Theological School Announces New Faculty, Staff and Visitors
Academic, pastoral, artistic leaders named.
July 2016—Drew University Theological School shares the appointments of new faculty and staff members, as well as visiting scholars, practitioners and artists, who will provide leadership in both administration and instruction and enhance the School’s already vibrant community.
“We are grateful that these impressive individuals—all leaders in their field—are joining us at Drew. Along with their gifts and talents, they share a dedication to our mission, which makes the Theological School even stronger,” said Javier Viera, dean of the Theological School.
Tanya Linn Bennett, PhD was named associate dean for vocation and formation. In this role, she will assume leadership of the Supervised Ministry program, Lifelong Learning initiatives and create a new program that will help students align their academic coursework with their emerging sense of calling, vocational discernment and professional direction. Dr. Bennett is a graduate of both the Theological School and the Caspersen School at Drew and served as the university chaplain and director of Craig Chapel for the last decade. An ordained United Methodist minister, she will also teach courses in the Theological School as associate professor in the practice of public theology and vocation. Dr. Bennett will begin in this role on August 15, 2016.
Annie Lockhart-Gilroy, PhD joins Drew as assistant professor of Christian education and Louisville Institute post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Lockhart-Gilroy, who is ordained in the United Methodist Church, earned her master of divinity degree at Princeton Theological Seminary and her PhD at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Her areas of expertise are in youth ministry, womanist theology and Christian formation. As part of the Louisville Institute post-doctoral program, Dr. Lockhart-Gilroy will teach at Drew for two years across our degree programs, advise students and participate fully in the life of the school. She will join Drew in fall 2016.
Bishop Peter D. Weaver, ThD comes to Drew as the Florence E. Bell Bishop-in-Residence. Bishop Weaver recently completed his term as executive secretary of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church and prior to that served as the bishop of the Philadelphia and Boston areas, respectively. He earned his master of divinity from Drew, where he later served as University trustee, and his doctor of theology from Boston University. He will teach courses in the Theological School focused on urban ministry, pastoral leadership and Methodist studies. Bishop Weaver brings great expertise as a pastor, as a leader of institutions, as a former seminary faculty member and as a community organizer. In addition to his pastoral and episcopal leadership, he also helped found the Bethlehem Haven for Homeless Women and “One Voice Against Racism.” Bishop Weaver joins Drew in fall 2016.
Susan Kendall, PhD was appointed the director of doctoral studies and will begin in this role on August 1, 2016. This new role combines administrative leadership of both doctoral programs. Dr. Kendall previously served as director of the doctor of ministry program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. While there, she led enrollment growth, established domestic and international cohort sites and diversified curricular offerings. At Drew, she will administer and teach courses in the doctor of philosophy and the doctor of ministry programs. Dr. Kendall earned a PhD from Claremont, where her academic training and specialization was in theology and culture. An ordained Presbyterian minister, Dr. Kendall will also serve as associate professor in the practice of theology and leadership.
P. Kimberleigh Jordan, PhD joins Drew as director of Craig Chapel this fall. Dr. Jordan previously served as director of worship at The Riverside Church and as associate minister at the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. She is currently a lecturer at Fordham University and Alvin Ailey in their joint BFA program. She completed a Ford Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at Union Theological Seminary. Dr. Jordan earned her PhD at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in performance studies and religion and earned a master of divinity from Union Theological Seminary. In addition to directing our weekly chapel experiences and teaching the chapel practicum, she will also teach in our DMin and master’s programs as associate professor in the practice of religion and the arts. Dr. Jordan was raised in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.
Willis Johnson, DMin, lead pastor of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, Missouri, will join the Drew community as the Vosburgh Visiting Professor of Ministry and Social Engagement in January 2017. Dr. Johnson visited Drew in February 2016 at the invitation of the Black Ministerial Caucus and inspired our community through the courageous and prophetic work he is leading in Ferguson. At a time when our nation is experiencing great upheaval on matters of race, policing, violence and community fragmentation, Dr. Johnson will contribute to our efforts to prepare prophetic leaders who promote healing, justice and reconciliation. He will offer two courses, one in the master’s program and one in the doctor of ministry program, and deliver a public lecture on prophetic ministry.
Jonathan Golden, PhD joins the administrative staff of the Theological School as director of the Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict (CRCC). Dr. Golden is also assistant professor of the anthropology of religion in the College of Liberal Arts and director of the Conflict Resolution and Leadership certificate program in the Caspersen School. Dr. Golden will also hold an affiliate faculty appointment in the Theological School. His leadership in the Theological School connects with the school’s commitment to interfaith dialogue and peace building, and will expand our offerings in multifaith education.
Melissa McCutcheon, MDiv joined the Theological School Dean’s office as assistant to the dean and special projects manager on July 11, 2016. Her primary responsibilities will be to provide administrative support to the dean, manage implementation of the school’s strategic priorities and support the Theological School office of external relations. Ms. McCutcheon is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and brings years of experience in administrative leadership in the not-for-profit sector.
In addition to these new staff members, the Theological School welcomes the following artists and scholars in residence:
In Sun Choi, a highly regarded Korean artist, painter, and faculty member at Hong-Ik University in South Korea, will be artist-in-residence during the 2016-17 academic year.
Debra Smith, a rabbi, author, spiritual director and educator, will serve as rabbi-in-residence during the 2016-17 academic year.
Carlos Beltran, a Brazilian theologian, joins Drew as part of the Postcolonial Networks scholars program. His research focuses on religion, literature and post-colonialism, and he will be scholar-in-residence during the fall 2016 semester.
Otacilio Gomes da Silva is a Brazilian philosopher whose research focuses on a post-colonial analysis of Rousseau and on the historical-pedagogical critique of Paulo Freire. He will be scholar-in-residence during the fall 2016 semester.