Alumni/ae & Friends Days 2015

Friday, January 10, 2014 at 2:50PM

Alumni/ae and friends days 2015: 2 days theological enrichment

Alumni/ae and friends days 2015: 2 days theological enrichment

Tuesday, April 21 & Wednesday, April 22

Each year, the Alumni/ae of Claremont School of Theology have the opportunity to reconnect on campus, learn from the best scholars in theology, take a class and celebrate the accomplishments of their peers. Our community, alumni/ae, faculty, staff, students and friends are welcome to participate in these exciting days.

One Certificate of Continuing Education (CEU) is available for each day.

Register Online


Day 1: Tuesday, April 21

A Child Dies: What do we do now?
A multi-religious symposium addressing the issues of death, dying and grief

Featured Speakers:

Rev. Carolyn Stahl Bohler, RelD ’73 & PhD ’82, spent 21 years as Professor of Pastoral Theology and Counseling at United Theological Seminary and served for 39 years as a member of the Cal-Pac Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Rev. Dagmar Grefe, PhD ’07, Manager of the Spiritual Care Services and Clinical Pastoral Education Programs at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Clinical Assistant Professor, Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California

Kamal Abu-Shamsieh is an international leader in training Muslims the art of chaplaincy. He currently estab­lished chaplaincy training programs in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He is the founder of Muslim Spiritual Care Services, a non-profit serving the needs of Muslim patients, and provides spiritual care services at Stanford University Hospital and Fresno hospitals.

8:00-9:00 a.m. Registration outside Mudd Theater
8:30-9:00 a.m. Welcome and opening
9:00-10:00 a.m. Dagmar Grefe, Caring for kids in end-of-life bereavement
10:00-10:30 a.m. Break and snack
10:30-11:30 a.m. Small discussion groups
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Lunch & resource fair
12:30-1:30 p.m. Carolyn Bohler, We can support questioning
1:30-2:00 p.m. Break
2:00-3:00 p.m. Small discussion groups
3:00-3:30 p.m. Break and snack
3:30-4:30 p.m. Kamal Abu Shamsieh, Strengthening our responses to a child’s death; a Muslim perspective
4:30-5:00 p.m. Break
5:00-6:00 p.m. Small discussion groups
6:00-6:15 p.m. Closing ritual

Day 2: Wednesday, April 22

The 2015 Jean L. Wickett Lecture will feature:
Dr. Michael Mata,/b>, Director of the Los Angeles Program for the Masters in Transformational Urban Leadership at Azusa Pacific Seminary

The Jean L. Wickett Lecture was established in 1982 by the Wickett family in memory of Mrs. Jean L. Wickett. A lifelong active United Methodist lay woman, Mrs. Wickett was a passionate advocate for the continued education of laity and clergy to enhance the vitality and mission of the church. The Jean L. Wickett Lecture is an annual lecture event that examines faith and practice for the empowerment of both laity and clergy.

Day 2 Schedule

8:30 am: Registration Begins
9:00am-11:00 am The Jean L. Wickett Lecture featuring Dr. Michael Mata, Director of the Los Angeles Program for the Masters in Transformational Urban Leadership at Azusa Pacific Seminary, The Transformational Possibility of Social Justice: From Giving Fish to Stewarding the Pond
11:15 am- Noon Roundtable Discussion
Noon-1:15pm Distinguished Alumni/ae Award Luncheon
1:30-3:00 pm Najeeba Syeed J.D., Assistant Professor of Interreligious Education, Towards a social justice framework for interfaith engagement
3:00 pm Roundtable Discussion
3:30 – 5:00 pm Nina Fernando MA ’14 and Rev. Bridie Roberts MDiv. ’06, CLUE LA (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice), Waking The Giant: Introducing Congregations To Faith Rooted Organizing
5:15-6:00pm Alumni/ae & Student Mixer
6:30 pm Bible Cabaret with Jane Voigts MDiv. ’96


Early Bird 2-Day Ticket
(before April 10)
2-Day Ticket
(after April 10)
Day 1 Symposium Only $60
Day 2 Lectures Only $60
CEU Fee $30
Bible Cabaret Only $15

Email or call (909) 447-2545 for more information.

Those attending both days will receive 2 Continuing Education Units (CEU)


Michael A. Mata Michael A. Mata
has designed and administered community and faith-based programs for over 30 years, particularly in the areas of community development, congregational redevelopment, intercultural programs, organizational and leadership development, ministry/nonprofit management and community youth development. Recently appointed to direct the Los Angeles Program in Masters in Transformational Urban Leadership at Azusa Pacific Seminary he is also the Community Transformation Specialist with Compassion Creates Change, Inc. and an affiliated faculty at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Prior to his current assignments he was the Urban Development Director for World Vision U.S. Program where he was responsible for guiding the department’s implementation of its Signature Programs Model (community transformation focused on community youth development). Mata was the Mildred M. Hutchinson Assistant Professor of Urban Ministry (the first endowed chair in urban ministry) and Director of the Urban Leadership Institute at the Claremont School of Theology (1993-2003). As an ordained minister, he served fifteen years as part of the pastoral team at Los Angeles First Church of the Nazarene (a multi-ethnic/multi-congregation church with a highly regarded community program and prominent youth program) and two years as Pastor of Urban Mission at Pasadena First Church of the Nazarene. He is also the former Director of the Bresee Institute (a key resource for faith-based community and leadership development efforts, which gained distinction among the academic, business and political leaders of Los Angeles under his leadership).

