The purpose of the endowed chair is to support the work of the Girod Research Professor of Reformed Theology and help to cultivate pastor-theologians in the Reformed tradition.
In the Girod Chair we view pastoral ministry as a creative theological space. On behalf of Western Theological Seminary we seek to form ministry leaders to be people who deeply engage theology in the Reformed tradition for the sake of Christ’s church and the world.
To support the mission and identity, we:
Facilitate communal theological reflection for students and pastors
Promote events, publications, and projects that display the promise of a Reformed pastor-theologian vocation for the church today
Provide research opportunities that display a promise of a Reformed pastor-theologian vocation to current WTS students
Offer a distinctive, nationally-recognized “model” of how pastor-theologians are serving the church today
“To be Reformed is to hold within one’s heart a deep conviction concerning the most basic truths set forth in the Word of God.” That was the sentiment of Gordon H. Girod, for whom the Chair is named. Girod was a passionate preacher and pastor who cared deeply about Reformed theology.
In 2013, Girod’s daughter Carol and her husband, David Van Andel, gave a generous gift that would ensure the continuation of the seminary’s focus on training pastors committed to deep theological engagement in the Reformed tradition.
The person chosen to fill this esteemed Chair was Dr. J. Todd Billings, a professor who cares deeply about encouraging pastors to see ministry as a creative theological space.
This combination of care for the church and deep theological thinking exemplifies the focus of the Girod Research Chair today.
The Girod Fellowship
Girod Fellows James Schetelich, Jacob Chipka, & Anna Erickson
The Girod Fellowship is a full-tuition scholarship for research assistants to the Gordon H. Girod Research Chair of Reformed Theology. The program is designed for cultivating Pastor-Theologians for the church and academy. Qualifying students admitted prior to February 1 will be invited to apply for the scholarship. Read about the current Girod Fellows here.
The Girod Fellows and other research assistants meet for a discussion over lunch with their mentor, Dr. Todd Billings.
Grants for Church Leader Groups
Would you like to meet regularly with others to pursue an area of theological engagement? Do you have an idea in mind – but could use some extra funding to pull it off?
In consultation with the Girod Board and under the supervision of the President and the Academic Dean of Western Theological Seminary, the Girod Chair can provide funding for groups of pastors and church leaders with the intent of cultivating a theological approach to pastoral leadership in the Reformed tradition.
Apply here, including a narrative description of your project and any relevant files (advertising materials, budget plans, etc.). Normally, you can expect to hear a response to your application within one week. Depending on the size of the grant request, applications may require additional time for review.
Are you interested in joining a group like this, either locally or online, but don’t have an idea of who you’d invite or what you’d study? Let us know! We may be able to help. Contact Katlyn.