NBTS E-Story

Celebrating a Remarkable Tenure and The Richard Sturm Scholarship

NBTS, with tremendous gratitude and fondness, announces the retirement of the Rev. Dr. Richard Sturm and the establishment of an endowed scholarship in his honor.

Dr. Sturm's home congregation, the Park Avenue Christian Church in Manhattan, honored his retirement on Sunday, May 5th at 11am with the announcement of the Richard E. Sturm Scholarship at NBTS. President Gregg Mast extended an invitation to the event: "I am delighted to have been invited to preach the sermon that morning. And Park Avenue's pastor, Dr. Alvin Jackson, asked me to invite the Seminary community to join the congregation."

Priority for the scholarship awards will be given to New York NBTS students, particularly those whose ministries affirm the inter-relationship of Bible, Theology, and the Arts.

"I was filled with joy to see the Park Avenue church appreciates Dr. Sturm as much as we do," explains Cathy Proctor, director of development. "The idea of the scholarship is very beautiful and moving-it will help deserving students and serve as a lasting tribute to this very remarkable and humble man."

For more than two decades, Dr. Sturm has served as the administrative director of the New York program of NBTS at St. John's University in Queens. During that time, Dr. Sturm was the faculty advisor to all students in the New York program. And as the liaison between the Protestant seminary and the Roman Catholic University, Dr. Sturm's commitment to ecumenical ministry helped anchor the program's deep sense of Christian fellowship. Dr. Sturm has nurtured students from scores of denominational backgrounds. It is his thirty-fifth year as a teacher. His publications include essays in an Introduction to the New Testament (Chalice Press) and Toward Tragedy: Reclaiming Hope (Ashgate Press).

A native of Oklahoma, Dr. Sturm came to New York City back in 1970 to attend Union Theological Seminary. There he received the M.Div., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. For years he served as Editor of the Union Seminary Quarterly Review. As a Teaching Assistant, he taught at Union Theological Seminary, and as an adjunct, he taught at New York Theological Seminary, General Theological Seminary, Drew Seminary and Hunter College. Before coming to New York, Dr. Sturm earned A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in Comparative Literature and established a life-long love of creative arts, as he explains.

Anyone who would like to honor Dr. Sturm's commitment to the Seminary and the Arts is encouraged to contribute to
The Richard Sturm Scholarship Fund.

Note: On the second payment page, when you are asked to "Specify donation fund or leave blank" please specify the Richard E. Sturm Scholarship Fund.

"I am intrigued by the intersection of theology and the arts. From the singing of psalms to preaching, the arts in worship allow us to connect with God emotionally, spiritually, and physically, so that heart, soul, strength, and mind are all involved. And as perhaps our best combatant against religious legalism and intolerant bibliolatry, the arts share something of the Holy Spirit that gives life and freedom, overturning the letter of religion that kills."

Dr. Sturm's Christian ministry dates back to 1974 when he was ordained in the Oklahoma Disciples of Christ church where he grew up. He served as Associate Minister at Park Avenue Christian Church in Manhattan where he served as Moderator of the congregation, Pastoral Partner, Minister Elder, and is now Vice Moderator of the Ministry Council. In his denomination, Dr. Sturm has served on the Executive Committee of the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ, as Representative of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and on the General Board and the Northeast Regional Board.

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