Johnny B. Hill, new professor at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will deliver the spring convocation address on Thursday, February 15. Hill, who began teaching at the Seminary in September, will also be installed as Assistant Professor of Theology.
The service will be held in the Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel at 10 a.m., and the public is invited to attend.
Hill’s address, “Reclaiming the Prophetic: Toward a Theology of Hope and Justice in a Fragmented World,” will focus on the deep roots of prophetic Christian heritage, from which one can learn the language of hope and justice.
“These themes hold particular meaning for confronting contemporary expressions of human suffering and fragmentation in local and global spaces,” says Hill, who will base his address on II Corinthians 5:18-19, a biblical text about the ministry of reconciliation.
“Whenever the church creatively speaks and acts on behalf of and from the perspective of powerless and marginalized groups, it is participating in God's work of reconciliation in the world. Therefore, structural and systematic issues like poverty, healthcare, incarceration, and escalating militarism must begin to take center stage in theological discourse and in forecasts of the church's mission to the world,” he said.
Hill’s research and writing, including his dissertation, have focused on community and global reconciliation, exemplified in the work of Martin Luther King Jr. and Desmond Tutu. A deep interest in a ministry of reconciliation has led him to participate in many projects aimed at fostering more intercultural and inter-religious conversation, community renewal and reform, and multicultural awareness.
Prior to joining the Louisville Seminary faculty in June 2006, Hill earned degrees at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (PhD) in Evanston, Ill., Duke Divinity School (MDiv; ThM), and Morehouse College (BA). As an ordained American Baptist, he served congregations in urban Evanston, Ill., Durham, N.C., and Philadelphia. He has worked with numerous community organizations in the Chicago area on issues of housing reform and gang violence. And over the years, he has participated in several international mission trips to Haiti, Mexico, Kenya, and Honduras, where he first learned the language of reconciliation and experienced first-hand the global situations that now compel seminaries to become more sensitized and aggressive in preparing men and women for ministries in multicultural communities.
During his first semester at Louisville Seminary, Hill and Seminary colleagues Amy Plantinga Pauw and Scott Williamson taught Faith Seeking Understanding, a core theology course, and his signature course, Theology and Praxis of Martin Luther King Jr. In the spring semester he is offering Black Theology and a new course, designed with Scott Williamson, called Resistance and Reconciliation, in which students will explore these twin themes in African American theological discourse in order to gain an appreciation for the ways in which theologians and ethicists have contributed to the witness of the church in society.
Hill is one of 22 faculty members at LPTS committed to challenging students to live compassionate lives that are congruent with the gospel. The faculty take seriously the commission of Jesus to spread the good news of salvation, justice, love, and mercy by nurturing an environment, which recognizes that people of every race, ethnicity, and culture have an equal claim on Christian heritage, and that understanding God’s redeeming transforming grace should be learned and experienced in a multicultural, inclusive setting.
“Since teaching my first classes at LPTS, I have come to find that students here have a strong desire to become transformative leaders in the church and society,” he said.
For more information about this event, contact the Office of Communications at 800.264.1839 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the LPTS faculty, visit the faculty web page.