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Debra J. Mumford to be installed as homiletics professor at opening Convocation service

by Louisville Seminary | Aug 28, 2008
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will begin its 156th academic year with an opening Convocation and the installation of Dr. Debra J. Mumford as Frank H. Caldwell Assistant Professor of Homiletics.

The service will be held September 4, 2008, at 10 a.m. in the Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel on the Seminary campus. The public is invited to attend.

Dr. Mumford will deliver the Convocation address, “Total Praise: A Vision for Holistic and Interconnected Christian Lives.” In her address, she will urge her listeners to embody in their daily lives the praise they render to God in corporate worship. Using the concept of globalization as a reminder of human interconnectedness, Mumford will encourage Christians to develop mind, body, and spirit for the purpose of advancing causes of justice for all people rather than living their lives solely for their own personal gain.

Mumford, a native of Kinston, North Carolina, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University, Washington, District of Columbia; Master of Divinity from the American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, California; Master of Arts in Biblical Languages, and Ph. D. in Homiletics (with an allied field in New Testament) from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She began teaching at Louisville Seminary in the fall of 2007.

Her dissertation, entitled “Above All Prosper: A Critical Analysis of the Preaching of Creflo Dollar, Jr.,” compared Crelfo Dollar’s preaching to African American prophetic preaching. Mumford’s academic interests include African American prophetic preaching, preaching and culture, eschatology and preaching, congregational exegesis, and anxiety and preaching. Her recent publications include “Jeremiah Wright and Black Prophetic Preaching” and “Prosperity Preaching: Will Jesus Make You Rich?” for The Thoughtful Christian.

Mumford is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Church and has served as associate minister at Parks Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Formosan United Methodist Church, and Church By the Side of the Road, all in Northern California. She also served as Youth Outreach Coordinator for the Chaplaincy to the Homeless in Berkeley; Director of Operations for the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, California; Director of Recruitment and Admissions at both Pacific School of Religion and the American Baptist Seminary of the West in Berkeley, California.

She was a doctoral fellow with the Fund for Theological Education during her doctoral program and has professional memberships with the Academy of Homiletics, the American Academy of Religion (AAR), the black Scholars Group of AAR, and Together in Ministry Covenant Group. Locally, she also serves as a mentor for the Louisville Youth Group, a community grassroots organization that provides resources and safe space for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning young people.

Assisting in Thursday's Convocation service will be the New Mount Zion Baptist Church Choir of Shelbyville, Ky. The choir is directed by Rev. Kilen Gray (MDiv ’01), a Louisville Seminary alum who also serves as Dean of Students at the Seminary.

The service will also include an annual rite of matriculation, during which new degree students will be welcomed to the 2008-09 academic year. New employees will also be recognized.

Of the incoming class expected this fall, 30 are enrolled in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree program, 7 in the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) degree program, and four in the Master of Arts in Religion (MA).

Denominationally, the majority of the incoming class is Presbyterian Church (USA); however, Baptist, Christian Church, Episcopal, Pentecostal; Roman Catholic, and United Methodist faith traditions, among several others, are also represented. These men and women come from 13 states from coast to coast, including Oregon, New Jersey, Louisiana, Texas, and Wisconsin. Twenty-four students are from Kentucky. This year, the learning experience at Louisville Seminary will be further enriched by a growing diversity among the incoming students, 23% of whom represent racial ethnic minorities and international countries.

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary was founded in 1853, in Danville, Ky. Its mission is to serve the church and the world by educating men and women for participation as pastors, chaplains, pastoral counselors, and leaders in the redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ. The Seminary is one of ten theological schools of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and offers an inclusive and diverse community, welcoming individuals from wider ecumenical backgrounds.

For more information about this event, contact the Office of Communications at 800.264.1839 or 502.895.3411, ext. 362, or by email at lpts@lpts.edu.

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