July 2, 2005: Headlines: Figures: Staff: Journalism: Theology: Winston-Salem Journal : Divinity school to start Moyers Scholar program

Peace Corps Online: Directory: USA: Special Report: Peace Corps Deputy Director Bill Moyers: February 9, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Staffer Bill Moyers : July 2, 2005: Headlines: Figures: Staff: Journalism: Theology: Winston-Salem Journal : Divinity school to start Moyers Scholar program

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Divinity school to start Moyers Scholar program

Divinity school to start Moyers Scholar program

James Dunn and his wife, Marilyn, have given the divinity school $100,000 to establish the Bill and Judith Moyers Scholar Program. Dunn, 73, said he and his wife have long wanted to do something to honor Moyers, an internationally known journalist, commentator and author and a founding organizer of the Peace Corps.

Divinity school to start Moyers Scholar program

Divinity school to start Moyers Scholar program

WFU professor shared interest in ethics with Bill Moyers while both were students of theology

By Mary Giunca
JOURNAL REPORTER

A friendship that began more than 50 years ago between two divinity-school students who shared an interest in ethics has resulted in a substantial gift to the Wake Forest University Divinity School.

James Dunn and his wife, Marilyn, have given the divinity school $100,000 to establish the Bill and Judith Moyers Scholar Program. Dunn, a professor of Christianity and public policy at Wake Forest, met Moyers at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Moyers Scholar program will provide money for one student a year from the Wake Forest Divinity School to serve as an intern with the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty in Washington. Students can apply in the spring of 2006. The committee is a 70-year-old organization with a mission to defend and extend religious liberty. Dunn was the executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for 20 years.

Dunn, 73, said he and his wife have long wanted to do something to honor Moyers, an internationally known journalist, commentator and author and a founding organizer of the Peace Corps. He also wanted to do something to broaden Wake Forest students' perspective.

"This will give them a large slice of reality," Dunn said. "They'll be working on Capitol Hill, and going to House and Senate hearings and press conferences."

If the internship nudges students toward a Moyers-like view of the world, so much the better, Dunn said. He described himself as a Bill Moyers "groupie." Dunn said that Moyers has changed the way America thinks about health care, religion and urban blight, among other things.

In making the gift, Dunn said that he and his wife are making a statement to Wake Forest students.

"We want them to see that their theology engages the world," he said, "and it's not something for church or for Sunday or their own private navel-gazing."

Bill Leonard, the dean of the Divinity School at Wake Forest, said that the school welcomed the chance to send more students to the Baptist Joint Committee and to be linked with a respected name in theology and public policy.

"It means we don't turn them loose in Washington without a network or a safety net," Leo-nard said. "It also means they're working with one of the foremost religious lobbying agencies in the country."

He said that Moyers' form of investigative reporting is a helpful model for the kind of research Wake Forest would like to encourage its students to undertake.

Dunn said: "Bill and I have always been ethics-oriented. We don't see any point in abstract theology. That doesn't have anything to do with how you live."

Dunn said he never would have considered naming the program for himself and his wife.

"On my soul, I wouldn't think of that," he said.

"We don't have anything named for us. We don't have a dog named for us."

Mary Giunca can be reached at 727-4089 or at mgiunca@wsjournal.com





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Story Source: Winston-Salem Journal

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; Staff; Journalism; Theology

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