News

2019

Andrea Stevens named Director of Annual Giving and Alum Relations

Jul 18, 2019

2019 Commencement and Baccalaureate Highlights

Jun 19, 2019

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: Distinguished Alum Awards

Jun 13, 2019

Presbyterian theologian and civil rights activist Gayraud S. Wilmore to receive honorary degree from Louisville Seminary

May 15, 2019

WHOSOEVER is YOU

May 09, 2019

Tyler Mayfield Granted Full Professorship with Tenure

May 01, 2019

Louisville Seminary Commencement Set for May 19

Apr 08, 2019

Alton B. Pollard III Joins Interfaith Community at Vigil for Victims of the New Zealand Mosque Shootings

Mar 18, 2019

The Gospel of Love: A Special Message from Alton B. Pollard III

Mar 01, 2019

2019 Grawemeyer Lecture is April 9

Feb 21, 2019

Black Church Studies Consultation to address rural ministry in the African American context

Feb 04, 2019

Noted Scholar Randal Jelks to Discuss Faith and Struggle at Louisville Seminary

Jan 30, 2019

Anne Monell is Louisville Seminary's new VP of Advancement

Jan 08, 2019

Andrea Stevens named Director of Annual Giving and Alum Relations

Jul 18, 2019

Andrea StevensLouisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is pleased to welcome Andrea Stevens to the Institutional Advancement team as the new Director of Annual Giving and Alum Relations.

In her role, Andrea will be responsible for organizing and managing all aspects of annual giving to the Seminary. She will also coordinate and conduct both personal and direct marketing solicitations of alums, friends of the seminary, and congregations to ensure the continued growth of the Annual Fund in both dollars and donors. Further, Andrea will develop and manage a comprehensive alum relations program to encourage continued long-term engagement with the Seminary community.

Andrea brings more than 11 years of fundraising experience to Louisville Seminary. Most recently she served as the Director of Development at YMCA Safe Place Services. Previously she was a Major Gifts Officer for the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Indiana, and was also the first Executive Director of the New Albany/Floyd County Habitat for Humanity, Inc.

Andrea has college-age twin boys, and she is a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help church in New Albany, Indiana.

Please join us in welcoming Andrea to the Louisville Seminary community!

2019 Commencement and Baccalaureate Highlights

Jun 19, 2019


Commencement 2019


On Sunday, May 19, 2019, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary held its Commencement exercises for the 165th graduating class. This year the seminary conferred Master of Divinity degrees on 17 students, Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degrees on six students, Master of Arts (Religion) degrees on two students, and Doctor of Ministry degrees on ten students. Additionally, six students received a Certificate in Black Church Studies, three students received a Diploma in Pastoral Studies, and one student received a Certificate in Educational Ministry.

During the commencement exercises, several students were recognized for their accomplishments in a variety of fields including preaching, theology, the integration of theology with marriage and family therapy, field education and overall academic achievement.

SEE PICTURES OF THE GRADUATING CLASS OF 2019.

Commencement Address: Iva E. Carruthers

As part of the ceremony, the Devoted Service Award, which recognizes individuals for their dedicated service in the life of the Church, was presented to Dr. Iva E. Carruthers. She is professor emeritus and former chairperson of the Sociology Department at Northeastern Illinois University and was founding president of Nexus Unlimited, an information and educational technology firm. Devoted Service Awards were also given to the Rev. Tom Lovell, moderator of the Synod of Living Waters, and the Rev. Bill Smutz, moderator of the Synod of Mid-America.

Carruthers was appointed to the White House Advisory Council on the internet, and the educational software she developed was awarded a ComputerWorld Smithsonian Award. She is also founder of Lois House, an urban retreat center in Chicago, Illinois.

She currently serves as a lifetime trustee for the Chicago Theological Seminary and trustee for The Kwame Nkrumah Academy, Chicago; American Baptist College, Nashville; Shared Interest, New York; and Bread for the World, Washington, D.C. Carruthers is a member of the National African American Reparations Commission and is working on initiatives related to the U.N. Decade of People of African Descent.

Carruthers is co-editor of Blow the Trumpet in Zion: Global Vision and Action for the 21st Century Black Church and has authored and edited a number of articles and publications in the areas of sociology, technology, and instructional technology. She was a delegate to the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, and her publication, The Church and Reparations, was distributed by her denomination, the United Church of Christ, in several languages.

HONORARY DEGREE: GAYRAUD S. WILMORE

Gayraud WilmoreLouisville Seminary also conferred an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on Presbyterian theologian, author, ethicist, historian, educator, and civil rights activist the Rev. Dr. Gayraud S. Wilmore (pictured). Wilmore's son, Jack, accepted the degree on Wilmore's behalf. This is the first honorary doctoral degree given by Louisville Seminary in its 165-year history.

One of the most important Presbyterian civil rights activists in the 1960s, Wilmore was the first executive director of the United Presbyterian Church Commission on Religion and Race. From 1963 to 1971, Wilmore and the commission undertook several civil rights initiatives including the lobbying for the passage of the Civil and Voting Rights Acts, promoting voter registration in Mississippi, and supporting civil rights demonstrations such as those in Selma, Alabama, and Washington, D.C. In 1966, Wilmore and Benjamin Payton of the National Council of Churches founded the National Conference of Black Churchmen, which would become the largest ecumenical organization of pro-black power clergy.

Wilmore's influence in the African-American religious experience and black theology is significant. He, along with his close friend James H. Cone (winner of the 2018 Grawemeyer Award in Religion), co-edited Black Theology: A Documentary History Volumes I and II (1979). Among Wilmore's other books are Black Religion and Black Radicalism: An Interpretation of the Religious History of African Americans (1979), Black and Presbyterian: The Heritage and the Hope (1983), Pragmatic Spirituality (2004), and several others.

READ MORE ABOUT GAYRAUD S. WILMORE HERE.

A CHARGE TO GRADUATES

Capping off his first year as Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary's 10th president, the Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard, III issued a charge to the graduating class of 2019. In his remarks, Pollard encouraged the graduates to embrace a life and ministry that embraces all of humanity - regardless of creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, and circumstance.


BLESSINGS AT BACCALAUREATE

Prior to Commencement, Louisville Seminary's Baccalaureate worship service was held in Caldwell Chapel at Louisville Seminary. Debra J. Mumford, Louisville Seminary's Frank H. Caldwell Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Money Matters for Ministry Program, delivered the Baccalaureate sermon, "Living the Faith", and referenced scripture from Amos 5:21-24.


Each year, members of the graduating class select the Baccalaureate preacher and create a worship service. Mumford is ordained minister in American Baptist Churches, USA and affiliate minister with the Alliance of Baptists. She joined the Louisville Seminary faculty in 2007. She majored in mechanical engineering at Howard University and worked in engineering before answering her call to ministry. Mumford served as a youth pastor, associate minister and church administrator in several congregations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her scholarly interests include African American prophetic preaching, prosperity preaching, eschatology and the reign of God, and preaching and health.

READ MORE ABOUT DEBRA J. MUMFORD.

SEE MORE PICTURES FROM LOUISVILLE SEMINARY's 2019 COMMENCEMENT AND BACCALAUREATE.

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: Distinguished Alum Awards

Jun 13, 2019


Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2020 Louisville Seminary Distinguished Alum Award and the 2020 Louisville Seminary First Decade Award.

NOMINATE AN ALUM.

Alum award picThe Distinguished Alum Award is given to a graduate of Louisville Seminary who has made a lasting impact on the church and society through outstanding professional, volunteer, or philanthropic accomplishments; and/or who has advanced the seminary's mission, thereby enhancing its impact on the church and future generations of students.
 
The First Decade Award is presented to a recent graduate who has made a significant impact on the church and in her/his community in the first five to nine years of ministry and service.
 
Please submit nominations by THURSDAY, JULY 25, 2019.

To nominate an alum for either award, submit the following information:

  • Name of nominee
  • Degree earned from Louisville Seminary and year graduated (if known)
  • Reasons this alum should be given the Distinguished Alum Award or First Decade Award
  • Additional biographical information, ministry history or other details the Nominating Committee might find helpful
  • Your name
  • Your relationship to the nominee
  • Your contact information (email address, phone number, city and state)

SEE ALUM AWARD PROGRAM GUIDELINES.

Mail your nomination(s) to:
Louisville Seminary
Office of Alum and Community Relations
1044 Alta Vista Road
Louisville, KY 40205

or

Email your nomination(s) to: bhenley@lpts.edu

Distinguished Alum and First Decade Awards recipients will be honored at the 2020 Festival of Theology and Alum Reunion. (Date and details coming soon.)

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DISTINGUISHED ALUM AWARDS.

Presbyterian theologian and civil rights activist Gayraud S. Wilmore to receive honorary degree from Louisville Seminary

May 15, 2019


On Sunday, May 19, 2019, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will confer an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree on Presbyterian theologian, author, ethicist, historian, educator, and civil rights activist the Rev. Dr. Gayraud S. Wilmore. The honorary degree will be conferred at the seminary’s commencement exercises, which will be held at Second Presbyterian Church (3701 Old Brownsboro Road, Louisville, Ky. 40207) at 3:30 p.m. Wilmore’s son, Jack, will accept the degree on Wilmore’s behalf. This is the first honorary doctoral degree given by Louisville Seminary in its 165-year history. According to Seminary President Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III, Wilmore’s service and contributions to the church, theological education, and humanity warrant the recognition.

