Honoring Awardees Eliacin Rosario-Cruz & Sr. Jessica Taylor

Written by Hannah Crivello
July 22, 2014

Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry is pleased to recognize award recipients from the school's graduating class of 2014, Eliacin Rosario-Cruz and Sister Jessica Taylor.

Eliacin Rosario-Cruz, from the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree program, has been awarded the 2014 Dr. Leo Standford Leadership Award. The award is reserved for students who move beyond the school's high norms of community service and academic excellence, demonstrates exceptional service to the community, and whose academic scholarship merits recognition. Recipients of the award demonstrate compassionate and competent ministry that is inclusive and courageous, live out the teachings of Jesus and have shown success in translating theological principles and ideals into a ministry setting.

The award honors the memory of Dr. Leo Stanford, founding director of Seattle University's Institute of Theological Studies prior to the establishment of the university's School of Theology and Ministry.? Dr. Stanford pioneered a vision for ministry within the church that became a model for programs within the United States. In this model students learn to deeply integrate academic theology, pastoral skill training, and spiritual formation which ultimately leads to personal and community transformation.

Dr. Tito Cruz shared a few words about Eliacin in light of this honor.

?Eliacin was in two classes with me--"Ministry in a Multicultural Context" and "Educational Ministry in the Church." He has an innate capacity to engage theory and practice, and integrate (head and heart) academics, pastoral skills and areas of spiritual / personal growth. He is a community leader and a public theologian in action, particularly among immigrant groups.?

Sister Jessica Taylor, from the school's Master of Arts in Relationship & Pastoral Therapy (MARPT) program, has been awarded The Reverend Dr. Clinton McNair Award. This new award honors Dr. Clinton McNair, founding director of the MARPT degree program. Dr. McNair pioneered a vision to bring healing, hope and wholeness to individuals, families, and underserved communities by training therapists who are competent and effective in ethically infusing spirituality into their clinical services. This first-year award honors Sr. Jessica Taylor as an outstanding MARPT student, significantly realizing Seattle University?s School of Theology and Ministry?s vision of Couples & Family Therapists (CFT) as spiritually-grounded and psychologically-informed care providers. The award recipient must also demonstrate a commitment to justice and the well-being of individuals, families and communities, while remaining rooted in holistic health and healing practices.

Dr. Christie Eppler shared a few words about Sr. Taylor as the award's first recipient.

"Sister Jessica Taylor is passionate about clinically serving and healing those in need. She created a space to help mothers reconcile with their children in order to promote healthy families and communities. She shows a keen perception in her ability to listen and understand what someone else is experiencing. She meets others where they are and empowers them in their own growth."

Congratulations to both of these Seattle University and School of Theology and Ministry new alumni who have demonstrated excellence throughout their time in the learning community, as well as in their professional and ministerial work.