Saturday, 16 May 2015

MAN MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Jamaica Theological Seminary President, Rev. Dr. Garnett Roper

It takes a man with vision to steer a landmark institution like the Jamaica Theological Seminary (JTS) into a future where the possibilities are endless. With passionate commitment and renewed drive, Rev. Dr. Garnett Roper says he's more than up to the task at hand.

> HOW HE'S MAKING A DIFFERENCE: As the head of the 55-year-old institution, Roper is charged with leading one of the island's most venerable Christian-based tertiary institutions into its next chapter. Embarking on a wave of revolutionary new projects is how he's getting the job done. "We are in the process of building a brand-new facility that will help us develop a programme for training teachers of students with special needs," Roper explains. "The programme is a B.A. in Applied Behaviour Analysis that has so far been getting some good response. The main goal is to adequately develop this programme and to start the training in earnest. At the JTS we seek to reinforce values and virtues that are vital but can only be learned through training and cultivation."

> ON RAISING FUNDS THROUGH THE ANNUAL UNCONDITIONAL LOVE MOTHER'S DAY CONCERT: "For us at the JTS music is not just about the sounds. It's also a powerful vehicle for expressing the way we see the world and each other. With Unconditional Love, we affirm love and motherhood and provide a space in which the nation can be reminded of its nobler and better self."

> THE PHILOSOPHY THAT GUIDES HIS LIFE: "To walk humbly and act justly, because by doing so we can transform the world. That's why we place such an emphasis on developing the skills of a cadre of persons through a transformative process."

> HIS LIFE'S DOMINANT PASSION: "I'm a serving-the-people kind of man."

> THE BOOKS HE RECOMMENDS: "There are two books that I want to bring to people's attention at the moment: Living Wisely by Burchell Taylor and Social Justice by Judith Suarez, which we are going to publish very soon."

> THE MARLEY ANTHEM THAT RESONATES MOST DEEPLY WITH HIM: "Redemption Song. I think that's his most powerful song."

> FAIL-PROOF STRATEGY FOR STAYING MOTIVATED: "You just have to focus and take what you're doing seriously. Excellence, integrity and compassion are among the fundamental values and virtues that guarantee success."

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