Gayraud Wilmore“Dr. Gayraud Wilmore is one of the most consequential faith and thought leaders of recent generations,” said Pollard. “A magnificent clergy-activist in the spirit of Henry McNeil Turner, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, and James Cone, a companion scholar for Katie Cannon, Diane Moffett, J. Herbert Nelson II and countless others besides, it is an honor to call this wise elder and griot of the faith my friend. I am thankful for the wisdom of Louisville Seminary to so justly honor him.”

One of the most important Presbyterian civil rights activists in the 1960s, Wilmore was the first executive director of the United Presbyterian Church Commission on Religion and Race. From 1963 to 1971, Wilmore and the commission undertook several civil rights initiatives including the lobbying for the passage of the Civil and Voting Rights Acts, promoting voter registration in Mississippi, and supporting civil rights demonstrations such as those in Selma, Alabama, and Washington, D.C. In 1966, Wilmore and Benjamin Payton of the National Council of Churches founded the National Conference of Black Churchmen, which would become the largest ecumenical organization of pro-black power clergy.

Wilmore’s influence in the African-American religious experience and black theology is significant. He, along with his close friend James H. Cone (winner of the 2018 Grawemeyer Award in Religion), co-edited Black Theology: A Documentary History Volumes I and II (1979). Among Wilmore’s other books are Black Religion and Black Radicalism: An Interpretation of the Religious History of African Americans (1979), Black and Presbyterian: The Heritage and the Hope (1983), Pragmatic Spirituality (2004), and several others.

Acumen for theological education also defined Wilmore’s career. He was the valedictorian in both his undergraduate and seminary classes at Lincoln University, a Presbyterian school in Pennsylvania. (Wilmore’s education was interrupted when he was drafted into the United States Army. As a Buffalo Soldier, he served with the all-black 92nd Infantry Division in Italy.) In 1951, Wilmore helped integrate West Chester (Pennsylvania) elementary schools, and in 1953, he began his work with students as an associate executive with the United Presbyterian Church’s Department of Social Education and Action. Wilmore was an assistant professor of social ethics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, taught social ethics at Boston University School of Theology, taught black church studies at Colgate Rochester Divinity School, served as the dean of the divinity program at New York Theological Seminary, and as a teacher of church history at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. He was also an adjunct professor at the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Stated Clerk Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II (also a Louisville Seminary alum), and Katie Geneva Cannon, theologian and ethicist associated with womanist theology and black theology, are among the many leaders of the Presbyterian Church influenced by Wilmore.

Wilmore, who is now retired and living in Washington, D.C., and his wife, Lee, were married in 1944 and remained married until her death in 2015. They have four children: Steven, Jack, Roberta, and David (who is deceased); four grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.

WHOSOEVER is YOU

May 09, 2019


Whosoever

“This diverse crowd - if only you could see yourselves. If only you could see what you look like from here. You look like what we need the world to look like, sitting shoulder to shoulder, together. So let us today, and every day from now on, remember what it felt like to be in this room, with all kinds of people sitting together, standing together, speaking and loving and cheering together … this is what God would want for us.”

-Sadiqa N. Reynolds, Esq., President and CEO of the Louisville Urban League, from the podium at the inauguration and installation of the Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III as the 10th president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary


Alton PreachingIf you attended any of the events held during the celebration for the inauguration and installation of the Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III, you experienced first-hand the power and joy of “Whosoever.” This one word from John 3:16 encapsulates the spirit of President Pollard and the foundation of Louisville Seminary.

"Whosoever" celebrates the unconditional and everlasting love that God has for all people of every creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, and circumstance. And so the Louisville Seminary Community accepts the invitation, the challenges, and the rewards of emphasizing “Whosoever: A Divine Invitation” as the foundation for engaging the world and building bridges between God and humanity.

Now, we invite you to make "Whosoever" part of our students' education at Louisville Seminary and the ministries they will carry on after graduation. Make a gift today and join our journey. 
Choir
For your presence, for your prayers, and for your generous support, we are grateful. Thank you for making the vision of “Whosoever” a reality at Louisville Seminary!

WATCH THE INAUGURATION SERVICE.


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Tyler Mayfield Granted Full Professorship with Tenure

May 01, 2019

Mayfield
On April 25, 2019, the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Board of Trustees approved a measure granting Dr. Tyler Mayfield full professorship with tenure. Mayfield began his service with Louisville Seminary’s faculty in 2012 as Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible and Old Testament. In 2016, he was named the A.B. Rhodes Associate Professor of Old Testament. Mayfield has served as Faculty Director of the Grawemeyer Award in Religion since 2015.

“Professor Mayfield is a productive scholar, an effective teacher, a contributor to the common life of the seminary, and a person of deep faith,” said Louisville Seminary Board Chair Lant Davis. “He distinguished himself in creativity and leadership on the Presidential Search Committee and in other responsibilities he has taken on as a faculty member. His promotion and tenure were richly deserved; taking those actions were very pleasing to the Board of Trustees”

A native of Town Creek, Alabama, Mayfield previously taught at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, Claremont School of Theology in southern California, and the University of California, Riverside. He holds degrees from Samford University (BA) in Birmingham, Alabama, Yale Divinity School (MAR), and Claremont Graduate University (PhD).

At Louisville Seminary, Mayfield teaches courses in Hebrew Bible with a particular focus on Christian ethical readings. He also leads a travel seminar to Israel and Palestine to explore the ancient biblical sites as well as contemporary Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.

Mayfiled is the author of A Guide to Bible Basics (2018), which presents the contents of the Christian Bible to strengthen biblical literacy, and Literary Structure and Setting in Ezekiel (2010), which argues for a new reading of the biblical book of Ezekiel. His forthcoming book, Unto Us A Child Is Born: Isaiah, Advent, and Our Jewish Neighbors, reads the prophetic book of Isaiah liturgically through the lens of the season of Advent and ethically through the lens of love for Jewish neighbor. He has written several book chapters and journal articles and enjoys writing regularly for the website, WorkingPreacher.org.

He is a member of St. Andrews United Church of Christ in Louisville, but worships weekly at Highland Baptist Church, where his wife, the Rev. Lauren Jones Mayfield, is on pastoral staff. He also enjoys preaching and lecturing regularly at churches. 

“I am grateful and honored to receive this affirmation from my faculty colleagues and the Board of Trustees,” said Mayfield. “Louisville Seminary is the perfect vocational home for me as a teacher and scholar.”

Louisville Seminary Commencement Set for May 19

Apr 08, 2019


On Sunday, May 19, 2019, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will celebrate its 165th Commencement. The Commencement exercises will take place at Second Presbyterian Church in Louisville (3701 Old Brownsboro Road, 40207) and will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Iva CarruthersThis year’s Commencement speaker is Dr. Iva E. Carruthers, who is the General Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Procter Conference, an interdenominational nonprofit organization within the African American faith tradition focused on justice and equity issues.

Carruthers is Professor Emeritus and former Chairperson of the Sociology Department at Northeastern Illinois University and was founding President of Nexus Unlimited, an information and educational technology firm. She was appointed to the White House Advisory Council on the internet, and the educational software she developed was awarded a ComputerWorld Smithsonian Award. She is also founder of Lois House, an urban retreat center in Chicago, Illinois.

She currently serves as a Lifetime Trustee for the Chicago Theological Seminary and trustee for The Kwame Nkrumah Academy, Chicago; American Baptist College, Nashville; Shared Interest, New York; and Bread for the World, Washington, DC. Carruthers is a member of the National African American Reparations Commission and is working on initiatives related to the U.N. Decade of People of African Descent.

Dr. Carruthers is co-editor of Blow the Trumpet in Zion: Global Vision and Action for the 21st Century Black Church and has authored and edited a number of articles and publications in the areas of sociology, technology, and instructional technology. Her many study guides on African American and African history were developed as a co-producer of a multi-year educational television program. She was a delegate to the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, and her publication, The Church and Reparations, was distributed by her denomination, the United Church of Christ, in several languages.

She received a B.A. from the University of Illinois; an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University; a Master in Theological Studies degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary; and a Doctor of Humane Letters from the Meadville Lombard Theological School.

Her many awards and appointments include the 1999 Life Achievement Award by Northeastern Illinois University and “Year 2000 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” award, given by the National Foundation of Women Legislators and the Small Business Administration. She was a recipient of Ebony Magazine’s 2001 Outstanding Mother Award for Mentoring and noted as a Chicago area social justice pioneer in the Women Alive! A Legacy of Social Justice Exhibit.

***

MumfordPrior to Louisville Seminary’s commencement exercises, the seminary will hold its baccalaureate service at the Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel, which is located on the seminary’s campus (1044 Alta Vista Road, 40205). The service begins at 10:30 a.m. This year’s baccalaureate preacher is the Rev. Dr. Debra J. Mumford, Louisville Seminary’s Frank H. Caldwell Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Money Matters for Ministry Program. Mumford’s sermon, “Living the Faith,” will focus on Amos 5:21-24.

“We must live God’s justice, not just sing and pray about it,” said Mumford of her Baccalaureate sermon’s theme. “It is easy to become so focused on what our society tells us are the signs or outcomes of righteousness and godliness, that we lose track of what biblical prophets like Amos have told us are ways of being that are most important to God. These ways of being include doing justice, which, among other things, means that those who have power must use it for the benefit of all and not just for the chosen few. But power begets comfort and the desire to preserve our power, which often leads us to erect boundaries between ourselves and those with whom we are called to enact justice.”

