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Theological School Student Earns Doctoral Fellowship

Julian Cook is the school’s 18th FTE fellow since 2007.

April 2021 – Drew Theological School Ph.D. student Julian Cook is among just 10 national recipients of the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) Fellowship for Doctoral Students of African Descent.

The fellowship provides financial support for doctoral students of color through graduate school and into a vocation of teaching and scholarship.

As part of the fellowship award, Cook will also have the opportunity to attend FTE’s 2021 Virtual Forum for Theological Educators. In addition, FTE will provide opportunities for networking, professional development, vocational exploration and mentoring.

“We were elated to hear of Julian’s selection. It serves as an important recognition and celebration of Julian’s outstanding work, here at Drew and beyond,” said Meredith Hoxie Schol, director of doctoral studies at the Theological School. “We look forward to the ways Julian’s scholarship and professional life will be enriched by this incredible cohort of scholars of color and the mentorship that the FTE fellowship provides.”

“My research fuses the disciplines of ethics, history, gender studies and critical race theory to grapple with how the agency of Black joy, resistance and identities can be salvaged and harnessed as a source for constructing sustainable conceptions of human flourishing,” said Cook, whose work focuses on the intersections of Christian social ethics and African-American studies. “I explore how collectives should define and envision Black communal flourishing that avoids the extremes of ignoring or romanticizing the realities of Black social and physical death or elevating problematic constructions of Black communal crisis, pathology and victimhood.”

“FTE offers one of the most highly developed and selective fellowship programs for doctoral students in religion,” said Traci West, James W. Pearsall Professor of Christian Ethics and African American Studies and Cook’s advisor and mentor at Drew. “I am thrilled that Julian was chosen and that his interests in Christian social ethics and African-American studies will be vitally supported by the prestigious scholarly mentors and networks to which this fellowship will give him access.”

Since 2007, 18 Drew students have received 26 fellowships from FTE, with six earning more than one (see the full list below).

2020
Lisa Asedillo Pratt

2019
Simeiqi He
Nikki Hoskins
Lisa Asedillo Pratt
Eric Thomas

2018
Elyse Ambrose
Ericka Dunbar
Nikki Hoskins
June Hee Yoon

2017
Nikki Hoskins

2016
Ericka Dunbar
Erica Ramirez
Eric Thomas

2015 
Dong Hyeon Jeong

2014
Erica Ramirez

2012
Jennifer Kaalund
Robert Wafula

2011
Tejai Beulah
Shanell Smith
Peter Mena

2010
David Evans

2009
Shanell Smith

2007
Lynne Darden
Shanell Smith
Sakena Young-Scaggs

THE LATEST AT DREW THEOLOGICAL SCHOOL