Thursday, September 6, 2007
Harvard update on Emerson UUA professorship.
On August 21, Harvard Divinity School dean William Graham distributed a letter announcing an update in the school's search for a Ralph Waldo Emerson Unitarian Universalist Association Professor of Divinity. The letter itself is not online, as far as I can tell.
It reports that a faculty committee decided, after conducting an initial search in the 2006-2007 academic year, to redefine the professorship as a "Professor of the Practice" and reannounce the search. Why? Graham explains:
First, the most attractive candidates identified in the original search — and there were very attractive ones — fit best into that category for the purposes of Harvard University's hiring processes. Second, the faculty realized that, given the increasingly successful enhancement of our MDiv curriculum and ministry studies program in general, as well as the oft-mentioned desire from UUA alumni and friends for more consistent and focused training of UU ministers by HDS, we have a golden opportunity in the Emerson search to align the person chosen for the position with other prominent ministry professors . . . Above all, it should be noted that the designation "Professor of the Practice" is increasingly being utilized across the University as a way to bring professors to Harvard whose life and professional experience outside academia can be available — and properly valued — as a rich educational resource for today's most talented students.
The faculty opening describes the position this way:
A Professor of the Practice in this position may be a scholar in a pertinent field or a senior practitioner, preferably with a doctorate, who has a distinguished record of ministry or public service and a demonstrated ability in the practices of ministry (e.g., worship, pastoral counseling, preaching, social justice) or another profession (e.g., education, journalism, government, medicine, law) that are relevant to the needs of the School. This is a renewable five-year term appointment intended to advance studies in liberal religion, broadly construed.
For background, see uuworld.org's April 2006 story, "Harvard announces professorship in Unitarian Universalist studies."
Copyright © 2007 by Philocrites | Posted 6 September 2007 at 5:20 PM