Mumford is an ordained minister in American Baptist Churches, USA and affiliate minister with the Alliance of Baptists. She joined the Louisville Seminary faculty in 2007. She majored in mechanical engineering at Howard University and worked in engineering before answering her call to ministry. Mumford served as a youth pastor, associate minister, and church administrator in several congregations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her scholarly interests include African American prophetic preaching, prosperity preaching, eschatology and the reign of God, and preaching and health.

Mumford’s publications include Exploring Prosperity Preaching: Biblical Health, Wealth, & Wisdom; “Slave Prosperity Gospel” for Homiletic; “The Gospel of Prosperity: Jesus, Capitalism and Hope” in Homiletical Theology: Theologies of the Gospel in Context; The Journal for the Society of Pentecostal Studies; “Preaching on Homosexuality in the Black Church” for the African American Lectionary; “Preaching and Plagiarism” for The Presbyterian Leader; “Prosperity Preaching and African American Prophetic Preaching” for the Review and Expositor: A Consortium Baptist Theological Journal; “Trayvon Martin: A Tragic Catalyst for Change” and “Obamacare: the Good, the Bad, and the Hope for the Future” for The Thoughtful Christian.

Since 2008, Mumford has served as a mentor for the Louisville Youth Group, a grassroots organization that provides resources and a safe space for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people ages 14 to 20.

Louisville Seminary’s baccalaureate service and commencement exercises are free and open to the public. 

About Louisville 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 committed to building bridges across the world's religious, racial and cultural divides. 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 log onto www.lpts.edu. 

Alton B. Pollard III Joins Interfaith Community at Vigil for Victims of the New Zealand Mosque Shootings

Mar 18, 2019


Alton and BabarOn Saturday, March 16, 2019, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary President Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III joined several of Louisville's community and faith leaders in Jefferson Square Park for a Vigil of Peace, Healing and Unity. The vigil, organized by Muslim Americans for Compassion, Interfaith Paths to Peace, and the Center for Interfaith Relations, was in response to shootings which took place in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the previous day.

For his part, Pollard offered the following prayer to the more than 200 attendees.

March 15, 2019
The Holy Day of Jummah, Christchurch, New Zealand

We are here in solidarity with our Muslim siblings; your agonies are ours, as we answer the call to prayer
Fresh from the world we come, filled with the ordinariness of our days, facing the challenges of life
Our hearts are heavy, our tears are full, our lives are weary, our spirits rage, our humanity is sore tested
We are incapable of fully expressing our feelings; our spirits groan, we do not know quite what to say

We gather in the name of the Creator and find sanctuary with one another
We offer our prayers for the far-flung needs of your people everywhere
We remember the lives lost, families shattered and communities forever changed
We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses
attesting to the urgent needs of our humanity

For the Masjid Al Noor
For the Linwood Mosque
For the Tree of Life Synagogue
For the Sikh Gurdwara at Oak Creek
For the Pulse Nightclub
For Stoneman Douglas High School
For Mother Emanuel AME Church
For the rising tide of homicide
For the murder of children, women and men
For the desecration of earth
The universe is dismayed
So great the loss of life
So much senseless death

For our houses of worship, schools, homes, work, play and public spaces
For all places made sacred by the very lives they contain, now violated and taken from us
by the hubris of arrogance, violence, terrorism, supremacy, xenophobia, nationalism, extremism, unbridled power, jaundiced pride, bigotry, hatred and fear, and all manner of inhumanity before and since, and

In the midst of lives lost and fragmented through the daily hazards of this world
We the living struggle, to strive for goodness, to dare to love, to become agents of change
Our souls do hunger, thirst and search for the genuine in one another
We will not allow anything to keep us from you, O God
Lead us in the way everlasting…

Alton B. Pollard, III
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

The Gospel of Love: A Special Message from Alton B. Pollard III

Mar 01, 2019


Like many of you I have walked, watched, and prayed with many friends in the United Methodist Church in recent days and through the years. This week’s special Session of the General Conference has brought enmity, brokenness, and fragmentation to many lives – in particular to those in the LGBTQIA community and also to households of faith seeking to do justice and love mercy. Across our manifold denominational and religious lives we have yet to enter into the fullness of who we are as beings, created in the image of the divine, and yet one promise is sure. It is a sacred truth: We, all of us, are the children of God. We are the body beloved. We are the rainbow community. We are the universe displayed. We belong to one another. We are family.

Two hundred and forty-three years after the founding of this nation our struggle as a citizenry to embrace the promise of equality, equity, civility, comity, truth, justice, and inclusiveness evident in our body politic also continues. However haltingly, falteringly, or stumblingly – religion, region, language, politics, ethnicity, ability, race, gender, generation, and class – distinguishing markers often used to foment division are incredibly becoming the very intersectional means to change we seek, as we expand the meaning of our democracy and accord to every citizen the dignity of difference as persons and in community. It is a sacred truth: We the people. A more perfect union.  E. Pluribus Unum. Yearning to breathe free. We belong to one another. We are family.

Our movement toward and for and with one another especially and exquisitely includes the efflorescence of human love. We embrace our LGBTQIA kith and kin with a full and embodied love precisely because of love. In our personal and societal lives everyone deserves the right to tranquility, fulfillment, advocacy, security, love and life. Transgender, queer, bisexual, lesbian, gay, questioning, intersex, asexual, or allied, we are in this life together. Louisville Seminary, let us love our sisters and brothers, companions and friends, with a love that will not let each other go. May we model our theological education. It is a sacred truth: Love is unconditional. Love is our fierce responsibility. Love always finds a way. We are Ubuntu. We belong to one another. We are family.

Alton B. Pollard III
President
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

2019 Grawemeyer Lecture is April 9

Feb 21, 2019


Grawemeyer Banner

How does religion influence American politics and culture? For most of America’s history, white Protestantism, has been a dominant cultural force, but a combination of demographic change and an abandonment of churches by younger generations may bring this era to an end.

Robert P. JonesOn April 9, 2019, Public Religion Research Institute CEO Dr. Robert P. Jones will deliver his Grawemeyer Lecture “Why Religion is at the Heart of America’s Identity Crisis” in Caldwell Chapel at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (1044 Alta Vista Road, Louisville, KY 40205). The lecture, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m.

Jones won the 2019 Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his book, The End of White Christian America (Simon & Schuster, 2016), which offers insight into the meaning of faith and the proper place of faith in defining our civic values at a time when evangelical Christianity seems to have become a political rather than a spiritual movement.

How does Jones explain the election results of 2016 with Republicans in control of both houses of Congress and the White House?

“The 2016 election results are better understood as the death rattle of white Christian America, said Jones, who is also a columnist for The Atlantic. “Down the home stretch of the 2016 presidential campaign, one of Donald Trump’s most consistent talking points was a claim that America’s changing demographics and culture had brought the country to a precipice. He repeatedly cast himself as the ‘last chance’ for Republicans and conservative white Christians to step back from the cliff, to preserve their power and way of life.”

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, jointly with the University of Louisville, awards the $100,000 prize to honor and publicize creative and significant insights into the relationship between human beings and the divine. The award also recognizes ways in which this relationship may inspire or empower human beings to attain wholeness, integrity, or meaning, either individually or in community.

2019 Grawemeyer Book Cover“Jones’ book well explains the decline of mainline Protestantism that many of us see in our churches and theological institutions,” said Tyler Mayfield, Faculty Director of the Grawemeyer Award in Religion and A.B. Rhodes Associate Professor of Old Testament at Louisville Seminary. He offers appropriate critique of the ways in which mainline Protestants have been a public voice for racial justice yet have failed to address systemic racism, and he outlines the shift in the discourse of evangelicals from dominance to ‘religious liberty’.”

In addition to his work with Public Religion Research Institute, Jones serves as the co-chair of the national steering committee for the Religion and Politics Section at the American Academy of Religion and is a past member of the editorial boards for the Journal of the American Academy of Religion and Politics and Religion, a journal of the American Political Science Association. He holds a doctorate in religion from Emory University, a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Science degree in computing science and mathematics from Mississippi College.

The University of Louisville presents the Grawemeyer Award annually for outstanding works in music composition, ideas improving world order, psychology and education, and presents a religion prize jointly with Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. See www.grawemeyer.org for more information.
 

Black Church Studies Consultation to address rural ministry in the African American context

Feb 04, 2019


What does African American ministry look like in a rural context? What issues must ministers and congregants address to effectively provide spiritual, social, and personal guidance to the rural communities they serve? These are some of the questions that will be addressed at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s annual Black Church Studies Consultation, which will take place February 21 and 22, 2019, on the seminary’s campus (1044 Alta Vista Road, Louisville, Ky. 40205).

BryantThe event, a staple of the seminary’s Black Church Studies Program, will provide theological training to and establish relationships of trust with rural ministers to help them thrive. Louisville Seminary faculty and ministers from rural communities will facilitate the consultation sessions. Topics that will be discussed include bi-vocational ministry, lay/pastor relationships, community politics, and race relations.

The consultation’s special guest presenter this year is the Rev. Dr. W. Raymond Bryant, presiding elder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s Southwest Texas Conference (San Antonio District). 

Also featured are Rev. Dr. Amariah McIntosh, pastor of Philips Temple Church in Toledo Ohio, and Rev. Claudette Snorton, pastor of greater St. James CME Church in Winchester, Kentucky. McIntosh and Snorton are Louisville Seminary alums and are the consultation’s Edwards Peacemaking Lecturers. Louisville Seminary’s Edwards Peacemaking Lectureship endowment supports visiting lecturers who are active in Christian efforts for peace and social justice.

