News & Seminary Spotlights

Seminary Spotlights

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News & Press Releases

News relevant to the life, work, and community of Louisville Seminary.

2024

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Announces the Retirement of Distinguished Professor Amy Plantinga Pauw

June 18, 2024

Dr. Amy Plantinga Pauw

Louisville, KY - Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) announces the upcoming retirement of Dr. Amy Plantinga Pauw, the Henry P. Mobley Jr. Professor of Doctrinal Theology, on July 1, 2025, the end of the forthcoming academic year.

Dr. Pauw's career at Louisville Seminary has been marked by her profound contributions to theological education and unwavering dedication to academic excellence. She has been an integral part of our faculty, shaping the minds and hearts of countless students through her teaching, mentorship, and scholarship.

Rev. Dr. Shannon Craigo-Snell, Dr. Pauw’s colleague at Louisville Seminary, notes, “LPTS has been extraordinarily blessed to have the best Reformed theologian of her generation teaching here for 35 years. Amy does not simply teach the content of theology—she helps students become theologians. Amy’s use of art and metaphor in the classroom complements her incredible analytic skills. She teaches her students that theology is a team sport. Being on Amy’s team has been the highlight of my theological career.”

Dr. Pauw holds a Bachelor of Arts from Calvin College (1981), a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary (1984), and a Ph.D. from Yale University (1990). Over her distinguished career, Dr. Pauw has authored six books including Church in Ordinary Time: A Wisdom Ecclesiology (Eerdmans, 2017), Proverbs and Ecclesiastes in Belief: A Theological Commentary (Westminster John Knox, 2015), and The Supreme Harmony of All: The Trinitarian Theology of Jonathan Edwards (Eerdmans, 2002). She has also served as General Editor of Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible, on the editorial board of the Columbia Series in Reformed Theology, and the Editorial Board of The Works of Jonathan Edwards published by Yale University Press.

“Amy is an engaging and beloved teacher, a generous colleague, and a consummate scholar. She has contributed to every aspect of the Seminary's life including serving on the admissions committee, singing and playing flute with the choir, and on the Louisville Institute board. Her robust laugh and collegial spirit will be sorely missed,” says Dr. Debra J. Mumford, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Seminary.

Dr. Pauw's impact on the field of doctrinal theology is profound. Her scholarly work has bridged historical and contemporary theological discussions, making significant contributions to the understanding of Reformed theology, especially in the context of Jonathan Edwards' thought. Her dedication to her students and field is evident in her numerous publications and the ongoing success of her former students.

"Amy Pauw is one of the most significant theologians of our time. A legendary teacher, exquisite communicator, and crystal-clear creative thinker, Amy stands in the grand tradition of the best of the Yale-trained theologians,” notes Willie James Jennings, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale Divinity School. “She emerged as one of the preeminent feminist theologians of her generation and set a high standard for sensitive, thoughtful, and engaging theology. No account of American theology, especially reformed thought, would be adequate without a major chapter on the work of Amy Pauw."

Louisville Seminary President, Rev. Dr. Andrew D. Pomerville adds, “Professor Amy Plantinga Pauw is a remarkable theologian, church leader, educator, and mentor who has served faithfully at LPTS for decades. Generations of students have benefited from her dedication to vocational formation that comes from theological inquiry and education. I am deeply indebted to Dr. Pauw for her commitment to the mission and vision of LPTS and the incredible legacy she will leave with us in her retirement."

Concerning her time at the Seminary, Dr. Pauw shared, "Louisville Seminary has been my vocational home for my whole career. One of many reasons I stayed so long is the encouragement and freedom I found here to develop new courses and pursue a variety of academic projects as my theological interests shifted over the years. I am grateful to students and colleagues alike for nurturing and stretching me. They have been wonderful teachers. In retirement, I hope to pursue writing projects, especially my work on a theology of beauty, and spend more time with family and friends."

The Louisville Seminary community extends heartfelt thanks to Dr. Amy Plantinga Pauw for her decades of dedicated service and extraordinary impact on the Seminary and the broader theological community. Her legacy will continue to inspire future generations of theologians and church leaders. While we will miss Dr. Pauw's daily presence at the Seminary, we are grateful she will continue contributing to theological scholarship and education in retirement.


Dr. Marcus Hong Appointed New Director of Lifelong Learning and Associate Professor of Practical Theology

June 10, 2024

Louisville, KY - Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Marcus Andrew Hong as the Director of Lifelong Learning and Associate Professor of Practical Theology effective July 1, 2024.

Dr. Marcus Andrew Hong

Dr. Marcus Hong, who currently serves at Louisville Seminary as Director of Field Education, Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, Director of the Sun-Walking Fellowship, and Chapel Worship Coordinator, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this new position. He recently completed his PhD in Practical Theology with a focus on Christian Education at Princeton Theological Seminary, where his dissertation, "Deep Calls to Deep: The Psalms and the Formation of Communities of Empathetic Solidarity," was supervised by Rev. Dr. Gordon S. Mikoski.

Dr. Hong's professional experience is extensive and varied. He serves as Project Director for The Sun-Walking Fellowship at Louisville Seminary, a position supported by a $1,000,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. Additionally, he has been involved in curriculum development and has contributed to significant publications and musical arrangements.

Dr. Debra J. Mumford, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Seminary, expressed her enthusiasm for the new appointment, stating, “While working as Director of Field Education for eight years, Marcus demonstrated his ability to engage students, pastors and community leaders to foster excellent praxis-based learning opportunities for our students. As Director of Lifelong Learning he will use his experience, his knowledge and work in Practical Theology, and many other gifts to develop an engaging and robust program.”

His teaching competencies are broad and include worship, liturgical theology, congregational ministry, Christian spirituality, and practical theology. Dr. Hong's scholarly contributions and teaching experience make him an invaluable asset to Louisville Seminary.

Commenting on his new role, Dr. Hong said, "I am overjoyed and grateful for this opportunity. A passion for equipping people for ministry brought me to Louisville Seminary eight years ago. Lifelong Learning thrives at that same intersection of vibrant practice and deep theological reflection, but branches out to broaden and deepen our community of learning, bringing together alums, current students, community partners, curious learners, our stellar faculty, and new voices and perspectives to address critical issues and inspire faithful, caring, and just living."

“Louisville Seminary is remarkably situated for success with Dr. Hong’s new appointment," added Rev. Dr. Andrew D. Pomerville, President of Louisville Seminary. "His ministry and service at LPTS has fostered an incredible connection between the Seminary and the community beyond campus. This new role is perfectly suited for Dr. Hong's expertise, experiences, and gifts for ministry. We are so thankful for his willingness to serve in this important part of Louisville Seminary's mission.”

We are confident that Dr. Hong will continue to inspire and guide our students with his dedication to theological education and his commitment to fostering communities of empathetic solidarity. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Marcus Andrew Hong to his new role at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.


Louisville Seminary Welcomes Rev. Dr. Perzavia Praylow as Director of Black Church Studies and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology

May 20, 2024

Louisville, KY - Louisville Seminary Welcomes Rev. Dr. Perzavia Praylow as Director of Black Church Studies and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, effective July 1, 2024.

Rev. Dr. Perzavia Praylow

Rev. Dr. Praylow joins Louisville Seminary from Howard University School of Divinity, where she served as the Director of Contextual Theology (Washington, DC). She is a minister of Word and Sacrament ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) serving in the bounds of National Capital Presbytery. She holds a Ph.D. in African American History, a Master of Arts in History, and a Master of Arts in Education Policy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Additionally, she earned a Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary, a Master of Sacred Theology from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Drew University. Dr. Praylow’s scholarship and research focuses on the history of the Black Church and Black Education. She has previously taught African American history at numerous colleges and universities over the past twelve years.

Dr. Debra J. Mumford, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Seminary, expressed her enthusiasm for the new appointment, stating, “We are excited and privileged to have Dr. Praylow join our community. Her collegiality, academic credentials, administrative and pastoral experience combine to make her the ideal person to move our Black Church Studies Program forward into a new and exciting era.”

A native of Jersey City, NJ, Dr. Praylow’s ecumenical commitments are evidenced in the denominational diversity of the congregations she has served as pastor including Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church and Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ both in Washington D.C. and Calvary Presbyterian Church in Winnsboro, South Carolina. She was previously ordained as an elder and minister in the Church of the Living God in Champaign, IL and served as a lay leader in Baptist Churches in New Jersey and Augusta, GA. Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia.

Commenting on her new role, Dr. Praylow said, "I'm thankful for this opportunity to join the Louisville Seminary community and to contribute to the rich history of the Black Church Studies program. My call to LPTS is an opportunity to further form and equip leaders in church and society while producing research that will transform how we embody the liberatory and prophetic witness and praxis of the Black Church. I look forward to our shared ministry."

Rev. Dr. Andrew Pomerville, President of Louisville Seminary, also welcomed Dr. Praylow, stating, “The experience and expertise Dr. Praylow brings to our faculty is tremendous. She is an accomplished educator and researcher, and I am delighted to welcome her to LPTS.”

With her distinguished background and dedication to theological education and the Black Church tradition, Rev. Dr. Praylow is set to make a significant impact at Louisville Seminary and beyond.


Important Update: FAFSA Application for 2024-2025 School Year

March 26, 2024

This year’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has had several setbacks for the 2024-2025 school year. Among other complications, it has limited the seminary’s ability to process submitted FAFSAs and make award offers. Despite these setbacks, we continue to ask that all students planning on attending seminary fill out a 2024-2025 FAFSA application.

It is our hope to be able to process this information and provide an award letter to accepted students in April. However, we know that financial planning is a key part of the discernment process and wanted to be able support students and their families as soon as possible. We invite all students to fill out a 2023-2024 FAFSA in addition to the 2024-2025 FAFSA in order to receive a preliminary award ahead of finalized aid awards which will be sent by April 15th.

This will be a good option for applicants and prospective students who:

  • May already have a 2023-2024 FAFSA completed
  • Have not experienced a significant life change (marriage, death of a family member)

I hope that this will be a helpful option as you continue to plan for your educational future.

If you have any questions or would like more specified advice, please don’t hesitate to call or email Jennifer Anderson, Financial Aid Coordinator at 502-992-9380 or by email.

Debra J. Mumford
Dean of the Seminary


Louisville Seminary Announces Gray to Lead Creative Spirits Networks, Inc.

March 14, 2024

Kilen Gray

LOUISVILLE, KY – March 14, 2024 – The Rev. Dr. Kilen K. Gray, (MDiv '02, DMin '16,) esteemed Dean of Community Life, announces his departure from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS), as of July 1, 2024, to focus on the growth of his family enterprise, Creative Spirits Networks, Inc., the parent company of Creative Spirits Behavioral Health, Inc. Gray will serve as Chief Operating Officer and Director of their batterer intervention program. With immense gratitude, the Seminary reflects on Dean Gray's 17-year career and impact on the institution, serving LPTS with unwavering dedication and commitment to fostering community, support, and spiritual growth.

Gray joined the Seminary staff in 2007 as Dean of Students, later transitioning to roles including Dean of Student Engagement in 2018 and Dean of Community Life in 2020. Dean Gray has achieved numerous milestones and made significant contributions to the Seminary's community life, including: establishing meaningful relationships with African-American denominations and congregations; pioneering the Seminary's Behavioral Intervention Team, and developing robust support processes; coordinating the institution's COVID-19 community protocols, which played a crucial role in minimizing positive infections throughout the pandemic; providing compassionate pastoral care, theological consultations, and spiritual guidance to students facing various challenges, including grief, depression, and relational conflicts; championing the reintroduction of food service to campus, enhancing the student experience; co-facilitating research for the Staff Renewal Task Force, resulting in data-driven improvements in supporting Seminary employees. In addition, Dean Gray served as the Seminary's Title IX Coordinator, ensuring compliance and promoting a safe environment.

Reflecting on his time at LPTS Dean Gray shared, "The past 17 years I have spent serving my graduate alma mater has absolutely been the joy of my life. Louisville Seminary has invested in my continued professional formation in ways that are indescribable for me. I will also forever cherish the multiple cohorts of students who I have received the privilege to serve as their Dean. As I prepare for this next chapter, which includes joining my wife, Cassandra who currently serves as CEO of Creative Spirits Networks, Inc., to further develop and grow our family business, we are very excited for what the future holds for us."

Louisville Seminary President Andrew Pomerville commented, "I want to extend my heartfelt thanks and congratulations to Dean Gray for his years of faithful ministry, service, and education at LPTS. Kilen is a two-time graduate of Louisville Seminary, an incredible ambassador for our institution, and a servant-leader who has given his all to support and care for his alma mater. We will sincerely miss his creative spirit, collegial attitude, and joyful approach to theological education."

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees and as a fellow alum, I want to thank Dean Gray for his faithful service to Louisville Seminary,” shared Board Chair, Elizabeth Clay. “In addition to his work on campus, Kilen has represented us in the community in so many ways. We wish him the best as he leaves our day-to-day work, and hope to see him often around town.”

The Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary community expresses its deepest gratitude to Dean Gray for his exemplary service and wishes him continued success and fulfillment in all of his future endeavors.


Young to Retire from Louisville Seminary after Nearly 38 Years of Service

March 11, 2024

Becky Young

LOUISVILLE, KY – March 11, 2024 – Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) bids farewell to Becky Young, Admissions Specialist, as she embarks on her well-deserved retirement after 38 years of dedicated service. Becky's last day on campus will be March 27, 2024, with her official last day being March 31, 2024.

