Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary kicked off its 163rd academic year with its opening convocation, which took place Thursday, September 8, 2016, at the Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel. Louisville Seminary faculty, staff, students and friends attended the event, where the Rev. Dr. Felicia Howell LaBoy
was formally installed as associate dean of black church studies and advanced learning and assistant professor of black church studies.
LaBoy, a recognized expert in the fields of faith-based community development, social justice, evangelism, racial reconciliation and leadership development, joined the seminary’s faculty in 2015. Her convocation address, The Cost to Change: What it Really Takes to BE and DO Something Different
, drew on Luke 5:1-11
and addressed the need to make some tough personal changes in our lives to live in the spirit of Christ. Such challenges may include shedding our apathy, giving up our reputation or even be mocked by others with differing opinions.
“This is relevant in the midst of the systemic racism prevalent on our society,” said LaBoy. “If those with privilege are unwilling to accept the challenges of change – change that will shake the foundation of our institutions, policies, practices, ideas, and behaviors - then there will be no justice. Peter has to accept the cost of change to be a true servant of the Lord, and so must we.” LISTEN TO FELICIA LABOY’S CONVOCATION ADDRESS.
This fall’s convocation also recognized five Louisville Seminary students for their ongoing success in the classroom and beyond.
Second-year Master of Arts (Religion) student Lucas Matthews
received the E.L. Bell Memorial Prize
, which is awarded to a student in his or her first year who has demonstrated excellence in biblical studies. Established in 1953, the award is presented in memory of Edwin Lewis Bell (1864-1942), a deacon and elder of Old Stone Presbyterian Church in Lewisburg, West Virginia, and the father of Margaret Bell Hanna of Lexington, Kentucky, who was the spouse of Dr. C. Morton Hanna (1896-1964), a Louisville Seminary alum, professor and pioneer of the supervised field ministry movement. Lucas is a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and a member of the Church of Christ.
Third-year Master of Divinity student Courtney Bowen
received the Burton Z Cooper Prize in Theology
, which recognizes the middler student who has demonstrated promise in constructive, philosophical, systematic or contemporary theology. The prize was established in 1995 in honor of Dr. Burton Z Cooper, professor emeritus of philosophical theology, who taught at Louisville Seminary for 28 years, from 1970 to 1998. Bowen is a native of Birmingham, Alabama, and is a member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Fourth-year Master of Divinity student Sherry Green
received the Dean K. Thompson Prize in Practical Theology
, which honors the eighth president of Louisville Seminary, who served from 2004 to 2010. It is awarded to a middler student who has demonstrated excellence in the study of practical theology and in their congregational field education placement. Green is a native of Lexington, Kentucky, and is a member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Two students were honored with the James L. Hyde Award in Pastoral Counseling, Theory and Practice
, which was established in 2009 to honor Dr. James A. Hyde, who directed the marriage and family therapy program at Louisville Seminary from 2003 to 2007. The award recognizes second-year students in the MAMFT program who have demonstrated excellence in marriage and family therapy and pastoral counseling theory and practice during his or her first full year of involvement in the MAMFT clinical and academic program. This year’s recipients are Nancye Browning
, a second-year non-denominational MAMFT student from Louisville, Kentucky, and Annie Williams
, a second-year Evangelical Presbyterian MAMFT student from Trenton, Tennessee. READ SEMINARY PRESIDENT MICHAEL JINKINS' OPENING PRAYER. SEE IMAGES FROM LOUISVILLE SEMINARY’S 2016 FALL CONVOCATION.