Honoring Visiting Professor Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon

Written by SA-Worker18 student
May 21, 2015

Seattle University?s School of Theology and Ministry would like to express deep gratitude for the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, as he comes to the end of his three-year term as the school?s Spehar-Halligan Visiting Professor of Ecumenical Collaboration in Interreligious Dialogue this month. ?From its inception, Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry has partnered with faith communities to create an ecumenical space for learning in developing the next generation of transformational leaders. From the very beginning, Dr. Kinnamon has assisted in that effort as a friend, partner, consultant, and more recently, as a visiting professor.

We recognize Dr. Kinnamon for greatly adding to students? learning both inside and outside of the classroom, brining internationally-recognized scholarship and experience as a leader in the ecumenical movement and his extensive experience in ministry and academia.?

Dr. Kinnamon shares:?

?I accepted the offer to join the faculty of Seattle University?s School of Theology and Ministry in large part because I believe it is better positioned than practically any other theological school in the country to prepare Christian leaders for this era when ecumenical and interfaith relations are so vitally important. At a time when many denominational seminaries are struggling with costly campuses and unwieldy administrative structures, the school offers a new model--and one that insistently bridges the historic Protestant-Catholic divide.?

Over the past three years, Dr. Kinnamon has taught courses such as ?Theology in an Ecumenical Context? (co-taught with Dr. Michael Reid Trice), ?Peace and Justice in an Ecumenical Perspective,? ?Literature From Around the World,? and ?Jewish-Christian Dialogue? (co-taught with Rabbi Anson Laytner). He has additionally invested in local churches in the region, and has ?engaged with students outside of the classroom during ?Theology on Tap? student community gatherings among others.

Dr. Michael Reid Trice, Assistant Dean of Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, comments:

"Dr. Kinnamon's indefatigable ecumenical spirit and lived quest for visible Christian unity is evident in his dedication to students and faculty alike at Seattle University?s School for Theology and Ministry. ?In like measure, his time at the school was spent in a thoughtful commitment to enhancing local to international ecumenical efforts. In his three years with us, Michael leaves an indelible footprint in the lives he has encountered here, and we will genuinely miss him even as we wish him well in new endeavors."

In all of his intersections with our learning community, Dr. Kinnamon has challenged students to tackle the topic of faith in light of contemporary issues?-not only as members of particular church traditions but as members of the one, universal church of Jesus Christ. He shares that behind this effort is his own conviction that more recent theology (e.g., liberation or post-modern) is basically inexplicable without an understanding of these complexities. Dr. Kinnamon shares that courses like these are??absolutely essential for ministry in a pluralistic era and absolutely foundational for an ecumenical school like Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry. Students are challenged not just to learn about other Christian (and, to a lesser extent, religious) traditions, but to get inside them, to see the world from other confessional and cultural perspectives."

We are sure that Dr. Kinnamon will continue to be no stranger to our community, though we will miss seeing him in the hallways on a weekly basis. We wish Dr. Kinnamon and his wife Mardine the very best as they move on to their next endeavor.?

More about Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon

Rev. Dr. Kinnamon is the immediate-past General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA, has served as General Secretary of the Consultation on Church Union, and has served as Executive Secretary of the World Council of Churches' Commission on Faith and Order.

Dr. Kinnamon has been a seminary professor for more than 25 years, serving as Dean of Lexington Theological Seminary from 1988-98. He has lectured and preached on ecumenical themes across the U.S. and in numerous countries overseas, especially in India and the Middle East. His many writings in the field of ecumenical studies include "The Vision of the Ecumenical Movement and How It Has Been Impoverished By Its Friends" (2003), "The Ecumenical Movement: An Anthology of Key Texts and Voices (2013)," and "Can a Renewal Movement Be Renewed?: Questions for the Future of Ecumenism (2013).?

Dr. Kinnamon's Ph.D. is from the University of Chicago Divinity School (1980) in the field of Religion and Literature. He holds ordained ministerial standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has been active in the mission and ministries of that denomination and a frequent speaker at Disciples events.?