Becky began her journey at Louisville Seminary in 1986 as a secretary, providing invaluable secretarial support to the Dean of Students and Director of Admissions. Over the years, she held various roles within the Admissions Office, including Administrative Secretary, Admissions Assistant, Coordinator of Student Housing, and Assistant to the Director of Admissions, before finally serving as Admissions Specialist since 2010.

Throughout her tenure, Becky played a pivotal role in shaping the admissions process, coordinating student housing, managing inquiry response systems, and providing unwavering support to prospective students. Her commitment to the Seminary and her genuine care for students have left a significant impact on the Louisville Seminary community.

Reflecting on her time at the seminary, Becky shared, “After nearly 38 years of employment, I have worked with more than a dozen supervisors who all brought various gifts to the office. This transition offered me the ability to change and grow in my job, providing me with both personal and professional growth opportunities. I most enjoyed working with students and applicants, as well as developing personal and working relationships with employees.”

Kilen Gray, Dean of Community Life, expressed his gratitude, saying, “When I decided to apply for admission to LPTS as a student in 1998, the first face I saw was Becky Young. Her pleasant demeanor and welcoming spirit were just the energy I needed to convince me that I had made the right decision to choose LPTS as the place for my theological formation. Years later, having now worked alongside Becky for 17 years, I've had the privilege to see first-hand the commitment she has for the Seminary and its students. She has been the stable element within our Admissions effort. She certainly has made an indelible impact on our seminary community. She shall certainly be missed.”

Sara Babcock, Admissions Director, added, “Becky’s prompt communication, care for applicants, and willingness to go the extra mile for our students has helped set Louisville Seminary apart for decades. While we will miss her upon her well-earned retirement, the care she demonstrated is baked into the Office of Admissions and we are excited to carry on her legacy.”

Andrew Pomerville, President of Louisville Seminary, praised Becky's dedication, stating, “Becky has supported, welcomed, and guided generations of LPTS students throughout her long and impressive career. Her reliability, consistency, and care for students have been remarkable, and I wish her much happiness in her well-earned and well-deserved retirement.”

Louisville Seminary expresses its heartfelt gratitude to Becky Young for her outstanding contributions and wishes her all the best in her retirement.


Edwin Hernández, Louisville Institute Executive Director, Accepts Position as President of Antillean Adventist University in Puerto Rico

January 20, 2024

Edwin Hernández

JANUARY 20, 2024, LOUISVILLE, KY: Louisville Seminary announces that Dr. Edwin Hernández, Executive Director of the Louisville Institute, has accepted the position as President of Antillean Adventist University in Puerto Rico. His last day at the Louisville Institute will be March 31, 2024.

Dr. Hernández shares, “I’m excited and honored to step into the presidential role at Antillean Adventist. While the decision to leave the Louisville Institute was made with great consideration, I felt called to this new challenge. The move also enables my wife and family to be close to her aging father-in-law, a former pastor and community leader in his home town of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, which factored into the decision.”

The Louisville Institute is funded by the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment Inc. and has been based at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary since 1990. The Institute's mission is to bridge Church and academy through awarding grants and fellowships to those who lead and study North American religious institutions, practices, and movements, thereby promoting scholarship that strengthens Church, academy, and society, and ultimately contribute to the flourishing of the Church.

Louisville Seminary will begin the search for an interim executive director after prayerful consultation with the Louisville Institute Board of Advisors, Lilly Endowment Inc., and Louisville Institute staff. In a statement from Louisville Seminary, President Andrew Pomerville remarked, “I congratulate Antillean Adventist University in the decision to call Dr. Hernández as their next president. He has been a remarkable partner during his time at LPTS and I pray for his continued success at AAU.”


2023

Louisville Seminary Announces Online Course Offerings

December 14, 2023

Online Courses at LPTS

Louisville, Ky. – Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) announces the incorporation of online teaching and learning into curricula for the Master of Divinity (MDiv) and Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) programs beginning Fall 2024. We recognize that there are many people throughout the nation who would benefit greatly from theological education who cannot quit their jobs, uproot their families and move to Louisville, Kentucky to be a student at LPTS. Frankly, they should not have to.

To fulfill our mission of working toward a world where all can flourish, we are equipping our faculty to develop online courses with the same commitment to sound pedagogical approaches and rigor that we incorporate into our in-person courses.

Unlike many seminaries who are offering courses in hybrid form (wherein students attend the same class both in-person and online simultaneously) our faculty elected to offer a different hybrid model.

We believe that teaching courses in person (on campus) and online requires two very distinct pedagogical approaches. Courses that attempt to accommodate both online and in-person students do not always meet the unique needs of each population effectively. To avoid this dilemma, our faculty opted to rotate our MDiv and MAR curricula so that all required courses are offered in alternating years in fully in person or in fully online formats. Online courses will be offered asynchronously to accommodate the busy schedules of working adults.

This means that students who are in the Louisville area who would like to take courses in person can continue to do so. If they are enrolled full-time, they will need to take some courses online. This also means that students who enroll as online students will do so as part-time students.

We are excited to provide students throughout the country the opportunity to enroll in courses at Louisville Seminary. We believe there are many people who are preparing for various forms of ministry who share our cores values for whom this opportunity can be life changing. Our core institutional values include:

  • Believing in God, following the example of Jesus as a model for our lives, and relying on the Holy Spirit;
  • Celebrating the rich traditions of the Presbyterian Church USA and Reformed Christianity;
  • Achieving excellence through academic rigor, creativity, and critical thinking;
  • Committing to anti-racism academically and throughout the LPTS community;
  • Modeling, expecting, and promoting gender equity;
  • Supporting the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ persons;
  • Embracing diversity of ministries including pastors, chaplains, therapists, community leaders, and more;
  • Engaging our community in action and reflection beyond the classroom;
  • Respecting the dignity and gifts of all;
  • Creating community for one another in worship, celebration, sorrow, and success;
  • Valuing accessibility and inclusivity;
  • Welcoming inter-faith and ecumenical study and dialogue;
  • Committing to responsible, sustainable care for God’s Earth.

To learn more about in person (on campus) and online education opportunities, visit lpts.edu/prospective-students


Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the technology requirements for enrolling in online courses?

  • A computer that runs on Windows or Mac OS—Preferably the latest version of the operating system.
  • The computer has virus protection software on it.
  • The computer will play common video and audio formats.
  • A printer for printing out readings, assignments, etc., if desired.
  • A stable internet connection—cable, DSL, or other high-speed internet.
  • An internet connection with sufficient bandwidth (5Mbps minimum/25Mbps recommended) to allow for watching video without problems.
  • A browser that is within one update of the current version.

Are admissions requirements the same for online and in-person students?

Yes. Information about the admissions process can be found at lpts.edu/academics/masters

Will online students be required to come to campus at any time?

Yes. Since our inception in 1853, we have valued the role of community to help us effectively create and sustain engaging and effective learning opportunities. We want all online students to also be part of the Louisville Seminary community. With this in mind, we require online students to spend several days in Louisville at the beginning of each academic year. During this time students will meet with their peers, staff and faculty, participate in worship and communal meals, engage in on-campus (for credit) learning opportunities, and have opportunities to explore the Louisville Metro Area. These experiences will serve to help students integrate well into the LPTS community. Information about housing opportunities during this time can be found at lpts.edu/campuslife/#housing

Are online students eligible for scholarship?

Absolutely! Online students will follow the same process for applying for scholarships as in-person students. Information about the Whosoever Scholarship and other scholarship opportunities are available at lpts.edu/academics/financial/#scholarships

Is there someone I can speak to or email to ask a specific question?

The admissions team at Louisville Seminary is here to be a friend and resource as your discern your vocational journey. Fill out this form and an admissions specialists will be in touch or send an email.



Grawemeyer Religion Award Winner Announced

December 08, 2023

Grawemeyer Awards, Louisville Seminary and University of Louisville


Rev. Charles Halton

Scholar focusing on God’s human qualities wins Grawemeyer religion prize

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – God gets angry. God gets jealous. God hates, regrets and learns.

Theologians often dismiss those depictions of God in the Bible because they seem to clash with God’s image as an all-loving being, but an Episcopal priest with a different view has received the 2024 Grawemeyer Award in Religion for helping explain the paradox.

The Rev. Charles Halton, associate rector of Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington, Ky., won the prize for ideas set forth in his 2021 book "A Human-Shaped God: Theology of an Embodied God." He argues that embracing God as a deity with human qualities can bring us closer to God and inspire us to become better people.

"We are, like God, to move from a place of exclusion and anger-fueled violence to a life of inclusion, radical forgiveness and compassion," he said. "This is the path God is on. If we are not on it too, we are not imitating God."

As an example, Halton cites the Old Testament story of how God floods Earth, destroying everything except Noah’s Ark. Later, God feels regret and creates a rainbow in the sky.

"Many Bible accounts are springboards for theological imagination that help us see God in constructive ways," he said. "As humans, we too lash out in anger, but we also learn to forgive."

Halton explores "an underappreciated view of God that exists in the Bible but is absent from most Eurocentric theology," said Tyler Mayfield, who directs the religion award. "His approach is original, thought-provoking and offers new opportunities for understanding the biblical God."

Halton taught Old Testament and Semitic languages at seminary and college levels for nearly a decade. He holds a doctorate from Cincinnati's Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Bible and ancient Near East studies and is an external affiliate at the Centre for the Study of Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, London.

The University of Louisville and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary jointly give the religion prize.

Recipients of next year's Grawemeyer Awards were named this week pending formal approval by trustees at both institutions. The $100,000 prizes also honor seminal ideas in music, world order, psychology and education. Winners will visit Louisville in the spring to accept their awards and give free talks on their winning ideas.

(photo by Amy Campbell Photography)


Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Celebrates Seven-Year Renewal of Marriage & Family Therapy Program Accreditation

November 20, 2023

The Whosoever Mural and Group Photo

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - November 20, 2023 - It is with great pleasure and immense pride that Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) announces the renewal of accreditation for the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program. The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) has granted the program a renewed accreditation that extends from November 1, 2023, to November 1, 2030.

The renewal of accreditation, which was officially confirmed by COAMFTE following their meeting on October 17-18, 2023, underscores the exceptional quality and dedication of our MFT community at LPTS. This significant achievement comes with two stipulations, which our dedicated MFT colleagues have already initiated steps to address.

Accreditation renewal is a remarkable accomplishment that reflects the relentless commitment of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary's MFT program to maintaining the highest standards of education and clinical practice in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. We take this moment to recognize the outstanding efforts of our MFT colleagues, clinical supervisors, and students who played an instrumental role in preparing and submitting a comprehensive report, as well as hosting a successful virtual accreditation visit in the Spring. This achievement would not have been possible without the tireless contributions of Dr. Trina A. Armstrong, Loren Townsend, Lesley Earles, Beth Troy, and Becky Timerding.

Debra J. Mumford, Seminary Dean, expressed her appreciation for the collective effort, stating, "Accreditation renewal is never a given. It takes the work of the entire community daily to make it happen. This renewal affirms the excellence of our MFT curriculum, MFT faculty, staff, and clinical supervisors who work hard every day to maintain exceptional standards that equip our students to be outstanding therapists."

Seminary President Andrew Pomerville, echoed the sentiment commenting, "This renewal is further evidence of the incredible work being done in the Marriage and Family Therapy program here at LPTS. I am continuously impressed by the compassionate care they offer to the community, the rigor with which they pursue their study, and the positive impact they take into the world upon completion of the program. I am so thankful for their work, ministry, and care."

"It is wonderful to be affirmed in the hard work our faculty, supervisors, and staff did in the accreditation process," added Louisville Seminary Counseling Center Clinical Director, Beth Troy. "As we celebrate this achievement, we remain focused on educating persons with theological or spiritual commitments to become marriage and family therapists competent to practice in a diverse, multicultural, and interfaith world."

"The reaccreditation by COAMFTE affirms our position as a leader in MFT education, and we are excited about the opportunities it brings for further growth and innovation," reflected Dr. Trina A. Armstrong, Director of the MFT Program. "We thank COAMTE for its thorough evaluation and recognition of our commitment to excellence. This reaccreditation validates our past efforts and motivates us to continually raise the bar and exceed expectations in MFT education."

To learn more about the Marriage and Family Therapy degree program and others offered at Louisville Seminary, click here.

About Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Founded in 1853, Louisville Seminary offers an inclusive and diverse learning community, welcoming students from wide ecumenical backgrounds while maintaining its long, historic commitment to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Louisville Seminary is led by the Holy Spirit to educate people to proclaim the Gospel, to care for all, and to work for justice in communities everywhere. It is distinguished by its nationally recognized marriage and family therapy and field education programs, the scholarship and church service among its faculty and a commitment to training women and men to participate in the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ. For more information, call (800) 264-1839 or visit lpts.edu. To make a financial gift supporting Christ-centered, justice-driven education at Louisville Seminary, click here.

About COAMFTE:

The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) is a recognized accrediting body that evaluates and accredits Marriage and Family Therapy programs to ensure they meet the highest educational and clinical standards.



Renowned Professor Dr. J. Bradley Wigger Announces Retirement from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

October 25, 2023

J. Bradley Wigger

LOUISVILLE, KY – October 25, 2023 – It is with both a heavy heart and a sense of celebration that we announce the retirement of Dr. J. Bradley Wigger, a distinguished professor and beloved member of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) community after twenty-seven years, at the conclusion of the 2023-24 academic year. Dr. Wigger will continue, through a final sabbatical, to work on a book based upon his most recent research, “The Religious Imagination of Children” a project funded by the Christian Parenting and Caregivers grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc.

