About, People

BonkovskyFrederick Bonkovsky ’64 B.D. was honored with a Distinguished Service Award from his undergraduate alma mater, Muskingum University, during the university’s 2012 Alumni Weekend, June 15-17.  The DSA awards, sponsored by the university’s Alumni Council, are given to alumni in recognition of their personal and professional achievements and represent the university’s highest alumni honor.  Bonkovsky is currently visiting professor of medical ethics in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.  While serving as director of the Bioethics Department of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, his work helped shape ethics policies of the Institutional Review Boards overseeing biomedical and behavioral research involving human subjects.  A leader in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), he has pastored several congregations and served in the General Assembly. 


“The holder of the Nunnelly chair teaches courses in pastoral leadership that are central to education at Lexington Seminary, and directs our accountable ministry site program that is critical to preparation for pastoral ministry. We are thrilled that Dr. Blodgett is bringing her considerable gifts to these important aspects of educating leaders who can renew the church.” Richard Weis, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean at Lexington Theological Seminary, May 16, 2012, commenting on the appointment of Barbara Blodgett ‘87 M.Div., ‘00 Ph.D., former director of supervised ministries at Yale Divinity School, as the Donald and Lillian Nunnelly  Assistant Professor in Pastoral Leadership at Lexington.


Martin Copenhaver ’80 M.Div., senior pastor of Wellesley Congregational Church United Church of Christ in Wellesley, MA, is the featured speaker Aug. 26 on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, the nationally syndicated ecumenical radio program also accessible online at http://www.Day1.org. He is an editor at large for The Christian Century magazine and contributor to numerous periodicals, and the author or co-author of five books, most recently “This Odd and Wondrous Calling: The Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers,” with Lillian Daniel ’93 M.Div. Copenhaver’s “Day 1” sermon for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost, based on John 6:51-69, is entitled “Eating Jesus.”

Bob Nugent ’84 S.T.M., SDS, explores the unique relationship between Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk, and Sister Therese Lentfoeher of the Salvatorian sisters in his recently released book, Thomas Merton and Therese Lentfoehr: The Story of a Friendship.  Lentfoeher, a published poet and teacher, began exchanging letters with Merton in 1948 and quickly became a confidant, literary critic and assistant in many ways. During the 20-year relationship, she accumulated many of his original works until his untimely accidental death in 1968.  “I think a reader who already knows of Merton will find the aspect of his more personal life both interesting and inspirational,” said Nugent. “For others, this introduction to him through the facet of his friendship with Sister Lentfoeher may lead them to discover and read more about Merton directly.”


 Professor Miroslav Volf’s book A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good received a silver award in the religion category from ForeWord Magazine in the magazine’s listing of 2011 Book of the Year Awards.  Volf is the Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology  and director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture.

 “He worked with churches and counseled pastors, black and white, on how the church should relate to the social changes and how to deal with some of the complications and anxieties of their members about social change.  It was not a highly publicized job, but it needed to be done and he did it well.” Former Atlanta Mayor and civil rights leader Andrew Young, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 30, 2012, commenting on the death of Edward Martin Brown III ’44 B.D., of Atlanta on May 23 from complications of a heart condition. He was 93.


On July 10-15, Bryan Spinks, the Bishop F. Percy Goddard Professor of Liturgical Studies and Pastoral Theology, attended the Fourth Congress of the Society of Oriental Liturgy held at Notre Dame University in Louaize, Lebanon. He has been elected vice president of the Society for the 2014 Congress, to be held at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York, and president for the 2016 Congress. 

The American Foreign Service Association recently celebrated the service of William Lacy Swing ’60 B.D. during the AFSA Awards Ceremony at the U.S. Department of State.  At the ceremony, held June 26, Swing was honored with the AFSA Award for Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy.  Swing is a diplomat and former United States Ambassador, and United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Under Secretary General.   He served as U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Congo, Liberia, South Africa, Nigeria, Haiti, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Frederick J Streets ’75 M.Div., associate professor (adjunct) of pastoral theology and former Yale University Chaplain and Annette Streets ’84 M.Div. participated in a Global Leadership Summit: Transcending Boundaries in Global Change Leadership at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa in July. Professor Streets, as a Senior Fulbright Scholar and Specialist, has been involved with the efforts of the University of the Free State to become a multi-ethnic and multicultural institution in South African higher education since 2010. He assisted in the University of the Free State in establishing its International Institute for Studies in Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice. Mrs. Streets has been involved with assisting women in developing community-based organizations in South Africa. 

“Imagine it. Living with the constant, inescapable reminder of your mortality. Having your body break down and fail you, even as a young child. Wondering, ‘What do I do today, because I might not be here tomorrow?’”  July 11, 2012, from the lead-in to WBUR Boston’s interview with Robert Massie ’82 M.Div., who talks about his new book, A Song in the Night: A Memoir of Resilience.


“Trang’s debut memoir relates her four years at Yale Divinity School, where she examined the sacraments, sacrifice and sex within the tenets of Christianity. Writing from ‘the perspective of someone sitting in the classroom,’ Trang intends her story for not only religious scholars and pastors behind the pulpit, but for lay and nonreligious readers as well. With effortless grace and delicious humor, the book traces the author’s course load and the exchanges she has with her professors, whom she affectionately renames after desserts—Professors PoundCake, BakedAlaska, GingerSnap, RhubarbCrumble, etc.”  Kirkus Review of A Romp Through Divinity School: Sex, Sacrifice, Sacrament: A Memoir of Four Years at Yale (CreateSpace, 2012), by Elizabeth C. Trang ’08 M.A.R.


August 2, 2012
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