"It was a week for everyone to renew their theological understanding and their vocational commitment," said IREPM Director Claire Lowery. "But it was also an ideal setting in which to share ideas about the ministry, what characterizes it today and what we may see in the coming years. The response was overwhelmingly positive."
Numerous current or former IREPM students and staff, as well as University administrators and faculty, were present at the anniversary festivities during July 21-27, which featured lectures, discussions and an open forum on the institute's future initiatives. Two special events, a liturgy and a celebratory dinner, attracted approximately 700 and 400 people, respectively.
"It was wonderful to see how many in the Church across the world are connected in some way to the institute," said former BC faculty member Mary Boys, now a professor at Union Theological Seminary. "This is a community which has grown and spread its influence far and wide, perhaps more so than any of us had realized."
Jack McCall, who helped found the institute, was one of several former directors who came to the celebration. McCall said he was gratified to see IREPM fulfill one of its most essential goals in attracting growing numbers of laypeople to study - this year, he noted, IREPM for the first time had a majority of laypersons (56 percent) - and was pleased at the international presence in the institute.
"IREPM has maintained and enhanced its academic rigor, and is clearly respected around the world," said McCall, who now teaches in the University of North Carolina's public school principals executive program at Chapel Hill.
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