Within the last few months, we’ve announced the
transitions of both Rev. Dr. Clinton McNair and Rev. Dr. Richard (Dick) Cunningham into retirement.
President Stephen J. Sundborg, SJ has
acknowledged the contributions of both Dr. McNair and Dr. Cunningham on behalf
of Seattle University and the School of Theology and Ministry with the award of
Faculty Emeritus. Provost Isiaah Crawford, PhD, presented the honor at this
past month’s Faculty & Staff Appreciation Celebration on Friday, May 30, in
the North Court of Connolly.
Dr. Cunningham has contributed to the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle
University for 19 years. He joined the
school as its’ first Protestant faculty member
and was instrumental in the school’s intentional
design as an ecumenical institution. As the school has broadened its efforts to
educate students in a culture of diversity matching our rapidly changing world,
Dr. Cunningham has played a significant role in faculty decisions around
interreligious programming, and the recruitment of an ethnically and culturally
diverse student body and faculty and staff. Dr. Cunningham reshaped the idea of
field education and the student practicum in graduate theological education,
moving it away from a field education model to a more holistic concept of Contextual
Education. This methodology embodies a
holistic and multi-dimensional learning process that has been influential
nationally in many theological schools.
Dr. McNair joined the faculty of the school in
January of 2006 for the specific purposes of founding a master degree in pastoral
counseling. He laid the complicated
foundation for the school’s Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling, jump
starting the degree and the clinical site structure that is necessary for a
quality degree program of this nature.
Dr. McNair has helped to mature the school’s pastoral counseling degree,
most recently in focusing it more intentionally into a degree that integrates
spirituality into the clinical specialization of couples and family
therapy. In order to emphasize this transition, the School of Theology
and Ministry counseling program is now officially
called the Master of Arts in Relationship and Pastoral Therapy, beginning with
the 2013-2014 academic year.
While Dr. Cunningham and Dr. McNair are transitioning
out of their roles at the school, both have done an incredible job in passing
the baton of service to those that will take responsibility in their stead. Dr.
Mark Hearn will be transitioning into the school as Director of Contextual
Education and Dr. Christie Eppler will be serving as Program Director of the MA
in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy program in the upcoming 2014-2015 year.
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