Amariah McIntoshFeatured presenters from Louisville Seminary’s faculty are Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III, seminary president; Rev. Dr. Angela Cowser, associate dean of Black Church Studies and Doctor of Ministry programs; and Rev. Dr. Kilen Gray, dean of student engagement.

This year’s Black Church Studies Consultation preacher is the Rev. Sherry Green, a Louisville Seminary alum and pastor of St. Paul AME Church in Manchester, Kentucky. Kyri Demby and the Worship Team from the Portland Memorial Missionary Baptist Church in Louisville will provide the music for the consultation worship service.

Alison Stabler, a second-year Master of Divinity student at Louisville Seminary is the consultation’s artist in residence. Her exhibit, “Echoes of Alabama” is a collection of photographs and narratives about the history of slavery, Civil Rights, and rural ministry in Alabama and will be on display throughout the consultation.

“The majority of churches in America are in rural communities,” said Cowser. “Ministry in rural spaces is understudied and under-resourced. We want to build relationships with rural clergy, learn from them, and provide resources that will enrich their ministries and communities.”
Claudette Snorton
African American ministers, statewide moderators, lay leaders and seminary students who are either currently serving or who will be serving in a rural context are encouraged to attend. General admission $25. Student tickets are $10. Registration fees include meals for both days of the consultation.

Registration deadline is Friday, February 15. For details and to register, see www.lpts.edu/bcsc19.
 

Noted Scholar Randal Jelks to Discuss Faith and Struggle at Louisville Seminary

Jan 30, 2019


Maurice JelksOn Friday, March 29, 2019, Dr. Randal Maurice Jelks will deliver a lecture about his newly published book, Faith and Struggle in the Lives of Four African Americans: Ethel Waters, Mary Lou Williams, Eldridge Cleaver and Muhammad Ali. The lecture will take place in the Winn Center (McAtee rooms A and B) at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (1044 Alta Vista Road, Louisville, Ky. 40205) from 12:30 to 1:20 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

Jelks' book examines the autobiographical writings, interviews, speeches, letters, and memorable performances of Ethel Waters, Mary Lou Williams, Eldridge Cleaver and Muhammad Ali to understand how each of these figures used religious faith publicly to reconcile deep personal struggles, voice their concerns for human dignity, and reinvent their public image. According to Jelks, for them, liberation was not simply defined by material or legal well-being, but by a spiritual search for community and personal wholeness.

Jelks is a professor of American studies and African American studies at the University of Kansas and is the co-editor of the journal American Studies. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Jelks' research interests are in the areas of American Religious histories, African Diaspora Religions, and Religions and American Social Movements. In 2001, Jelks received a Louisville Institute Summer Stipend for the project “Benjamin Elijah Mays and the Creation of an Insurgent Negro Professional Clergy, 1930-1958,” which resulted in his published book Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement: A Biography. He is also the author of African Americans in the Furniture City: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Grand Rapids and is an executive producer of a two-part biographical documentary I, Too, Sing America: Langston Hughes Unfurled in conjunction with the Dream Documentary Collective and the Lawrence Arts Center.

Anne Monell is Louisville Seminary's new VP of Advancement

Jan 08, 2019


Anne MonellAnne E. Monell, a Certified Fund Raising Executive, has been named Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Monell, who previously served as Director of Major Gifts for the Children’s Hospital Foundation, began her service at Louisville Seminary on January 7, 2019.

Serving as a member of the senior administration, Monell is responsible for all aspects of Louisville Seminary's advancement program, including stewardship, fundraising, constituent relations, and communications. She will work closely with the Office of the President on ongoing strategic planning and ensure that all fundraising and external relations programs align with Louisville Seminary's mission, vision, core values, and established priorities. Her efforts will advance effective collaboration between institutional offices and services to enhance an integrated dedication to fulfilling the goals and objectives of the seminary.

Monell brings twenty-five years of experience in stewardship, leadership, fundraising, marketing, data analysis, and strategic planning. During her tenure with the Children's Hospital Foundation, she successfully facilitated individual gifts, multi-year pledges, planned gifts, and donations of appreciated assets of more than $3.9 million. Throughout her career, Monell has cultivated meaningful relationships with a broad support base through transformational philanthropy that diligently and expansively honors donor intent.

“Anne brings a wide range of philanthropic experience and wisdom to her work with us,” said Louisville Seminary President Alton B. Pollard III. “We are grateful to have her advancement leadership at Louisville Seminary.”

Professionally, she is a board member for the Charitable Gift Planners of Kentuckiana, co-chair of the Integrating Women Leaders Foundation's annual Louisville conference, a board member with the St. Patrick School Foundation, and is a recipient of multiple Landmarks of Excellence Awards from her earlier work at the Community Foundation of Louisville. Monell graduated Summa Cum Laude from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio), where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication. She and her family attend St. Patrick Catholic Church, where she is a cantor and choir member.

2018

MDiv student Angela Overton hired at national healthcare advocacy organization

Dec 18, 2018

Highlights from the 2018 Festival of Theology and Alum Reunion

Dec 17, 2018

Robert P. Jones wins 2019 Grawemeyer Religion Award

Dec 07, 2018

Caldwell Chapel featured in new bank's stained glass

Nov 20, 2018

#GivingTuesday is November 27

Nov 19, 2018

Alton B. Pollard III issues statement on recent hate crimes

Oct 30, 2018

Louisville Seminary creates new Division of Student Engagement

Sep 28, 2018

Delta Kappa MFT Honor Society Now Taking Applications

Sep 13, 2018

Highlights from Fall 2018 Convocation

Sep 13, 2018

Sue Garrett Resigns Post as Seminary Dean; Steve Cook to Serve as Acting Dean

Sep 11, 2018

A Message of Thanksgiving from Alton B. Pollard III

Sep 04, 2018

Louisville Seminary Doctor of Ministry Applications are Due September 7

Aug 29, 2018

Elizabeth Seeger Troy named clinical director of Louisville Seminary Counseling Center

Jul 17, 2018

An Independence Day Message from President Jinkins

Jul 03, 2018

Alton B. Pollard III Brings Spirit of Ecumenism to Louisville Seminary

Jun 11, 2018

Alton B. Pollard III named Louisville Seminary’s tenth president

Jun 07, 2018

Louisville Seminary Celebrates its 164th Commencement

Jun 04, 2018

MDiv student Angela Overton hired at national healthcare advocacy organization

Dec 18, 2018


Angela OvertonAngela Overton, a Master of Divinity student at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, has accepted a position as senior advisor to the Interfaith and Diversity Workgroup for the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) in Washington, D.C.

C-TAC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, which conducts research and provides information and advocacy support on behalf of people living with advanced illness.

“As a cancer survivor, minister, and strong program manager, Angela will serve a critical role to advance the work of the faith community within C-TAC and with our partners,” said C-TAC executive director John Broyles.

In her new role at C-TAC, Overton will be responsible for the implementation of the C-TAC Interfaith & Diversity Workgroup programs; strategic planning for the workgroup; enhancement of C-TAC Interfaith & Diversity Workgroup image by being active and visible in the community and by working closely with other professional, civic, and private organizations; and planning roles and session(s) of the workgroup at the 2019 C-TAC summit. She will oversee/work with approximately 75 individuals that work within clinical, educational, and spiritual organizations throughout the United States.

“[Louisville Seminary Dean of Student Engagement] Dr. Kilen Gray has been instrumental to me in the process,” said Overton, who has served as a C-TAC volunteer for several years. “The guidance and mentorship that he has extended to me has been invaluable. In addition, Louisville Seminary has made a wonderful contribution to my academic understanding of who God is and how that is to be worked out in the world we live in today.”

For more information, see www.thectac.org.

Highlights from the 2018 Festival of Theology and Alum Reunion

Dec 17, 2018


FOT Opening

On November 8 and 9, 2018, Louisville Seminary hosted its annual Festival of Theology and Alum Reunion. The theme for this year's event was "Breaking the Silence: Sex, Power and the Church." Presentations and other programs addressed ethics and social justice issues that the church and society faces.

Breaking the Silence

Jennifer BesteDr. Jennifer Beste presented the Louisville Seminary Caldwell Lecture at the seminary's annual Festival of Theology and Alum Reunion. Beste's lecture, "Fulfillment and Justice: A New Approach for Fostering Sexual Justice in Christian Communities," addressed her research on the issues and ethics of the "college hookup culture." Beste is professor of theology and holds the Koch Chair in Catholic Thought and Culture at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, MN. She is the author of College Hookup Culture and Christian Ethics: The Lives and Longings of Emerging Adults and God and the Victim: Traumatic Intrusions on Grace and Freedom.

LISTEN TO JENNIFER BESTE'S CALDWELL LECTURE.

In keeping with the festival's theme, Beste joined Rev. Dr. Kilen Gray (MDiv '02, DMin '16), dean of student engagement, Rev. Dr. Angela Cowser (MDiv '06), associate dean of black church studies, and Cindy Guertin-Anderson, LMFT (MAMFT '06), in a panel discussion about Deconstructing masculinity. Rev. Abbi Long (MDiv '15), co-author of These Are Our Bodies: Talking Faith & Sexuality at Church and Home, lead a workshop on Faith and Sex: Empowering Christian Families. Prof. Carol Cook led a workshop on Creating Safe Spaces. 

