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Keep the doors open, the lights on, and proceed with joy in preparing people for ministry. Do nothing special, but continue to do what you do so well, for that is special enough. Yes, have a party, or 200 or so, but keep your eyes on the prize: continued faithful service.
Joseph Cejka (M.Div., 1982)
I think it would be wonderful to have people contribute (and then share via media) quotes from notes, sermons, lectures, or conversations that people find meaningful. There is a wealth of wisdom in all those people and it would be fun to have them shared, perhaps even categorized by topic, and published or put on a web site where people can access them. God has blessed Princeton Theological Seminary with some of the greatest minds and hearts in our world, many of whom faithfully filled vital roles as servant leaders for many years. To God be the glory!
Ed Black (Th.M., 1983)
How about setting up a vast Facebook site for PTS alums? I don’t have a site myself, but friends have invited me onboard. I think I would consider it if I might be able to catch up with some PTS friends.
Mari Kim (M.Div., 1995)
A two-CD set of the Seminary Choir singing all of the Presbyterian Hymnal and Singing the Faith, and favorites of the choir. This would be a great help to pastors of smaller congregations who have computers and speakers, but often not musicians in worship, and also would help keep us awake after lunch as we drive to the next meeting.
James E. Brazell (M.Div., 1980)
Assemble some futurists to imagine the shape of the church in America in 2112.
Perry T. Fuller (M.Div., 1960)
Delray Beach, Florida
I’d love to see an event that includes as many generations of alumni/ae as possible. Alumni/ae tend to identify with and relate to their own graduating class, but an opportunity for an intergenerational, interactive experience would help us all honor how each generation has been shaped by the Seminary, and in turn, has moved on to shape the church.
Mindy Huffstetler (M.Div., 2002)
I would like to see us celebrate the bicentennial by suggesting a critical study of The Life and Teaching of Jesus in The Urantia Book. It has amazing spiritual potential.
Meredith J. Sprunger (Th.M., 1941)
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Much has changed since the days on campus just after World War II. What has not changed is the sense of community created by the three dorms, Stuart Hall, and Miller Chapel. A service of the sacrament of Communion, shared “in the round,” on that center green, would be most meaningful. That is the one place common to older and younger graduates.
James G. Emerson (M.Div., 1949)
San Francisco, California
Princeton Theological Seminary has the opportunity to lead the way toward a new and vital theological synthesis for the twenty-first century. The most crucial and difficult task will be the development of a sound understanding of the nature of the Bible. A very useful exercise in celebration of this bicentennial would be to trace the evolution of the various understandings across the 200-year history of the Seminary with names, dates, divergences, and convergences. Of particular value would be to project the possible outcomes of these several streams of thought.
John R. Powers (M.Div., 1963)
Ask graduates to reflect on the difference their attending of PTS made. Not in general terms, but perhaps in the telling of one post-Princeton experience or direction of ministry that was inspired by a lesson, a professor, or a fellow student. Some of these could then be published in a book or used throughout the year in Seminary publications.
My second thought would be akin to a visioning project. Given its history, how might the Seminary impact not only the church, but also the society in future years, given the cultural, political, interfaith, and environmental challenges ahead of us all? Maybe a colloquium of thinkers and doers, representing various sectors of the social order, with a publication following (or a wisely edited DVD) would be appropriate. I can imagine a study curriculum for the church coming out of something like this.
Otto M. Zingg (M.Div., 1962)
Just back from China, my idea for the 2012 PTS bicentennial is to celebrate Princeton Seminary internationally: famous alumni/ae or professors who have made an impact in certain countries, and then incorporate these major celebrations back home at PTS.
Kent I. Groff (M.Div., 1967)
In celebration of the bicentennial, Princeton Seminary should make a special pledge to eliminate abject world poverty. It should be a strategic plan and mission, signed by all current students and alums.
Keeva Kase (M.Div., 2003)
Princeton, New Jersey
I would like to see the Seminary celebrate its bicentennial year in 2012 by organizing a national or international mission trip that students and alumni/ae could participate in. While at the Seminary, I participated in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort alongside several of our Seminary students in Gautier, Mississippi. This was one of the highlights of my time at the Seminary, as it afforded future pastors the opportunity to be in fellowship, learn hands-on skills, and freely serve in the name of Jesus Christ. Providing this opportunity affirms the Seminary’s emphasis on continuing education and pastoral self-care, as well as servant leadership. Also, a mission project confirms that Princeton Theological Seminary alumni/ae can be seen in all types of ministry throughout the country and the world!
