Brazilian-born Cláudio Carvalhaes called as Assistant Professor of Worship
Louisville Seminary | May 05, 2006
At their spring meeting, April 22, 2006, the Board of Trustees of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary unanimously elected Rev. Cláudio Carvalhaes to serve on the faculty as Assistant Professor of Worship and Preaching. Carvalhaes is completing his doctoral studies at Union Theological Seminary, New York. He will begin his service at Louisville Seminary in June 2007.
“Cláudio Carvalhaes is an extraordinarily engaging, warm, and creative parish pastor, liturgical leader, and academic theologian,” said Seminary President Dean K. Thompson. “His passion for strengthening the church of Jesus Christ through the ministry of worship is a wonder to behold. Claudio is grounded in the historic teachings of our Reformed faith, and his vision for ecumenical and world worship will bless and refresh our congregations of the 21st century with dynamism and integrity.”
Carvalhaes, a theologian and artist, was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, where he also earned his degree from the Independent Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He was ordained at the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil and served two different Presbyterian congregations in São Paulo.
He studied ecumenism in Switzerland at the World Council of Churches and received his MA in theology and literature from Methodist University’s Ecumenical Institute of the Graduate School of Religion in São Paulo.
In a partnership between the Presbytery of São Paulo and the Presbytery of Southern New England and supported by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and Synod of the Northeast, Carvalhaes became a founding pastor of Christ is Life Presbyterian Church, a Portuguese-speaking congregation in Fall River, Mass. An article in The Presbyterian Outlook (June 4, 2001) said that the new pastor brought enthusiasm and a new vision for multicultural outreach in the Presbytery. Through his ministry, Carvalhaes helped others welcome the growing number of Portuguese-speaking immigrants in their community and establish a cultural center for worship among them.
After serving the church for four years, Carvalhaes moved to New York City where he started his doctoral studies at Union Theological Seminary in the area of theology, liturgy, and the arts. Throughout his studies he has provided classroom assistance to notable Union professors including James Cone (“Foundations of Christian Theology,” Fall 2003) and Janet Walton (“Worship and the Arts,” Fall 2004). Carvalhaes has led several traditional and contemporary liturgies at Union’s “James Chapel” and served as the assistant for the “How to do Rituals Workshops” in 2004. He has gained valuable teaching experiences in a number of classes, including the development of the Hispanic Leadership Program at Princeton Theological Seminary and as an instructor for Portuguese-speaking students at Marlborough School of Theology, and he as helped to coordinate programs to raise awareness of international issues within the life of Union Seminary while providing a welcoming environment for international students.
“We are very excited that Cláudio is joining us and will bring not only expertise in ecumenical worship—traditional and contemporary—but also in theology, his collateral field of study. His interests and abilities in art and aesthetics will add a rich dimension to his teaching and provide new opportunities for study for our students,” said Seminary Dean David Hester.
Carvalhaes is a much sought after speaker, writer, and consultant. He has served most recently with the Presbyterian Church (USA) in its peacemaking and immigrant groups ministries. He has published numerous scholarly articles, in both English and Portuguese, on the theology of Paul Tillich, postmodern theological study in Brazil, art and the Reformed faith, and the relationship between theology and liturgy. His book, Trangressões: religião, performance e arte (Transgressions: Religion, Performance and Art) was published in 2005 by Emblema Ideas: Sao Paulo, and in November 2005 he presented a seminar at the American Academy of Religion, entitled “The Poor Don’t Have Sex: The Blind Spots of Sexualities and the Bodies in the Construction of Subjectivity in Latin American Theologies.”
Recently, Carvalhaes was one of the main speakers for “Encountering the Holy at Home,” a conference held at Louisville Seminary in February. “Cláudio is one of the most thoughtful, creative, and engaging speakers we have ever had lead one of our conferences. We are very privileged to be able to now call him our colleague,” said Dr. J. Bradley Wigger, professor of Christian education at Louisville Seminary, who helped to coordinate the conference with the Presbyterian Church (USA).