Alumni News and Notes

Elaine Padilla (Ph.D. 2011) is Assistant Professor of Constructive Theology at New York Theological Seminary. Her upcoming publications include A Passionate God (Fordham University Press) and a three-volume work on Theology and Migration co-edited with Peter Phan (Palgrave McMillan). Padilla currently serves on the boards of the Hispanic Summer Program and the International Foundation for Ewha Womans University.  She is also a member of the Committee of Racial and Ethnic Minorities of American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Catholic Theological Society of America.  She participates in the World Christianity Group of the AAR, in ecumenical efforts like the April 2012 Assisi Conference entitled “Where We Dwell in Common,” and in interreligious efforts like the upcoming Georgetown University conference entitled “Understanding Religious Pluralism” in May 2012.

Charles Rix (Ph.D. 2011) is Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible at Oklahoma Christian University. He has held this position since Fall 2011.

Eric Thurman (Ph.D. 2010) is Assistant Professor at Sewanee: The University of the South, where he has taught since 2007. A member of the Religion Department, his courses include introductions to the New and Old Testaments as well as upper-level courses on Gender and Sex in the New Testament and God and Empire: Biblical Texts and Colonial Contexts. He serves on a number of university committees, including the Steering Committee of the Women’s Studies program. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he has presented papers at regional and annual SBL meetings, where he also serves on the steering committees of the Ancient Fiction and Early Christian and Jewish Narratives and Jesus Traditions, Gospels, and Negotiating the Roman World sections. Currently, he is finishing up his first book, Novel Men: Masculinity and Empire in Mark’s Gospel and Ancient Fiction (Sheffield Phoenix Press).

Scott Elliot (Ph.D. 2009) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Adrian College. Elliot recently published his first book, Reconfiguring Mark’s Jesus: Narrative Criticism after Poststructuralism (Sheffield Phoenix Press), as well as a journal article, “‘Thanks, but no Thanks’: Tact, Persuasion, and the Negotiation of Power in Paul’s Letter to Philemon.” He has also edited a collection of essays with Matthew S. Waggoner, Readings in the Theory of Religion: Map, Text, Body (Equinox Publishing).

Anna Mercedes (Ph.D. 2009) is Assistant Professor of Theology and Gender at the College of Saint Benedict/St. John’s University. She celebrates the publication of her first book, Power For:  Feminism and Christ’s Self-Giving (T&T Clark). At the San Francisco AAR/SBL, she presented on a panel for Lutheran Women in Theological and Religious Studies. Anna is also eager to start work on her next monograph project, extending her kenotic Christology into a political theology engaging theologies of sin, gender theory, and the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Anna serves on the founding board of a food and art co-op that opened last summer. In June, she and partner Rick Bohannon, as well as daughter Sylva, welcomed baby Norah to the family.

David Morris (Ph.D. 2009) is currently the editorial director of Guideposts Books, located in midtown Manhattan. Dr. Morris leads a team that acquires devotional and general inspirational content for one of the country’s long-standing religious publishing companies.

Neal Presa (Ph.D. 2009) edited the book, That They May All Be One: Celebrating the World Communion of Reformed Churches (Westminster/John Knox Press). In 2010, this volume was presented at the Uniting General Council of the World Communion of Reformed Churches. Presa’s doctoral dissertation, Here I am Lord, Send Me: Ritual Analysis for a Theology of Presbyteral Ordination in the Reformed Tradition, is under contract with Wipf and Stock, with expected publication in 2012. On September 27, the Presbytery of Elizabeth endorsed Presa as the first candidate to stand for moderator of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The assembly will be held June 30-July 7, 2012 in Pittsburgh. Presa is teaching elder/pastor of Middlesex Presbyterian Church, a multi-cultural congregation in Middlesex, NJ. He serves on the adjunct faculties of Somerset Christian College and New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

Michael Humphreys (Ph.D. 2006) was promoted to associate professor of Leadership Studies at Bethune-Cookman University (BCU) and granted tenure. Humphreys was also appointed department chair for the Department of Leadership Studies in the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at BCU; he proposed and received approval for two program initiatives at BCU—an undergraduate minor in environmental justice and a graduate area of emphasis on environmental justice within the Masters of Science in Transformative Leadership program. In October 2011, Humphreys presented a paper entitled “The Struggle to Know Our Place: Doing Justice to Humans and Non-Human Others” (publication forthcoming) at the Philosophy Born of Struggle conference, Michigan State University.

David Tripold (Ph.D. 2006) is Chair of the Music Department at Monmouth University. In 2011, he was selected as the Distinguished Teacher of the Year.

Sergius Halvorsen (Ph.D. 2002) is Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Rhetoric at St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Halvorsen teaches Homiletics and Christian Education and is in the process of developing electives in his area of expertise. He serves as Director of Field Education, overseeing training programs in prison, hospital, and parish ministry. Halvorsen is also preparing a proposal for a new D.Min. program at St Vladimir’s.