Dr. Wigger joined the Louisville Seminary faculty in 1997, taking on the role of a faculty member in Christian Education and serving as the Director of the newly established Center for Congregations and Family Ministries. Within three years, he was named to the Second Presbyterian Church Chair of Christian Education. As Center Director, he edited the journal Family Ministry, co-edited the six-volume "Families and Faith Book Series" (Jossey-Bass), and provided leadership through educational opportunities, conferences, workshops, and a variety of courses focused on children and families, child advocacy, practical theology, writing, and the church's teaching ministry.

In 2007, when his colleague David Hester became the Dean, Dr. Wigger transitioned into the role of a full-time Christian Education professor, a position he has held since.

Throughout his time at Louisville Seminary, Dr. Wigger has been a prolific author, contributing to several articles and books including, Invisible Companions: Encounters with Imaginary Friends, Gods, Ancestors, and Angels (Stanford, 2019), which is based on over 500 interviews with children worldwide. He has also written books for children, including Thank You, God (Eerdmans, 2014), and for parents, such as Together We Pray: A Prayer Book for Families (Chalice, 2005), and The Power of God at Home: Nurturing Our Children in Love and Grace (Jossey-Bass, 2003). Dr. Wigger has also delved into the intersection of religion, science, and human cognition in books like Original Knowing: How Religion, Science, and the Human Mind Point to the Irreducible Depth of Life (Cascade, 2012) and The Texture of Mystery (Bucknell University Press, 1998).

President Andrew Pomerville expressed his deep gratitude for Dr. Wigger's contributions stating, "Professor Wigger truly embodies what it means to teach practical theology. His scholarship, dedication to his students, and contributions to the church cannot be overstated. He is an exceptional colleague, and he will be sorely missed at the seminary. I am immensely thankful for his friendship, leadership, and contributions to LPTS over these past twenty-seven years."

“Dr. Wigger has made tremendous contributions to the Louisville community,” added Debra Mumford, Seminary Dean. “He has served as an administrator while also equipping our students to be confident Christian Educators. His Multiple Intelligences course has been one of the most popular courses at the Seminary. In the course, he taught students that when they teach, they need to present materials in multiple ways - ways that resonate with the different ways people learn. Dr. Wigger will be greatly missed.”

Reflecting on his time at LPTS, Dr. Wigger shared, "I first stepped onto the campus in the fall of 1979 for the very first Exploratory Weekend. I never looked at another school. I did the MDiv from 1981-84. What stands out the most from this time is friendship." He expressed his gratitude for the friendships forged with classmates, faculty, and staff, and highlighted that some of the best friendships in his life were established during this period.

Dr. Scott C. Williamson commented, “Brad and I came here in the same year, and have been colleagues and friends since then. Whenever the faculty had an important decision to make, we could count on Brad’s wise counsel and faithful leadership. But I will miss working with my friend: the musician; the host of more Super Bowl parties than I can remember; the guy who showed up with a chainsaw when a tree fell in my backyard; the maker of mediocre beer; and the marvelous storyteller. As much as Brad has given to the Seminary, he has given even more to his friends.”

Following his retirement, Dr. Wigger and his wife, Jane Larsen-Wigger, plan to remain in Louisville to spend time with friends and family. They also intend to travel and continue engaging in creative pursuits, including writing and music, which bring them great joy.

The Louisville Seminary community extends its warmest wishes to Dr. Wigger. His legacy will be felt for years to come, and his presence will be greatly missed.


Introducing the "Whosoever Tuition Scholarship" Available for the 2024-25 Academic Year and Beyond!

October 11, 2023

The Whosoever Mural and Group Photo

The Whosoever Tuition Scholarship is designed to embody the inclusive and welcoming mission of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) ensuring that no one is excluded from pursuing theological/higher education due to financial constraints. It also reaffirms the institutional commitment to lessen the financial indebtedness of our students upon completing a degree program.

Whosoever Scholarship Details:

  • Eligibility: The "Whosoever Tuition Scholarship" is open to all full-time and part-time master’s level students enrolled at Louisville Seminary, irrespective of their background, denomination, ethnicity, gender, or financial status.
  • Application Process: Upon acceptance into a master’s level degree program, candidates may apply for the "Whosoever Tuition Scholarship". The Financial Aid office will then run calculations to determine income and expense debt ratios to determine need and scale.
  • Financial Assistances: Recipients of this scholarship will receive financial assistance on an as-needed basis to help cover tuition costs.

Presidential Scholarships will continue to be awarded to master's-level degree students and are based on academic achievement and/or a promise for ministry. Current scholarships are for $20,000 a year for up to three years of full-time study, and tuition costs are paid from the scholarship. All admitted master’s-level students who do not receive a Presidential Scholarship may be eligible to receive a Whosoever Tuition Scholarship. For details about the new tuition scholarship, other financial assistance available, and a directory of all degrees and programs offered at Louisville Seminary, click here.

Funds from a Tuition Scholarship pay for the cost of tuition for the hours required for a degree. Students need to maintain minimum hours of enrollment to maintain a Tuition Scholarship. Required fees are not covered by Tuition Scholarships.

In May 2023, the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Board of Trustees authorized the creation of a new “needs-based” tuition scholarship for master's-level degree programs. Since that time, seminary leadership brought together a cross functional team to further develop that program and the infrastructure required to execute awarding scholarships beginning with the 2024-2025 academic year. Through months of collaborative efforts, the team identified a name for the scholarship program and also updated institutional processes for matters concerning financial aid.

Gratitude and thanks to all who gathered in these collaborative efforts and especially to the Board of Trustees who continue to support the mission of Louisville Seminary to be led by the Holy Spirit to educate people to proclaim the Gospel, to care for all, and to work for justice in communities everywhere.

Gratitude

Whosoever Focus

Louisville Seminary…

  • Strives to offer affordable and accessible theological education.
  • Continues to become an anti-racist seminary.
  • Continues to become a seminary that affirms people who are LGBTQIA+.
  • Continues to become a seminary that welcomes people who have disabilities.
  • Continues to become a seminary that welcomes people who are neurodivergent.
  • Continues to welcome students of many faiths and those who identify with no religious tradition.

Office of the Ombuds at Louisville Seminary

October 5, 2023

Scott Williamson

How does the Ombuds help?

The Ombuds assists people in the seminary community through voluntary consultation and provides information and guidance in developing options to address their concerns. When possible, the Ombuds facilitates outcomes that build trust, enhance relationships, and improve communication within the seminary community.

The Ombuds also assists the seminary by identifying procedural irregularities and systemic problems. This might include identifying emerging trends, policy gaps, and patterns of problematic behavior in ways that do not disclose confidential communication or information. The Ombuds may provide general recommendations to the seminary for addressing these concerns.

The Ombuds is not an agent of Louisville Seminary authorized to receive notice of claims, complaints, or grievances against the seminary. Instead, the Ombuds may refer individuals to the appropriate place where formal notice of claims can be made. We discuss. YOU decide.

In short, the Ombuds is an independent, impartial, informal and confidential resource for the seminary community. Stay tuned for the launch of the Ombuds webpage in the weeks to come.

The Ombuds office is open and I can be reached by email, phone (502-338-2335) and Zoom.

Hope you are having a great start to the academic year!

Scott


Scott Williamson
Ombuds
502.338.2335
ombuds@lpts.edu
Schlegel Hall #306

LPTS Ombuds Office

Celebrating DiLuca's Impact at Louisville Seminary as She Embarks on a New Chapter

October 4, 2023

Susan DiLuca

LOUISVILLE, KY – October 3, 2023 – Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) is bidding a fond farewell to a valued member of its community. Susan DiLuca, who has served as the Executive Administrative Coordinator to the President, is set to retire from her position at the end of the year, on December 31, 2023.

Susan DiLuca joined the LPTS team in August 2009 as a part-time temporary employee during Dean Thompson's final year before retirement. Her dedication and commitment soon led to her being offered a permanent part-time role in the office in the fall of 2010. From November 2010 to May 2012, she served as the permanent part-time Administrative Assistant to the President. In June 2012, Susan took on the role of full-time Executive Administrative Coordinator to the President.

In her roles at LPTS, Susan has played an instrumental part in supporting the work of the President and the office. Her responsibilities included managing the President's intricate schedule, coordinating travel arrangements, serving as the liaison for all contact with the public, students, and employees coming through the President's office, and organizing board-related functions for bi-annual meetings. Additionally, she has been responsible for planning and executing the Seminary's Commencement services, ensuring that every detail was attended to with precision and care.

Susan's tenure at Louisville Seminary has been marked by her unwavering dedication and tireless efforts to facilitate the smooth operation of the President's office and the Seminary as a whole. Her meticulous planning and organizational skills have been essential to the success of numerous initiatives and events.

Reflecting on her time at LPTS, Susan DiLuca stated, “My time at LPTS has been filled with many joys, and I treasure the relationships I have made over the years. I am looking forward to spending more time with friends and family and plan to do contract work on a part-time basis.”

Seminary President Andrew Pomerville remarked, “Susan’s consistent professionalism has extended through four presidents, and with each new person, she has provided compassionate care, unwavering support, and outstanding attention to detail. Above all her marvelous professional accomplishments, she is a remarkable person who has been a friend to the seminary, a reliable colleague, and a joy to know. We will miss her greatly, and we wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement.”

Elizabeth Clay, Chair of the LPTS Board, added, “Susan has been a valuable member of the seminary community. The work she did on behalf of the board made everything run smoothly and well. I will miss working with her and wish her the best on her retirement.”

Louisville Seminary expresses its gratitude to Susan DiLuca for her outstanding service and extends its best wishes for a fulfilling retirement.


Louisville Seminary Congratulates Alton B. Pollard, III on New Appointment at Wake Forest University

September 28, 2023

Alton B. Pollard, III

Louisville, KY - Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) extends congratulations to Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard, III, president emeritus and professor of Religion and Culture from 2018-2023, on his appointment as The James and Marilyn Dunn Chair in Baptist Studies and University Professor of African American Studies at Wake Forest University.

Pollard, a visionary leader and esteemed scholar, played a pivotal role in shaping the intellectual and spiritual landscape of our institution during his tenure at LPTS. His dedication to fostering inclusivity, promoting interfaith dialogue, and advancing the study of religion and culture has left an indelible mark on our community.

Board of Trustees Chair, Elizabeth Clay, stated, “Alton’s new appointment is a testament to his leadership and scholarship. His commitment to academic excellence and his dedication to fostering understanding among diverse communities have made a lasting impact on the seminary community. We wish him every success in his new role.”

Current Seminary President, Rev. Dr. Andrew Pomerville, echoed these sentiments, saying, “Alton’s commitment to the Whosoever ethos at Louisville Seminary will continue to inspire us for years to come. We are excited to see the transformative work he will undoubtedly undertake at Wake Forest University.”

Dr. Pollard's appointment at Wake Forest University underscores the profound contributions he has made to theological education, and we do not doubt that he will continue to be a beacon of scholarship and leadership in his new position. We wish him the very best in this next chapter of his career.

Video and pictures from recent events honoring Pollard’s presidency at Louisville Seminary, which included his presidential portrait unveiling and prayer room dedication, will be shared soon.


Louisville Seminary Bids Farewell to Todd McWhorter After 24 Years of Service

September 26, 2023

Todd McWhorter

Louisville, KY - September 26, 2023 - After 24 years of unwavering dedication and exceptional service, Todd McWhorter, a beloved member of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) community, is set to embark on a new chapter in his life. Todd's official last day at the Seminary is October 13, 2023.

Todd McWhorter joined the Louisville Seminary staff in August 1999, initially serving as a Custodial and Maintenance Technician. His work primarily involved maintaining cleanliness in apartments and performing basic maintenance tasks. Over the years, Todd's commitment and expertise earned him promotions within the Maintenance department. In 2000, he was promoted to Maintenance Tech II, and in 2003, he achieved the position of Maintenance Tech I. In April 2021, Todd was further promoted to the role of Director of Campus Facilities, where his responsibilities evolved into a more managerial capacity while still maintaining a hands-on approach to his work.

Throughout his time at Louisville Seminary, Todd specialized in HVAC, mechanical maintenance, and all aspects of facility management, ensuring the smooth operation of the institution. As Director of Campus Facilities, he oversaw various parts of the Seminary's infrastructure and played a pivotal role in maintaining its physical integrity.

“Todd is an example of a piece of our LPTS mission in action - ‘to care for all,’” commented Seminary President Andrew Pomerville. “During his time at LPTS, Todd has genuinely cared for all of us - students, employees, alums, and friends. I am so thankful for the dedicated, compassionate care he has shown to us all. Please join me in offering thanksgiving for Todd's time at LPTS.”

Emily Carle, Third-year MDiv Student and Laws Lodge Community Assistant, had this to say in a thank you message sent in August: “Todd and the entire Facilities team have always been prompt, thorough, dedicated, friendly, patient, and knowledgeable with their work at LPTS. Many students do not get the chance to interact with Facilities, and their hard work deserves to be known, recognized, and honored. Much of their ‘behind-the-scenes’ work is why the scene functions to begin with!”

Theresia Smith, VP for Finance & Administration at Louisville Seminary, commended Todd's contributions, stating, “Todd is well respected and has always executed his responsibilities with compassion and care for the Seminary and the Seminary Community. Dependable, attentive, responsive, and caring—just a few words that exemplify Todd’s character. His service to LPTS over these last 24 years has been impactful, and I am better for having worked with him.”

