Western Theological Seminary has a long tradition of putting beliefs and convictions into visible objects or form.
This shows up in the shape of the atrium, the redesigned chapel, the circular architectural elements appearing throughout the seminary’s interior, and now, in five new pieces of art in the Jack and Mary DeWitt Learning Center.
Several months ago, WTS commissioned local artist Joel Schoon-Tanis to create four paintings around the theme “The Heart of Western Theological Seminary.” On October 23, Joel revealed and explained his paintings entitled, “Spiritual Development,” “Ministry,” “The Church,” and “Worship.” They can be seen on the east and west walls of the main level of the learning center.
Art expresses who we are and who we aspire to be. One can say that form also forms.
The form of our buildings, art, and programs not only expresses our beliefs and convictions—it forms our students, staff and faculty. So, too, do the books we read.
In that light, this year the faculty assembled a collection of personally recommended books, which are named “A Great Cloud of Witnesses” and are accessible on the second floor of the learning center.
These works of rigorous theology, spiritual piety, biography, history, philosophy, and literature have formed this faculty and community. The books are honest “witnesses” to God’s truth and, like art, they are witnesses of what Western has been, who we are, and who we aspire to be.
2011 M.Div. graduate Nathaniel Bull was commissioned to paint “The Great Cloud,” which was delivered in July and hangs next to the faculty’s recommended books collection.