Brite dean pursues call of God in job

Brite Divinity School Dean Nancy J. Ramsay said she is not doing what she does simply for the sake of the students at Brite. Ramsay explained that those students only get the benefit: She feels called by God to the work.”A call suggests that God calls us to do something that uses our gifts and passions,” she said. “I had the sense that my calling could help me keep my faith.”

Ramsay, an executive vice president and dean of Brite, is extremely qualified and committed to Brite, said Brite President Newell Williams.

Ramsay came to Brite with an extensive background in pastoral theology and pastoral counseling, and she is dedicated to her in-depth research in intimate violence, child sexual abuse and domestic violence.

“I am passionate about assuring that students at Brite are well equipped to serve congregations in an able way, because I believe that congregations are called to witness to God’s love and justice,” Ramsay said.

As a friend, Ramsay is a genuine treasure, said Karen Anisman, Ramsay’s friend and TCU staff member.

Anisman met Ramsay in the summer of 2001, where they were attending a prejudice reduction “train the trainer” conference.

“We immediately connected and spent time together at the conference,” said Anisman.

They kept in touch through e-mail until Ramsay came to TCU this past year, she said.

“Dr. Ramsay’s work and her life are reflections of her values. She is a person of integrity who not only ‘talks the talk’ of inclusion and tolerance, but she also ‘walks the walk,'” said Anisman. “She celebrates diversity and works tirelessly to understand others different from herself and to fight against the marginalization of the powerless in society.”

Ramsay has already started making an impact at TCU and in the Fort Worth community, Williams said.

“Here at Brite we want to work with TCU,” Ramsay said. “We are eager to collaborate with persons who want to help address the politics of differences, such as racial, cultural, class, sexual orientation and religion, that often serve to divide.”

She joined the Brite staff in June and has already accomplished a lot, said Newell Williams, president and professor of modern and American church history.

“She has worked with Brite faculty to develop a revised process for mentoring and reviewing pre-tenure faculty,” Williams said. “She has also initiated criminal background checks on Brite students, and TCU is one of the first seminaries to do this.”

Ramsay has not started teaching at Brite, but she plans to teach a graduate course on gender, race and class.

Williams said Ramsay has many qualities that make her an asset to Brite.

“She is a person of Christian conviction, committed to the life and work of the church and passionate about theological education. She is also an great listener,” Williams said.