Juel Murawski (M.Div., 2006)
Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania
As Princeton Seminary moves to be a truly global seminary, it would be great if there were a simultaneous video conference with gatherings around the world, connecting the Seminary to alumni/ae serving all around the world. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear and speak with alumni/ae serving in Seoul, Nairobi, Geneva, Porto Alegre, Sydney, Port of Spain, and San Francisco? That would be a Pentecostal experience of witness, uniting North, East, West, and South!
Neal D. Presa (Th.M., 2004)
Middlesex, New Jersey
A great gathering of alums at Princeton, and a gala at the Nassau Inn, in honor of the faculty members who cared enough to spend their time and energies on our formation, would be wonderful. If that isn’t practical, perhaps gatherings around the country on the same night, in thanksgiving for what Princeton means to us. It would be “inSpiring” to gather up our memories together.
Blair R. Monie (M.Div., 1973; D.Min., 1979)
I would look forward to a celebration of the proclamation of God’s Word through those two centuries. What moments of great significance in our faith, culture, nation, and history have shaped Princeton preaching? How have we proclaimed the “never changing” Word to the “ever changing” world? Can we assemble an oral and written history of what Princeton has done, is doing, and will do for God’s work? I would like to see the text and hear the voice. I know many of the original voices are in Princeton’s media archive. I also know that many gifted voices have been trained here that could give new life to the sermons of God’s ministers who have gone on before us.
Peter G. Hofstra (M.Div., 1996)
Perth Amboy, New Jersey
A publication of the ten most significant contributions to the life of the church that came from PTS, perhaps with essays on each of the contributions from the historical records, as well as faculty, staff, and grads.
George R. Doering Jr. (M.Div., 1965)
Washingtonville, New York
I am impressed by how Princeton Theological Seminary is equipping leaders in the church around the world. It would be interesting and inspiring to assess how many different countries, cultures, and Christian denominations have been touched by graduates from the Seminary. It would be wonderful to share some of the stories of international alums and the impact of their ministries over the last 200 years.
R. Scott Herr (M.Div., 1987)
Fort Collins, Colorado
Create a historical directory of all faculty, adjuncts, instructors, and graduates of the Christian Education program.
Ronald H. Cram (M.A., 1978; Ph.D., 1985)
New Orleans, Louisiana
1) A series of lectures and/or panel discussions reviewing the ways in which the educational goal of “Piety and Solid Learning at Princeton” was pursed over the Seminary’s history, with present practices, and discussion on how to do it for future generations of ministers of the gospel.
2) A series of lectures/panel discussions reviewing Princeton’s metamorphosis in relation to the conservative theological orthodoxy on which it was founded.
3) A celebration of excellence in the study and preaching of the Word, which has been a hallmark of Princeton’s education. Through lectures, panels, and preaching services, I would like to see the present and next generation of preachers equipped and motivated.
William J. Larkin Jr. (M.Div., 1970)
Columbia, South Carolina
Princeton Seminary has been blessed with the ability to provide excellent theological and practical training for missionaries and ministers, who have in turn had a tremendous impact on the world. It would be valuable to see a trajectory of that history, perhaps in chronological fashion, that displays highlights of that history that reach back in time, spotlights the present, and extrapolates into the future.
Such a display, brochure, or electronic “deck” would not only be inspiring for prospective students and graduates alike, but also a way to celebrate what God has done through Princeton Seminary.
George Cladis (M.Div., 1980)
I would love to see drawings and photos of the campus across the years, showing the changes. I would also love to see class photos that illustrate the changing student body and faculty. One more thing I would suggest is a timeline of firsts.
Stephen D. Hay (M.Div., 1985)
A concise, factual history of the Seminary, based on archival references.
Carl R. Geider (M.Div., 1957)
I would love to see a plan for the next 200 years. It would show that PTS is as much a seminary of the future as it is of the past. It was a neighbor of the Seminary famously quoted for saying that imagination is more important than knowledge.
Noel Anderson (M.Div., 1985)
My suggestion is to take a major “retrospective and pro-spective” look at the Seminary and its contributions to church and wider society, a look back and a look forward.
One way to do this would be to have both a publication and an event that would highlight the challenges and contributions of the Seminary in the era of each past PTS president, up to and including President Torrance.
A second way would be to have each senior class president within each of the presidential eras comment on the particular issues that characterized their class’s experience during their years at the Seminary.
Lastly, have representatives of the faculty contribute the faculty’s reflections on the task of teaching in the various presidential eras.
William D. Carr (M.Div., 1969)