Reflecting on his time at Louisville Seminary, Todd McWhorter expressed his deep appreciation and gratitude for the opportunities for advancement and growth that the institution provided him. He remarked, “I am honored to have served this community over the past twenty-four years and equally honored and grateful for the relationships that have formed over those years. A special thanks goes out to my department and coworkers both past and present, without whom I could not have made this journey. Their constant support and companionship will never be forgotten.”

As Todd McWhorter prepares to embark on the next chapter of his life, the Louisville Seminary community extends its heartfelt gratitude and best wishes for his future endeavors.


Special Events Celebrating Alton B. Pollard, III

August 21, 2023

Whosoever, LPTS

THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF LOUISVILLE PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY JOYFULLY INVITE YOU TO ATTEND

SPECIAL EVENTS HONORING LOUISVILLE SEMINARY'S BELOVED 10TH PRESIDENT, ALTON B. POLLARD, III

Celebrate with us in Caldwell Chapel

1044 Alta Vista Road, Louisville, KY 40205

In-person or Online at LPTS.edu/watchlive


A light reception will follow in the Nelson Hall lobby


SEPTEMBER 14, 2023
3:30-4:45pm ET

Whosoever, LPTS

PRESIDENTIAL PORTRAIT UNVEILING

Be among the first to see the commissioned portrait of Alton that will be hung alongside past presidents' portraits in Nelson Hall

SPOUSES GARDEN DEDICATION

An LPTS tradition that will give special recognition to Alton's beloved wife Jessica Pollard

PRAYER ROOM DEDICATION

The Caldwell Chapel Prayer Room is being dedicated in honor of Alton


Louisville Seminary Celebrates the Retirement of Jean Newman After 32 Years of Dedicated Service

July 28, 2023

Jean Newman

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) announces the retirement of Jean Newman, administrative coordinator to the dean, after 32 years of service to the institution. Her career at Louisville Seminary began in 1991 when she joined the President’s Office under the leadership of John Mulder. Over the years, Jean transitioned to the Dean’s Office and served under several esteemed deans, including Gene March, Dianne Reistroffer, David Hester, Susan Garrett, Steve Cook, and Debra Mumford.

As a key figure in the management of the Dean’s Office, Jean played a crucial role in assisting various academic committees and Board of Trustee committees. Her dedication also extended to organizing and coordinating significant events, such as Faculty book signings, opening Convocations, Baccalaureate, and Commencement exercises, which have left a lasting impact on the Seminary community.

“Jean was a very good administrative assistant. She kept the office running on time and took care of the routine things. She was and still is also a very good friend. One of Jean’s strengths is her ability to foster relationships. She helped to create a welcoming environment for all of those coming into the Dean’s Office - particularly for international students. She will not be easy to replace,” remarked Gene March, a former dean who worked closely with Jean during her tenure.

Dianne Reistroffer, reflecting on Jean’s contributions, stated, “For 32 years, Jean has served LPTS presidents and deans. For most of those years, she has supported the Dean of the Seminary and the mission and the work of the academic affairs department with deep devotion and steady commitment. As one of the deans she has supported, I came to value very early on Jean’s warmth and highly relational style in meeting, greeting, and helping everyone who came into the office to do business. Generations of students, faculty members, administrators, staff, and their families found in Jean a listening ear and a caring heart, and that loyal spirit will be greatly missed. As she begins her well-deserved retirement season, I rejoice in Jean’s newfound freedom to spend more time with friends and family, especially with her two adult sons, Matt and Phillip, to whom she has been singularly devoted.”

“In addition to many gifts Jean brought to the Dean’s Office (such as her gift for event coordination) Jean brought the gift of relationality. She was able to connect with people in a way that made them feel heard and valued. She was able to foster a sense of hospitality that made the Dean’s Office a welcoming space. She will truly be missed,” added Debra Mumford.

Looking back on her time at the Seminary, Jean expressed her gratitude, saying, “I have enjoyed my 32 years of work at the Seminary and appreciate all the support given to me and my family. The Seminary community has played an important role in my life for many years, and I have developed many friendships throughout the years, among faculty, staff, and students. I am excited about entering this time of my life as retired and plan to spend more time with my family, especially my sons Matt and Phillip, traveling, and perfecting my pickleball game.”

As Jean embarks on this new chapter in her life, Louisville Seminary acknowledges her immeasurable contributions and profound impact on the institution and its community. Her dedication, warmth, and commitment will be cherished and greatly missed by all.

The Seminary extends its best wishes to Jean for a fulfilling and joyous retirement!


Louisville Seminary Affirms Commitment to Gender Equity Amidst Recent Southern Baptist Decision

June 21, 2023

Gender Equity Header

On Wednesday, June 14, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana, messengers (a term for members of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)) voted to expel two churches from its membership. The churches were not expelled because they were guilty of fostering a culture of sexual misconduct. They were not expelled because there had been any kind of financial impropriety in their midst. Rather, they were expelled because they allowed women to serve as pastors.

The vote, along with another to amend the SBC constitution, further codifies a long-held practice. In 2000 the SBC voted to approve the document, “Baptist Faith & Message 2000.” In the document, the SBC makes it clear that only men are authorized by Scripture to serve as pastors:

Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation, each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its two scriptural offices are that of pastor/elder/overseer and deacon. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor/elder/overseer is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.[1]

It has been the practice of the overwhelming majority of SBC congregations to only elect men as pastors. However, a few congregations chose to deviate from this practice and allow women to serve as pastors - including the two churches that were expelled – the Fern Creek Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky and the Saddleback Church in Southern California. Rev. Linda Popham has served as senior pastor of the Fern Creek Baptist Church since 1993. In 2022, upon the retirement of senior pastor Rick Warren, Saddleback Church called clergy couple Amy and Stacie Wood to serve as pastors. In 2021, three women were installed as pastors. [2]

In addition to expelling two churches, the SBC membership overwhelmingly approved an amendment to Article III of their constitution to clarify that electing men as pastors is not simply a tradition but a mandate.[3]

At Louisville Seminary, we believe that God freely gives gifts and graces to all people. We believe that our responsibility as followers of Christ is to continually critique and reform our thoughts, beliefs, and practices to make room for all to be members of communities of faith and to dwell freely in God’s kindom.[4] Everyone must have the freedom to be the people whom God created them to be. When we adopt beliefs and practices that erect barriers and stumbling blocks for any of our siblings we are being unfaithful to our call.

We believe that God is Spirit. Where the spirit of God is allowed to reign, all of humanity therein will live in freedom. May all who follow Christ continually strive to foster environments where all of God’s people are able to fully develop and use their gifts regardless of race, gender, gender identity, class or sexual orientation.

Debra J. Mumford
Dean of the Seminary


[1] “Baptist Faith & Message 2000,” The Southern Baptist Convention. https://bfm.sbc.net/bfm2000/#i . Accessed June 19, 2023.

[2] Brendan O’Brien, “Southern Baptists Finalize Expulsion of Two Churches with Female Pastors.” Reuters, June 14, 2023. Accessed June 19, 2023. https://www.reuters.com/world/us/southern-baptists-finalize-expulsion-two-churches-with-female-pastors-2023-06-14/.

[3] Dakin Andone and Shawn Nottingham, “Southern Baptist Convention votes to uphold removal of Saddleback Church over women pastors after appeal by Rick Warren.” June 15, 2023. Accessed June 19, 2023. https://www.cnn.com/2023/06/14/us/southern-baptist-convention-annual-meeting/index.html.

[4] Ada María Isasi-Díaz, La Lucha Continues: Mujerista Theology (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004), 243-51.

Louisville Seminary Receives $25,000 Moving Forward in Mission Grant to Enhance Online Teaching and Expand Theological Education Access

June 16, 2023

Moving Forward in Mission Header

LOUISVILLE, KY – June 16, 2023 – Louisville Seminary is excited to announce that it has recently received a $25,000 Moving Forward in Mission grant from The Association of Theological Schools | The Commission on Accrediting. This grant will empower the seminary's esteemed faculty with the essential knowledge and tools to deliver courses online, significantly broadening access to theological education for a wider audience.

The Moving Forward in Mission grant program, established by The Association of Theological Schools | The Commission on Accrediting, aims to support theological institutions in their pursuit of innovative strategies to enhance the quality and accessibility of education. Louisville Seminary's successful attainment of this grant underscores its commitment to embracing modern pedagogical approaches and ensuring that theological education remains accessible and relevant in an ever-evolving world.

Louisville Seminary has long been recognized as a pioneer in theological education, fostering an environment where students are equipped to engage critically with complex theological concepts while being encouraged to put their faith into action. The grant's objectives align perfectly with the school's mission and strategic plan, which place a strong emphasis on nurturing spiritual formation, cultivating academic excellence, and promoting equity and inclusivity.

By harnessing the power of online teaching, Louisville Seminary will be able to transcend physical boundaries and reach individuals who may not have had access to traditional theological education due to geographical or other constraints. This initiative will empower the seminary to expand its reach, embracing diversity, and fostering dialogue among a broader spectrum of learners.

Debra Mumford, dean of the seminary, expressed her enthusiasm about the grant, stating, “We are deeply honored to receive the Moving Forward in Mission grant from ATS. This support will enable us to enhance our educational offerings and serve a more diverse community of learners. It aligns perfectly with our mission to prepare leaders who are intellectually astute, spiritually mature, and equipped for the diverse ministries of the church and the world.”

The grant will be utilized to develop comprehensive training programs for faculty, equipping them with the necessary skills to create engaging and interactive online courses. By implementing cutting-edge technologies and pedagogical methodologies, Louisville Seminary aims to deliver an immersive online learning experience that maintains the rigor and depth of traditional classroom settings.

Louisville Seminary looks forward to implementing the Moving Forward in Mission grant and is excited about the new opportunities it will create. By expanding its online educational offerings, the seminary will continue to be at the forefront of theological education, empowering students and fulfilling its commitment to be led by the Holy Spirit to educate people to proclaim the Gospel, to care for all, and to work for justice in communities everywhere.


Monell named Executive Director of Louisville-area Foundation

June 12, 2023

It is with sadness and gratitude that we share the news that Anne Monell, Vice President for Philanthropy & Stewardship, will be ending her time at Louisville Seminary. “Four and a half years ago our seminary community and then Office of Institutional Advancement welcomed Anne Monell to our ranks. Today, our Office of Philanthropy and Stewardship has made significant strides due in no small part to her dedicated leadership and team. Innovative, energetic, insightful, and winsome, Anne has brought much to Louisville Seminary during her time here. While her departure is a sad moment for us, we celebrate her bright future. Thank you, Anne, for having shared your gifts with LPTS. You will be missed!” commented seminary president Alton B. Pollard, III.

Anne Monell

Anne shares the following with gratitude. "It has been such a privilege to be part of the Louisville Seminary community. Prior to joining LPTS in January 2019, I had been praying for a next step that would lead me to a welcoming, mission-based organization that aligned with my personal values. Louisville Seminary’s “Whosoever” community was the answer to that prayer.

What an honor it has been to work alongside exceptional colleagues in the Office of Philanthropy & Stewardship and the senior leadership team, as well as the Board of Trustees, President’s Roundtable and Alum Board. I am especially grateful to Alton for his leadership and mentorship during our time together. It is because of his guidance and support that I feel confident to take on this new endeavor. My last day at LPTS will be June 15, and I am excited to take the helm of the Legacy Foundation of Kentuckiana at the end of June. In this new role I will develop a grantmaking program that will support projects in the greater Louisville area that improve healthcare equity and access. I anticipate finding ways to continue working together with LPTS and faith communities in our area.

Of course, I feel a twinge of sadness to be leaving as we are welcoming a new president to LPTS. I have gotten to know Andrew Pomerville through the seminary’s relationship with Alma College and his participation on the President’s Roundtable. I am confident he will be an excellent leader for the Seminary’s next stage of growth. Again, thank you all for such a rewarding and fulfilling experience together. I will continue to hold Louisville Seminary in my heart and prayers."

Elizabeth Clay, Board of Trustees chair, added, “Anne Monell has brought strong leadership and expertise to the Office of Philanthropy and Stewardship during her years with us. She has engaged with longtime friends of Louisville Seminary and helped us make new ones. From the moment Anne became a part of our community she has looked for ways to use data, proven models, and her positive attitude to increase giving in all areas. We will miss you, Anne! May God go with you!”

Best of luck to you, Anne on your new endeavors!


The Reverend Doctor Andrew David Pomerville named as the 11th president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

May 31, 2023

Andrew Pomerville named as the 11th LPTS president

CLICK HERE to watch the live announcement!

In a world hungry for visionary leaders, where faith, education, and justice-driven work intersect, The Board of Trustees of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary proudly and with great excitement welcomes its 11th president: The Reverend Dr. Andrew David Pomerville.

Andrew brings to Louisville Seminary successful experience in both higher education and ecumenical parish ministry, defined by innovation, energy and joyful communication as an executive administrator, chaplain, and senior pastor. Currently at Alma College (MI), he is the founding director of the Center for College and Community Engagement, Assistant Vice President for Community Engagement, and Senior Chaplain. Committed to students’ formation, through his active role in recruitment he has exceeded goals for increasing enrollment; implemented the graduation requirement for off-campus involvement, while developing and teaching nine new courses; and directed the Pre-Ministry Professional Program, guiding graduates each year to LPTS. With Alma’s Institutional Distinctive Task, he asked where the College’s strengths meet the changing needs of our region and the world; and in the $120 million capital campaign, he co-led the $2 million fund for the historic chapel’s renovation. He has been a champion for anti-racism policies and LGBTQIA+ affirming practices in education and the Church. An officer of the Presbyterian College Chaplains, he participates actively in the network of the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities.

