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Moravian Theological Seminary Partners with Lancaster Theological Seminary

By Rev. Dr. Heather Vacek 

Partnership with just any seminary would not make sense for either institution. Partnership between MTS and LTS, however, puts the schools in a formal relationship with a group of people (faculty, staff, students, alumni, church, and denominational leaders) who care about preparing students to serve God in the same sorts of ways.

Rev. Dr. Diane Bogues Named Senior Director of Joint Seminary Enrollment & Financial Aid
The Rev. Dr. Diane Bogues is the new Senior Director of Joint Seminary Enrollment and Financial Aid, responsible for recruiting, enrollment and financial aid for both seminary campuses, Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Penn., and Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster, Penn.

Moravian University and Seminary
 & Lancaster Theological Seminary to formally begin combining the two institutions
On July 10, a Special Synod of the Northern Province of the Moravian Church convened and voted to approve the definitive agreement to combine, allowing work to begin consolidating the two institutions. This approval follows approval by the Boards of both Moravian and Lancaster on June 21, 2021.

Rev. Dr. Heather Vacek joins Moravian Theological Seminary as its next Dean
 and Vice President
Vacek joins Moravian after six years as VPAA at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

New Assistant Professor of New Testament
Moravian Theological Seminary is excited to welcome Brigidda Zapata Bell as Assistant Professor of New Testament, beginning in fall term 2021.

In Honor Of Glenn H. Asquith Jr. (1946-2017)
Glenn H. Asquith Jr. (1946–2017) was a professor of theology and a loving family man. In honor of him, his family donated a bench to the seminary, where they and Asquith’s colleagues and friends can stop and remember him.

Called to Action
As a child, Debra Fraser-Howze learned that community members take care of each other. For decades, feet on the ground, Fraser-Howze has put that conviction into action, serving the underserved. In January of this year, having amassed the support of public health officials, nonprofit and private organizations, and most importantly a powerful cadre of Black clergy from five cities, she launched Choose Healthy Life, an initiative aimed at tackling the COVID crisis in Black communities.

Graduation 2021
On Saturday, May 8, 2021, 19 students graduated from Moravian Seminary. This concluding Our 214th year and commencement was held at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. We celebrated with, not only our 2021 graduates but also our 2020 graduates. We feel very blessed that we were all able to gather together to celebrate this momentous occasion. MTS has been blessed to journey with them during their time as a student and we look forward to a continued partnership as they continue the work to which each has been called.

Meet Ezekiel Kassanga MATS '21
Ezekiel Kassanga, 39, from Tanzania, shares with us what it was like to complete his Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) degree at Moravian Theological Seminary during a global pandemic, stay connected to his family, and details his graduate thesis which he successfully defended this August.

Meet Rev. Dr. Heather Vacek, Vice President/Dean and Associate Professor of Church History
Rev. Dr. Heather Vacek joins Moravian Theological Seminary at a very exciting time in our history, overseeing the merger of Moravian with Lancaster Theological Seminary in her leadership role as Vice President and Dean. She also serves students in the classroom as Associate Professor of Church History. Learn about her vision for the future, how she plans to draw on the strengths of both seminaries, and what keeps her inspired and grounded.

Meet Brigidda Zapata Bell, Assistant Professor of New Testament
Brigidda Zapata Bell joined Moravian Theological Seminary this fall as Assistant Professor of New Testament. Bell defended her dissertation for her PhD from the University of Toronto this summer and previously taught at the Universities of Toronto, Calgary, and Alberta in Canada. Here, she shares with us how she’s settling into her first semester and the joys of bringing her multilingual Canadian-Ecuadorian background to her teachings for a unique global perspective.

Faculty Spotlight

Rev. Dr. C. Riddick Weber
Riddick Weber was invited to record music that will be part of the upcoming 70th anniversary festivities for the Moravian Brass Band Union of South Africa (BBSA).

Rev. Dr. Deborah A. Appler
Since the creation of the Widow’s House Garden, many strong hands have gently tended the fruits of this soil. This November, we will begin to plan for next year’s garden.

Rev. Dr. Beth Toler
When the Spirit Says Sing is a burgeoning program equipping music therapists to incorporate the psychospiritual, which so often is activated through music.

Marcella Kraybill-Greggo, MSW, LSW
Group Spiritual Companioning groups launched over this past year, a continuation of the vision of the Moravian Church, Northern Province, to offer a space for spiritual companionship and formation.

Rev. Dr. Craig D. Atwood
For six weeks in the fall of 2021, Dr. Atwood taught his online courses from Europe.