Celebrating the J. Alfred Smith Sr. Endowed Chair of Theology in the Public Square

On Friday, April 22nd, the Board of Trustees, meeting at BST, joined over 100 people by Zoom to celebrate the announcement of the Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith Sr Endowed Chair of Theology in the Public Square. The program, available here, was part of a series of events scheduled to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of BST. Various local and national distinguished ministry and civic leaders shared their reflections, affirmations, and citations on the impact Rev. Dr. Smith Sr. has had in their lives, in the church and the world.

Rev. Dr. Smith, Sr, was overwhelmed with gratitude, saying of the evening, “The reality of having the Chair of Theology in the Public Square named after me is an act of God’s matchless goodness. I am eternally grateful to have this blessing.” Additionally, U.S. Senator, Rev. Rafael Warnock, would offer his personal blessing to BST and Dr. Smith, explaining how J. Alfred’s ministry is a model for so many and admiring how he always tied together head and heart and hands in his work. We look forward to the impact this chair will have in honor of the legacy of Rev. Dr. Smith Sr.

To read more about the the Endowed Chair please click here for the press release.

BST Professor Park leads important seminar on engaging political conflict

Dr. Sam Park, BST Professor, recently led a Zoom seminar on the book entitled “무너진 울타리 다시 세우다: 나의 가족 이야기” (Picking Up the Pieces: My Family Story) written by Rev. Dr. Suk Chong Yu, a retired United Methodist pastor, who served churches and worked for the United Methodist Publishing House and taught as a university professor both in the United States and Korea. The book is about Yu’s family members who had been separated by Korean War and ensuing poverty in Korea in 1950-70s.

At the forum, which was well attended by church leaders and scholars, Dr. Park and panelists engaged in conversations about the historical background of the division of Korean Peninsula by countries, including the United States, during the cold war and how the colonialism also affected the lives of Koreans for the past several decades. The issues raised were pertinent to today’s current climate addressing questions of how Christians and churches can openly talk about ideological conflicts and still become agents of healing and reconciliation.

Online Summer Course - Open to Everyone!

In this 6 session summer course, Theological Reflections on the 1619 Project, Judge Wendell Griffen of the Sixth Judicial Circuit and Pastor of New Millennium Church in Little Rock, Arkansas will team with Dean LeAnn Snow Flesher to provide a theological walk through The 1619 Project. The book, The 1619 Project, is the result of a NY Times endeavor that aims to reframe the country's history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the United States' national narrative. Auditors are welcome. Class will meet once a week for two hours. Dates and times 6/21, 6/28, 7/5, 7/12, 7/19, 7/26; 5pm to 7pm PDT.

To register for the course, please click here.

There’s Just Something About That Name

President Brenneman recently published an article in Anabaptist World on why it’s better to be ‘Jesus-centered’ than ‘Christ-centered’. He lays out his case for why he wishes that every congregation and institution that defines itself as Christ-centered ought, instead, to become more Jesus-centered. You can read the whole article here.

Radical. Redeemed. Ready. Celebrating Ministering Women.

With women serving in a multitude of ways and a variety of roles throughout the United States and around the world, American Baptist Women in Ministry (ABWIM) is hosting a unique conference: Radical. Redeemed. Ready: Celebrating Ministering Women. The conference will feature inspiring speakers, creative worship, engaging workshops, and multiple ways to connect while experiencing innovative approaches to ministry.

Several BST alums will be helping to lead the conference including Rev. Lauren Lisa Ng and Rev. Dr. Marie Onwubuariri. For more information or to register for this incredible event, click here.

Congratulations to Nathan Brittsan

BST alum and Board of Trustees member Nathan Brittsan will be ordained this weekend. We are so proud of all that Nathan has accomplished already and how he will continue to serve God and the church in the future. If you’d like to stream the service, click here on Sunday May 1 at 4:30pm PT. Congratulations Nathan!

Recent Alumni Books

Two BST alums, Gary Vaughn and Curt McCormack have recently published books. Gary’s book, God on Drums A Journey of Faith, is the spiritual pilgrimage of a son’s fierce struggle to break free of a bullying father and his improbable journey that leads him to a ministry on skid row where nameless shadows become treasured friends. You can purchase God on Drums here.

Curt’s book, Confessions of a Christian Cynic, offers a commentary on why much of the theology and current practices of the Christian Faith are no longer viable for the 21st century Christian. His historical insights, reviews of the Aramaic and Greek texts, and metaphorical views are based on his life-long study of the Christian scriptures. You can purchase Confessions of a Christian Cynic here.

Save the Date! Join with Berkeley School of Theology this upcoming fall (delayed a year for Covid) for a weekend of celebration of BST’s 150th anniversary. We will have alumni reunions, a dinner gala, and many other celebratory events. All former students, staff, faculty, and alumni are invited! Start making plans now to join us in October for a celebration 150 years in the making!

BST Administration, Faculty, and Staff are available to speak at your next event. Whether you are looking for a sermon, lecture, or lesson, someone from Berkeley School of Theology can provide it for you! For more information or to inquire or book, please email Sam Fielder at

BST Merchandise Available Now!

Show your Berkeley School of Theology spirit with the latest offerings from the BST Online Store! Chose from a variety of products in multiple designs and colors to best fit your own personal style! How will you rep BST? Check out the latest selections here!

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