Honoring Our Alums

Distinguished Alums Banner 2018

Four alums were honored at this year's Distinguished Alum Awards Luncheon. Rev. Dr. Conrad C. Sharps (MDiv ’85), pastor of Amelia Plantation Chapel on Amelia Island, Florida; Cindy Guertin-Anderson, LMFT (MAMFT ’06), director of the Employee Assistance Program for the Washington State Government; and Rev. Dr. J. Bradley Wigger (MDiv ’84), Louisville Seminary’s Second Presbyterian Church Professor of Christian Education received the 2018 Distinguished Alum Award. Rev. Lisa C. Hermann (MDiv ’09), chaplain for UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, received the 2018 Louisville Seminary First Decade Award.

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

READ MORE ABOUT THE 2018 DISTINGUISHED ALUM AWARD RECIPIENTS.

Delta Kappa Inductees

Delta Kappa CoverNow in its second year, the Upsilon Chapter of the Marriage and family Therapy Delta Kappa Honor Society welcomed new inductees. They are: MAMFT students Laura Green, Leslie Cashion, Patricia McIntyre Salem, and Alicia Demartra-Pressley; and alums Megan Bartley (MAMFT '03), Motselisi Moseme (MAMFT '01) and Paul Thomas Wilson (PCS Certificate '04).

Delta Kappa is the official honor society for the field of marriage and family therapy and serves to further and complement the work being done by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Family Therapy Academy, and the International Family Therapy Association.

READ MORE ABOUT THE DELTA KAPPA MFT HONOR SOCIETY.

In Faith and Unity

Remembrance ServiceWhat would a Festival of Theology and Alum Reunion be without opportunities to celebrate our faith? On November 8, Alum Association representatives Rev. Joanna Hipp (MDiv '14), Rev. Shawn Stinson (MAMFT '10), and Rev. G. Todd Williams (MDiv '99) organized a pre-festival service, which was held in Caldwell Chapel. At the service, Williams delivered a powerful sermon about "Difficult Passages."

On November 9, Rev. Yena Hwang (MAMFT '06) led the Worship and Service of Remembrance, where those from the Louisville Seminary Community who died over the past year were remembered. Hwang's sermon, "Vashti Breaks Silence" addressed scripture from Esther (1:10-12), where Vashti refused King Ahasuerus's orders to parade naked before the king's drunken guests.

With Thanks

The Alum Association Board of Directors wishes to thank Chris White (MDiv '02) and Mark Baridon (MDiv '88) for their service on the board. The terms of service have expired for both Chris and Mark, but we know they will always play vital roles in our Alum Association.

Warm Welcome

New to the Alum Board of Directors are Christian Boyd (MDiv '01), Bruce Burns (MDiv '08), Eric Bryant (MDiv & MAMFT '97)Karol Farris (MDiv ’14), and Risa Musto (MAMFT '08). The Louisville Seminary Alum Board Student Body Representative is Viisha Souza (MDiv).

Alum Board


SEE PICTURES FROM THE 2018 FESTIVAL OF THEOLOGY AND ALUM REUNION.

Robert P. Jones wins 2019 Grawemeyer Religion Award

Dec 07, 2018


Robert P. JonesWhite Protestantism has dominated U.S. politics and culture for much of the nation’s history, but demographic change and an exodus from churches by the young are bringing the era to a close.

That prediction comes from Robert P. Jones, founder and chief executive officer of Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), who has won the 2019 Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his book, The End of White Christian America. Simon & Schuster published the work in 2016.

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

America is no longer mostly white and Christian, Jones found. Although 54 percent of the U.S. population met that description in 2008, the number fell to 45 percent in 2016. The election two years ago gave Republicans political control of the country but also signaled a “death rattle” for white Christian America, he said.

Jones also explained an affinity between white evangelical Protestants and President Donald Trump in his book, noting Trump “cast himself as the last chance for Republicans and conservative white Christians to step back from the cliff, to preserve their power and way of life.”



White Protestants, particularly white evangelicals, must find their place in a new America or face challenging internal and external consequences, he warned.

“Jones well describes the decline of mainstream Protestantism many of us are seeing in our churches and theological institutions,” said Tyler Mayfield, an associate professor of Old Testament at the seminary who directs the religion award. “He also offers an appropriate critique of how mainline Protestants have failed to address racism even though they have been a public voice for racial justice.”

PRRI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that conducts independent research at the intersection of religion, culture and public policy. In 2016, The New York Times Review of Books called Jones’ book “possibly the most illuminating text for this election year.”

READ THE FULL BIOGRAPHY FOR ROBERT P. JONES.

See www.lpts.edu/grawemeyer or www.grawemeyer.org for more information.

Caldwell Chapel featured in new bank's stained glass

Nov 20, 2018


Alton B. Pollard III offers blessing at Independence Bank's grand opening


Independence Bank Stained Glass


On Tuesday, November 13, about 200 people gathered to celebrate the grand opening of Independence Bank in Louisville, Kentucky. Located in St. Matthews Square, just down the road from Louisville Seminary, the bank's architectural design was intended to maintain a sense of history celebrated by the St. Matthews community.

To honor that history, the building features several stained glass panels produced by Lynchburg Stained Glass. They include buildings, businesses, landmarks and other images unique to the area. Louisville Seminary's Caldwell Chapel is prominently displayed in one of the panels, which includes other seminaries and houses of worship.

Louisville Seminary President Alton B. Pollard III was among the dignitaries to take part in the November 13 ribbon-cutting ceremony. Pollard was joined by representatives of Louisville Metro Government, St. Matthews City Council, St. Matthews area businesses as well as Independence Bank itself.

"This was my first bank blessing," said Pollard with chuckle. "But I am very honored that Independence Bank thought so highly of Louisville Seminary as to include it in its artwork and invite us to participate in this celebration."

#GivingTuesday is November 27

Nov 19, 2018


Support Louisville Seminary

Giving Tuesday-Save the dateOnce again, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will participate in #GivingTuesday to encourage support for the seminary’s annual fund. In the same way that retail stores take part in Black Friday and online shoppers participate in Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday allows people to support their favorite causes by participating in a national movement dedicated to giving. This year’s 24-hour crowdfunding initiative will take place Tuesday, November 27.

Interest in and revenue received through the initiative is largely generated from social media outreach mechanisms. Throughout the day on #GivingTuesday, #GivingTuesday-related posts will appear on Louisville Seminary’s Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn accounts. Those who keep up with seminary news via social media are encouraged to use @lptsnow and the #GivingTuesday hashtag to help generate interest in the campaign. 

You don’t have to wait until November 28 to show your support. To make a gift online, log onto the secure online donor form on Louisville Seminary’s website or call (800) 264-1839, extension 345.

donate-new


Thank you, as always, for your support!

Alton B. Pollard III issues statement on recent hate crimes

Oct 30, 2018


Editor's note: Louisville Seminary President Alton B. Pollard III issued the following statement regarding the recent hate crimes committed in our community and throughout the country.

My Friends in Faith:
My Friends in Community:

These past several days have proven to be a true test of our humanity. Vile hatred has reached epidemic proportions.

On Wednesday, Metro Louisville experienced white supremacy in its most lethal form and the loss of two Black lives. What sense is there to the violence of shooting human beings in a grocery store based on the color of their skin? 

The Jewish community of Pittsburgh experienced the travail and devastation of anti-Semitic hate on Saturday. What sense is there to the violence of entering a house of worship and taking the lives of others based on their religious beliefs? 

Package bombs were mailed to political and business representatives across the country. What sense is there to the violence of sending package bombs to those with different political views?

Our community - our country - has experienced this three-tiered trident of hatred over the past seven days. This is not humanity's mandate from God. This is not how we build the "City of God."

Racism, anti-Semitism, and political xenophobia are unacceptable in any context, especially when these expressions of hatred accrue human collateral damage - when God's greatest gift, the gift of life itself, is violated, stolen, destroyed just because someone looks, thinks, or believes differently.

Where is God in the midst of all this terror? Where is the comfort of God in the throes of such disregard for humanity? This past Friday, Professor Scott Williamson delivered a powerful and relevant sermon in Louisville Seminary's Caldwell Chapel. It was a sermon that challenged us to seek and understand God's presence in our hearts in the midst of our own failures.

What do we do with that awareness? Do we really understand what God calls us to do?

It's concerning that there are those in our society who believe that violence is a righteous testament of faith. Indeed, it is sad when lack of compassion, disregard for human life, and, frankly, a complete misinterpretation of sacred texts from across all faith traditions leads us down the path of self-destruction. 

Black, brown and white, Jewish, Muslim and Christian, transgender and gay, and more - the Louisville Seminary community stands with all communities under siege in this very present hour. Hatred will not have the last word. Our better angels will prevail.

This is our declaration.

This is our vow.

This is our action.

This is our faith.

We are all in this struggle together.

Alton B. Pollard III
Alton Signature Short
President
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Louisville Seminary creates new Division of Student Engagement

Sep 28, 2018


Kilen and SandraThe “Louisville Seminary Experience” embodies much more than a student’s matriculation toward a life of ministry and service. It’s an experience that calls on students, as well as faculty, staff and alums, to live their lives according to the seminary’s mission of building bridges and embracing the world in great need.

In that spirit, Seminary President Alton B. Pollard III recently announced a restructuring of services offered to seminary students and alums. Effective October 8, Kilen Gray, Louisville Seminary’s Dean of Student Engagement, will lead the new Division of Student Engagement. The offices of admissions, alum relations, and financial aid will report to Gray as part of the new division.

“Student matriculation is about more than books, papers and classes,” said Gray (MDiv ’02, DMin ’16). “The ministry of Louisville Seminary is about both the world coming to our campus and our campus finding its place in the world. This new division will give alums the opportunity to become more involved in the life of the seminary – from student recruitment to community and church relations. Students will also have a more cohesive body of resources at their disposal and will be able to draw not only from the wisdom of our faculty and staff, but also from those who have been in their shoes.”

