Congratulations to Dr. Callahan & Dr. Taylor

Written by Hannah Crivello
April 22, 2014

Seattle University's President Sundborg has approved the promotion of the School of Theology and Ministry's faculty members Dr. Sharon Henderson Callahan and Dr. Mark Lloyd Taylor to full Professor, effective in the upcoming 2014-2015 academic year.

Dr. Callahan has served as Associate Professor for ten years, and was Assistant Professor for seven years prior to that. Dr. Callahan has served as the school?s Associate Dean for Academic Programs & Student Life for thirteen years. This upcoming year, Dr. Callahan will welcome students to the new Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree program in her new role as the first Program Director of the DMin, in addition to directing the Post-Master's Certificate in Pastoral Leadership program.

Dr. Taylor has served as Associate Professor of Systematic Theology for ten years and was Associate Professor for three years prior to the role, as well as having served as Director of Worship now for four years. Students, as well as faculty and staff throughout the university, appreciate Dr. Taylor?s leadership around worship and liturgy, including through new initiatives made possible through a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation (learn more here).?

Dean Markuly remarks:

?Professors Callahan and Taylor are part of the secret sauce at Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry. Dr. Callahan is a creative scholar and a dynamic faculty administrator; and Dr. Taylor has the uncanny ability to integrate two very different theological fields ? systematic theology and liturgy or worship.? This promotion merely recognizes the great work they have been doing, and allows the school to launch its new doctoral program with the fully ranked faculty, which should signal to our students that they are studying with accomplished and highly respected scholars.?

Dr. Callahan responds:

?As a leader in theological education, I?ve considered it to be my task to achieve the highest rank possible as a faculty. As people may remember, From its earliest days as the Institute of Theological Studies (ITS), no faculty was allowed to apply for tenure or rank. The second dean of the school, Patrick Howell, SJ, applied for and earned rank of both Associate Professor and Full Professor as a member of the Theology and Religious Studies faculty (split appointment) in the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2000, under Dr. Howell?s leadership all faculty were encouraged to apply for and earn both rank promotion and tenure. I was the first lay woman and Dr. Mark Taylor was the first lay man to apply for rank promotion to Associate Professor in 2004. Dr. Taylor was awarded tenure at that time, and I was encouraged to apply for tenure in 2007. ?Since that time, Dr. Mike Raschko and Dr. Mark Markuly were awarded the rank of full professor. I had it in my mind from the beginning that I would need to pave the way for women to be full professors at Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry. So I worked with that in mind. From 2007 through today, I have made decisions about speaking, writing, and teaching with the goal of applying for and achieving this rank, for myself, and for women faculty, students and staff at the School of Theology and Ministry. As the school now launches a Doctor of Ministry degree, I know I will need to stretch, learn, and contribute even more to the education and formation of professional women and men toward discovering and implementing new ways to meet the culture, heal and reconcile differences, and lead for change and transformation."

?Dr. Taylor shares:

"During the last year of my doctoral studies, I came to two surprising realizations. First of all, I had never in my life considered any profession other than teaching in higher education.? Sure, disciplinary interests evolved, from the natural sciences in high school to philosophy in college to theology in graduate school -- but not an academic vocation.? Family of origin spoiler alert: my father was a college chemistry professor and I am the first born of four. Secondly, even if I were not to get a teaching job, ever, the seven years of intense graduate theological study had thoroughly transformed me for any and all future work or play. Now thirty plus years on from these two realizations, promotion to the rank of Professor at Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry makes me think academic theology wasn't such a bad vocational ?choice? for me after all and makes me all the more grateful for the power of the good news that is Jesus Christ."

Congratulations again to both Dr. Callahan and Dr. Taylor for this significant acknowledgment and faculty ranking within Seattle University and its School of Theology and Ministry.