In January 2014 Drew Theological School was thrilled to welcome Rev. Gerald C. Liu, Ph.D. as Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Worship Arts. The Rev. Dr. Liu or “Gerald” as we also know him holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. He completed a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology as a Woodruff Scholar and Visiting Theological Fellow at Georg-August Universität in Goettingen, Germany. In May 2013 he earned a Ph.D. in Homiletics & Liturgics from Vanderbilt University where he was a fellow in the Lilly program for Theology and Practice. Gerald has previously taught in visiting posts at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, MA and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He has also instructed courses as an adjunct professor at Belmont and Trevecca Nazarene Universities in Nashville, TN.
Born in Mississippi to Buddhist immigrants from Taiwan, Gerald brings a distinct cultural flavor as an ordained United Methodist Elder of the Mississippi Annual Conference. Before his doctoral studies, Gerald led congregations as a British Methodist minister in Nottingham, England. He has also served as a student associate and youth pastor to local UMC congregations in Clarkston and Tucker, Georgia. In New Jersey he has shared his preaching and worship gifts in Craig Chapel and communities of faith including Walnut Valley UMC and Morrow Memorial UMC. In New York he joins faculty members Art Presley and Althea Spencer-Miller as a minister-in-residence at Church of the Village in Greenwich Village. Gerald has a deep desire to cultivate vibrant forms of multicultural Protestant worship and proclamation that are grounded in the arts.
As a scholar, recent publications include articles, book chapters, and dictionary entries in Theology & Sexuality, Practical Matters, The Culture of AIDS in Africa: Hope and Healing Through the Arts (Oxford, 2011), Preaching as Picturing God in a Fragmented World: Studia Homiletica (Delft, 2012), Reading Generously (Fortress 2014), Asian American Religious Cultures (ABC-CLIO, 2015), and Only One is Holy: Liturgy in Postcolonial Perspectives (Palgrave, forthcoming). His current book project combines the insights of French Catholic phenomenology and American postwar avant-garde music to assert that all sounds proclaim divine generosity.
When away from his desk, Gerald enjoys the challenges of guitar, exercise, and traveling. He hopes to “make the changes” in jazz one day. In 2012, he completed an IRONMAN triathlon in Cozumel, Mexico, one of forty countries across five continents he has experienced so far. Yet figuring out routes to and from Nashville, TN, where Roxanna his significant other of several years thrives, is a preferred past time.
Gerald’s warmth, eclecticism, and his arts-based, interdisciplinary, and multicultural research, teaching, and ministerial passions fit like a glove at Drew. We are excited to embrace and support him as a faculty colleague, mentor to students, and friend.