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Louisville Seminary Names 2016 Distinguished Alum and First Decade Award Recipients

by Chris Wooton | Feb 22, 2016

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary recently announced the recipients of the 2016 Distinguished Alum Award and First Decade Award.

Distinguished Alums

Established in 1986, the Distinguished Alum Award is given to a graduate of Louisville Seminary who has made a lasting impact on the church and society through outstanding professional, volunteer or philanthropic accomplishments; and/or who has advanced the seminary's mission, thereby, enhancing Louisville Seminary's impact on the church and future generations of students. The 2016 Louisville Seminary Distinguished Alum Award recipients are:

Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty (MDiv ’95) is chair of the department of theology at Bellarmine University and professor of theology. The church's role in addressing issues of social and economic justice has long been Hinson-Hasty's concern. In addition to numerous articles and other publications, she is the author of Dorothy Day for Armchair Theologians (2014) and Beyond the Social Maze: Exploring the Theological Ethics of Vida Dutton Scudder (2006) and co-editor of Prayers for the New Social Awakening (2008) with Christian Iosso and To Do Justice: A Guide for Progressive Christians (2008) with Rebecca Todd Peters.

Among other honors, she has distinguished herself with the following awards: an Award of Excellence for a Bible Resource from the Associated Church Press for Reconciling Paul the 2014-2015 Horizons Bible Study (2015), serving as a Fulbright Scholar (Hungary 2010), the Wilson Wyatt Faculty Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship (2010), and a Kentuckiana Metroversity Award for Instructional Development for a course on Theology from the Margins (2008). She has served the church through advocacy work and remains committed to ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. She served on the Advocacy Committee for Women's Concerns for six years, the PC(USA) resolution team for the Social Creed for the 21st-century, and she was on the Advisory Committee for the Women's Center at LPTS. From 2010-2014 she was a research consultant for the World Council of Churches' North American Regional Forum and Hearings on Poverty, Wealth, and Ecology.

Rev. Dr. Ann Laird Jones (MDiv ’82) is a minister member of St. Andrew Presbytery. Since 1993, she has served as the director of arts ministry at Montreat Conference Center, where she focuses on collaborative worship planning and visual arts in worship, directing the Currie Craft Center/Sally Jones Pottery and leading lectures and conferences in the field of arts and theology. Since 1982, she has served churches and campus ministries in Louisiana, North Carolina, Florida, and Mississippi, where she is currently the stated supply pastor at the Benoit Union Church. Jones has been an active member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at the Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly levels.
Jones was a member of the General Assembly Committee on Theological Education from 1982-1989 and moderated the Commissioners’ Committee on Peacemaking and International Relations at the 1992 General Assembly. Additionally, Jones has taught at Louisville Seminary in the Doctor of Ministry program and for the Artist in Residence program at the Women’s Center at LPTS. She served as a member of the Louisville Seminary Alum Board from 2004-2010. She was the recipient of the Allen M. Jackson Preaching Award and the Fielding Lewis Walker Fellowship in Doctrinal Theology at LPTS.

Rev. Charles Leo Stanford, Jr. (BD ’58) served as pastor at New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Vidalia, Louisiana, Jones Memorial Presbyterian Church in Meridian, Mississippi, and at Okolona Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1962, James Meredith became the first African American to gain admission to the University of Mississippi, which caused great controversy. Stanford was pastor at Jones Memorial at the time, and in response to the controversy, he preached a sermon titled “Love Disqualified,” based on I John 4:20. (“Those who say, ‘I love God’, but hate their brothers or sisters are liars, for those who hate a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.”) This sermon is included in the book The Unsilent South: Prophetic Preaching in Racial Crisis (1965) by Donald Shriver.

In 1980, Stanford joined the staff of the Louisville (now Mid-Kentucky) Presbytery, becoming executive presbyter in 1982, and served there until his retirement in 1996. While executive presbyter, he was a member of a group led by then- Louisville Seminary President John M. Mulder who advocated successfully for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to move its national offices to Louisville. Subsequently, Stanford was on the committee that worked with the architects and designers who joined two old buildings into one new building on the riverfront in downtown Louisville. After retirement, Stanford served as interim pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Mayfield, Kentucky, First Presbyterian Church of Caruthersville, Missouri, and First Presbyterian Church of Madisonville, Kentucky. He now volunteers two days a week with the National Council of Presbyterian Men.

In 2012, Louisville Seminary added a First Decade Award, which is presented to a recent graduate who has made a significant impact on the church and in her/his community in the first five to nine years of ministry and service. The 2016 Louisville Seminary First Decade Award recipient is:

Rev. Dr. Angela Cowser (MDiv ’06) is assistant professor of the sociology of religion and director of the Center for the Church and the Black Experience (CBE) at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. In the classroom, community, and church, Cowser comes as a pastor, community organizer, and sociologist. As such, she gives her students theological, ethical, sociological, and practical tools to help them do justice wherever they find themselves; that is, to reckon honestly with the world as it is, while they dream, plan, and organize toward the world as it can and should be. Her research efforts include black police officers and how they make sense of evil, suffering and death; black entrepreneurs' understanding of wealth, power, and faith; the shape of prophetic leadership in post-Christian America; public-private church; and black church leadership.

Cowser is the recipient of numerous fellowships, honors, and awards, including the William J. Fulbright Foreign Scholarship to Namibia and the Fund for Theological Education Doctoral Fellowship and the Theology and Practice Scholarship (Vanderbilt University). She has recently lectured at Louisville Seminary, Methodist Theological Seminary in Ohio, Hanover College, Vanderbilt University, and Memphis Theological Seminary. Cowser is currently working on a $3 million fundraising campaign to fund the CBE.

Louisville Seminary Distinguished Alum and First Decade Award recipients will be formally recognized at the Distinguished Alum and First Decade Award Reception and Dinner, which will take place Tuesday, April 5, at Louisville Seminary’s Gardencourt. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner to follow at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the event are $40 each. The event is part of Louisville Seminary’s 2016 Festival of Theology and Alum Reunion. For questions, contact Sandra Moon at smoon@lpts.edu. See www.lpts.edu to register and for more information.
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