Professor Robert Barry Leal AM honoured by UTC

On Friday 2 November, Professor Leal was acknowledged with his inclusion on the Significant Leadership Honour Board.

United Theological College proudly recognised the contribution of former Chairperson of the UTC Council, Robert Barry Leal AM, on Friday 2 November, with his inclusion on the UTC Honour Board which recognises “The Significant Leadership in the life of the Centre For Ministry and Constituent Schools”.

With family, colleagues and UTC Companions and community in attendance, Professor Leal’s wife Roslyn (pictured below, far right, with family) along with Academic Dean of UTC Gerard Moore take a close look at the plaque in his honour, upon the UTC Honour Board.

Professor Robert Barry Leal AM, 1935 – 2017
Chairperson UTC Council 2003 – 2006
United Theological College Emeritus Professor
Vice Chancellor University of Southern Queensland, 1992 – 1996
Macquarie University, Emeritus Professor
UTC College Companion, 2007

Words courtesy of Professor Gerard Moore, Academic Dean at United Theological College, Friday 2 November 2018

A respected and valued former member of the United Theological College Council and our Uniting Church community, Robert Barry Leal also served as the Chairperson of United Theological College Council from 2003 – 2006, became a Companion of College soon after, and was a highly respected Ecotheologian.

Following a distinguished academic career, Barry, as he was known, became a student at UTC in 1997.  He was one of three impressive returned figures who took the Ecotheology subject that was taught by Rev Assoc Prof Clive Pearson.  Barry developed his keen interest in ecotheology and biblical studies and was the first person to do a CSU doctorate through UTC.

He completed his doctoral thesis in 2002, with it subsequently published by Peter Lang, New York, in 2004 as Wilderness in the Bible: Toward a Theology of Wilderness.

He published 2 further books in his time at UTC:  The Environment and the Christian Faith: An Introduction to Ecotheology (St Pauls, 2004) and Through Ecological Eyes, Reflections (St Pauls, 2006).

Barry was deeply committed to the care of creation and environment and, through his relationship with Castlecrag Uniting Church, Rev Graham Ellis and UTC, formed one of the first positions in earth ministry for the NSW/ACT Synod.

Barry’s dedication and commitment to the role and importance of UTC was well known amongst the UTC community.  He believed that the college was the ‘hidden gem of the Synod’ and spoke with fondness and passion of the importance of the college within the Synod community.  He led the UTC Council at a time of great change and uncertainty and did so with poise, purpose and conviction.

Robert Barry Leal was a leader among his peers, a mentor to many, a friend, a wonderful counsel to colleagues and his addition to the UTC Honour Board today is a reflection of the high esteem in which he is regarded by United Theological College.


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