News & Seminary Spotlights

Seminary Spotlights

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News & Press Releases

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

2023

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

January 19, 2023

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

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

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

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 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

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

Grawemeyer Religion Award Winner Announced

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

Louisville Seminary Presidential Search Committee Members Announced

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

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

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

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

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

Congratulations Louisville Seminary Graduates

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

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

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

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 Appointed Interim Executive Director of Louisville Institute

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 to Join Louisville Seminary Faculty, July 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, Communication Specialist, announces retirement at end of semester

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

The Rev. Dr. Edwin Aponte resigns as Executive Director of Louisville Institute to serve as Dean of Drew Theological School

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 to join Louisville Seminary Faculty, Fall 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

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

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