Alumni Council Updates
Alumni Council Meeting
David Goss, MDiv 2007, is our new president of the Alumni Council, and he presided over his first Alumni Council meeting this September in Franklin, Tennessee. We held the council at Council member Ryan Bennett’s church, Bethlehem United Methodist. The Council met in Franklin to facilitate members’ attendance at New Room Conference 2017. We had a very productive meeting and discussed many exciting developments which are listed below.
Estes Chapel Fundraising Initiative
We are pleased to report that the $1.5 million funding needed to complete Estes Chapel has been raised thanks to many alumni donations as well as those from friends of the Seminary and supportive foundations. The renovations are scheduled to begin November 3, 2017, and will be completed in April 2018. “The fact that this was the first goal of our ambitious $100 million campaign to be completed is itself a testimony to how sacred this chapel is for alumni around the world who gave sacrificially for its renovation,” Dr. Timothy Tennent said.
Mark your calendars for the Estes Rededication Celebration, which will be held on May 8, 2018, with an extended, live-streamed chapel service. Additional celebration events will be held throughout the community. While we may not be able to celebrate quite like they did in the Old Testament when the temple was dedicated, we will incorporate some of the elements of their dedication into ours. This renovation and celebration will be a physical reminder of the importance of chapel for our community for years to come. Look out for more details to come soon!
Hospitality Room at New Room Conference
Once again, the Hospitality Room at New Room was a success. We rented a cargo van and took 40 cases of Ale-8-1 to distribute to alumni and friends. While guests enjoyed their cold Ale-8s, they filled out 251 of our Connect Cards to enter into drawings for an iPad-mini and a set of Wesley dolls. Not only did we capture updated info, we also came away with contacts who are inquiring about our DMin and other degree programs, referring prospective students, Healing Academy, Renewal Retreats, our Church Planting program, supporting Asbury, continuing education, and Seedbed.
Global Day of Prayer
The Alumni Council emphasized the importance of prayer with our alumni and friends by hosting a Global Day of Prayer the day before Opening Convocation (Labor Day). We had 264 alumni sign up to join us from many different nations all over the world, including the United States, Philippines, India, Guatemala, Nigeria, Canada, Central African Republic, Spain, Liberia, and Vanautu (South Pacific Ocean nation made up of roughly 80 islands).
Susanna Wesley Doll
Susanna Wesley has joined the ranks of Charles and John in our Wesley doll collection. We have created a Susanna Wesley doll to capture the deepest roots of where Wesleyanism really started. It started with the instruction in life and faith that was passed down to John and Charles by their mother, Susanna. We would not have the Wesleyan roots we cherish today without her! We will send her as a gift when requested when you donate $25 or more to the Estes Hymnal Initiative. Many in the past gave even more than the suggested donation, and we are hoping they will again.
Asbury Hymnal Project
At the Alumni Council meeting, we revealed and fully endorsed the Asbury Hymnal Project. This hymnal is specially developed for Asbury’s own chapels, and it features hymns that are vanguards for a wide range of traditions. Several professors, the Dean of Chapel, the Alumni Director, and Julie Tennent were involved in the selection of hymns. This hymnal will be ecumenical in content to be more inclusive of the many denominations and traditions that attend Asbury Theological Seminary. We have had a generous donor step forward with a $20,000 match. A total of $40,000 is needed to secure our goal of 2,000 hard copies of the hymnal. We will distribute these to the Memphis, Florida and Kentucky campuses. Those donating a gift of $100 or more will receive a signed first edition copy of the hymnal.
Alumni and Friends Alaska Cruise
The alumni office is hosting an Alumni and Friends cruise of Alaska and Canada on July 14- 21, 2018 aboard the Norwegian Bliss! Dr. Steve Seamands will be teaching on “The Life of Prayer” during our excursion. Please consider joining us for this opportunity to reconnect, study God’s Word, and behold the beauty of God’s creation.
We hope to see you next summer!
Spiritual Renewal Retreats
Alumni and Community Formation have created a renewal retreat for alumni to come and be renewed in their journey and to receive spiritual guidance. Retreats are personally tailored to the individuals’ needs and requests; they are offered the opportunity to speak with Tammy Cessna, the Director of Alumni, Peg Hutchins, the Director of Community Formation, Jessica LaGrone, the Dean of Chapel, and any professors that are available during their time here. Should they wish, they are given a personal massage, a time to meet with a personal trainer, and access to the Asbury University swimming pool. They may participate in campus activities, such as chapel and Eucharist, fast in solitude, or delve into study—whatever they feel called to do to renew their spirits. We have been blessed with a generous donation to provide scholarships for those who may not have the funds to participate. One such recipient had this to say:
“From the moment I stepped on campus, I felt loved. I was thankful for all that was planned for me and the care that was taken to provide reading materials, snacks, scheduled activities, and the space to rest and reconnect with Jesus. […] Thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough. I praise God for the work of Asbury Theological Seminary that stretches beyond the academics to reach the whole person, even once they’ve received their diploma. I am proud to say I graduated from ATS. May God continue to bless you and your team and the work you do for the kingdom.”
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