Rev. Dr. David Esterline of McCormick Theological Seminary Accepts Position of President of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

David Esterline, Director of the Institute for Cross-Cultural Theological Education and Associate Professor of Cross-Cultural Education and Ministry at McCormick, has accepted the position of President of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA. He will begin his Presidency at Pittsburgh in June.

David has led and shaped McCormick and the wider church in distinctive and crucial ways. He is one of the premier researchers in the world on the globalization of theological education. The Handbook on Theological Education in World Christianity, which David co-edited, is the definitive and most comprehensive study of global theological education available today. Currently, David is organizing with others a new global forum of theological educators, which includes an international fellowship of leaders in theological education from every Christian tradition.

At McCormick and in the PC(USA) more widely, David has become a leader in raising awareness of white privilege and racism and in providing guidance and instruction in what it means to live faithfully in a multi-cultural church and society.

David joined the faculty at McCormick in 1997 as Director of Doctoral Programs and Continuing Education. He subsequently served for ten years as Dean of the Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs. Currently, he directs the Institute for Cross-Cultural Theological Education. This fall David was reviewed for promotion to full professor. A recommendation that David be appointed Professor of Cross-Cultural Theological Education and Ministry will be presented to the Board of Trustees at its February meeting.

Frank Yamada, President of McCormick, made these observations about David’s service to McCormick: “David Esterline is the kind of theological educator that most of us aspire to be. Few people know more about the growth of Christianity in the Global South and theological education’s impact on the global Church than him. His service to the Association of Theological Schools, his work with cross-cultural issues in theological education, and his service here at McCormick distinguish him as a leader in North American theological education. We are proud to see him serve a fine institution such as Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.”

“David is someone whom we all consider indispensible to our community life and to our educational mission at McCormick,” said Ted Hiebert, Dean of the Faculty. “We can’t believe he’s leaving. But he has helped build such a strong tradition at McCormick in theological education with a global perspective and with a cross-cultural approach that we are committed more strongly than ever to continuing this legacy. We all have the greatest confidence in him and wish him the best as he moves into a new position of leadership in the church.”

(from the McCormick news release)

Women in Ministry, Women in Prayer

In an on-going effort to meet the needs of the women students at McCormick, the Women in Ministry student advocacy group has decided to host an all-women’s prayer meeting twice monthly from 4:30 – 5:45pm in room 241.

The meeting dates are, February 24th, March 9th and 24th, and April 13th and 28th.

If anyone is interested in bringing refreshments, would like to share a particular prayer practice with the group, or have any ideas/questions about the prayer meetings, contact the Chair of Women in Ministry, Jene Colvin.

Community Announcements – Week of 2/11

Below are the Community Announcements for the Week of February 11th:

  • Community Worship, February 18th at 12:15pm in the Common Room. Christine Wenderoth will preach, with David Watkins presiding. Community Meal will be served  immediately after worship, outside the Common Room.
  • Second Presbyterian Church (1936 S Michigan Ave) is having their monthly All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast on February 14th from 8:30-11:30am. $7/person or $15/family of 4
  • Faith in Place’s Winter Farmers Market at Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park (5500 S Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, IL 60637) on Saturday, February 14th from 9am – 1pm. For dates & locations of other Winter Farmers Markets visit their website:
  • McCormick Fellowship Awards and Prizes applications are due by Monday, March 30th to Alicia Rhine. Pages 56-62 of the 2014-2015 Academic Catalog explain the awards. Direct all questions to Alicia Rhine: 773-947-6317 or
  • Acts 10:15 Meeting – TODAY after Community Worship at 1:15pm in the Ender Lobby. Plan on sitting at the two tables closest to the main entrance (or the East end of the building for those of you geographically inclined). If you cannot make the meeting but would like to be involved with Speak Week, contact the co-moderators (Nathan Schulz and Mary Kathryn Dean)
  • Leslie Deslauriers (second-year M.Div. student) is preaching at Second Presbyterian Church on 2/15 at 11am. Fellowship hour to follow worship with a free lunch.
  • Community Study Breaks will be on Tuesdays this semester, alternating between the 1400 building and the main building. All students are welcome to join in on the fun! The next one is Tuesday, February 17th from 9-11pm at the 1400 building. If you have dietary restrictions, please email Sarah Bennett.

If you have an event that you would like to share with the McCormick community, please email your announcement to the Herald Editors!

DeltaLumin Pilot Program

Faith in Place is working with Delta Institute to find participants for a pilot program that involves households with smart meters.

DeltaLumin is a pilot program that will test tools that may help individuals take advantage from your new smart meter. As a participant, you will be asked to add your voice and value to the development of DeltaLumin. Over the 3 month pilot program period, you will be asked to take 10-minute surveys and provide feedback on the program. There will be monthly opportunities for rewards as a thank you for active participants. The program begins in March and ends in May.

