Father Timothy Lowe appointed rector of Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies

by Michael O. Garvey

Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies

The Very Rev. Timothy S. Lowe has been appointed rector of the Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies at Tantur, Jerusalem, according to Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame.

Father Lowe will succeed Rev. Michael B. McGarry, C.S.P., who has served as Tantur’s rector since 1998. Father McGarry, a Paulist priest, recently was elected president of the Paulist Fathers, whose headquarters are in New York City.

Father Lowe, a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, will begin the transition with Father McGarry at the beginning of April.

Father Lowe’s experience in the Holy Land began in 1973 when he visited there as a student to study Hebrew and Arabic. He later attended St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Crestwood, N.Y., and was graduated as valedictorian and ordained to the priesthood in 1983.

Having served in parishes of both the Orthodox Church in America and the Antiochan Archdiocese of North America, Father Lowe took a sabbatical to study at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem in 1997. He returned to the area in 2005 to teach at the Friends School in Ramallah, an American Quaker school for Palestinian girls.

A biblical scholar who also lectures on contemporary affairs in the Middle East, Father Lowe is co-founder and a former president of the Orthodox Center for the Advancement of Biblical Studies. He teaches an Old Testament course at Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Conn., and recently worked at Yale University researching and translating videotaped testimonies of Holocaust survivors.

Established jointly by Notre Dame and Pope Paul VI in 1971, the Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies is located just outside Jerusalem on the road to Bethlehem. Initially a center for theological inquiry and discussion among the divided communities of Christendom, the institute has expanded its programs to include ecumenical scholarship and interreligious dialogue between Christians and those of other world faiths, especially Jews and Muslims.

A residential center for scholars visiting the Holy Land to explore the ecumenical and interreligious dimensions of scriptural, theological and pastoral studies, the institute also offers month-long and three-month sessions in continuing education for parish clergy, religious teachers and other church workers, as well a summer program for Notre Dame undergraduates. More than 5,000 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Roman Catholic scholars have participated in its programs.