Raymond Pickett

The 2010 Durstan R McDonald Teaching Award

Raymond Pickett

Faithful pastor, patient teacher, wise counselor, you taught biblical studies in Austin, Texas as a member of the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest faculty from 1996 until 2009. Lutheran and Episcopal students in the Master of Divinity program, people preparing for vocations in the CCMV program, the congregation of St. Martin's Lutheran church, clergy and church people all over the country have been challenged, provoked, surprised, motivated, and transformed by your exploration of Christian sacred texts.

You initiate and accompany your students in a process of reading and interpretation that is grounded in the text and its history and drawn forward into the world in which we live out our faith.

Trained in New Testament, you read the gospels and letters of Paul in the rich soil of first century Jewish piety and faithfulness, within the economic and social context of the Roman Empire, and with a critical perspective on the political realities of present day Austin, Chicago, America, and the world.

Graduates speak of taking Greek reading every semester with you because of the power of simply reading the Greek New Testament with their classmates. In electives you opened up the treasures of Matthew, Luke, Philippians, Romans, and Parables. Always you asked how these texts motivated ancient readers, what values they conveyed, and what practices they engendered.

Your teaching is effective because in your attentiveness, your commitment, and your integrity, you exemplify the spirit of the texts – you are honest, self-critical, compassionate, and humble.

You left LSPS and Seminary of the Southwest to take a position as Professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. There you exercise your scholarly gifts and pedagogical wisdom in mentoring and supervising doctoral students, teaching students preparing for ordination, and in your research, writing, and speaking.

In thankfulness for the profound ways that you have shaped our curriculum, our colleagues, and our community, we are pleased to present you with the 2010 Durstan R McDonald Teaching Award.