Andrew came to Alma in 2018 from the multi-denominational 1300-member People’s Church of East Lansing — affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and American Baptist Church — where as Senior Pastor for seven years he led a staff of 82 to use the church’s resources, including location and historic significance, to start new ministries focused on ecumenical partnerships, racial justice, targeted mission, and active involvement in city and state planning. Immediately before, was pastor for four years of the multi-denominational Church in the Hills (Bellaire, MI), with a growing membership of 250, and earlier served as a director of youth ministries and hospice chaplain.

In his ministerial leadership, Andrew has developed financial acumen with a love for fundraising, stewardship of relationships and recruitment of new giving partners. Through the Presbyterian Foundation, he has been named one of ten Church Financial Leadership Coaches, working with congregations and pastors across the US. He was awarded the Executive Certificate for Religious Fundraising (ECRF) from the Lake Institute for Religious Fundraising (ECRF) of Indiana University/Purdue University-Indianapolis. He serves on the boards of his local community foundation, is nominated for Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and formerly chaired the board of NYAKA, a foundation in Uganda focusing on AIDS orphans. He has come to know LPTS as a member of the President’s Roundtable.

Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2007, Andrew is a graduate of three Presbyterian schools: Bachelor of Arts in history and religious studies, Alma College (2001) ; Master of Divinity, Princeton Theological Seminary (2007), and Doctor of Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (2018), focused on Reformed Theology in a joint program with University of Aberdeen. In addition to the ECRF, he holds certificates in Presidential Leadership Development from CREDO, and Adaptive Leadership from Michigan State University’s College of Business.

Andrew is eager for the seminary community to meet his spouse Rachell, currently a Great Start Readiness Program specialist in the Lansing School District, and their children Denali and Bryce, who will be a senior and sophomore in high school this fall.

Dr. Pomerville’s proven record of innovation, creativity, and adaptive leadership will serve the seminary well in the next season. His commitment to WHOSOEVER, his lifelong attentiveness to student formation and his embrace of a joyful theology of stewardship will allow him to share our seminary’s story in an exciting and compelling way. Welcome Andrew!

Don’t miss introductory events and other opportunities to connect and engage with Andrew.

For upcoming events and to send a message, visit: lpts.edu/incomingpresident


Presidential Profile

lpts.edu/incomingpresident

Spotlight Video


Active shooting in Downtown Louisville

April 10, 2023

Downtown Louisville

We pray for peace within our city, our state, our nation, and our world.

Dear Seminary Community,

Our thoughts and prayers go to God for the families and loved ones of those who died from today’s tragedy in Downtown Louisville. We lift our hearts to God for healing for those injured, especially those whose lives hang in the balance. We pray for God’s comforting presence and peace upon those in the grips of terror and anxiety for being on the scene when the shooting occurred. We pray for God’s strength upon those within our community who may experience vicarious trauma from being notified of this occurrence. We express thanks to God for the quick response of the city’s first responders, whose actions prohibited further loss of life and/or injury. We pray for community leaders as they minister to the grieving. We pray for our students who are currently completing their Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at University Hospital where those injured were taken. We pray for the family and friends of the aggressor, who are now left with unfathomable pain. We pray for those within our community whose spiritual and mental pain tends to translate into retaliatory actions of violence. May they find resources that can enable them to transform hate into reconciliation and love. We mourn the loss of those whose lives have been taken from us. We pray for peace within our city, our state, our nation, and our world.

In the name of the Holy One,
Amen.

If you or anyone you know would like to speak with someone regarding mental health resources or need a safe space to share concerns and grief, please contact the Office of Community Life (llias@lpts.edu, kgray@lpts.edu, or 502-992-9365).

To read the Kentucky Council of Churches Statement on Assault Weapons, click here.


Timerding to Retire After 25 Years of Dedicated Service

March 20, 2023

Becky Timerding

On Friday, June 2, 2023, Becky Timerding, Administrative Assistant to the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program, will retire after 25 years of faithful and joyous service to Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. When Becky joined LPTS in 1998, her duties centered on supporting the MFT Program Director (bookkeeping, clerical work, receptionist for the program office) and taking intakes for Louisville Seminary Counseling Ministry. Her responsibilities then expanded to include tracking practicum hours, auditing client records, and serving in a support role to the Clinical Director/Director of Clinical Training.

Loren Townsend, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, who has worked together with Becky for a quarter-century shared, “Becky has been a quiet anchor in the MFT Program who has helped arrange melody and counterpoint out of what otherwise would appear to be a chaotic flurry of unruly notes without particular purpose. Becky has helped us shape our purpose (and document that with the COAMFTE). She has helped us remember the many lives our faculty and students have touched. She’s kept us in order, and we can’t thank her enough for the gifts she has contributed. As she sings her way into retirement, we wish her and her family happiness, health, and peace. Thank you, Becky.”

“Becky has been the soul of the Family Therapy program since before I was myself a seminary student twenty years ago. She has fulfilled her role not as a job but as a calling, shepherding students through their time with us. We will sorely miss her compassion and competence but wish her well in her retirement and the adventures to come,” added friend and colleague, Lesley Ann Earles, Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy.

“I have enjoyed working and being in relationship with the directors, faculty, clinical supervisors, and students who have been a part of the MFT Program. There have been many learning opportunities and new experiences.”

Becky is looking forward to spending couple-time with her husband of 41 years, who is retiring in July from the Jefferson County Public School District, and being with their son. When asked about her retirement plans, Becky enthusiastically commented, “Eric and I plan to do more cycling and disc golfing. This summer we are leading a summer musical arts camp in Jeffersonville, Indiana. ‘There’s more to see than can ever be seen and more to do than can ever be done.’”

Best wishes Becky on your next adventure!


LPTS Supports our Transgender/Gender Non-conforming Siblings

March 06, 2023

Prayer in action Saturday afternoon
[Prayer in action Saturday afternoon as members of the LPTS community united in Downtown Louisville to “work for justice in communities everywhere.”]

Louisville Seminary envisions a world where all can flourish, evidenced by the justice and mercy of God, the welcome of Jesus Christ, and the creativity of the Holy Spirit. To this end, we commit to being a fully inclusive community where all of God’s children feel loved, affirmed, and valued.

Therefore, we condemn anti-transgender legislation that seeks to deny trans and gender-nonconforming people the freedom and agency to live into gender identities that do not adhere to socially constructed gender binaries. We condemn legislation that denies them the mental and physical health care they need to experience the happiness and well-being they deserve. In addition to denying basic human rights, the anti-trans legislation compounds the mental and emotional harm that many people who are trans and gender nonconforming already experience on a daily basis.

Christian faith affirms that each person is a beloved child of God, made in the image of God. Jesus Christ taught us to love one another. And the Holy Spirit has always been a source of transformation, calling us toward new ways of being. Grounded in our Christian heritage and faith, Louisville Seminary stands proudly with transgender and gender-nonconforming youth, adults, their families, and providers committed to providing gender-affirming care.

Debra J. Mumford
Dean of the Seminary


Lias to serve as Student Support Specialist

March 02, 2023

We are excited to share that beginning March 13, 2023, Lisa Lias, who currently serves the Office of Community Life as a part-time Administrative Coordinator, will begin a new role as Student Support Specialist.

Lisa Lias

Her focus will be on coordinating all student engagement initiatives, including the support of students, in the following eight life formation areas: professional, financial, physical, social, spiritual, recreational, intellectual, and emotional. This comprehensive approach to caring, nurturing, and supporting students and their families is an extension of Louisville Seminary's commitment to work towards a world where all can flourish, evidenced by the justice of God, the welcome of Jesus Christ, and the creativity of the Holy Spirit. Lisa will also continue to assist the Dean of Community Life, serve as housing coordinator, and work closely with other ministry departments including admissions in preparing resources for new student cohorts.

Dean of Community Life, Kilen Gray shares, “Lisa Lias has, in one year, made an indelible relational impact upon the entire seminary community, especially among our student body, with just a part-time assignment. Through this new appointment, she will bring her generous, generative, engaging, and compassionate spirit to every student interaction full-time. Her higher education experience and experience as a life coach and grief counselor will be significant as we work to ensure students receive holistic support during their matriculation. We are blessed to have more of her presence within our seminary community.”

“I am overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude to support our students in this capacity,” Lisa added. “I look forward to guiding our students in ways that holistically enhance their lives. My heart’s desire is that every student that attends our Seminary makes many fond memories and leaves better equipped for ministry; not only to serve others but to fully enjoy life for themselves.”


Meet our new Philanthropy Specialist: Jake Johnson

February 20, 2023

February 20, 2023 – (Louisville, KY) Today Louisville Seminary welcomes Jake Johnson as the new part-time Philanthropy Specialist as a member of the Office of Philanthropy and Stewardship team. In this role, Jake will engage in follow-up activities (such as phone calls and emails) after events, assist with updating alum and donor information, and support stewardship projects throughout the year. In the next few weeks, he will assist with several events, including the Grawemeyer Awards, our inaugural Giving and Gratitude Day, and Louisville Seminary 101 presentations.

Jake Johnson

VP for Philanthropy and Stewardship, Anne Monell commented that “Jake brings to LTPS a pastoral approach to relationship-building.” He most recently served as Associate Pastor at Memorial Baptist Church in Newport, Tennessee. He focused his time on welcoming new members, led youth and outreach activities, and assisted with pastoral care and preaching.

Jake grew up in the mountains of Upper East Tennessee as a kid and young adult. He felt a call to ministry at age 15 and began preaching shortly after. His life journey took him into a multitude of denominations and faith traditions. In 2021, Jake graduated from Johnson University with Bachelor's degrees in Bible and Theology and Preaching and Leadership. He was recently accepted into Duke Divinity to begin their online Master of Divinity program. Jake enjoys all things Star Wars related, hanging out with friends, and kayaking and cliff jumping in the summer.

“I’m very excited to get started at LPTS. The mission of Christ and inclusion is something I hold dear and am looking forward to further in my role at the Seminary. My passion has always been people; I cannot wait to express that passion with everyone at LPTS.”


Sara Babcock Selected to Serve at New Director of Admissions

February 14, 2023

February 14, 2023 – (Louisville, KY) LPTS is delighted to announce that Sara Babcock has been selected to serve as our new Director of Admissions. Sara is an anticipated Master of Divinity graduate of Louisville Seminary. Sara has exhibited her unique gifts and graces in leadership and ministry in various capacities during her matriculation.

Sara Babcock

Her leadership and creativity have been exhibited within, and celebrated by, the Seminary community within her work as Student Body Clerk, for which she received affirmation twice by the student body, as Chapel Minister, and within the Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA). Sara has shown significant strength in building supportive relational connections across the human intersectional continuum. She is highly touted by her employment references for her adept communication skills and compassionate pastoral presence.

Sara earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Originally from Nebraska, Sara has had the great fortune to live in distinct and diverse communities in Kentucky, Michigan, Washington DC, France, and Senegal. She is passionate about co-creating communities that are just, honest, and fun! She lives with her partner and cat in Louisville.

While Sara completes her degree program, she will begin work in the Office of Admissions on a part-time basis on Monday, February 20, 2023. Sara transitions to full-time service after commencement on Monday, May 22, 2023. Join me in congratulating Sara Babcock on her new call to ministry. Welcome, Sara, to your new assignment and to the Division of Community Life team at Louisville Seminary.


Edwin Hernández named Executive Director of the Louisville Institute at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

January 19, 2023

Edwin Hernandez

January 19, 2023 - (Louisville, KY) Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS), in partnership with Louisville Institute (LI), has named Edwin I. Hernández, Ph.D., president of AdventHealth University (Orlando, FL), as the new executive director of Louisville Institute. Hernández, who also serves as faculty affiliate and director at the Project for the Study of Latino Religion, Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame, will begin work at Louisville Institute on June 1, 2023.

“Dr. Hernández has a distinguished leadership profile in the worlds of faith, philanthropy, and higher education,” commented Seminary president, Alton. B. Pollard, III. “As the executive director of the Louisville Institute, he brings a genuine understanding of issues before the church and academy, and a just engagement with the communities and constituencies they serve. LI’s impactful witness of promoting scholarship that contributes to the flourishing of the church continues.”

“It is a privilege and an honor to join the Louisville Institute. I am eager to lend my scholarly contributions, philanthropic and academic leadership experience, professional relationships, and core values to advance the mission of the Louisville Institute,” stated Hernández.

Funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. since 1990, the Institute’s mission is to bridge Church and academy through awarding grants and fellowships to those who lead and study North American religious institutions, practices, and movements, thereby promoting scholarship that strengthens Church, academy, and society, and ultimately contribute to the flourishing of the Church. The Institute advances this work through funding diverse research that addresses the changing and diverse global, multicultural, generational, intersectional, and emerging currents facing North American Christianity, as well as related global connections and implications. In addition, the Institute’s Vocation of the Theological Educator initiative seeks to nurture a new generation of scholars who are considering theological education as a vocation through intentional, focused, professional formation and teaching.

“The Louisville Institute has long played a critical role in supporting research and writing that explores both emerging edges of vitality and hard challenges facing Christian communities today,” said Dr. Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “Dr. Hernández is an experienced leader and an accomplished scholar. He is exceptionally well-prepared to guide the Institute as it carries forward its mission.”

