The Reverend Dr. Patrick Malloy leaving General Seminary

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Update, 1:20 p.m. ET:

The Reverend Malloy submitted this comment, posted below, recognizing the challenges of managing information in situations such as this:

Some have speculated that the Seminary and, in particular, Dean Dunkle should have published this news before others did.  I assure you that Dean Dunkle would have done just that, but we had not yet reached an agreement about the date.  In the meantime, the letter I sent to my parish was accidentally “leaked.”  It is important to me that, with all the confusion and pain that have come to General Seminary this year, my decision to take up another ministry not add further ugliness.  Especially, I would not want to impute to the Dean a failure to properly act when, if anyone acted improperly, it was I.

8:00 a.m. – The Reverend Dr. Patrick Malloy, Professor Liturgy at General Theological Seminary, has announced he will be leaving New York to take the position of interim dean at St. John’s Cathedral in Denver, Colorado. Malloy was one of the eight professors dismissed (later reinstated) last fall following a work stoppage protesting the new dean and president, the Reverend Kurt H. Dunkle.

Malloy has also been serving as Theologian-in-Residence at St. John on the Mountain in Bernardsville, N.J. Following is an excerpt from his letter to St. John’s:

You have been a true gift to me, because you have allowed me to feel like a priest among you:  something I have felt seldom in my life as a seminary professor.  I will miss being part of your community and of greeting you one-by-one as you head back into the world after we have celebrated together.  So often I have delighted in the warmth of your words and the tenderness of your embrace as we took leave of one another.  I will miss you.

When Susan first asked me to help at St. John’s on big occasions and to preside at your Eucharist on days when she was away, it did not occur to me that it was the beginning of a pastoral relationship and a web of warm acquaintances and heartening friendships, but so it was.  I grieve the loss that I am facing, knowing that the nature of those relationships will now change.  Still, this is the right thing for me to do.  As you know, the past year at the seminary has been very difficult.  Apart from that, though, I long to return to parish work, and this interim year in Denver will move me back into the kind of ministry I envisioned when I was ordained.  It saddens me that to gain that, I will have to lose so much, including my place among you.

Read the entire letter, including a note from the rector and wardens of St. John’s, here.

From his faculty page on the General Seminary site:

Patrick Malloy came to General in 2009 as the Professor of Liturgy.  Malloy has taught at St. John’s University, Collegeville; the University of Santa Clara, California; and Duquesne University, where he was the director of the ecumenical graduate program in pastoral ministry.  During his doctoral work, he was on the staff of the Notre Dame Center for Pastoral Liturgy.

He also worked for five years with an affiliate of the New York Times in national leadership development.

Dr. Malloy is a member of the General Board of Examining Chaplains, and sits on the Board of the Anglican Theological Review. From 2010-2012, he was chair of the task force charged with gathering liturgical resources for the blessing of same-sex unions for presentation at the 2012 General Convention.

Fr. Malloy began as a Roman Catholic and was ordained a deacon in that Church.  In 1991, he joined the Episcopal Church and in 2001 was ordained to the presbyterate by Bishop Paul Marshall of Bethlehem, a ThD graduate of General.

A letter to the New York Attorney General, covered by Christian Today and Episcopal Cafe, suggests that GTS has calculated its actions with the intention of closing the school and selling a high-value Manhattan property:

…the April 20 letter alleges that the situation is now even worse and that the fallout from the row has had serious consequences for the institution. It says: “After worldwide publicity and further protests, several students left at midyear, and the board provisionally reinstated the faculty only for the rest of the academic year, while canceling their academic tenure. No new hires have been announced and several top librarians have left.

“Only one entering student has paid a deposit for admission next fall. The seminary’s accreditation by the Association of Theological Schools is under review; if there’s no faculty, no library, no accreditation and no students, there’s no seminary.”

Recent coverage of GTS developments on Episcopal Cafe:

GTS accreditation “solid” says dean

A review of GTS’ report to General Convention

Posted by Cara Ellen Modisett

Edited to correct title of Christian Today, rather than Christianity Today.

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Keith Gardner
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Keith Gardner

While it would have been great to have a joint statement regarding Reverend Malloy's planned departure, it's not like this departure is a negative thing in and of itself. He's not leaving the church, he's not burning his robes. He's going out into the world to continue the presumably good work he has done heretofore, but on a different stage. This happens in churches and seminaries and cathedrals, and it's a good thing.

What's more concerning to me is that things would be in such delicate balance at the seminary that a minor "bump" like this would be cause for such consternation, apology and analysis. If the faculty and staff are walking on pins and needles to this extent, it really paints a sad picture.

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Julian Sheffield
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Julian Sheffield

Keith Gardner, perhaps you have not been following events at GTS since last September.

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Paul Woodrum
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JC: It came from a confidant with close ties to GTS. Hence I characterized it as a rumor hoping somebody could deny or verify. Actually, it might not be all that bad a plan. Sometimes it takes death to bring forth new life.

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Philip B. Spivey
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Philip B. Spivey

"The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good."
Funeral Blues---W.H. Auden

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Paul Woodrum
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No land. No buildings, No students. No faculty.

Perhaps more accurately, "The seminary will not be."

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June Butler
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Four of the original GTS8 have already or soon will leave GTS.

Professor Joshua Davis
Professor Deirdre Good,
Professor Andrew Kadel
Professor Patrick Malloy

The seminary will not be the same.

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