About The Warren L. Dennis Annual Metro-Urban Lecture Series
The New Brunswick Theological Seminary Warren L. Dennis Annual Metro-Urban Lecture Series is intended to help revitalize the study and practice of urban ministry in theological education in North America.
Programs for urban ministry in theological education have often focused on specific skills or strategies that define cities in terms of their deficiencies. Cities have been seen as places of poverty, violence and oppression that are in need of outside intervention in the form of missions or evangelism. The work of churches, other religious institutions, communities and the broader context of urban life (corporations, financial institutions, hospitals, entertainment, legal systems and law enforcement, universities, transportation system, etc.) have too often been ignored in these educational models. As a result, many of the traditional approaches to urban ministry in theological education have become increasingly ineffective.
Institutions of theological education must establish an urban ministry body of knowledge that connects faculty, students and pastors to the systemic realities and challenges faced in our inner city neighborhoods. The Warren L. Dennis Metro-Urban Lecture Series will strive to develop new models for urban learning and leadership training, and to provide new resources for teaching urban ministry in theological education that reflect more inclusive concerns and commitments. The lecture series will challenge seminaries to assume greater public responsibility for helping urban congregations and other private and not-for-profit institutions shape the character of effective urban ministry in this new century.
About Warren L. Dennis
On the occasion of his retirement in May 2015, Warren Dennis was honored with a resolution from the Seminary Board of Trustees naming him Professor Emeritus of New Brunswick Theological Seminary. Dennis served as The Dirck Romeyn Professor of Metro-Urban Ministry and Director of Doctoral Ministry at NBTS from 1992-2015. He developed an urban concentration in NBTS’
Master of Theological Studies and Master of Divinity degree programs, and he established the first Doctor
of Ministry in Metro-Urban Ministry degree for professional clergy development. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA. Prior to coming to New Brunswick in 1992, he served for eight years as the Associate Executive for Metropolitan Ministries and Mission for the Presbytery of Detroit, supporting 92 churches and four campus ministries. From 1980 to 1985, he was pastor of First and Olivet Presbyterian Church, a multiracial congregation in Wilmington, Delaware, specializing in inner-city ministry in culturally diverse neighborhoods.
As a retirement gift, former students of Dennis established the Warren L. Dennis Lecture in Metro-Urban Ministry Endowment to ensure his legacy lives on in a new and tangible way.