Debra Mumford accepts call to teach homiletics at Louisville Seminary
Louisville Seminary | May 05, 2006
The Board of Trustees of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary unanimously elected Rev. Debra Mumford to serve on the faculty as Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship. Mumford is completing her doctoral studies in homiletics at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, Calif. She will begin her service at Louisville Seminary in June 2007.
“Debra Mumford's spiritual and academic gifts and graces as a preacher and as a teacher are eagerly awaited by our Louisville Seminary family,” said Seminary President Dean K. Thompson. “During her visit to our campus, her sermon and classroom presentation were inspiring. Indeed, they were laced with power, authority, creativity and prophetic imagination. Her strong background in biblical studies will strengthen the church's future pastors, as they seek to move from text to sermon and to serve as faithful stewards of the mysteries of God."
Mumford is a graduate of Howard University (BS Mechanical Engineering) in Washington, D.C., the American Baptist Seminary of the West (MDiv) in Berkley and Graduate Theological Union (MA, biblical languages). She was also selected as a doctoral fellow for three years (2003-04 through 2005-06) by the Fund for Theological Education (FTE), a leading national advocate for excellence and diversity in Christian ministry and scholarship that seeks to encourage a new generation of gifted pastors and scholars.
As a PhD student at GTU, Mumford has served as an instructor and teaching assistant within the California consortium of schools, including American Baptist Seminary of the West, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Pacific School of Religion, and Patten University in Oakland, and at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Oakland. Through her teaching, she has developed courses and seminars and taught sessions on preaching, biblical interpretation, church administration, and teaching and preaching methodologies. Her current scholarly projects focus on eschatology and preaching, preaching and anxiety, and whether prosperity preaching can be classified as prophetic preaching in the African American homiletic tradition.
“We are grateful to Debra Mumford for her willingness to join our faculty and delighted that she will be sharing her unique gifts as a teacher and scholar in the fields of homiletics and New Testament. Her special concern for questions at the intersection of preaching and prophecy and preaching and eschatology adds another welcome dimension to student learning and collegial conversation,” said Seminary Dean David C. Hester.
“As one might expect of a homiletics professor, Rev. Mumford's preaching skills are of the highest order. But what overwhelmed us were her classroom skills--our students are going to love her and we are all going to learn so much from her,” added Brad Wigger, professor of Christian education and moderator of the search committee, which highly recommended Mumford.
Mumford has also served administratively with three Berkley institutions. Currently, she is the student representative on the Board of Trustees at GTU and the director of recruitment at American Baptist Seminary of the West, where she has served since 2004. She has professional memberships with the Academy of Homiletics, the American Academy of Religion (AAR), the Black Scholars Group of the AAR, and Together in Ministry Covenant Group, among several others.
An ordained minister in the American Baptist Church, Mumford has served as an associate minister at Parks Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Oakland, Calif., and as an outreach coordinator, pastor, and teacher for youth at several communities of faith, including Church By the Side of the Road and Chaplaincy to the Homeless in Berkley, and Formosan United Methodist Church in San Leandro, where she has served since 2003. For four years, Mumford was director of operations for Allen Temple Baptist Church, the 5,000-member congregation in Oakland, Calif., under the leadership of Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith Sr.
“The number of Baptist students has been growing at LPTS, and Debra’s Baptist heritage will be helpful to them and enrich our ecumenical diversity,” said Hester.
In accepting the position at Louisville Seminary, Mumford will join a faculty that is presently comprised of 19 full time professors, half of whom are women. While the majority of the faculty members are Presbyterian, United Methodist, American Baptist, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Lutheran, and Reformed Churches are also represented.
The Louisville Seminary faculty is distinguished in academic fields vital to training leadership for the church, with credentials from some of the world’s leading theological institutions, including Duke, Emory, GTU, Harvard University Divinity School, Princeton Theological Seminary, Yale, Vanderbilt, Union Theological Seminary (New York), Union-PSCE Theological Seminary (Virginia), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Correction made: Mumford was selected as an FTE fellow for three years, not just in 2003 as originally stated. She also earned an MA from GTU. This was omitted in the original release.