“The health and vitality of communities, neighborhoods, and families are closely connected to the strength of religious institutions. There is no more important task than to better understand the depth and scope of religious life in America in all of its diversity and expressions,” adds Hernández. “I am excited to join the team at the Louisville Institute and be part of the longstanding and prestigious legacy of advancing the careers of the next generation of leaders and scholars united to advance the flourishing mission of American Christianity.”

Hernández earned a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame, an M.Div. from Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary (Andrews University), and a B.A. in Theology with Educational Emphasis from Loma Linda University. He was also ordained to the ministry within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1991.


E.M. White Library & Louisville Seminary Announce Callicott to be the New Director of Library Services

January 18, 2023

January 18, 2023 - (Louisville, KY) - On July 1, 2023, Burton Callicott will assume the position of Director of the E.M. White Library. Callicott has served as the public services librarian at the E. M. White Library since October 2020. In this role, he oversees day-to-day operations and maintains library functions including circulation and information desk services, course reserves, reference, interlibrary loan, collection development, and research instruction.

Burton Callicott

Callicott earned a Master of Library and Information Science and a Master of Arts in English from the University of South Carolina. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Before beginning his work at Louisville Seminary, he worked for nineteen years as a librarian at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. During this time he held several positions including head of research and instruction services. He also served for several years on SACSCOC QEP (Southern Association of Colleges and School Commission on Colleges and Schools Quality Enhancement Plan) committees. He has also served as a librarian at Long Island University and the Queens Public Library.

“Burton’s years of library experience and commitment to sustainability and open access make him the ideal person to serve as library director at this time in our institutional history. His experiences as head of research and instruction will continue to benefit our students as they prepare for many different ministries and careers. In addition, his many years of experience in accreditation will enable him to help us to continue to meet the accreditation standards of all of our accrediting bodies,” said Dean Mumford.

“I am thrilled at the prospect of guiding the library to provide the highest quality and most responsive support to the community in all its endeavors,” said Callicott. “Sustainability and open access are concepts that inform much of my work as the library navigates the myriad of changes that have resulted from the transition from an analog to a digital world.” The Library, which is open to the public, currently offers 24/7 remote access to ebooks and research databases, video tutorials, pictorial guides, and information tools.

Faculty member Marcus Hong, who served as search committee chair added, “In addition to more than 20 years of experience in various library settings, Burton’s warm presence, excellent listening skills and quiet competence were evident to the search committee from the beginning. Through the interview process, we also came to understand that he brings to this role a kind of collaborative leadership that inspires trust in those with whom he works, as well as significant experience in and a compelling vision for the kind of institutional evaluation and accreditation that brings a community together to tell its story.”

Callicott is forever grateful to his wife, Alea McKinley, for all of her support and for the fact that she alerted him to the Public Services Librarian job post that initially brought him to the Louisville Seminary.

The Ernest Miller White Library was named in honor of the Seminary librarian who served from 1944-1985, which spanned the move from the downtown campus to the current location on Alta Vista Rd.


2022

Louisville Seminary Makes Historic Dedication on Campus In Honor Of Long-Time Employees

December 22, 2022

Louisville Seminary Makes Historic Dedication on Campus In Honor Of Long-Time Employees

[Louisville, KY, November, 2022] Spanning five decades, brothers Bryant Carter, Sr. and Bobi (boe-bee) Carter were beloved and vital “fixtures” at Louisville Seminary—serving together in the Facilities Department for 83 years collectively. In their honor, and with overwhelming support of Louisville Seminary leadership, president, Alton Pollard III, formally dedicated a looping area of the drive upon entering the Seminary grounds as “Carter Circle.”

The dedication, which was originally planned for early 2020, but delayed until all could gather together in person, took place on Thursday, October 27th. According to Pollard, “Bryant and Bobi have long been a gift to us at LPTS. Now enjoying the gifts of retirement, they returned to campus with their families for a surprise dedication in their honor. At the main entrance to our seminary, Carter Circle now bears their name as a lasting tribute. We are grateful for these two siblings who reflect Louisville Seminary at our best. In no small way, I am because they are.
Pollard spoke at Thursday’s event of the significance of Carter Circle being at the entrance of the campus, since the Carters embodied the welcoming spirit of Louisville Seminary.

Todd McWhorter, Director of Facilities who served beside the Carters for 22 years, also spoke at the dedication, saying “In the time that I have known Bobi and Bryant, they have become not only my friends, but my brothers. Throughout their careers, there have been countless students, alums, professors, presidents, and past employees who have sought them out to say hello and to see what had been happening on campus. Their good nature and welcoming personalities are missed in the Facilities Department, but they continue to inspire us today to be good stewards and caretakers not only of the physical assets of Louisville Seminary, but also of the community.”

The greenspace in the center of Carter Circle now showcases a permanent sign and memorial plaque for all to see. Bobi and Bryant were gifted with a framed map of the campus showing the addition of Carter Circle. Bryant senior was emotional with joy in his comments, “That sneaky son of mine would not tell me what was going on. I really was not prepared for such an honor, and I speak for my brother and our families in saying we are certainly grateful for the recognition. This seminary has been like “home” to us.”

Louisville Seminary reserves dedications of this type to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to the campus and its students. The Carter brothers are historically the first persons of African American descent to be distinguished. In addition, Bryant Carter, Jr. now carries on the work and legacy of the Carter family.

Bobi and Bryant
LPTS Carter Circle Dedication
Group at Carter Circle Dedication

We would love for our community to hear the uplifting story of these individuals who, through their careers and hearts, made a significant impact in Louisville—and beyond.


Louisville Seminary receives The Sun-Walking Fellowship Grant to Strengthen Congregational Ministries with Youth

December 14, 2022

Louisville Seminary receives The Sun-Walking Fellowship Grant to Strengthen Congregational Ministries with Youth

Sun Walking Fellowship Youth

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has been awarded a one million dollar grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. to reimagine youth ministry through the Sun-Walking Fellowship, which is part of the Endowment’s “Strengthening Congregational Ministry with Youth Initiative.” Through this grant, young people will be empowered to use art to express their experiences of and encounters with God in “embodied, experiential and emotional ways.” This grant defines art very broadly to include works created from old scraps of fabric or torn up newspapers, as a play, as music with instruments, or as works made from common materials collected by the community.

The uniqueness of this grant’s approach to youth ministry is that rather than targeting youth for programming that separates them from their faith communities, it invites youth to participate in creative endeavors with people in their faith communities of many different generations. The grant’s creative approaches will honor young people’s humanity and agency, embed them within the ongoing ministry of intergenerational spiritual communities, and embrace their varying abilities and embodiments. Activities of the grant will involve various forms of art-making and relationship building inspired by the ideals and practice of community-engaged art.

The name “Sun-Walking Fellowship,” is meant to indicate a community of mutual interest, like artists who are embedded in communities through an artistic “residency.” “Sun-Walking” was inspired by the famous spiritual experience of Thomas Merton:

“In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world… if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.”1

“Sun-Walking” is a way of being in ministry with others, in connection with their humanity and one’s own, that seeks beauty and God’s action in everyday experiences.

Marcus Hong, Director of Field Education, Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, and Chapel Worship Coordinator at Louisville Seminary, will serve as Project Director. “Art-making has a way of bringing people together, of reminding us of our shared humanity and dignity, and of evoking deeply passionate engagement from all involved,” says Hong. “I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to explore playful, embodied, and creative ways of inviting youth into the ministry of congregations. Instead of a consumeristic framework of ministry that is marketed to youth, this project hopes to inspire a collaborative, joyful framework of intergenerational ministry in which youth are central players and decision-makers, held within a loving, supportive community.”

“After being approached by the Endowment earlier this year, Marcus conceived of this incredibly creative, inter-generational and communal approach to youth ministry which will be at once engaging and formative. We at Louisville Seminary are blessed to be able to participate in this work which will affirm the many gifts, talents, perspectives and experiences of youth of many different races, ethnicities, gender identities and faith traditions while also building and strengthening their faith,” says Dean Debra Mumford.

1Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (1966, 2009), p. 153-154.


Grawemeyer Religion Award Winner Announced

December 9, 2022

Renewed faith will help Black Lives Matter, says 2023 Religion Award Winner

Duncan Ryuken Williams

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—How do we really know God cares when Black people are still getting killed? How long do we have to wait for God’s justice?

Hearing her son ask those questions and seeing Black Lives Matter protests erupt nationwide after George Floyd’s death led theologian Kelly Brown Douglas to write “Resurrection Hope: A Future Where Black Lives Matter.” Today she was named winner of the 2023 Grawemeyer Award in Religion for the book’s ideas.

Douglas, dean of Union Theological Seminary’s Episcopal Divinity School in New York City and a canon theologian at Washington Cathedral, is one of the first Black female Episcopal priests in the United States and the first Black person to head an Episcopal Church-affiliated educational institution.

In “Resurrection Hope,” she shows how a “white way of knowing” came to dominate America through an anti-Black narrative tracing back to the Greek philosopher Aristotle. She also cites examples of how the bias persists today, from the refusal to dismantle Confederate monuments to attempts to discredit The 1619 Project, an effort to reframe U.S. history starting from the year the first enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia.

While recognizing the prolonged suffering of Black people raises deep questions about the credibility of Christianity, she argues that faith, not despair, is the best hope for assuring Black lives are valued.

“Douglas takes us on a captivating, painful journey with personal and erudite reflections on America’s corrupted soul,” said Tyler Mayfield, religion award director. “Her insights are lucid and disturbing. Her remedies are bold and constructive. May we find the courage to walk into the future she envisions for us all.”

Douglas, who has doctor of philosophy and master of divinity degrees, has been a faculty member at Edward Waters College, Howard University and Goucher College. She has written five books, including “Sexuality and the Black Church” in which she addresses homophobia from a womanist perspective.

Orbis Books published her Grawemeyer Award-winning book in 2021.

The University of Louisville and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary jointly give the religion prize. Recipients of next year’s Grawemeyer Awards were named this week pending formal approval by university and seminary trustees. The $100,000 prizes also honor seminal ideas in music, world order, psychology and education. Winners will visit Louisville in the spring to accept their awards and give free talks on their winning ideas.

(photo by Ron Hester)

Stay tuned for more details regarding a visit from the 2023 winner to lecture in Caldwell Chapel on March 30, 2023.


Louisville Seminary Presidential Search Committee Members Announced

November 18, 2022

November 17, 2022 (LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — At the fall 2022 meeting of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Board of Trustees, Alton B. Pollard, III, announced his intention to retire in 2023. President Pollard will serve until a new president is named and assumes office, no later than January 2024.

On November 17, 2022, trustee chair Elizabeth Clay shared, “I am pleased to announce the members of the presidential search committee. Together they represent the many constituencies of Louisville Seminary-trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the President’s Roundtable. Individually they bring various experiences, skills, and gifts as well as a deep love for LPTS.” Clay added, “In the Reformed tradition there is an understanding that the Spirit moves within groups of people and that God calls different leaders at different times. I believe that with the dedication and hard work of the members of this committee and the prayers of the whole community, the Spirit will bring us a new leader who will build on President Pollard’s legacy of common purpose and Whosoever.”

Updates and news about the search for Louisville Seminary’s new president will be available on the seminary’s website throughout the search process.

Louisville Seminary Presidential Search Committee 2022–2023

Rev. Mary Gene Boteler HR, Search Committee Chair, is a member of the Presbytery of Scioto Valley and serves on the Board of Trustees, Class of 2024. In 2005 she was recognized as a Distinguished LPTS Alum (MDiv ’78). As a pastor, she served the denomination and the larger ecumenical community both nationally and internationally. She is married to Rick Nutt, Professor Emeritus of Muskingum University. (LPTS MDiv ’80, Ph.D. Vanderbilt ’86). They live in Westerville, OH.

Lisa Allgood currently serves on the Louisville Seminary Board of Trustees class of 2026, and is the Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Cincinnati. Lisa attends 65 churches and a New Worshipping Community! Her Home church is Covenant-First Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati. Lisa is a retired immunologist with 36 years in the pharmaceutical industry.

Elizabeth Clay (ex officio) currently serves as Chair on the Board of Trustees, class of 2024, and is an alum of LPTS (MDiv ’87). She is an ordained elder, active in the adult education program, and works part-time as the parish associate providing congregational care at Second Presbyterian Church in Louisville, KY.

Lesley Ann Earles joined LPTS in 2020 and is an Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy. She is a clinical supervisor and fellow in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Prior to returning to LPTS, Earles served as an Assistant Professor at Eastern University, in parish and campus ministry, and as a counselor.

Michael Gilligan is currently serving on the Board of Trustees, class of 2025. Michael is President Emeritus of the Henry Luce Foundation (New York), having retired in 2019. He is married to John Indalecio who is an Occupational therapist. Michael is a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, Columbus, OH.

Isaac Njuguna is a retired Clinical Pastoral Education supervisor bringing a Marriage and Family Therapy perspective having supervised more than 75 LPTS students during his career. In 2010 Isaac was recognized as a Distinguished LPTS Alum (MDiv ’75, DMin ’79). He is a member of the President’s Round Table and was engaged in the “Whosoever” conversation during their meetings.

Mika Rangel grew up in Wilton, a small town in Iowa. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from the University of Dubuque and is currently attending Louisville Seminary dual majoring in Master of Divinity and Master in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Tim Stoepker is currently serving on the Board of Trustees, class of 2024 and is an Attorney. He is a member of First Presbyterian Church Grand Haven and is a Middle hour facilitator/teacher. He is also on the Ottawa County Parks Foundation Board, Camp Sunshine Board Member, Advisory Board for the College of Liberal Arts Western Michigan University, and Adjunct Professor at Western Michigan Cooley Law School.

