professional Psychology
Kathe Morris, Lecturer in Nursing, Coordinator of 2nd Degree Nursing Program
B.S., Catholic University of America; M.S., University of Pennsylvania
Daniel L. Smith, Associate Professor of Management
B.A., University of California at Santa Barbara; M.A., Pepperdine University; Ph.D.,
University of Southern California
Sung C. Yoo, Director of Korean Nursing Program
BSN, Ewha Women’s University, Korea; MSN, Villanova University