Faculty & Staff

Faculty

The Seminary’s faculty consists of regularly appointed positions (core faculty) augmented by a number of adjunct professors, pastors and mentors. They are scholars in their fields, performing research and publishing books and articles on a regular basis. The Seminary recruits faculty with a wide range of geographic, racial/ethnic and cultural gifts so that our students will be more than congregational managers. Our faculty is committed to develop ministers who have the vision and skills to empower people to live into a beloved community.

Click on each full time faculty’s name to view their bio and contact information.

Full Time Faculty
Loida I. Martell

Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean and Professor of Constructive Theology

(859) 280-1256

B.Sc., University of Puerto Rico, 1975
DVM, Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, 1979
M.Div., Andover Newton Theological School, 1990
M.Phil., Fordham University, 2000
Ph.D., Fordham University, 2005

The Rev. Dr. Loida I. Martell joined the faculty in August of 2017. Prior to that, she was Professor of Constructive Theology at Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Martell is a licensed doctor in veterinary medicine as well as an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches/ USA. She is a bi-coastal Puerto Rican who has taught in various institutions of higher learning including Gordon Conwell’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education in Boston, and the University of Puerto Rico’s College of Allied Health Professionals. She pastored in New York City for 15 years, and served as President of the Board of American Baptist Churches/ Metro New York City from 1994–1996.

Dr. Martell pioneered the study of evángelica theology. She has published articles on evangélica soteriology, Christology, doctrine of God, eschatology, Scriptural hermeneutics, globalization, embodiment, and vocation. Her research on Taíno religious beliefs led to the publication of “My GPS Doesn’t Work in Puerto Rico,” on evangélica spirituality. She co-edited Teología en Conjunto: A Collaborative Hispanic Protestant Theology (1997), and more recently co-authored the well-received Latina Evangélicas: A Theological Survey from the Margins (2013).

Dr. Martell is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. As a member of the American Academy of Religion, she currently serves as President of La Comunidad of Hispanic Scholars of Religion. She was appointed to represent the American Baptist Churches/ USA on the National Council of Churches Convening Table for Theological Studies and Matters of Faith and Reason. The American Baptist Home Missions Societies awarded her the 2015 Richard Hoiland Christian Education Award, its highest recognition for “faithful and effective leadership in Christian education,” for her long-standing work in nurturing culturally and racially diverse classrooms and for exceptional leadership.

Dr. Martell is an avid amateur photographer.

Sharon Ellis Davis

Dr. Sharon Ellis Davis is a United Church of Christ Pastor and Professor. She brings over 30 years of experience as a pastor and chaplain. She is a Womanist Practical Scholar and Ethicist and serves Lexington Theological Seminary as the Visiting Assistant Professor for Pastoral Leadership and Ethics. Dr. Sharon Ellis Davis lectures both nationally and internationally in Sexual and Domestic as they intersect with issues of race, class, culture, gender, gender identity and the Criminal Justice System. Sharon served over thirty-one years as a career Chicago Police Officer. In this capacity she served as patrol officer, police chaplain, and a criminalist in the Department’s crime laboratory division, examining evidence from crime scenes and testifying in court as an expert witness in forensic science. Dr. Sharon Ellis Davis is a trainer with the FaithTrust Institute based in Seattle, Washington and offers training to pastors and church leaders in the areas of Safe and Healthy Churches and Healthy Clergy Boundaries. Dr. Sharon Ellis Davis earned her M.Div., (Pastoral Care), and Ph.D., (Theology, Ethics and the Human Science, sociology) from Chicago Theological Seminary and McCormick Theological Seminary, respectively. She serves as Affiliate Professor with McCormick Theological Seminary and served as Mentor of Doctor of Ministry Students, United Theological Seminary, Dayton, OH, leading over 30 Doctor of Ministry Students successfully through the program earning their degrees. Sharon is a published author. She published in 2014, as part of her PhD studies and research, African American Battered Women: A Study in Gender Entrapment. Her most recent book was recently released, (July 2022), The Trauma of Sexual and Domestic Violence: Navigating My Way Through Individuals, Religion, Policing and the Courts. Sharon is a Board-Certified Chaplain, (BCC) with the Association of Professional Chaplains, (APC).