Kassandra Turpin serves as Communications Director for Louisville Seminary, joining the staff in 2021. In her role, Kassy oversees all facets of the seminary’s marketing, public/media/community relations, as well as digital and print communications to internal and external stakeholders.

Katina Whitlock serves on the Board of Trustees, class of 2025, and is a Senior Manager, Community Engagement for GE Appliances, leading global philanthropy and volunteer strategy and initiatives. She is a member of Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and serves on their Board of Stewards. Katina is a graduate of the University of Louisville completing undergraduate and graduate degrees in Communication.

Scott C. Williamson joined the Louisville Seminary faculty in 1997 to teach theological ethics, and he helped to build the seminary’s Black Church Studies program. Williamson was selected by Leadership Kentucky as one of forty future leaders in the Commonwealth under the age of 40. He has served the city of Louisville as a Big Brother, commissioner on the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission, a volunteer firefighter, and children’s advocate.


Pollard, President of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Announces Retirement.

November 3, 2022

November 3, 2022 (LOUISVILLE, KY) - Alton B. Pollard, III, tenth president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, announced his intention to retire in 2023. President Pollard will serve until a new president is named and assumes office, no later than January 2024. The Board of Trustees authorized chair Elizabeth Clay to appoint a presidential search committee at its October meeting, and this group, which will include representatives from the faculty, staff, alumni and student body, will begin its work soon.

“I am thankful to God for you, LPTS. From our trustees to our alums, students and faculty, staff and friends, all. It has been the honor of my professional life to lead this esteemed seminary. Our work together is not yet done. I look forward to the months to come as we companion together, seeking understanding, implementing the demands of justice, with a magnificent faith, moving toward the beloved community we long to be. Many lamps, one light.” stated President Pollard who formally began his service with Louisville Seminary on September 3, 2018. When asked about the reasoning for his retirement, Pollard explained, “Having experienced significant health challenges in the midst of pandemic change, I welcome the wellness changes that life has in store. My retirement as the president of LPTS will be in summer ‘23 and no later than January ‘24, as most helpful to our seminary and Board.”

Clay added, “Louisville Seminary is filled with gratitude for the leadership of President Alton B. Pollard, III. Under his guidance, we weathered the difficulties of dual pandemics - Covid and the painful reality of pervasive racism. During a period of ‘social distancing’ President Pollard’s commitment to common purpose and common vision brought the seminary community together working toward the future where God is calling us. We will miss him.”

“It has been a joy and honor to serve with Dr. Pollard. He has continually encouraged us to live into our commitments of becoming an anti-racist and more inclusive community in substantive and tangible ways. He has helped us to dismantle the silos that separated various offices and personnel throughout the seminary. Through the Common Purpose Initiative and ongoing Task Forces we now work much more cooperatively with one another for the good of the seminary. Dr. Pollard will be missed,” says Academic Dean Debra Mumford.


Louisville Seminary receives $1 Million Lilly Endowment Grant to support Christian Parenting & Caregiving Program

September 21, 2022

We are pleased to announce that Louisville Seminary has received a $1 Million Christian Parenting and Caregivers grant from the Lilly Endowment. The aim of this initiative is to enhance the religious education and formation of children and youth by helping parents and caregivers engage in Christian practices to pass on their faith and values to their children. The scope of the grant is inclusive by embracing children who are biological, adopted and foster and youth under the care of an adult such a grandparent. In keeping with our values, Louisville Seminary will engage caregivers and parents of many races, ethnicities, gender identities, ages and sexual orientations.

The ongoing work of Dr. J. Bradley Wigger on children and faith over the years helped to put Louisville Seminary on the Endowment’s radar for this. In addition, our Marriage and Family Therapy program with faculty who are knowledgeable about human development was also key.

“In part,” Wigger said, “the funds will help support the research for the Religious Imagination of Children project that explores how children think about the substance of their religious lives—God, church, prayer, and creation, for example. In addition, we are interviewing parents, grandparents, and caregivers not only about the importance of passing on faith to their children, but the ways in which children themselves and their faith have deeply impacted their own spirituality. Children pass on faith to adults as well.”

The Endowment invited us to apply for both a Phase 1 planning grant and the Phase 2 implementation grant at the end of February this year. We submitted a proposal for the planning grant on March 14th and asked Alicia DeMartra Pressley to spearhead the planning grant phase. Alicia did excellent work by meeting with LPTS faculty and staff, parents and caregivers in April, May and June. She also convened an advisory committee of caregivers, pastors and religious educators to provide feedback about approaches to passing faith to children and youth. Her work provided an excellent foundation for our Phase 2 grant application. She also provided substantial budget recommendations for the final proposal.

The grant includes funds for Louisville Seminary to hire a new faculty colleague in Pastoral Care. This new colleague will direct the grant, teach and develop educational seminars and teach pastoral care courses in our degree programs for the next five years. The Director will also help build a website with videos and other resources which will be instructive.

The team who wrote this grant over the summer includes: Anne Monell, Vice President of Advancement and Stewardship; Alicia DeMartra Pressley; Lauren Yates, grant writer/consultant; and Dean Debra Mumford. Input from faculty members and staff including Brad Wigger, Loren Townsend, Lesley Earles and Beth Troy helped to make our grant application successful.

“One of the most exciting aspects of this Christian Parenting and Caregivers grant is that Lilly defines ‘practices’ very broadly. In addition to acts of piety such as prayer and worship, practices of social activism and advocacy, nature walks and other activities that parents and caregivers can do together with their children will also be included. We are grateful to the Endowment for allowing us to be part of this very important and consequential work,” says Dean Debra Mumford.

Seminary President Alton B. Pollard, III, adds, “The intergenerational aspect of this grant, the sharing and transmitting of faith’s wisdom, in knowledge and practice, from elders to youngers and in return, is exciting. Learnings gleaned will be impactful across our seminary degree programs and of real value to everyday households no less to households of faith. Thank you to our LPTS colleagues who collaborated to bring this opportunity from the Lilly Endowment to fruition.”


Congratulations LPTS Graduates!

May 23, 2022

Class of 2020, 2021, and 2022.

Baccalaureate

God we give you thanks for all the work you are doing at Louisville Seminary and for the opportunities to gather in celebration of our graduates.

In LPTS tradition, our Baccalaureate service held Friday, May 13th, included a moving message titled, “Finding That Which We Seek” given by Rev. Dr. Justin Reed, Assistant Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at Louisville Seminary.

To view the Baccalaureate program, click here.

Commencement

On May 14th we celebrated our graduates Class of ’20, ’21, and 2022 in a beautiful Commencement service. This grand event is the first outdoor and on campus Commencement since the late 1970’s.

The moving Commencement address, “Lavish Leadership for An Age Lacking Love”, was given by Bishop Karen P. Oliveto, Mountain Sky Conference of The United Methodist Church.

To view the Commencement program, awards, and graduates, click here.

View Photo Gallery


Louisville Seminary receives Lilly Endowment grant to support planning of Christian Parenting and Caregiving Program

May 17, 2022

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has been awarded a $50,000 planning grant from The Lilly Endowment. The focus of the grant is gathering best-practices for passing Christian faith of parents and caregivers to their children. Louisville Seminary was approached for this grant opportunity largely because of the work of Professor Brad Wigger whose many years of focusing his research on children and faith caught Lilly’s attention.

To inform this project, best practices will be gathered from faculty, children and family therapists, pastors and other religious leaders who work directly with children. This information will be used to develop curriculum to be used to equip parents and caregivers with informed approaches about how to share their faith with their children.

The Lilly Endowment defines faith “practices” very broadly to include practices such as worship, prayer, meditation and bible study, as well as, social justice advocacy in many different forms. Lilly is also committed to including practices of parents and caregivers of many different races, ethnicities, ages, social classes, gender identities and sexual orientations.

Louisville Seminary alumnae Alicia Demartra-Pressley (MDiv/MFT, 2021) will serve as Project Leader for the grant. She will work throughout the summer to gather best practices through interviews, focus groups and reviewing current scholarship. She will also convene an Advisory Committee of ten people (therapists, pastors, and Christian educators) to inform her work.

Louisville Seminary Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling and Director of the Marriage & Family Therapy Program, Dr. Loren Townsend shares, “There is no task as important as parenting—a task increasingly difficult in our complex world. The Christian Parenting and Caregiving program describes a multi-disciplinary, multi-systemic program to help parents develop skills to pass time-honored, sustaining faith practices to present and future generations. This program is unique in its breadth, depth and attention to best practices and diversity in Christian education.”

“We were delighted to receive an invitation from Lilly to apply for this planning grant,” said Dean Debra Mumford. “This grant is directly in line with our Mission to “educate people to proclaim the Gospel, to care for all, and to work for justice in communities everywhere.” We are fortunate to have faculty colleagues such as Dr. Brad Wigger, Dr. Lesley Earles, and Dr. Loren Townsend, along with the knowledge and experiences of many Louisville Seminary alumni and friends, to help parents and caregivers share their faith practices with their children.


168th LPTS Graduation Exercises – May 13 & 14th onsite and online.

April 27, 2022

Baccalaureate

May 13, 2022, 4:00 pm (ET)
Louisville Seminary Caldwell Chapel and lpts.edu/watchlive

Rev. Dr. Justin Reed

Rev. Dr. Justin Reed

Assistant Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible

"Finding That Which We Seek"

Justin Michael Reed joined the faculty at Louisville Seminary in 2018. Among his contributions to the life of the seminary has been his involvement in various efforts at building up our ability to become an antiracist institution. This includes his leadership on multiple committees dedicated to the implementation and assessment of antiracist pedagogy and policies.

In all of his courses on the Hebrew Bible, he enjoys engaging students with reception history, ideological criticism, and how the concepts of race and ethnicity can relate to our interpretation of biblical texts. These research interests are present in multiple of his publications including his forthcoming book, The Injustice of Noah’s Curse (under contract with Oxford University Press).

Justin is also an ordained Baptist minister who has preached, taught, lectured, and led Bible studies at churches in his hometown of Los Angeles, his wife’s home church in Seattle, and various other churches in Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. His service to the church also includes a foundational essay on honoring God’s diversity for the PC(USA) “Follow Me” curriculum and online contributions to theBibleforUs.com, FirstReadingPodcast.com, GreatBibleTeachers.com, WorkingPreacher.org, and more.

Justin is married to attorney Catherine Howard, who serves as a public defender for Jefferson County; they are the proud parents of Jordan Matthew Howard-Reed and they are expecting their second child this fall.

Commencement

May 14, 2022, 10:00 am (ET)
Louisville Seminary Quad (outdoor) and lpts.edu/watchlive

Bishop Karen P. Oliveto

Bishop Karen P. Oliveto

Mountain Sky Conference of The United Methodist Church

"Lavish Leadership for An Age Lacking Love"

Karen P. Oliveto was consecrated as a bishop of The United Methodist Church on July 16, 2016 in Scottsdale, Ariz., and assigned for the 2016-2020 quadrennium to the Mountain Sky Episcopal Area, which includes the Rocky Mountain, and Yellowstone annual (regional) conferences. It includes 400 congregations in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and a small section of Idaho.

Bishop Oliveto was elected to the episcopacy after serving as the first woman pastor of the 12,000-member Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco, Calif. She is the first woman to serve as senior pastor of one of The United Methodist Church’s 100 largest congregations. She served Glide from 2008 until her election as bishop.

Born on Good Friday in 1958, in the aptly named community of Babylon, N.Y. Bishop Oliveto grew up in her local United Methodist Church, being active in Sunday School and the youth group, believing from an early age that God was calling her into ministry. She earned her B.A. in Psychology, cum laude, from Drew University, Madison, N.J., in 1980. She earned her Master in Divinity from Pacific School of Religion, Berkley, Calif., in 1983, a Master in Philosophy from Drew University in 1991, and a PhD in the Sociology of Religion from Drew University in 2002.

She was ordained as an Elder in the New York Conference of The United Methodist Church in 1985. She transferred her clergy membership to the California-Nevada Annual Conference in July 1997.

Bishop Oliveto was twice elected as a delegate, in 2004 and 2016 to The United Methodist Church’s General Conference, its top legislative body. She was elected as a delegate to the Western Jurisdictional Conference in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. She has been a part of the denomination’s General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Lead Women Pastor Project, and has been a mentor to other clergywomen believing they are called to pastor large churches.

Bishop Oliveto has served in rural and urban settings as well as parish and campus settings in NY and California. She has also served as the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Pacific School of Religion and has been an adjunct professor of United Methodist Studies at the school from 2004 to 2016. She has also been an adjunct professor in Prophetic Leadership for the Doctor of Ministry program at Drew University and was adjunct professor in Evangelism and Mission at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas. Most recently, she taught a course on Prophetic Leadership Through Pastoral Engagement at Illif School of Theology.

Bishop Oliveto is the co-author of Talking About Homosexuality: A Congregational Resource (Pilgrim Press: 2004), and the author of Our Strangely Warmed Hearts: Coming Out into God's Call (Abingdon, 2018) and the newly released Together at the Table: Diversity without Division in The United Methodist Church (Westminster John Knox: 2018).

Bishop Oliveto has the distinction of being the first openly lesbian bishop in The United Methodist Church. She and her wife, Robin Ridenour, a nurse anesthetist and United Methodist deaconess, met in Junior High Church Camp and have been together for 20 years. They were married in 2014.

