Oklahoma clergy group awarded grant from Columbia Theological Seminary

Oklahoma clergy group awarded grant from Columbia Theological Seminary


Jeremy Graham, Wendell Sutton, Levi Jones, Eli Pagel, Marty MichelsonJeremy Graham, Wendell Sutton, Levi Jones, Eli Pagel, Marty Michelson, and Stephen Vandervort (not pictured)
BETHANY, Okla. (November 16, 2010) - Southern Nazarene University faculty member Marty Alan Michelson, Ph.D. was selected by the Center for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary (CTS) as part of a six-member clergy group from Oklahoma to receive the Lilly Endowment, Inc. funded S3 (Sabbath, Study, Service) Project grant. Along with Michelson, the other Oklahoma group members include Eli Pagel, Jeremy Graham and Wendell Sutton of Mid-America Christian University, Rev. Levi Jones of Piedmont Church of the Nazarene, and Rev. Stephen Vandervort of Wenatchee Church of the Nazarene. Each participant in the group is a graduate of SNU, invited into the cohort application process by Michelson.


The purpose of the S3 Project is to provide funding that offers peer groups of clergy and other church professionals an opportunity to collaborate and construct ministry-strengthening learning experiences related to Sabbath, study and service. The CTS selection committee chose the group from Oklahoma based on the age and Christian denominational diversity of the group's members as well as the strength of the group's proposal. The Oklahoma clergy group will join five other groups of colleagues from around the U.S. 0n the campus of CTS in February 2011 to form the 2011 cohort group of the S3 Project. Collaboration will continue through 2012.

When asked about expectations for participation in the S3 Project, Pagel responded, "The S3 Project offers a remarkable blend of opportunity and challenge. It offers the opportunity to have a funded study project that many dream about, but few have the opportunity to pursue. It offers the challenge of collaborating with peers over an extended period of time on a project."

The Oklahoma group plans to use the S3 Project as an opportunity to nurture conversation based on reading and study to cultivate new concepts for practical church ministry in each of the member's separate parish locations. The group members have already begun written collaboration, and at the completion of their study, they will seek publication of their collective ideas and ministry focus through appropriate publishers.

Southern Nazarene University's mission is to transform lives through higher education in Christ-centered community. As a Christian community of scholars, we model the hospitality of grace, the pursuit of truth and the practice of discipleship, all within the Wesleyan-holiness tradition, as we prepare graduates who THINK with clarity, ACT with integrity and SERVE with purpose.