Leah Schade

(859) 280-1252
M.Div. Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia 2000
Ph.D. Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia 2014
Joined the faculty in 2016.
Pronouns: she/her

The Rev. Dr. Leah D. Schade is the Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, Kentucky. An ordained Lutheran minister (ELCA) for more than twenty years, Leah earned both her MDiv and PhD degrees from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (now United Lutheran Seminary). She has pastored three Pennsylvania congregations in suburban, urban, and rural contexts. Her book, Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019), explores how clergy and congregations can address controversial social issues using nonpartisan, biblically-centered approaches and deliberative dialogue. She is also the author of Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit (Chalice Press, 2015), as well as For the Beauty of the Earth , a Creation-centered Lenten devotional (Chalice Press, 2019). She is co-editor and author with Margaret Bullitt-Jonas of Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019), and co-author with Jerry Sumney of Apocalypse When?: A Guide to Interpreting and Preaching Apocalyptic Texts. She is also the EcoPreacher blogger for Patheos.

In December 2021, Dr. Schade was elected 2nd Vice President of the Academy of Homiletics, a three-year position that will culminate with serving as President of the Academy in 2024. She has been a featured speaker for the Festival of Homiletics, leads workshops and retreats, and keynotes events throughout the country. She is the director of a Wabash grant exploring the use of deliberative dialogue in congregations and theological education and is part of a research exchange with the Kettering Foundation studying the role of religious organizations in democratic community building. Dr. Schade is also conducting a longitudinal research study about ministry, preaching, and social issues that has surveyed nearly 3,000 clergy and 1,000 laity since 2017.

Dr. Schade received the Kentucky Council of Churches award in 2019. She is also co-founder of the Clergy Emergency League, a network of more than 2,600 pastors throughout the U.S. who provide support, accountability, resources, and networking for clergy to prophetically minister in their congregations and the public square in this time of political upheaval, social unrest, and partisan division.

Jerry L. Sumney

Professor of Biblical Studies

(859) 280-1255

B.A., David Lipscomb University, 1978
M.A., Harding University,1982
Ph.D., Southern Methodist University, 1987

Joined faculty in 1997.  Prior to that time he taught in the religion department at Ferrum College from 1986-1997.

Dr. Sumney is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and is past president for the Southeastern Region of the Society. At the national level, he also served as the chair of the steering committee for the Theology of the Disputed Paulines Group from 1996-2001 and as the chair of the steering committee for the Disputed Paulines Section from 2004-2012. He also chaired the Pauline Epistles and Literature Section of the International Meeting of the SBL 2003-2008.  He was elected to membership in the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (SNTS) in 2005.

He has written seven books: Paul: Apostle and Fellow Traveler (2014); The Bible: An Introduction (2010; 2nd edition, 2014); Colossians; A Commentary, New Testament Library Series (2008); Philippians, A Handbook for Second-Year Greek Students (2007); Servants of SatanFalse Brothersand Other Pauline Opponents (1999)Preaching Apocalyptic Texts (co-authored with Larry Paul Jones; 1999) and Identifying Paul’s Opponents (1990). He is editor of Reading Paul’s Letter to Romans (2012); The Order of the Ministry; Equipping the Saints (2002) and co-editor of Theology and Ethics in Paul and His Interpreters (1996) and Paul and Pathos (2001). He also has written over 30 articles in journals and books. He also contributed entries to the New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible and the Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments, and the Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics. In addition, was a contributor to the The College Study Bible and the CEB Study Bible.  He is currently working on a book on Paul’s use of tradition, a commentary on 1 Corinthians, and the Bible study section of an issue of the New International Sunday School Lesson Annual.

Sumney has presented papers at regional, national, and international academic conferences.  He has also led numerous workshops for elders and deacons, and Bible study workshops and series, including in the Lay School of Theology at LTS and in the school for licensed ministers sponsored by the Kentucky region of the Christian Church.  He is the regular teacher of an adult Sunday School Class in his home church.

Dr. Sumney and his wife, Diane, have three daughters: Elizabeth, Victoria, and Margaret.