Mata’s vast experience and knowledge of community and faith-based community development makes him a much-sought-after instructor, speaker, and consultant. Former clients include such organizations as the Los Angeles United Methodist Urban Foundation, the National Crime Prevention Council, Esperanza USA, the Hudson Institute, Presbytery of the Pacific, National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, World Vision U.S. Field Operations, Plowshares Institute, Long Beach District of the United Methodist Church. Southern California Association for Philanthropy, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Center for Faith-based and Community Initiatives) and Urban Strategies, LLC.

He serves and has served as adjunct faculty at various schools and seminaries, such as, Drew Seminary, Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, Nazarene Theological Seminary, Prairie Graduate School, and Southern Nazarene University.

Mata serves or has served on the boards and advisory councils of local and national community, ecumenical, nonprofit and academic organizations such as the Latino Coalition for Community and Faith-based Initiatives, Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD) and the Association for Urban Theological Education and Ministry (AUTEM). He has also been a member of the Koreatown/Wilshire Center Community Advisory Committee for Revitalization and the Planning Commission of the City of Berkeley.

Rev. Mata holds the degree of Master in City Planning from the University of California at Berkeley as well as Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Religion, respectively, from Nazarene Theological Seminary and Point Loma Nazarene University. His Bachelor of Art in Biblical Literature with a minor in Business Administration is from Point Loma Nazarene University. He has completed doctoral studies at the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California.

Nina Marie Fernando Nina Marie Fernando ’14,
born and raised in a Sri-Lankan American Roman Catholic family in Southern California, grew up with a strong cultural and moral foundation. She graduated from The Johnston Center for Integrative Studies at the University of Redlands with a B.A. in Social Change through Music and Religious Studies and received her M.A. from Claremont School of Theology in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing in on Religious and Cultural Studies: Ethics and Community Engagement. She serves as a Faith-Rooted Organizer for Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE-LA).

When she’s not out on the picket line or organizing faith leaders to address economic inequality through her work at CLUE, she spends her time singing. She has performed in a number of bands including, The Overeasy with whom she co-wrote and recorded three full-length albums, Sugar Mountain Mama Serenade, Anokia, and several jazz ensembles and collectives, and has been invited as a guest solo musician for public and private events, protests, and churches.

She has had the honor of receiving a number of academic awards and participating in countless life-changing opportunities, including traveling to Dharamsala, India to be in conversation with Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, H.H. the 17th Karmapa which resulted in a book entitled The Heart is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out. Nina loves to sing, laugh, drink wine, and spend time with her friends and family. She values foundation and adventure, theory and practice, all people and the world.

Nina Marie Fernando Pastor Bridie C. Roberts
’06 serves as Program Director at Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, and also serves as appointed Pastor at First United Methodist Church of Alhambra, CA. She has been a community organizer, movement strategist, and activist for many years specializing in the development of new leaders and the use of creative, faith filled tactics of nonviolent resistance. In her 11 years At CLUE LA her work has included clergy organizing on multiple campaigns, the development and direction of the Young Religious Leaders Project, co-development of the Faith Rooted Organizing Model, and direction of CLUE LA's organizing program and staff.

Formerly Pastor Bridie served as the Pastor of Pico Union Shalom Ministries, a progressive Shalom Zone Ministry of the United Methodist Church serving the heart of the inner city of Los Angeles in Pico Union. Under her leadership, this Spanish speaking/bilingual ministry focused on neighborhood peace building and free community education programs. It also worked on community organizing, homeless immigrant outreach, and the completion of a substantial affordable housing project for the neighborhood. In 2008 Pastor Roberts was honored to be chosen to participate in an interfaith study tour and delegation to Egypt and Syria in a program coordinated by the National Peace Organization and ISSNA, and funded by the State Department. She shared the work of Faith Rooted Organizing and CLUE's concern for the work of justice and peace in the global community.

Previously Ms. Roberts has worked as a community organizer focused on issues of affordable housing, grass roots urban planning and community greening, and community poverty issues in New York City, NY, Seattle, Washington, and Des Moines, IA. Originally from Miami, Florida, Bridie has lived in many places in the US, and attended college at Grinnell College, in Grinnell, IA, graduating with a BA in Political Science. In 2006 Ms. Roberts graduated from the Claremont School of Theology with a Masters of Divinity, emphasis in Urban Ministries. She has studied and traveled in Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America.

Nina Marie Fernando Jane Voigts ’96,
UMC pastor and former professional comedian joins quirky singer/songwriter/theologians Zehnder and former Roseanne writer and Tonight Show guest star Betsy Salkind for a variety show unlike any other.

The Bible Cabaret:
a Musical & Comedy Revue starring the Old & New Testaments is an evening of monologues, character sketches, stand­up and song exploring the comedy of the Bible and the gift of joy. Jane has taken versions of the Cabaret to Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, San Luis Obispo, Des Moines and Waverly (IA). This marks thethird time Zehnder and Betsy will share the stage with her. All are excited about making their Claremont debut!

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