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Emilie M. TownesWaiting.  I’ve tried to cultivate patience—genuine patience when I must wait for things.  The result is a mixed bag to be sure. I have times of success and times of utter failure, and I must pick myself up and survey the landscape to evaluate what my next steps should be regardless of the outcome for there is something to be learned either way.  A lot of my job as dean involves waiting and also timing.  I’m not sure which one is more of a challenge but they both require that I take my proclivity for order and control off the table, suspended in midair, as I acknowledge and then act in a fashion that respects that there are many people and factors that are coming together in these moments of discernment.                         

As I begin this new year as dean of the Divinity School, I find myself both waiting and seeking good timing in these 6 months as dean.  I will share with you over these next few months what I believe I have learned/what I am continuing to learn about theological education, collegiality, scholarship, teaching, and service.  They will be, in each case, a conversation starter that I hope will lead to greater reflection on my part and yours as we think through the various ways we can/must do these things or not.  One thing is sure…

…it’s a journey.

Dean Emilie M. Townes 


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