Sandra Moon (MDiv/JD ’11), who has served as the seminary’s Director of Alum, Church and Community Engagement since 2015, will serve as Interim Director of Admissions and Alum Engagement. Financial Aid Coordinator April Stepney and Admissions Specialist Becky Young complete the Student Engagement departmental staff.

Gray (MDiv ’02, DMin ’16) will be part of the seminary’s senior administration along with Pollard; Pat Cecil, Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer; Steve Cook, Interim Seminary Dean; Sally Pendleton (MDiv/MAMFT ’97), Vice President of Institutional Advancement; and Edwin Aponte, Executive Director of the Louisville Institute.

“As before, our colleagues will continue to closely interface with Academic Affairs and other departments,” said Pollard. “Internally, their work will reflect a more cohesive unit. “I am excited about what together our student-centric efforts will accomplish on behalf of our students and Louisville Seminary!”

As the seminary transitions to a new student service structure, many thanks go to Emily Miller (MDiv '09) for her faithful service to Louisville Seminary as Director of Recruitment and Admissions. Miller's final day of service to Louisville Seminary will be October 16. Her decision to leave Louisville Seminary stems from her desire to be closer to her home in Berea, Kentucky, where her husband, Jake (a 2007 Louisville Seminary alum), recently accepted a job as Chaplain at Berea College.

Delta Kappa MFT Honor Society Now Taking Applications

Sep 13, 2018


Delta Kappa LogoOn Thursday November 8, 2018, the Upsilon Chapter of Delta Kappa International Marriage and Family Therapy Honor Society at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will host its second induction ceremony as part of the seminary's 2018 Festival of Theology and Alum Reunion. Our Louisville Seminary marriage and family therapy students and alums are invited to join this outstanding professional organization.

Delta Kappa is the official honor society for the field of marriage and family therapy and serves to further and complement the work being done by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the American Family Therapy Academy, and the International Family Therapy Association.

Delta Kappa has three primary aims:
  • Train emerging leaders in the field of marriage and family therapy to assume the mantle of leadership in the profession.
  • Provide a structure for developing scholarly forums that present cutting edge research and theory on marriage and family therapy to practitioners on an ongoing basis at the local, state, regional, national, and international level.
  • Recognize and promote the achievements of marriage and family therapy clinicians and scholars.

Marriage and family therapy professionals are invited into membership in Delta Kappa through three avenues.
  • Students in COAMFTE accredited marriage and family therapy programs who have completed at least 12 graduate credit hours with a grade point average of 3.75 or higher.
  • Graduates from such accredited marriage and family therapy programs with a concluding grade point average of at least 3.5 who have achieved Clinical Fellow status in AAMFT.
  • Senior marriage and family therapy professionals who demonstrate high dedication to scholarship and professional leadership through instruction, research, and/or student/new professional training.

The deadline to apply to be inducted with the second class of the Upsilon Chapter is Monday, October 22, 2018. To learn more about Delta Kappa and apply for membership into the Upsilon Chapter, visit https://www.deltakappamft.org/Member/Application. If you have any questions, contact the Upsilon Chapter Coordinator, Ashley Hicks White, at ahicks@lpts.edu.

Highlights from Fall 2018 Convocation

Sep 13, 2018


Fall Convocation-RecessionOn September 6, 2018, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary kicked off its 165th academic year with its fall Convocation service. More than 150 people attended the event.

SEE IMAGES FROM THE FALL 2018 CONVOCATION SERVICE.

The Convocation address was delivered by Louisville Seminary's new president, the Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III. In his address, "God Has a Dream," Pollard drew on Psalm 126 and 1 Peter 3:15 and challenged the congregation to plan their vocation and live their lives in God’s grace with the unique gifts they bring to the table of ministry, justice and service.

LISTEN TO ALTON POLLARD III's CONVOCATION ADDRESS.

Alton Pollard-Fall Convocation AddressA scholar, author, consultant and speaker on the subject of African American and U.S. religion and culture, Pollard was previously dean of the School of Divinity and professor of Religion and Culture at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He began his service as Louisville Seminary's tenth president on September 3.

READ MORE ABOUT ALTON POLLARD III.


 During the fall Convocation service, four Louisville Seminary students were honored for their academic achievements.

Convocation Award Winners-Fall 2018

MDiv student Daniel Van Beek received the E.L. Bell Memorial Prize for excellence in biblical studies.

MDiv student Avery Smith received the Burton Z Cooper Prize in Theology for demonstrating promise in constructive, philosophical, systematic or contemporary theology.

MDiv student Kari Godwin received the Dean K. Thompson Prize in Practical Theology for excellence in the study of practical theology and in their congregational field education placement.

MAMFT student Andy Thomas received the James A. Hyde Marriage and Family and Pastoral Counseling Theory & Practice Award for demonstration of excellence in her first year in the MAMFT clinical and academic program.

The Louisville Seminary community also welcomed several new members to the faculty and staff. They are:

  • Laura Jakubowski Aponte, Project Director, Myrtle Collaboration
  • Charlene Beck, Guest Services Representative, Laws Lodge
  • Angela Cowser, Associate Dean of Black Church Studies and Doctor of Ministry Programs; Associate Professor of Black Church Studies
  • Melody Hall, Administrative Assistant to Black Church Studies and Doctor of Ministry Programs
  • Linda Likins, Marketing & Special Events Coordinator, Laws Lodge
  • Alton B. Pollard III, President and Professor of Religion and Culture
  • Justin Reed, Assistant Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible
  • Beth Seeger Troy, Louisville Seminary Counseling Center (LSCC) Clinical Director
Prayers and well wishes to our Louisville Seminary community this academic year!

Sue Garrett Resigns Post as Seminary Dean; Steve Cook to Serve as Acting Dean

Sep 11, 2018


Sue and Steve

On August 31, 2018, Dr. Susan R. Garrett concluded six years as Dean of Louisville Seminary. She will spend a year on sabbatical and then return to full-time teaching in the fall of 2019.

Among her accomplishments as Dean, Sue oversaw the recruitment, hiring, and professional development of a number of new faculty and staff members. She authored several successful grant proposals, including ones to the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations (to support Black Church Studies), the Henry Luce Foundation (to support Doors to Dialogue), and the Association of Theological Schools (to support programming in restorative justice). She led the faculty in designing new program-assessment measures and practices, as well as a new curriculum. And, together with administrative and faculty colleagues, she continually tended to student needs and worked to help students thrive.

“Serving as Dean has been quite challenging but also profoundly rewarding,” Sue said. “The joys of the office were chiefly in the strong collegial relationships I was able to develop with our gifted faculty, administrators, and support staff, who work so hard to advance the learning of our students and overall mission of our school. I leave the office eager to spend more time teaching and writing, but I am sad to step away from the engaging work to which I have had the privilege of devoting myself these past six years.”

Sue’s plans for sabbatical are to design a book series on the Bible and the culture wars and write the first volume in it, write a grant proposal for faculty development focused on inclusive pedagogy, and continue her role as chair of the Seminary’s self-study committee for reaccreditation with the Association of Theological Schools.

“Dr. Garrett is and always will be an integral part of our seminary’s faculty and our seminary community,” said Seminary President Alton Pollard III. “Her commitment to the quality of education here and her enthusiasm for our seminary’s mission are exemplary. Her deanship may mark the end of an era, but we can still celebrate the many influential and meaningful gifts that Sue shares with Louisville Seminary. My thanks to her for her service.”

Dr. Steve Cook, the Registrar and Associate Dean for Institutional Research and Effectiveness, has assumed the role of Acting Dean.

“I can’t thank Dr. Cook enough for his willingness to fill this vital role,” added Pollard. “I know he will maintain an outstanding level of efficient and effective professionalism in the office.”

A Message of Thanksgiving from Alton B. Pollard III

Sep 04, 2018


Dear Louisville Seminary Community:

Alton Pollard head shotI write these words from a heart overflowing with love, joy and thanksgiving for you. In the weeks and months since my appointment as President-elect of this signature institution, I have been showered with well-wishes and prayers that have carried me forward to this present moment. Today, I proudly serve as the tenth President of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and carry within me the gift and gravitas of what that responsibility means. I am surrounded by the company of the faithful here at Louisville Seminary. My work will be held in sacred trust. Every one of you - from the children and families who reside on our campus and the men and women who maintain our facilities and staff our offices to the members of our alumni association and more - together will ensure that we do not grow weary in well-doing. My time with you will be extraordinary because of who you are and what you desire for us to be. I have been called to one of the most prominent seminaries in theological education, and after 165 years we have only just begun. I continue to marvel at this blessing. I have been invited to become one of you, to take up this presidential work, for such a time as this.  

My first month at Louisville Seminary has been time well spent meeting and learning from staff and administrators. With our academic year now officially underway, I will continue to do more of the same, engaging our students and faculty to the best of my ability. As a creature of finitude, I am in some ways bound by the constraints of time and space. My best intentions notwithstanding, my energy and memory will falter at times. I will make mistakes. I will err. I will fall short. Without fail, I will seek to be an effective leader, strive for excellence, and practice self-love and communal care. I will necessarily be away from campus for extended periods of time, summoned to the wider work of the presidency, but I will not be inaccessible. I will be raising our institution's profile, sharing our good news, engaging our alums, expanding our circle of friends, raising funds, cultivating generosity, extending hospitality, bearing witness, and being our public face. I will return to campus and to ongoing and meaningful engagement with our students, faculty and friends.  