Oliveto was named by NBC as one of 30 contemporary LGBTQ change-makers as part of their #Pride50 series.


Dr. Gerardo Marti Appointed Interim Executive Director of Louisville Institute

April 23, 2022

Dr. Gerardo Marti

April 21, 2022 - (LOUISVILLE, KY) Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS), in partnership with Louisville Institute (LI), is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Gerardo Marti as the Interim Executive Director of Louisville Institute for academic year 2022-23.

LPTS president, Alton B. Pollard, III shared, “Dr. Marti has long served on the LI Advisory Board and is an accomplished researcher and scholar. In 2020, he presented the Henry H. and Marion A. Presler Lecture at Louisville Seminary. Currently Chair and Professor of Sociology in the department of Sociology at Davidson College, this interim appointment continues the longstanding relationship between our respective institutions. In addition to providing leadership for LI, Dr. Marti will teach a Sociology course as a visiting professor at LPTS this fall. It is an honor to have him here. We are excited to have Dr. Marti join us.”

Louisville Institute Advisory Board member, Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto added, “I’m incredibly grateful that Gerardo Martí will be leading LI during this moment of transition. As both a longtime member of the Advisory Board as well as a leader in the guild, Dr. Martí is in an ideal position to sustain the good work of LI while continuing to build new and expanded networks for the sake of the flourishing of the church and the academy alike. His leadership and expertise are a gift to LI in this important season.”

“For pastors, religious educators, and academic researchers, the Louisville Institute remains a vital center for sponsoring rigorous reflection and high quality scholarship, allowing all of us to avoid speculation and discern what is actually happening with religion in the world”, shared Dr. Marti about his ongoing relationship with Louisville Institute.

Marti will succeed The Rev. Dr. Edwin David Aponte Aponte who served as Executive Director of the Louisville Institute since 2015.


Dr. Trina Armstrong to Join Louisville Seminary Faculty, July 2022

April 11, 2022

Dr. Trina Armstrong

April 11, 2022 - (LOUISVILLE, KY) Dr. Trina Armstrong will join the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Faculty as the Director and Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) and Professor of Pastoral Theology starting July 1, 2022.

Armstrong holds Ph.D. and MA degrees in Practical Theology-Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy from Claremont School of Theology, a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, and an MA in Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy from California Southern University, and a BS in Information Systems from Golden Gate University. She was Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Director of Pastoral Counseling and Clinical Training at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling and Founding Director of Interreligious Chaplaincy at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. She has taught pastoral counseling and chaplaincy courses in the Doctor of Ministry programs at Union Theological Seminary and New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

Debra Mumford, Dean of the Seminary, stated, “We are excited to welcome Dr. Armstrong to Louisville Seminary. She not only brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of the field, she also brings her scholarship and methodological approaches such as Trauma Informed Therapy. Our students will benefit greatly from her expertise and wisdom.”

Armstrong is a Pastoral Counselor and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in several states. She has most recently served as Director of the Center for Wellness Encounters (TCWE), an organization she founded that offers holistic therapy for individuals, couples, and families dealing with trauma, loss, grief, and a range of life transitions. Additionally, she has provided counseling services in churches, hospices, community-based organizations, group therapy practices, substance abuse clinics, and transitional homes as a chaplain, addiction and sexual assault counselor, counselor to homeless families, and systemic family therapist to children, teenagers, and their parents in homes, schools, and residential treatment facilities. She has presented her research at academic conferences, and churches and at many workshops in community organizations and retreats.

Dr. Lesley Ann Earles, Assistant MFT Professor, added, “The search committee set about its process of discernment mindful of the importance of the role of Professor and Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program to the Seminary. Part of our search process included a supervision exercise with MFT students. I was so pleased to see how Dr. Armstrong engaged case material and our clinicians-in-training with proficiency and care. Dr. Armstrong brings many strengths including program administration experience, her pastoral approach, and a womanist theological and clinical perspective.”

“I am thrilled to join the LPTS community of passionate leaders, brilliant scholars, and outstanding students committed to being ambassadors for God's love, justice, and inclusion in all aspects of our ministry together and in the world.” said Armstrong. “I am especially looking forward to collaborating with the extraordinary faculty, clinical staff, and supervisors to build on the rich legacy of preparing and nurturing students to be exemplar systems thinkers and therapists within the MFT program.”


Jean Herp, Communication Specialist, announces retirement at end of semester

April 4, 2022

Jean Herp

Good morning LPTS Community,

It is with sadness that we share that on May 31, 2022, we will celebrate the retirement of Jean Campbell Herp from Louisville Seminary after nearly 21 years of brilliant and faithful service. Jean has been an integral part of the LPTS community serving as Communications Assistant, Printshop Coordinator, and most recently, Communication Specialist. Her joyful spirit, commitment to excellence, and community involvement will be sincerely missed by all.

President Alton B. Pollard, III shares, “Jean Herp is quite simply a delight. She has brought to her years of service with LPTS not only valued communication skills but a spirit of joy and thanksgiving. Jean’s time at LPTS is coming to a close. Her many contributions will be named. To walk by her desk or visit for just a moment makes for a better day. The marvelous joy and warmth she has shared with every one of us, is what I will cherish most. Thank you, Jean!”

“She brings such a spirit of happiness and light to the seminary community. I will miss her smiley faces, her smiling face, and her joyful laugh. I am grateful to have been her colleague!” added Anne Monell, VP of Institutional Advancement.

Seminary Dean Debra Mumford said, “Jean has been a joy to work with. Her work with Seminary Times in particular has been essential to communicate what is happening within the LPTS community – particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. She will be greatly missed.”

Jean commented, “I have enjoyed my service to Louisville Seminary in the various positions I have held. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of participating in our 150th Celebration, three President Inaugurations, and many cohorts of students who remain special to me. While I look forward to enjoying retirement, I will miss the interactions with my co-workers and students.”

Please join me in celebrating Jean as she prepares for new adventures in retirement.


The Rev. Dr. Edwin Aponte Resigns as Executive Director of Louisville Institute

February 11, 2022

Rev. Dr. Edwin Aponte

Louisville Seminary announces that The Rev. Dr. Edwin David Aponte has resigned from his position as Executive Director of Louisville Institute (LI) effective June 30, 2022, to serve as Dean of Drew Theological School, beginning July 1, 2022.

“We are thankful for the strong innovations and steady leadership that Edwin has provided LI for the last eight years. He is a deeply valued member of our senior leadership and will be with us for a few months still. Let us celebrate as a community his stellar accomplishments. Edwin and Laura will be missed,” said Louisville Seminary president Alton B. Pollard, III.

“The Louisville Institute has thrived under Dr. Aponte’s leadership, and we are so proud of all he has accomplished during his tenure. He has been a tireless advocate for a broad range of early and seasoned scholars, as well as diverse and innovative pastoral leaders, who are at the forefront of the academy and church,” added Dr. Aimee Moiso, associate director of the Louisville Institute. “I know I speak for the whole team when I say his passionate and compassionate efforts have contributed deeply to the flourishing of North American Christianity. That he has been invited into this position at Drew Theological School is a measure of what a great scholar and colleague he is, and we will miss him tremendously.”

“His leadership has given the Louisville Institute its future. The monument to Ed’s service is the lives that he shaped and his imagination that inspired the tapestry that is North American Christianity,” shares Rev. Michael Mathers. Peter Cha, who serves on the LI Advisory Board since 2019 includes, “Dr. Ed Aponte has played a critical role in diversifying Louisville Institute's constituents by intentionally developing and deepening ties with minoritized scholars and faith communities."

Eric D. Barreto, LI Advisory Board Member and Weyerhaeuser Associate Professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary joins by adding, “Edwin Aponte has provided extraordinary leadership to the Louisville Institute in a moment that posed both challenges and opportunities. As churches and theological education seek to imagine a renewed future, Edwin diversified the pool of young scholars called to teach and write, empowered emerging leaders already making a difference in the church and academy, and strategically invested in established thinkers poised to make their most lasting contributions to their fields. It was Edwin’s vision, networks, and persistence that made these gains possible. Moreover, Edwin has been a friend and mentor to me and so many other scholars of color. I’m grateful for his time at LI and excited to see how he will continue to help us reimagine theological education anew as Dean at Drew.” Neomi DeAnda, past president of ACHTUS, and current LI Board Member said, “Edwin has worked with the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States for the last four years both through the Louisville Institute sponsoring a reception at the annual ACHTUS Colloquium as well as attending and participating in the colloquium. He has influenced the scholarship of ACHTUS members through his comments during the conjunto (conversation) sessions. His presence and support as Executive Director has both served as a role model for many generations of ACHTUS members as well as demystified the Louisville Institute for colloquium participants who take advantage of the wisdom he offers. Here, I would also like to give a nod to Laura for representing the Louisville Institute in an extremely positive light.”

Louisville Seminary extends its gratitude and well wishes to the Rev. Dr. Edwin David Aponte as he embarks on his future endeavors.


Dr. Anna Bowden to join Louisville Seminary Faculty, Fall 2022.

January 19, 2022

Dr. Anna Bowden

Dr. Anna Bowden has been named Assistant Professor of New Testament at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She will begin her service in the fall of 2022. Bowden has most recently served as Visiting Professor of Biblical Studies at Albion College in Albion, Michigan.

“We are thankful for the fruitful search process that led to Dr. Bowden joining our faculty and look forward to what her just and incisive witness brings to our community,” said President Alton Pollard.

Bowden holds a PhD in New Testament and Early Christian Literature and a ThM in Hebrew Bible from Brite Divinity School, a Master of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and a BA in Religion from Baylor University. She has taught classes in religious studies, biblical interpretation, and biblical languages at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Nazareth College, Monroe Community College, and Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School. Her special interests include locating the New Testament within its Roman imperial context, looking for those on the margins of historical interpretations, interpreting scripture alongside the material culture of the ancient world, and the book of Revelation. Bowden is the author of Revelation and the Marble Economy of Roman Ephesus: A People’s History Approach (Lexington/Fortress) and “Getting Jesus off the Altar: Undoing Atonement Readings of Revelation'' (Review & Expositor). She has also contributed commentaries to the Wisdom Commentary Series from Liturgical Press and the lectionary series Connections from Westminster John Knox.

“Dr. Bowden brings an impressive depth of knowledge of New Testament scholarship and interpretive approaches to her work at Louisville Seminary. She also brings proficiencies in cultural studies, theological studies and empire studies. Her experience with online teaching and knowledge of queer studies will be additional contributions to our students in particular and wider community in general,” said Dr. Debra Mumford.

“I am delighted to be joining a community that sees the work of the church as embracing challenge and change in a broken world,” said Bowden. “I look forward to joining LPTS students, faculty, and staff in their efforts to dismantle racism and other hegemonic ideologies of oppression. It’s an exciting time to be a part of LPTS and I count myself grateful to be joining the good work happening in Louisville and beyond.”


Melisa Scarlott, Faculty Secretary, Retiring After 24+ years of Service

January 11, 2022

Dear Louisville Seminary Community,

Melisa Scarlott

On January 31, 2022, Melisa Scarlott will retire from her position as Faculty Secretary and Grawemeyer Assistant after twenty-four exceptional years of service at LPTS. During her time at Louisville Seminary, Melisa has supported the work of faculty inside of the classroom by securing and maintaining records of copyright permissions to facilitate legal access to course materials, creating indexes, bibliographies, and tables of content for faculty publications, and securing desk copies from publishers as needed for course facilitation.

Melisa’s tremendous organizational skills have been invaluable for her work with the Grawemeyer Award in Religion. She maintained a database of past and current nominators and nominees, acquired, recorded, and distributed books to committee members, made travel arrangements and secured hotel accommodations for the finalist selection committee, and planned events around award announcements and campus visits. Tyler Mayfield, A. B. Rhodes Professor of Old Testament & Faculty Director of the Grawemeyer Award in Religion at LPTS, shares that, “Melisa will be missed dearly by her beloved seminary community. She has been a treasure to work alongside. She is dependable, competent, creative, and caring. The Grawemeyer Award program and I will miss her wisdom and knowledge.”

In addition, Melisa also provided administrative support for the Lilly Endowment funded Money Matters for Ministry program. Dean Mumford adds, “For more than twenty years, Melisa has worked with faculty to ensure that we have the materials and tools we need to be effective in our classrooms. Her work behind the scenes has benefited our students and alums in profound ways. We will sorely miss her quiet spirit and many administrative gifts and graces.” “Melisa has long been a faithful, joyous and beloved presence in our midst. She represents LPTS at its best. Her gifts of grace and spirit will be missed”, shares President Pollard.

Below is a message from Melisa to her LPTS family:

“When I came to Louisville Seminary in October of 1997, it was truly a God-send! The Seminary gave me ways to grow in my work skills and to expand my knowledge and experience in new areas. I have particularly enjoyed my work with the Grawemeyer Award in Religion and the AAPC. I have been privileged to work on faculty manuscripts, including indexing a book, to serve on various committees and as moderator of the Staff Council. I have also been blessed to use my creative gifts by playing piano for Chapel; singing in the chapel choir; and serving many years on the Christmas Committee (my greatest joy was facilitating the “Advent Angels” event each year). I am forever grateful for the opportunity to work with and become friends with many wonderful people as we strive to be ambassadors of God’s love and grace to the world.”

Join me in wishing Melisa well as she begins her well-deserved retirement!

Debra Mumford
Dean of Seminary