Dr. Susan R. Garrett, Professor of New Testament, addressed "How Much Change is Really Possible? during her installation as Dean of Louisville Seminary at the Opening Convocation of the 159th fall semester on Thursday, September 6, 2012 in the Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel.
"Twenty-five years ago a mentor told me that one day I would be a dean. I said, “No way,” Garrett said. "Yet, here I stand, compelled by my own experience to bear witness to the way that God can open our ears to hear a new call and remake our hearts to enable a faithful response."
Garrett, a dedicated teacher, said that personal transformations, like her own, have profound implications for institutions.
"Promises of transformation are at the heart of the Gospel. Jesus promised his disciples that they would find life, and as risen Christ he proclaims, ‘See, I am making all things new,’” said Garrett. “I want to explore what such promises mean for us both as individual Christians and as leaders striving to ensure that our institutions—including this Seminary—reflect the mind of Christ and serve as his faithful agents of transformation in the world.”
Garrett, who has been serving as Dean since June, will succeed David C. Hester, who now serves as
Director of Graduate Studies and Continuing and Lay Education. She came to Louisville Seminary as Professor of New Testament Studies in 1995 after teaching previously at Yale Divinity School and Emory University. She recently concluded eleven years as Coordinator of the Grawemeyer Award in Religion and also served as Vice Chair of the most recent strategic planning process at the Seminary which yielded "Covenant for the Future," a plan to provide full-tuition scholarships for all students by 2015.
Garrett continues teaching courses on the New Testament and the beginning seminary course, Transforming Seminary Education, for which she, and her colleague and co-teacher Dr. Carol J. Cook, were recently awarded the 2012 Metroversity Grawemeyer Special Merit Award for Outstanding Instructional Design.
Garrett, a Fulbright Scholar and a Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology, is also the author of a number of scholarly articles and several books, including a children’s devotional book co-authored with Professor Amy Plantinga Pauw. Dr. Garrett’s book No Ordinary Angel: Celestial Spirits and Christian Claims about Jesus (Yale University Press, 2008) was first-place winner of the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Award in the religion category.
Dr. Garrett earned degrees from Duke University (Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, 1980), Princeton Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity, 1983), and Yale University (M.A., 1985; M.Phil., 1986; and Ph.D., 1988).
Dean Garrett’s address is posted online at www.lpts.edu,"Chapel Sermons"