Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Class of 2012

Row 1 (bottom) – Kim (Song) Young Shin, Peggy Byland, Santosh Kumar Bardhan, Beshah Workneh Deribe
Row 2 – Andrew Kadzban, Annabell Lalla-Ramkelawan, Jill Sweet, Pamela Cook
Row 3 – Jennifer Steil, Bradley Redeker, Marla Rotman, Matthew Schmidt
Row 4 – Seth Bush, Jeffrey Kroondyk, Stephanie Kirkham, Raymond Maleke, Richard France-Coe
Row 5 – E. Wayne Coleman, Philip Moerdyk, Andrew Spidahl, Derek Dokter, Zac Poppen, Mark Britton, Ronald Citlau, Glenn (Ben) Shoup V, Aaron Punt, Jeffery Hough, Aaron Wetzel, Benjamin Post, Keith Lightner, Gary DeKoekkoek
Row 6 – Nathan Johnson, Andrew Mead, Chala Habasila, Lindsey DeKruif, Darrell Delaney, Raymond Wicks, Carlinda Peoples, Rebecca New-Edson, Lisa Bolton-Hunt, Jennifer Yeske, Matt Waite, Sandra Nikkel

Missing – Jonathan Stevens, Sandra Cammenga, Jennifer McAlpine-Austin


Monday, January 23, 2012

What is Friendship House?

With more than 40 million Americans living with a disability, Western Theological Seminary decided to do more to prepare our students to work with these individuals and their families. In 2007 the Ralph and Cheryl Schregardus Friendship House opened, offering students a unique housing option - the opportunity to live alongside young adults with a cognitive disability. This is the first house of its kind in the country.

In its fifth year of operation, Friendship House has had more impact than we could have imagined. Read about how this idea started and came to fruition and how we hope it will be duplicated in other seminaries around the country. http://www.faithandleadership.com/content/matthew-floding-lessons-friendship-house

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Vice President of Advancement and Communications

The seminary community welcomes Jeffrey L. Munroe as the new Vice President of Advancement and Communications. Jeff comes to us with 29 years of experience on staff with Young Life, a Christian ministry to middle school, high school and college-aged kids in the U.S. and over 70 countries around the world. Jeff most recently headed their Western European Region from his home in the Netherlands. He brings significant fundraising and team ministry leadership experience to our Advancement team.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled about this appointment!” says President Tim Brown. “Jeff’s years at Young Life with its highly relational ministry style and deep commitment to ‘always win the right to be heard’ make him a natural fit for us. He will be a great leader for an already great team.”

A 1988 graduate of Western Theological Seminary, Jeff is an ordained RCA Pastor and a frequent contributor to both Words of Hope and Perspectives Journal. He helped lead the fund raising campaign for Young Life’s TimberWolf Lake camp outside Lake City, Michigan, and has also served as a fund raising consultant for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. He and his wife Gretchen are parents of two grown children and reside in Grand Rapids.

“I love Western Seminary and am honored and excited to be able to serve my alma mater in this way,” Jeff says. “I’ve tried to spend my life building the kingdom of God, and the seminary’s mission of preparing men and women for leadership in the church resounds deeply with me.”

We anticipate many good things for the seminary in this new appointment and look forward to working alongside Jeff for many years to come in his new role.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Interim Director of Advancement Named

John Nordstrom has been named the Interim Director of Advancement for WTS.  He has been successfully involved in development for many years and is highly regarded by many.  John is a 1963 graduate of Western Theological Seminary and has served churches in New Jersey and Michigan.  He was the Director of Development for Hope College from 1975-1995, and from 1995-98 he came to the seminary to lead our “Campaign for Western.”  The campaign surpassed its goals and put the seminary on a strong financial footing.  John returned in 2001 to help with the “Leadership:  Challenge & Change” campaign, which gave Western the necessary resources to build the DeWitt Theological Center, start the distance learning Master of Divinity degree program, and to launch Journey (for continuing education).  He has been a great friend to Western Theological Seminary. 
John begins this position on September 12.  His duties will include overseeing the Advancement team, helping our strategic planning initiative, and assisting President Tim Brown in the process of finding a new Vice President of Advancement.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ken Neevel Takes New Post with the RCA

Ken Neevel, our Vice President of Advancement and Communications, has accepted the position of Director of Development for the Reformed Church in America. He will begin his work there after Labor Day and conclude his work here on September 5. This is very good news for the Reformed Church in America and very sobering news for Western Theological Seminary.

