Dr. James Papandrea, (Adjunct Professor in the Institute for Diaconal Studies) was promoted to full professor by his home institution Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. On September 20, 2018 he was installed to his new rank by Garrett President Laleen Rector and Dean Luis Rivera, in the presence of the Very Rev. Thomas A. Baima, Vice Rector of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, members of the Garrett faculty and community, along with colleagues from his long association with the Archdiocese of Chicago.
“Dr. Papandrea has been a valued member of the Institute for Diaconal Studies faculty for several years.” Said Deacon Bo Puhala, the institute director. “His high level of scholarship is a real benefit to the men preparing for ordination as deacons of the Archdiocese of Chicago.”
As the sole Roman Catholic on the full-time faculty of the Methodist seminary, Dr. Papandrea’s daily work is an exercise in ecumenical theological dialogue. In her introduction, Dr. Stephanie VanSlyke, (Affiliate Professor of Church History), noted his ground breaking scholarship on Novatian, especially the work De Trinitate, “which shows Novation’s theology is orthodox, even if his ecclesiology was schismatic.”
In his inaugural lecture, Dr. Papandrea proposed the thesis that Christian unity is necessary for the integrity of the Body of Christ and the gospel mission of evangelism. He further rooted his claim in the recognition by all the churches in a common baptism using the Trinitarian formula from Matthew 28, without exception. He exhorted the ministers present to avoid any practice that would cause another church to question the validity of baptism. As he developed his lecture, he noted that historically, both Catholics and Protestants find agreement in the first three ecumenical councils and their doctrinal content. This provides us with the Trinitarian and Christological foundations for the work of Christian unity.