Take the online survey to see if you are eligible to participate. You will receive a $5 online gift card just for taking the eligibility quiz!

Do you want to find out more information about the survey? Visit the DeltaLumin Program website. If you have any questions, call 312-487-1087 or email

Featured Alum – Rev. Jed & Jenny Koball

Reverend Jed and Jenny Koball are PC(USA) Mission co-workers in Peru, serving as the Presbyterian Hunger Program’s Joining Hands in Peru facilitator (Jed) and site coordinator for the Young Adult Volunteer program in Peru (Jenny). Jed is a M.Div. graduate of McCormick and was ordained in 2000. To read more about their work in Peru, visit their page on the PCUSA website.

Upcoming Conferences

The Psychology of Religion/The Religion of Psychology – March 6th at the Divinity School

The L.E.A.D. Conference is March 7th from 8am–3pm at Fourth Presbyterian Church. For more info & to register for the event, visit the McCormick website. Free for students!

God, Land & Love with John Bell– March 8th from 2pm-5pm at First United Church of Oak Park (848 Lake Street, Oak Park). Registration is $25 in advance; $35 at the door. Contact Mark Bowman for more info 773-316-8892 or:

How to Love: A Symposium to Celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Birth of Teresa of Avila – March 20th 9-4:30pm at CTU (5416 S Cornell Ave). $15 Cost, includes lunch. For more info:

Levinas Reading – April 8-9th at the Divinity School

2015 World Mission Institute – Prisons: New Realities, New Mission. April 16-17th at LSTC. Keynote address by James Logan of Earlham College, 4/16 at 7pm. Workshops from 9am-1pm on 4/17. Free & open to the public.

Advocacy Training Weekend: April 17-20, 2015. “Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation”. Located in Washington, DC. Compassion, Peace, and Justice Training Day – 4/17. Ecumenical Advocacy Days: 4/17-4/20. For more info, visit the website:

The 35th International Conference on Critical Thinking and Educational Reform. July 25-30, 2015. Berkeley, CA. Conference Theme: Cultivating World Justice and Freedom of Thought Through Education and Social Reform. For more info, visit:

Graduating Seniors – Party Planning Committee

Graduation is only 88 days away!  And all senior work is due in only 73 days. We are definitely in the home stretch now, even though there is still a lot of work to be done.

Self-care is an important aspect of every future leader’s life (ordained or not) and we need to honor this major accomplishment in the right way. Graduating senior Danny Morales says it best, “Folks, we need to party!!” If you are a graduating senior interested in planning an end-of-the-year celebration, contact Danny Morales so you can start planning.

Interview with First Year Student – Hyunju Lee

Sarah Bennett: What were you doing before you came to McCormick?

Hyunju Lee: I completed my Master of Divinity studies at Hanshin University in Seoul. And then I did my pastoral internship for a year.

SB: So what degree are you studying here at McCormick?

HL: I am in my first year as a MTS student. It is the degree you need to go on for PhD work, which I hope to do. I just decided that I want to study further. I will be working on applications soon so that I can start applying to PhD programs here. I hope to focus on the New Testament, maybe the Gospels. I am taking a course on that right now with Dr. Tanzer and like it.

SB: Have you gotten connected with any churches in the Chicago-land area yet?

HL: Actually I worked for a pastor at a Korean immigrant church in Glenview, IL last semester. I really enjoyed working with the church Sunday school kids. I helped out with Vacation Bible School as well.

SB: What is one of your favorite things to do since moving to Chicago?

HL: I really enjoy visiting the different neighborhoods in Chicago, especially Pilsen because I love Mexican food! I have visited here before coming to McCormick, and visited with Hanshin alumni.

If you want to chat with Hyunju, she works in the mailroom!

Remembering Ernie Banks

By: Lowell Young

Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks passed away at the age of 83 on Friday, January 23rd.  His passing occurred in the evening just as the local 10 o’clock newscasts were beginning.  Immediately after announcing the news of Mr. Banks’ passing, Chicago Channels 2, 5 and 7 put almost all other news aside and devoted nearly all of their 30 minute newscasts to memorializing Ernie Banks.

Other great sports figures have gone home to The Lord without newscasts devoting nearly all of their air time to the sports figure’s passing.  So what specifically did Ernie Banks do to warrant such extensive, almost unprecedented attention?

First and foremost, Ernie Banks was a truly great, tremendously gifted baseball player—one of the best of all-time.  He played his entire 19 year major league career with one team—the Chicago Cubs.  During those 19 years (1953-1971), the Cubs rarely contended for a National League championship.  However, Banks was a 14 time All-Star and he won the National League Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in both 1958 and 1959 even though the Cubs finished last in both seasons! To this day—despite having retired more than 40 years ago—Ernie Banks still leads all past and present Cub players in most lifetime games, and leads in career hits and runs batted in.  His 512 career home runs are second only to Sammy Sosa.  No wonder Ernie Banks is known as “Mr. Cub” and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, his first year of eligibility.