My leadership style is principled, inclusive and consensus-seeking. When and where a declarative word needs to be given, quietly and confidently, I will provide the same. I will wear my business suits as appropriate and my beloved African attire most of all. I will represent our mission of Louisville Seminary to our stakeholders and the general public with a dedication and commitment that begins here at home in Louisville and Kentucky. I will worship with local congregations and proclaim the Good News when and where called upon. I will seek out our city's communities of color and foster our engagement with diverse peoples and faiths. As a seminal seminary of the PC(USA), we are building bridges of understanding with a transformative faith that actively engages the world. We covenant to model our exemplary mission in instruction and delivery, worship and practice, governance and advising. By inheritance, we are many lamps, one light, a seminary proudly born of the Presbyterian and Reformed traditions, courageously living into our ecumenical, interfaith and intersectional possibilities. In a world sorely distressed, God's people everywhere have need of us. A reconciling justice companions our history. Our just dedications powerfully honor the same today. 

I am particularly excited to work closely with Louisville Seminary's Board of Trustees chaired by our alum, the Rev. Lant B. Davis. They are deeply dedicated to our institutional flourishing. I look forward to meeting the President's Roundtable and the considerable gifts each member brings to our community. Already, I have begun to meet our alums and will be reaching out to our base of graduates and friends seeking their support. I am grateful for our student body and its dynamic leadership. I am proud of the academic reputation and public witness of our illustrious faculty. I am honored to join the collegium of scholars here at Louisville Seminary from faculty and students to administrators and staff. Most of all, I am excited for what we will accomplish together. There will be some difficult days ahead. We will engage in strategic and systemic change for the betterment of our institution. As President, my pledge is to regularly communicate and keep you well informed. I will share with you the promises and challenges that face Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and theological education writ large. I will solicit your prayers as we put our trust in God: "Great is thy faithfulness!"

Faithfully Yours,
Alton Signature Short
Alton B. Pollard, III
President
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Louisville Seminary Doctor of Ministry Applications are Due September 7

Aug 29, 2018


DMin deadline 18

Applications for January 2019 admission to the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Doctor of Ministry program are due FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2018. An application fee of $75 and the appropriate reference forms must be submitted with the application.

APPLY NOW.

For more than 30 years, Louisville Seminary has offered a world-class Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree to strengthen the connection between theology and ministry practice either in the church or in fields closely related to the mission and witness of the church.

DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THE DMIN FACT SHEET.

A world-class program at considerably lower cost than DMin programs elsewhere, our low tuition and block scheduling offer the financial and personal flexibility that busy practitioners need. Under the guidance of our outstanding faculty, candidates study cutting-edge theological, biblical and practical bases of ministry, and complete a project that strengthens their current ministry even as they earn their degree. DMin tracks of study include Pastoral Care and Counseling, Black Church Studies and Advanced Practice of Ministry.

An advanced, professional degree, the DMin is designed for experienced practitioners who have a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an ATS-accredited school, along with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and at least 3 years of experience.

The program is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).

More information including details on program tracks, tuition/fees, schedules and requirements are available at WWW.LPTS.EDU/DMIN.

For questions, please contact the Louisville Seminary Office of Admissions at (800) 264-1839, extension 373 or admissions@lpts.edu.

About Louisville 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 committed to building bridges across the world's religious, racial and cultural divides. 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 log onto www.lpts.edu.

Elizabeth Seeger Troy named clinical director of Louisville Seminary Counseling Center

Jul 17, 2018


Beth Seeger TroyThe Rev. Elizabeth Seeger Troy, clinical director at Personal Counseling Service in Clarksville, Indiana, has been named clinical director of the Louisville Seminary Counseling Center at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Seeger Troy, a licensed marriage and family therapist in both Kentucky and Indiana, will begin her service at Louisville Seminary on July 30. As clinical director, Seeger Troy will manage the Louisville Seminary Counseling Center; recruit, evaluate and manage all external student counseling placements; and collaborate with the seminary’s Marriage and Family Therapy program director and faculty in support of the Louisville Seminary Marriage and Family Therapy program’s practicum series.

Loren Townsend, director of the Louisville Seminary Marriage and Family Therapy program and professor of pastoral care and counseling, said: “We are very pleased to have Beth join us. She has great experience as a therapist, supervisor and as the clinical director of Personal Counseling Service—one of the oldest pastoral counseling centers in the nation.”

Seeger Troy received her Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degrees from Louisville Seminary in 2004 and her bachelor’s degree in music therapy/music education from Wartburg College (Waverly, Iowa) in 1997. She is an American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor. In 2007, she was ordained as minister of word and sacrament (teaching elder) for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). In addition to her work at Personal Counseling Service, Troy serves as a clinical supervisor at the Louisville Seminary Counseling Center.

“I feel honored to be part of the excellent education and training students receive at Louisville Seminary,” said Troy. “I am very excited to continue the remarkable ways Louisville Seminary helps shape future therapists and pastoral counselors in their endeavor to minister to God’s people."

An Independence Day Message from President Jinkins

Jul 03, 2018


Statue of LibertyLike many people I know, I made a decision to avoid watching or listening to the news this summer. A confirmed newsaholic, this was a big decision for me. But I thought it might just make me feel better. I didn’t think my voice mattered much or that my vote did either, so why shouldn’t I retreat into the cocoon of mystery novels and the process of relocation?

Last week, however, and I don’t really know why, I picked up Edmund Burke and read him again. Burke was the brilliant, iconoclastic genius behind British conservatism. I mean, incidentally, real conservatism, not the angry, anti-intellectual, highly reactionary, misogynistic, nativist and often racist movement that has stolen the name these days, but the conservatism that at the height of the Enlightenment helped establish many of the democratic ideals that continue to undergird the institutions of our day.

An Anglo-Irish politician of the eighteenth century, Burke was the original voice behind a freedom-loving, justice-seeking political movement that committed itself to conserving that which is best in human society, not just the assertion of individual rights, but the primacy of the common good. Burke’s greatest literary work was his study of the French Revolution; he is well-remembered for his debates in print with Thomas Paine. But most people remember him today for a few extraordinary quotes.

George Santayana, the nineteenth-century Harvard professor, often gets the credit for one of these, but it was actually Burke who first said: “Those who don’t remember history are destined to repeat it.”

Burke also said: “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good [people] to do nothing.”

And it was Burke who said: “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.”

I suspect that there was some providence in my turning to Burke last week, because as hard as you try, unless you move to a secluded off-the-grid cabin on the backside of a mountain, you are going to get at least a smattering of news. And I realized, as I saw children separated from parents and locked in cages, and I read the comments that equate the arrival of refugees and immigrants with an “invasion,” that my feeling of political impotence is no excuse for not speaking up. And a few days ago as I learned of a three-year-old being separated from her grandmother (who is her legal guardian), I asked myself what I would do if I were in that grandmother’s shoes. What would I do if I had rescued one of my grandchildren from a despotic regime in Central America and made my way toward the border that boasts those famed Stars and Stripes that promise freedom and justice for all, only to be treated as a criminal just for seeking asylum? And what would I do if Grace or Clara or Anderson was torn from my arms in the name of that country to which I had fled for safety?

To unplug from the news and to tune out from what is going on in our country is an act of cowardice on my part. Certainly, if I’ve learned anything from Thomas Merton and William Stringfellow, Dorothy Day and Thich Nhat Hanh, Isaiah, Amos, and Jesus of Nazareth (not to mention Jesus’ mother!), it is that there is such a thing as a spirituality of politics, an engaged spirituality, a faith that speaks and acts not out of anger, but out of compassion, that does not seek to divide and conquer, but seeks to make whole that which is broken. And what is broken today lies at the heart of our country and our world. It didn’t get broken overnight. It took decades to get this way.

Somehow we have allowed the least compassionate voices to prevail. Somehow we have allowed the most self-centered, angry, greedy, and uninformed voices to prevail. Somehow we have allowed our common life to become more accommodating of office-seekers, careerists, and power-mongers than of servant-leaders. Perhaps we justified this to ourselves as members of political parties with some sort of “ends justify the means” mishmash of “Realpolitik,” but the terrible disease of factionalism that always infects political parties has grown now to the point where we can no longer ignore it as people of faith, no-faith, or as citizens.

I do not want to see the world lose the shining hope that resides in the idea that is America at her very best. America is and always has been an idea more than a place or a particular group of people. America stands for freedom, not just of the strong, not just of the dominant, but of all. America stands for the idea that no one is above the law and everyone deserves justice and a fair shot at a good life. At our best, we have stood for the ideas for which America is recognized and about which we love to boast. But that is what is threatened today — along with the lives of many of the poorest and most vulnerable people among us.

America deserves better than we Americans are standing for today. And make no mistake about this, the evils being committed are being committed in our name as Americans. History will hold us all accountable. And so, at the risk of redundancy, I will remind us of Edmund Burke again:

“Those who don’t remember history are destined to repeat it.”

“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good [people] to do nothing.”

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.”

God bless you. And especially this week I pray that God will bless America, but I also hope we will seek to keep the promises made in the name of America for the sake of the whole world.

Michael Jinkins
President
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

"Whatever you did for one of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did unto me."
-Jesus of Nazareth
(Matthew 25:40)

Alton B. Pollard III Brings Spirit of Ecumenism to Louisville Seminary

Jun 11, 2018


Pollard EcumenismLast Thursday, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary announced the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III as its tenth president. Pollard spent the morning with seminary trustees who formally voted on his appointment. Throughout the afternoon, Pollard met with seminary faculty, students and staff and participated in a welcome service at Louisville Seminary’s Caldwell Chapel.

