RECOLLECTIONS Reminder to Class of 1964


We need your memories!

Deadline for submission has been extended to April 1st!

Memories, photos and highlights of your seminary days will be preserved and bound in a special "Recollections" publication. Each fifty-year class member will receive a complimentary copy.

Join your classmates who have sent in their recollections:

Phyllis Chaffee
James Marvin
Carol Maxwell Kolsti
John Lake
David Durham
Eldon Ernst
Mary Anna Geib
Nape Baker


 Please send your "Recollections" along with a current photo of yourself and any photos you may have from your seminary days by April 1st to:


Mail them to:

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School
1100 South Goodman Street
Rochester, NY 14620-2589



Dr. Paul Hammer will mark the 66th anniversary of his first sermon by preaching at Mountain Rise United Church of Christ, on Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 10 a.m. Paul Hammer was Professor of New Testament at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School for 27 years before retiring in 1995. A Nebraskan and Navy veteran, his theological education was at Yale and Germany’s Heidelberg University. After 10 years as a seminary Professor of New Testament in Wisconsin and Minnesota, came to Colgate Rochester in 1968. 

Paul Hammer has been a member at Mountain Rise church for more than 30 years with wife Esther and daughter Elisabeth. He continues occasional teaching, preaching, and writing. As he preaches on March 16, Paul will also be celebrating his 88th birthday.  Mountain Rise United Church of Christ is located at 2 Mountain Rise, Fairport NY 14450.  ‎


Spring Lecture Series SPOTLIGHT: Kit Miller

Kit Miller, Director, M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence

Kit Miller has served as the director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence since 2009. Her prior position was as director/celebrator of Bay Area Nonviolent Communication in Oakland, California. In part after coming to understand through prayer and meditation about violence within the human heart and mind, and in part responding to the challenges of parenting, Kit began learning about and organizing for nonviolence for the past 22 years in many capacities. In addition to leading the Institute and teaching nonviolence, she works on community projects related to restorative justice, sustainability and race as applications of nonviolence in Rochester. Kit co-leads retreats each year in California and at the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland, working with activists from around the world. She has 3 children and is grateful to have been happily married for almost 23 years.

Ms. Miller will be presenting at the Spring Lecture Series on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 as part of the Nonviolent Communication Training (JC Wynn Lecture)



CRCDS Alumnus Appointed Director of Vital Congregations

The Upper New York Conference is pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Aaron Bouwens (M.Div., '03) will begin serving full-time as the Conference Director of Vital Congregations.

Rev. Bouwens, 38, has led the Conference's church revitalization efforts since the position was created in July 2012; until now it has been a half-time appointment. Rev. Bouwens also serves as co-pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Liverpool.

“Aaron has been doing some great work in the area of congregational revitalization. Going full-time will enable him to expand what we’re able to offer local churches seeking renewal,” said Conference Director of Connectional Ministries the Rev. Bill Gottschalk-Fielding. “It’s another step in our continuing quest to align Conference resources around the needs of our local congregations.”

Rev. Bouwens

Rev. Bouwens said he's looking forward to having the opportunity to focus exclusively on helping congregations revitalize.

"I am excited to have a primary focus; to be able to pick one piece and really look at it," Rev. Bouwens said. "This will give me more time to resource more local churches and to find greater ways to enhance Hand to Plow and the come-along-side strategies of Hand to Plow."

Bishop Mark J. Webb said making this a full-time appointment speaks to the importance of keeping congregations equipped to meet the Church's larger mission.

"Helping congregations continue to be effective and grow in their vitality is essential to living the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world," said Bishop Webb. "Rev. Bouwens has provided leadership to this task, and I am grateful for his continuing call to this work. I hope you will join me in praying for Aaron and his family during this time of transition."

As Director of Vital Congregations, Rev. Bouwens has led Hand to Plow, a multi-year process aimed at assisting churches in increasing discipleship.

Hand to Plow, he said, will continue to be a strong focus, but now he will also be able to work on other projects and explore "all the possible strategies to help local churches."

"I want to emphasize that we are not going to push Hand to Plow out of the way," Rev. Bouwens said. "But Hand to Plow takes a good amount of time, and we recognize that it might not fit everyone's needs."

Rev. Bouwens will be based in the Conference office in Syracuse and, he said, "Wherever my little blue car is."

"I talked about that with my family; I'll be on the road a little more," he said, "but that just means a different rhythm."

He and his wife, Sarah, have three daughters Rachel, 10; Leah, 8, and Hannah, 6. His mother is the Rev. Beth Bouwens, pastor of the Caton UMC.

Before Liverpool UMC, Rev. Bouwens served as pastor of First UMC in Cortland and Faith UMC in Wolcott. He has a BS from Houghton College and earned his MDiv. from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. He completed his Doctor of Ministry with a concentration in leadership in the 21st century in 2013 at Drew University in New Jersey.

Rev. Bouwens said the past 17 months has reinforced an important factor that should inspire and encourage Upper New York members.

We have a lot of people, laity, who are really excited and passionate about the possibility of what the Church could be," he said. "There's a lot of energy from our lay folks."

That energy will be needed, he said, because another lesson reinforced by the work he's been doing is that "changing a church requires a system change, not just a few activity changes."

Rev. Bouwens encourages church leaders and others who want to get involved or learn more about the Conference's church revitalization efforts to contact him at the Conference office at (315) 424-7878 ext. 338 or by email at



NEW OFFERING: FALL 2014 – Master of Arts in Kairos Studies 

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School announced a new Masters track in Kairos Studies beginning in the fall of 2014. The MA in Kairos Studies provides students with unique opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of Kairos from biblical, theological and historical perspectives. Kairos, a Greek word for "time," refers to "God's time" – a concept in sharp contrast to the chronological time by which we most often order our day-to-day lives.

Kairos represents God’s “in-breaking” into the times in which we live, providing an essential lens through which we must view, understand and ultimately respond to the realities of our present lives. The new master’s track in Kairos Studies engages the Global Kairos Movement while continuing the CRCDS legacy of justice with an emphasis on the social gospel. Through the exploration of Kairos, students will learn how to live out the foundational values of justice and love as they are applied specifically to both global and local contexts, while engaging this growing, transformative movement. The MA in Kairos Studies will provide opportunities for global travel as well as a three-month immersion project. It provides students with the concrete tools necessary to speak truth to power, to advocate for the “least of these”, to build communities of radical reconciliation and to boldly proclaim the Gospel.

The degree program consists of 16 courses, 12 required and 4 electives.

Required Courses

  • Introduction to the Old Testament
  • Introduction to the New Testament
  • Christian Belief Today
  • Black Church Studies
  • Women and Gender Studies
  • Faith & Christian Response to Pluralism
  • Kairos Moments in American Religious History
  • Organizing for Change: Tools and Discernment
  • Introduction to Kairos Studies
  • Introduction to Kairos Immersion Final Project (2 course equivalence)

Elective Courses (students may choose 4 of the following):

  • Ministry on the Margins
  • Small Christian Communities
  • Abrahamic Faiths & the Making of War and Peace
  • Global Reading of the Bible
  • Preaching Difficult Texts
  • Feminist/Womanist Preaching
  • Preaching Contemporary Issues
  • Introduction to Islam

Applications are being accepted now.  Click here to request more information.

Or call 1-888-937-3732