March 27, 2012
We are delighted to announce that earlier this month the boards of Seabury Western Theological Seminary in Chicago and Bexley Hall in Columbus unanimously voted to federate and to elect the Rev. Roger Albert Ferlo, Ph.D., D.D., as the Federation’s first president. Roger is currently associate dean and director of the Institute of Christian Formation and Leadership at Virginia Theological Seminary, where he also serves as professor of religion and culture.
With Roger leading the way, Bexley and Seabury are poised to realize our potential as an Episcopal educational center in the Midwest. Our new Federation is the fruition of nearly five years of discussion and exploration during which we have garnered our resources to offer innovative, rigorous theological education for clergy and laypeople, delivered through a sustainable business model with a sound balance sheet.
Last fall, when we embarked on the search that led us to Roger, we asked ourselves what kind of leaders the Episcopal Church needs for the 21st century. Roger embodies our ideal, and we are eager for him to lead the formation of our next generation of students. His rich experience in both innovative and traditional theological education makes him a superlative fit for the Federation's broad spectrum of academic courses and programs, including Bexley’s Master of Divinity degree in conjunction with Trinity Lutheran Seminary; Seabury’s Doctor of Ministry degrees in partnership with the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and the Association of Chicago Theological Schools; and many non-degree programs for church leaders.
Roger trained for the priesthood at the General Theological Seminary in New York City and spent 19 years in parish ministry, serving in Georgia, Pennsylvania and New York City. He has 14 years of teaching experience at the university and seminary level; 15 years of service on the board of the National Association of Episcopal schools, including a term as President; and nine years of service on the board of trustees of his alma mater, Colgate University (’73, summa cum laude), where in 2010 he was awarded an honorary doctorate. Roger holds a Ph.D. from Yale University (’79) and has authored and edited three books and numerous published essays, sermons and reflections. He has served as a deputy from New York to General Convention and has traveled internationally for teaching and research in South Africa, Australia and Italy.
Roger will take up his new duties on July 1, just in time for General Convention. We look forward to seeing many of you there and to staying in regular touch as Seabury and Bexley begin our common life under his leadership.
The Rt. Rev. W. Michie Klusmeyer
Co-Chair, Bexley Hall Board of Trustees
The Rev. Dr. Gwynne Wright
Chair, Seabury Western Theological Seminary Board of Trustees