Many faculty members of the Seminary are members of various learned societies and attend their annual meetings. From March 12 to 14 Prof. C. E. Wittschiebe attended the Nineteenth Groves Conference on Marriage and the Family, meeting in Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. This is one of the most important meetings each year in this field. The theme of the conference was changing family roles, with emphasis on the development of interpersonal competencies. Among the sponsors were the American Association of Marriage Counselors and the National Council on Family Relations.
Professor Wittschiebe also spent a day in Chicago (March 15), taking part in five sessions of the American Religious Town Hall Meeting of the Air. This program, familiar to many of our people in the Middle and Far West, is directed and moderated by a Seventh-day Adventist, Elder A. A. Leiske. The panel is made up of representatives of the Baptist, Methodist, Episcopalian, and Lutheran denominations, and of the Jewish faith. For each session a guest is invited. He expresses the viewpoints of his denomination on the particular subject under discussion. The program is prepared on film at the American Broadcasting Company's television studio. At present it appears on almost one hundred stations.
The inauguration of James Archibald Jones as third president of Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, held in Richmond early in April, included Dean Charles E. Weniger in the inaugural procession of one hundred and fifty delegates from sister institutions, learned societies, and churches.
The events of the day began with the academic procession, which moved from Watts Hall, the original administration building of the seminary, down the length of the seminary quadrangle, to Schauffler Hall, the seminary church, where the service of inauguration was celebrated. After the reading of the Scripture lesson by the president of the student body, and the charge to the incoming president by the retiring president, Dr. Jones preached the inaugural sermon. His inspiring address presented the church in its twofold office: as a worldwide mission and as a current event.
Dr. and Mrs. Weniger were guests at the presidential luncheon and attended the reception at President Jones's home before returning to Washington.
It is significant to observe that the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary and the Union Theological Seminary in Virginia enjoy most cordial relations. The Virginia seminary has the distinction of operating the Charles G. Reigner Library of Recorded Sermons and Addresses, which circulates, on loan, tape recordings of hundreds of sermons preached by contemporaries. The students of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary enjoy the use of this library. Interpretation, an outstanding journal of Bible and theology, is published by the Union Theological Seminary in Virginia.
On Wednesday, April 4, Dr. R. E. Loasby spoke to students of Union Theological Seminary, in New York, on the theological thinking of Seventh-day Adventists. On the recommendation of their president, Dr. Henry P. van Dusen, Drs. Robert McAfee Brown and Robert T. Handy of that Seminary, who are teaching courses in trends in modern religious thinking, had invited him to meet them and their students. At the close of the class session, although the professors and some of the students had to leave for other classes, the others requested Dr. Loasby to remain for further presentation and questioning.
For another hour and a quarter he discussed doctrines that Adventists hold in common with other evangelical Christians, though often with a different approach or emphasis; also doctrines that we hold with some evangelical bodies, but in connection with which others hold an alternate view—the seventh-day Sabbath, the nature of man, and baptism being examples of the latter class. Then finally he took up purely Seventh-day Adventist doctrines such as the sanctuary, the Spirit of prophecy, et cetera. The main portion of the study was preceded by a short presentation of the very beginnings of Seventh-day Adventist church history. Dr. Loasby was particularly concerned to show how the Sabbath truth was brought to America from England in 1664, and then accepted by William Farnsworth (1807-1888), with his announcement to his Sunday congregation that he was determined to honor God's Sabbath from that day on.
This is the first time any Seventh-day Adventist teacher has been invited to Union Theological Seminary, in New York, for the purpose of presenting his beliefs to teachers and students of that great institution. We hope it will not be the last time. Dr. Loasby was received and listened to with Christian courtesy and friendliness.