At this year’s graduation ceremony, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago will honor a hometown organization, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc. (SDPC) On Sunday, May 18, LSTC will bestow its highest honor given to exemplary organizations, the Community of the Cross Award. Dr. Iva Carruthers, founding CEO and general secretary, will accept the award as the group’s representative.
The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference is an organization committed to connecting African American faith and social justice leaders with one another. Together, they work to address individual, local, national and global issues that impact people of African descent. They collaborate to focus on uplifting people in need of advocacy, such as those impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Linda Thomas, professor of anthropology and theology at LSTC, nominated the organization for the award.
“I nominated the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference for the Community of the Cross Award because of its faithful commitment to support the global community of people of African descent. The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference's Christ-centeredness represents the public church's mission in the world,” said Thomas.
The organization is named for the late Rev. Dr. Samuel DeWitt Proctor, who was a writer, teacher and leader in social justice and educational institutions. It is committed to social action as expressed by the phrase “Remember, Reclaim, Revive, and Restore,” which extends to cultural, ecumenical and interfaith diversity. Its emphasis on diversity and social justice represents a shared mission with LSTC. Students at LSTC are encouraged to attend these conferences to enhance their ministry skills and spiritual depth. As LSTC plans for curriculum revision, SDPC serves as an inspiration to the school.
The Community of the Cross award originated at Christ Seminary-Seminex, a predecessor school of LSTC. The award transferred to LSTC when Seminex faculty joined the current institution. LSTC presents this award at commencement to “a community, institution, congregation, or any collectively functioning Christian group whose actions manifest the invitation of our Lord to take up the cross and follow him, and whose service is directed to the world around it, both Christian and non-Christian, and whose satisfaction and honor clearly derive from the gospel.” Recipients of the award are nominated and approved by the faculty.
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The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.