Stephen G. Ray Jr., associate professor of theology and philosophy at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, has accepted a position to teach at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. The announcement
was shared publicly today in Philadelphia.
Ray, will serve as the Jeremiah A. Wright Sr. Associate Professor of African American Studies and as the program director of the Urban Theological Institute (UTI), beginning July 1, 2005. The 25-year-old UTI program makes it possible for African American seminarians to study part time while they hold regular jobs.
“Stephen has been an outstanding teacher and mentor for our students and a treasured colleague,” said Seminary Dean Dianne Reistroffer. “We support him in this exciting opportunity to direct a long-established, major center of training African American pastors and to teach primarily in a field that has captivated his attention and imagination since Stephen’s seminary and doctoral days at Yale.”
Ray joined the faculty at Louisville Seminary in 1999, bringing with him a variety of experiences as an instructor at Yale and as a consultant on several racial/ethnic projects in New England.
During his time at LPTS, Ray has been recognized for his commitment to teaching with the Kentuckiana Metroversity’s Distinguished Teacher of Adult Learners Award in 2002. In January of 2003, he delivered the Beacon of Life Lectures at Muskingum College. He also wrote Do No Harm: Social Sin and Christian Responsibility (Fortress Press, 2002) and also served on the editorial board of the journal Conversations in Religion and Theology.
Ray accepted the call to teach at Louisville Seminary because of the institution’s commitment to the future health and vibrancy of the Church. His leadership at the Seminary during the past six years has helped to move the institution toward becoming a more diverse and inclusive community, recognizing that such diversity is essential to faithfully reflecting the image of God at work in the world.
“Recently I had the opportunity to sit in a night class, a seminar on philosophic theology, taught by Dr. Stephen Ray,” stated President Thompson. “It became powerfully clear to me that he is a master teacher. He enabled each student to contribute in very special ways. He brought out the best in each person.
“We at LPTS will miss this exceptional professor and dedicated friend. And, as we prepare for a search for this position, we are confident that other outstanding theologians will be eager to open themselves to a possible call to serve the church through teaching at our Seminary. They too will offer strong gifts for leadership, research, and ministry to the preparation of men and women for a life of service in the church.”
Louisville Seminary’s faculty members include theologian-scholars, researchers, counselors, and therapists who are committed to providing high-quality instruction to students. An 11:1 student faculty ratio fosters a collegial learning environment in the classroom, worship, in seminary committees, and even around the lunch tables.
The faculty consists of professors with credentials from some of the world’s leading theological institutions and universities. Nearly 50 percent of the faculty is female, more than 60 percent are members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), but United Methodist, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, United Church of Christ, American Baptist, Reformed Church and Lutheran faith traditions are also represented.
from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.