Louisville Seminary’s Presidential Search Committee, which was comprised of seminary faculty, students, trustees, senior administrators and alums, were especially impressed by Pollard’s ecumenical background.

In accordance with the seminary’s by-laws, Pollard will transfer his membership to a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation in Louisville. Pollard was ordained by an independent Baptist congregation and is presently a member at Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C. He has previously served as associate minister at Trinity Tabernacle Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia, and at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He has also pastored A.M.E. churches in Tennessee and Baptist churches in Massachusetts and North Carolina. In addition, he was supply minister at Mt. Pisgah Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

“Dr. Pollard will bring all of the gifts from his diverse ecumenical background with him to our seminary,” said Mary Gene Boteler, a Louisville seminary alum and trustee who served on the Presidential Search Committee. “He is excited about walking this next season with a people called ‘Presbyterian.’ Those of us who have spent time with him are grateful to God for this spirit-led calling of Dr. Pollard to Louisville Seminary.”

Rev. Emily Miller, a Louisville Seminary alum and the seminary’s director of recruitment and admissions added: “Presbyterian theology, to me, is inherently ecumenical. Our current and future students have a lot to be excited about with Dr. Pollard as our new president.”

Next week, Pollard will attend the 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which will take place in St. Louis, Missouri. There, he will meet with the leadership of the Committee on Theological Education as well as PCUSA leadership. Louisville Seminary will also host a reception and a luncheon at General Assembly, where Pollard will have more opportunities to meet seminary and church constituencies.

“As Louisville Seminary’s president, I will build upon the seminary’s historic tradition and current momentum, imparting the story and advancing a trajectory for innovation consistent with the institutional ethos ‘to cultivate relationships inside and beyond the seminary’ and fulfilling the vision of ‘building bridges’ in a complex interreligious society and world,” said Pollard, who serves on the Board of Directors for In Trust Center for Theological Schools and the Advisory Committee for the Luce Fund for Theological Education.

SEE PICTURES FROM ALTON POLLARD'S INTRODUCTION TO THE LOUISVILLE SEMINARY COMMUNITY.

Alton B. Pollard III named Louisville Seminary’s tenth president

Jun 07, 2018


Howard University religion and culture scholar to succeed Michael Jinkins who retires Sept. 2

Alton Pollard IIIWith a student body that represents 20 different denominations, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has named a scholar of diverse religions and cultures as its tenth president.

The Louisville Seminary Board of Trustees voted June 7 to appoint the Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III as president. A scholar, author, consultant and speaker on the subject of African American religion and culture, Pollard was previously dean of the School of Divinity and professor of Religion and Culture at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Louisville Seminary offers master’s and doctorate degree programs that prepare graduates for a number of roles in ministry and administration for Presbyterian and other church denominations as well as for marriage and family therapy.

Pollard said he was drawn both by the history and the current trajectory of Louisville Seminary.

“Rare is the theological institution today that innovates well in contemporary society, modeling theological education for just inclusivity in an increasingly diverse world,” Pollard said. “As much of our society is focused on division, I will ensure that Louisville Seminary will continue to build bridges between people of different religious, social and cultural perspectives, through teaching and scholarship, and the preparation of persons for lives of faithful witness and public service.”

Prior to his eleven years at Howard University, Pollard served as director of Black Church Studies and chair of American Religious Cultures at Emory University, and taught at Wake Forest University and St. Olaf College. He earned degrees from Duke University, Harvard University Divinity School and Fisk University.

Pollard has authored, co-authored and edited a number of books and journal articles. He serves on the Board of Directors for the In Trust Center for Theological Schools and the Advisory Committee for the Luce Fund for Theological Education. He served on the Board of Commissioners for the Association of Theological Schools from 2010-2016 and was chair from 2014-2016. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Pollard and his wife Jessica have two adult children.

President transition this September
Current Seminary President Rev. Dr. Michael Jinkins announced his retirement in April 2017. Pollard will begin work as president at the start of the fall semester this September and will be formally inaugurated in spring 2019.

Pollard’s appointment follows a national search conducted by a presidential search committee including several Seminary trustees, faculty members, and other seminary constituents and led by Board Chair Lant B. Davis of Birmingham, Alabama.

“Dr. Pollard embodies Louisville Seminary’s long tradition of bridging differences within the church and broader society,” said Davis. “He will affirm and further develop our historic Presbyterian emphasis on inter-denominational cooperation. Under his leadership I hope the Seminary will demonstrate a way forward through some of the most divisive issues of our time. He is a principled peacemaker.”

Jinkins will continue to serve as president until September 2. During his eight-year tenure, Louisville Seminary launched its bold Covenant for the Future vision which made full-tuition scholarships available for every master’s degree student and, by 2021, will provide stipends for living expenses. The only seminary in the country to offer this benefit, Louisville Seminary students participating in the scholarship “pay the debt forward” by engaging in learning and service opportunities that enhance their opportunities for leadership in church and non-profit sectors.

Other highlights of Jinkins’ leadership include the growth of the Seminary’s Marriage and Family Therapy program, one of only four seminary-based accredited programs in the nation, and the Doors to Dialogue program that prepares students to lead in a world of growing religious differences and needs including immigrant communities, urban centers, intolerance and environmental preservation.

“Dr. Pollard's reputation as an eminent scholar and renowned leader precedes him,” said Jinkins. “I believe he is precisely the leader Louisville Seminary needs for the next chapter in its history. And I feel honored to welcome him as the next president of the Seminary.”

About Louisville Seminary
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is one of ten theological schools in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and was historically the only Presbyterian seminary to be supported by both the northern and southern branches of the Presbyterian Church simultaneously. The United Methodist denomination also recognizes the Louisville Seminary as a place for its candidates to receive theological education. With students from more than 20 denominations, Louisville Seminary welcomes individuals from the wider ecumenical community.

Louisville Seminary offers Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Religion and Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degrees, as well as the Doctor of Ministry degree.

Originally founded in 1853 in Danville, Kentucky, Louisville Seminary is located in Louisville’s Cherokee/Seneca neighborhood on a scenic 67-acre campus.

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Louisville Seminary Celebrates its 164th Commencement

Jun 04, 2018


Class of 2018
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary held its 164th Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 13, 2018, at Second Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. The seminary conferred Master of Divinity degrees to 28 students. Nine students earned Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degrees, and Doctor of Ministry degrees were conferred to 4 students. Eight students earned a Certificate in Black Church Studies. Three students earned a Certificate in Education Ministry, and one student received a Pastoral Studies Diploma.

SEE THE LIST OF 2018 LOUISVILLE SEMINARY GRADUATES.

During the commencement exercises, several students were recognized for their accomplishments in a variety of fields including preaching, theology, the integration of theology with marriage and family therapy, field education and overall academic achievement.

SEE THE LIST OF 2018 LOUISVILLE SEMINARY GRADUATE AWARD WINNERS.

Lindvall gradAs part of the ceremony, the Devoted Service Award, which recognizes individuals for their dedicated service in the life of the Church, was presented to the Rev. Michael Lindvall (pictured). Lindvall is the senior minister emeritus at Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City. Devoted Service Awards were also given to Leonard Jordan, moderator of the Synod of Living Waters, and Steven Merrin, moderator of the Synod of Mid-America.

Lindvall also served as the commencement speaker. His commencement address, "Professional?", reminded graduates of the risky but necessary need to deeply love those who they are called to serve.

WATCH "PROFESSIONAL?" DELIVERED BY MICHAEL LINDVALL.

Lindvall is the author of numerous essays published in both periodicals and books. He has written two novels: The Good News from North Haven (Doubleday, Pocket, Crossroads), which made the New York Times best-seller list, as well as its sequel, Leaving North Haven (Crossroads). He is also the author of three volumes of accessible theology: A Geography of God (Westminster-John Knox), What Did Jesus Do: A Crash Course in His Life and Times (Sterling), and Knowing God’s Triune Story (Witherspoon).

Williamson-Baccalaureate-2018Prior to Commencement, Louisville Seminary's Baccalaureate worship service was held in Caldwell Chapel at Louisville Seminary. Scott C. Williamson, Louisville Seminary’s Robert H. Walkup Professor of Theological Ethics, delivered the Baccalaureate sermon, "The Journey to a New Season", and referenced scripture from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

Each year, members of the graduating class select the Baccalaureate preacher and create a worship service. Williamson (pictured) joined Louisville Seminary’s faculty in 1997 to teach theological ethics. Williamson’s research on the moral thought of Frederick Douglass was published by Mercer University Press (2001), and his research on resistance ethics was published as a chapter in Resistance and Theological Ethics, by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (2004). Williamson has also published for the church. Notably, he contributed to Preaching God’s Transforming Justice: A Lectionary Commentary, published by Westminster John Knox Press (2011).

Louisville Seminary’s Black Church Studies Program is Williamson’s great joy. He was one of three professors who first discussed the possibility of a BCS program at Louisville Seminary, and, in the years that followed, he championed the cause and shared in the hard work of building a strong program. The BCS program is now a signature feature of the Louisville Seminary curriculum.

READ MORE ABOUT SCOTT C. WILLIAMSON.

SEE PICTURES FROM LOUISVILLE SEMINARY'S 2018 COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES AND BACCALAUREATE SERVICE.

About Louisville 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 committed to building bridges across the world's religious, racial and cultural divides. 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 log onto www.lpts.edu.

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