However, as tributes began pouring in following his passing, it became very clear that Ernie Banks was far more than just a great baseball player.  He was a truly unique and positive individual who touched the lives of many both on and off the baseball field.

During his playing career—though he was an unquestioned superstar—Banks remained very humble and self-assuming and accepted any and all speaking invitations to everything from Little League banquets to exclusive country club dinners.  Wherever he went, Mr. Banks invariably stayed well beyond the time he was expected to be there and individually greeted each and every person and often engaged many in extended conversations.  One story after another recounting such incidents filled the internet and the airways of Chicago sports talk radio stations in the days following Banks’ untimely passing.

In many ways, Ernie Banks was a trailblazer and a pioneer.  He was the Cubs’ first African American player, signing with the team in 1953 at the age of 22.  His signing paved the way for other African Americans—and later numerous Hispanic players—to join the Cubs, eventually making the Cubs one of Major League’s most racially and ethnically diverse teams.

Another of Mr. Banks’ trailblazing and pioneering activities occurred in the latter stages of his life.  For a number of years, Banks, along with many others, lobbied for the Chicago Cubs to have a float in the Gay Pride parade that takes place annually in Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood, not far from the Cubs historic home stadium, Wrigley Field.  When the Cubs eventually agreed to participate in the Gay Pride parade, the individual who represented the Cubs on their parade float was none other than Ernie Banks!

As a Guest Services Ambassador for the Cubs for the past five years, I would occasionally see Ernie Banks around Wrigley Field from time to time and briefly exchange pleasantries with him.  He was always kind and considerate with me, as he was with everyone he encountered.  Though I remember these brief encounters fondly, by far my fondest memory of Mr. Cub occurred more than 30 years ago, far from the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

In early 1983, my wife’s mother arrived in Chicago from Honduras to begin a new life here in the United States.  As part of the process of getting my mother-in-law established here, I accompanied her to a nearby bank in our Northwest side Chicago neighborhood to help her open a bank account.  The receptionist in the bank lobby directed us to the customer service area, where we were greeted by an impeccably dressed middle aged African American man, who introduced himself to us as Mr. Banks.  My mother-in-law had no clue who he was; but I recognized him instantly.  It was Ernie Banks!

After we sat down at his desk, I asked him with all the diplomacy I could muster how was it that he came to be doing customer service work at this neighborhood bank.  He patiently explained to me that he did part-time public relations work for the bank and he felt he could better represent the bank by occasionally working in various departments that dealt directly with the public. It just so happened that today was his day to help out in customer service.  “So”, he said, “what can I do for you and this lovely lady with you?”  When I introduced my mother-in-law to him, and explained that she had just arrived from Honduras and that she spoke virtually no English, Mr. Banks immediately said “Bienvenida a los Estados Unidos, senora.  Como yo puedo ayudarle?  (Welcome to the United States, madam.  How can I help you?)

Greatly surprised at his ability to speak Spanish, I asked Mr. Banks where and when he had learned the language.  He said he had never taken any formal Spanish lessons; but while he was playing for the Cubs he “picked up” Spanish as a result of listening to conversations involving  his many Hispanic Cub teammates and then conversing with them in their native language.  Even though many of his Hispanic teammates eventually learned to speak English quite well, he continued to speak to them in their native language as a way of making them feel more welcome.

Mr. Banks, my mother-in-law and I spent the next 30 minutes or so opening my mother-in-law’s bank account—doing so almost entirely in Spanish.  When we finished, Mr. Banks accompanied us to the front door and hugged both of us before we left. I told him it was a pleasure and an honor to meet him. He responded that the pleasure and honor was his. He then turned to my mother-in-law and said “buenas suerte con tu vida nueva in los EstadosUnidos” (good luck with your new life in the United States).

As we were walking back to my apartment, my mother-in-law and I reflected on the helpfulness and kindness of the man who served us at the bank.  More than once she said to me “que un hombre bueno” (“what a good man”).  Ernie Banks was certainly that!

Yes, Ernie Banks was a truly great baseball player—one of the best ever!  But as a trailblazer and a pioneer, as a proponent for acceptance and inclusion, as one who welcomed and assisted immigrants, and as one who made average, ordinary, everyday people feel like superstars when they were in his presence, Ernie Banks was without peer.  And that’s why TV, radio and social media devoted so much time to his passing.

Yes, Ernie Banks was a good man—a very good man! May he rest in peace in God’s loving arms.