Ken has served our community with extraordinary distinction for nearly 15 years. During his tenure we have successfully moved through two very critical capital campaigns which have strengthened our life together significantly.  Ken Neevel is a remarkable team leader; the way he has led his team with extraordinary success—particularly over the last three years of economic instability—is a wonder. Our entire community is deeply in his debt.

Beginning September 5, President Tim Brown will assume responsibility for leading the Advancement team. As soon as possible the president will hire an interim director of Advancement, allowing time to make a thorough search for the right person to step into this critical leadership role.

Please join us in blessing the Lord for the life and witness of Ken Neevel. He deserves our most heartfelt gratitude.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

2011 Graduates of Western Theological Seminary

First row:  Lindsey De Kruif, Michael Parker, Kay Vinci, Nathaniel Bull, Nancy Boote, Jessica Kast-Keat, José Macias, Joshua Cooper, Sarah Jo Hoogendoorn, Curtis Gruel

Second row:  Mark VandenBosch, Michael Manning, Bethany Popkes, Kristen Livingston, Wayne Bowerman, Nicole Dipzinski, Jason Fulkerson, Ralph Beidler, Tammi VanDrunen

Third row:  Norman Buursma, Jr., Mark Van Drunen, Charles Michael Burgess, Jennifer LeggRichard Van Dop, Brett Vander Berg, Chad De Jager, Noah Livingston, Sarah Palsma

Fourth row:  Jeremy Dowsett, Bradley Kautz, Craig Vereeke, Michael Jackson, Dean Wierenga, Edward Wayne Coleman, Kim, Yo-Han, Stephen VanderWoude, Ryan Sweet

Missing:  Nicholas Van Slett, Kim Sung Ran, Dan Smith

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Students honored at annual awards convocation

“All of us on the faculty and staff bless God for these wonderful students,” commented seminary president Timothy Brown. “They show extraordinary promise for leading the church. These are tough times to be a leader in the church, but our students are showing over and over again the kind of spiritual, moral and intellectual gifts to become effective and fruitful leaders in the church of Jesus Christ. We are thankful for them all!”

Biblical Field
• Old Testament
Larissa Poppen, Zachary Poppen
• New Testament
Jeff Lampen, Andrew Kadzban
• Life and Witness
Joshua VanderMaaten (NewTest), Grace Olson (OldTest)
• Biblical Studies
Curtis Gruel, Sarah Palsma
• Musical Gifts for Worship
Noah Livingston, Ralph Beidler, Brett VanderBerg, Sarah Palsma, Stephen VanderWoude, Bethany Popkes

Theological Field
• Church History
Grace Olson, Stephen Shaffer, Joshua VanderMaaten
• Systematic Theology
Larissa Poppen, Stephanie Smith, Curtis Gruel
• Christian Ethics
Andrew Kadzban
• Best Missiological Paper
Brandon Smith
• Theology
Curtis Gruel

Christian Ministry Field
• Preaching
Chad DeJager, Sarah Palsma
• Worship
Noah Livingston
• Christian Education
Kristen Livingston, Chad DeJager, Bethany Popkes
• Pastoral Care & Counseling
Bethany Popkes
• Community Life
Kristen Livingston
• Leadership
Nate Bull, Joshua Cooper
• Spiritual Formation
Lindsey DeKruif, Curtis Gruel
• Senior Excellence Award
Kristen Livingston, Noah Livingston
• Advocacy in Racial Ethnic Reconciliation
Wayne Coleman, Jessica Kast-Keat
• Master of Theology Award
Charles Michael Burgess
• Graduate Scholarship for further study
Lindsey DeKruif
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