Debbie Roberts, assistant professor of reconciliation studies at Bethany Theological Seminary, will resign her position as of December 31, 2017. She has received a call to pastor the Sunnyslope Church of the Brethren in Wenatchee, Washington. To maintain continuity during the remainder of the academic year, Roberts will teach reconciliation studies courses already scheduled for spring 2018 in an adjunct capacity.
Hired in July 2013, Roberts was the first to hold this faculty position at Bethany and developed the Seminary’s newly named academic program in reconciliation studies. Her courses in conflict transformation, mediation, and restorative justice showed strong enrollment, including both Bethany and Earlham School of Religion students, and the position was renewed in 2016. That fall her courses became the core of Bethany’s new specialized graduate certificate in conflict transformation.
Steven Schweitzer, academic dean, notes the valuable contribution Roberts has made to the Bethany faculty and that she has been approved as a continuing adjunct faculty member, to begin January 1. “Debbie’s courses in reconciliation studies bring creative, practical, and essential approaches to conflict transformation that are sorely needed by our students, our congregations, our country, and our world. Her commitment to students, both face-to-face and online, and to a deep educational experience are obvious to those who know her. Although there will be a transition and her focus will be congregational ministry, I am hopeful that she will be able to teach for Bethany as an adjunct in the coming years.