During its 213th commencement, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary honored the Rev. Dr. Charles Partee, P.C. Rossin Professor Emeritus of Church History, with The Calian Award for Campus Community Service.
This award is given to an exemplary member of the Pittsburgh Seminary community, who demonstrates excellence in carrying out responsibilities and volunteer assignments and also expresses a caring spirit of good will and hope essential in life together as a community. The award is in recognition that all members of the community are an important part of the success of the Seminary.
This year’s awardee is not known for being a vocal, highly visible part of the PTS community. But, in quiet and steady ways he has had significant impact on generations of students. Partee has been a dedicated employee, a colleague, and gracious spirit to students, faculty, and staff. Returning graduates from the past 30 years number this professor as one of their favorites. His door was always open for good conversation. His annual chapel services, no matter how bizarre the theme, drew crowds to Hicks Chapel. In more recent years, his style evolved as he drew students into the planning process for special music, dance, drama, and technology.
After more than 30 years of teaching at Pittsburgh Seminary, Partee retired this spring. He received his bachelor’s from Maryville College, Tenn. with a major in philosophy. He continued his studies at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where he received the B.D. and at the University of Texas (Austin) receiving his master’s in classical philosophy. He earned his doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary in theology with a concentration in the history of doctrine. Prior to coming to Pittsburgh Seminary in 1978, Partee served as a pastor in Arkansas and New Jersey and as a professor at two colleges. Most of his scholarly writing concerns the theology of John Calvin. Recently he wrote The Theology of John Calvin (WJK, 2008). Partee has also written a book dealing with the pioneer missionary career of his father-in-law, a 1934 graduate of Pittsburgh Seminary, entitled Adventure in Africa: The Story of Don McClure (University of America, 2000), Calvin and Classical Philosophy (Interpretation Bible Studies) (WJK, 1977), and with fellow PTS professor Andrew Purves Encountering God: Christian Faith in Turbulent Times (WJK, 2000).
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is a graduate professional institution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Founded in 1794, the Seminary is located in Pittsburgh, Pa. and approximately 320 students are enrolled yearly in the degree programs. The Seminary prepares leaders who proclaim with great joy God’s message of good news in both word and deed. PTS is rooted in the Reformed history of faithfulness to Scripture and commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.