Scott Anderson, Doctor of Ministry
Scott Anderson’s longstanding relationship with the School of Theology and Ministry traces back long before he decided to pursue the Doctor of Ministry degree. With each experience and interaction, Scott was drawn more deeply into the mission and vision of the school, becoming more convinced of the richness of its ecumenical vision and in-depth scholarship around questions of leadership and spirituality. When the School of Theology and Ministry developed a Doctor of Ministry degree program, he says, “The choice was easy.”
In his time at the School of Theology and Ministry, Scott has valued the school’s big-hearted community that is religiously, socially, economically, sexually, and racially diverse. Describing himself as “a person who is privileged by just about every standard,” he has appreciated the opportunity to grow in his understanding of privilege among a community of such grace. He hopes it is making him a better disciple of the Christian Way, and an agent for justice and reconciliation in the world.
One lesson Scott has learned from his professor, Dr. Lê Xuân Hý, speaks to the challenge of developing an understanding across cultural divides. Dr. Lê Xuân Hý taught how the diversity within is bigger than the diversity between. For Scott this meant, “We share far more as humans than we have differences. Paying attention to our similarities enable us to draw insight and strength from what makes us different.”
Scott’s education and church leadership continually impact one another. The school has connected Scott with a community of people working for justice. Many of his colleagues are also graduates of the School of Theology and Ministry. Together, they are engaged in developing non-profits closely partnered with churches to address questions of homelessness.
In addition, his experience as a pastor guides the questions he asks in his academic work, and he uses what he has learned in class to address current church issues. Scott has recently added some teaching roles that are a direct result of the completion of his degree. He has also used his studies to help his congregation and denomination understand and navigate the seismic changes that all churches and institutions are currently facing.
Scott says his experience has convinced him that we need new ways of being that recognize, and then strengthen, our deep connections without losing what is unique and extraordinary about each of us. He adds:
“The School of Theology and Ministry, more than any educational institution I have encountered, is engaged in pioneering theological formation that prepares leaders and their institutions for the rapidly shifting landscape we are all trying to navigate.”