This issue of Panorama marks the last in a series highlighting the individual components of our vision statement adopted in May 2007. Its final point expresses our goal of preparing “responsible stewards who know how to raise and manage resources while encouraging people to be ‘cheerful givers.’” How biblically fitting that this point comes seventh on our list.
For throughout the Bible, the number seven represents completeness, perfection, maturity—the finished product. In Genesis, the seventh day of the week completes it with a period of resting from work, after God’s own example. The stewardship of time. In Acts 6, seven administrators are chosen to ensure the fair distribution of food among the poor Christian widows in Jerusalem. The stewardship of resources. Biblical examples can be multiplied many times over with regard to a whole host of stewarding responsibilities and opportunities. But back to the point: our vision for complete, "ministerially mature” pastor-theologians from Pittsburgh Seminary necessarily includes their preparation for stewardship. This vision recognizes that stewardship involves both giving and managing. Christian leaders need to be good givers and managers themselves (witness the parable of the talents!), and as a Seminary we bear the responsibility for teaching our students by example in these areas.
The Bible admonishes us to “make the most of our time,” to “bear one another’s burdens,” to manage God’s creation, and, as Christian leaders, to “shepherd” Christ’s “sheep.” In short, we are to dedicate ourselves, in whatever we do, to acting for God’s glory. I trust that as you read this issue of Panorama, you will gain new insight into the vital Christian ministry of stewardship. At Pittsburgh Seminary, it isn’t just something we do out of duty. It is something we deeply believe in.
William J. Carl III, President