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Rev. Dr. Felicia LaBoy is Louisville Seminary's new Associate Dean for Black Church Studies and Advanced Learning

Apr 09, 2015

Felicia LaBoyThe Rev. Dr. Felicia Howell LaBoy, Assistant Professor of Evangelization at United Theological Seminary (Dayton, Ohio), has been named Associate Dean for Black Church Studies and Advanced Learning at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. LaBoy (pictured), who also previously served as Director of United Theological Seminary’s Center for Urban Ministry, will begin work at Louisville Seminary on July 1, 2015.

Louisville Seminary’s Board of Trustees approved the appointment on March 31. According to Louisville Seminary President Dr. Michael Jinkins, LaBoy’s credentials as a recognized expert in the fields of faith-based community development, social justice, evangelism, racial reconciliation and leadership development made her the best candidate for the position.

“Our search committee and faculty were impressed by Dr. LaBoy’s enthusiasm, her knowledge base and her extraordinary range of background expertise and education,” said Jinkins. “Dr. LaBoy will strongly contribute to our pursuit of excellence in educating all of our students on the riches of the experience, faith and theological thinking that have emerged from black churches. She will also serve as an excellent resource for education, leadership development and inspiration to predominantly African American congregations in our region. Dr. LaBoy is a consummate professional, a leader of rare abilities, and a fine scholar and teacher.”

As Louisville Seminary’s Associate Dean for Black Church Studies and Advanced Learning, LaBoy will help define the short-term and long-term goals of the seminary’s Black Church Studies, Doctor of Ministry, and Life Long Learning programs. The Black Church Studies program prepares women and men to provide leadership in African American churches by teaching students to honor the history and African American thought traditions through critical theological inquiry and exploration of new and emerging paths. The Doctor of Ministry program is committed to nurturing the spiritual and intellectual growth of those persons who have accepted the call to vocational commitment either in the church or in fields closely related to the mission and witness of the church. The Life Long Learning program offers a series of annual lectures to stimulate pastoral thought and work on issues relevant to Christian life such as evangelism, peace and justice, church growth and multicultural ministry.

“I am excited to join the faculty and staff at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary as it seeks to prepare church leaders to be bridge builders in ways that truly honor diversity and seek genuine unity and reconciliation, especially as these matters pertain to race and interreligious dialog,” said LaBoy. “I hope to work with my colleagues to build on the fine work already being done in this area such that four goals are met.”

Those goals, according to LaBoy, focus on the Black Church Studies program’s capacity to provide clergy and lay with a strong theological foundation by educating them in historical and contemporary black church theological and ethical resources. Second, the program must deepen the theology, preaching, pastoring and community engagement of students by building on current courses and programs, and by engaging pre-eminent theologians and practitioners from within Louisville Seminary and beyond. The program must also couple theology and praxis with an emphasis on the administrative and practical skills necessary for graduates to implement and assess current and future black church ministry. The fourth goal is to ensure that resources from the black church experience are well integrated into all aspects of seminary life as a model for the necessity for a multiplicity of voices to provide a fuller picture of the Christian life and the human experience.

LaBoy received her doctorate in theology, ethics and history as well as her Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Evanston, Illinois), her Master of Arts degree in Christian ministries from Indiana Christian University (South Bend, Indiana), her Master of Business Administration degree from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business (Durham, North Carolina), and her Bachelor of Science degree in business and economics from Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania). She is a certified professional trainer with emphasis on teambuilding, diversity training and leadership development.

She is also a certified Elder in Full Connection with the United Methodist Church (Northern Illinois Conference) and received a certification in evangelism from the General Board of Discipleship of United Methodist Church (Northern Illinois Conference). She has served in three different congregations.

Her forthcoming book, Table Matters: The Sacraments, Social Holiness and Evangelism will be available through Wipf & Stock Publishers.
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