Program Directors
Wilson Dickinson

Director of Doctor of Ministry and Lay and Continuing Education Programs

Adjunct Professor of Theology

(859) 280-1219

2011          Ph.D. Syracuse University

2008           M.Phil. Syracuse University

2005           M.Div. Vanderbilt University

2002           B.A. Transylvania University

Dickinson has been teaching at LTS since 2016. Prior to coming to LTS, he was Associate Dean for Religious Life at Transylvania University, where he taught in the Religion, Philosophy, and Environmental Studies programs.

Dickinson is a theologian, organizer, and minister whose work takes place at the intersection of environmental justice and discipleship. He approaches theology through traditions of liberative wisdom—integrating a wide range of disciplines from biblical studies, social history, practical theology, philosophy, social theory, and aesthetics and bringing them to bear on issues of everyday life, community building, and cultivating movements for justice. At LTS he teaches courses like Pastoral Theology, Jesus and Environmental Justice, Food and Faith, Mystical Theology, and Building Capacity for Transformative Ministry.

His first book is entitled, Exercises in New Creation from Paul to Kierkegaard. This book articulates a vision for philosophical theology around the practices of the care of the self, the city, and creation. His second book, The Green Good News: Christ’s Path to Sustainable and Joyful Life, is an environmental justice reading of the Gospels that is written to bridge scholarly, church, and activist audiences. His third book, Singing the Psalms with My Son: Spiritual Exercises for Climate Crisis (forthcoming 2023) is a collection of theological mediations that look to the Psalms and the practices of parenting as refuge, hope, and transformation in the face of climate change. He is currently working on a project on Christ and the Commons.

In addition to serving at LTS, Dickinson is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is the director of the Green Good News, an organization that is rooted in a number of food justice ministries and which educates, cultivates, and organizes Christian communities to follow the ways of justice, joy, and simplicity. He is also involved in building wider movements to cultivate and connect the Christian food movement, climate justice networks, and the Christian Left. He is chair of the Christ Seminar, a project on Christologies of the People with the Westar Institute, and area editor for ecology and environment for The Bias Magazine.

Windy Kidd

Registrar and Director of Financial Aid and Student Billing

(859) 280-1237

Contingent Faculty
Edwin Aponte

Adjunct Professor of Religion and Culture

The Rev. Edwin David Aponte is Executive Director of the Louisville Institute. Aponte graduated from Gordon College (B.A.), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.A.T.S.), and Temple University (M.A., Ph.D.). As a cultural historian of religions and cultures Aponte explores faith, spirituality, and culture, especially the intersections of race, ethnicity, and religion, congregational studies, and religion and politics. His writings include ¡Santo! Varieties of Latino/a Spirituality (Orbis Books, 2012), and he is co-editor of Handbook of Latina/o Theologies (Chalice Press, 2006) and co-author of Introducing Latinx Theologies (Orbis Books, 2020), both with Miguel A. De La Torre. 

Aponte is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church, USA, and a member of Mid-Kentucky Presbytery. 

Greg Alexander

Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Leadership

After retiring as the Regional Minister of Christian Church In Kentucky in May, 2019, Greg was called to serve as the Director of Disciples Men for the Disciples Home Missions. In addition, Greg serves as the part-time pastor of the Hodgenville Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Hodgenville, KY and as the current chair of the Disciples’ General Commission on Ministry. Greg is adjunct faculty at LTS teaching Congregational Systems. His spouse is Nora. They have four adult children, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren.

Bruce Barkhauer

Adjunct Professor of Practice of Ministry

Bruce A. Barkhauer was called as the first “Minister for Faith and Giving for Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)” in 2010, after 25 years of parish ministry. Since that time, he has engaged the whole church in conversations about generosity and offered transformative ways for congregations to think about stewardship. His energy, vision, and entrepreneurial spirit enhance gifts in both business and ministry. He brings a biblically based understanding about stewardship combined with theological integrity and weds them to the current trends and best practices related to spirituality and money. He is the author of numerous articles, and books including America’s Holy Ground: 61 Faithful Reflections On Our National Parks (published by Chalice Press, 2019), and Community of Prayer: A Stewardship Devotional. His most recent book, America’s Holy Sites: Faithful Reflections on our National Monuments and Historic Landmarks was released in April of 2020.  He is a graduate of Ohio University (Athens), Christian Theological Seminary (Indianapolis), and did Doctor of Ministry studies at Ashland Theological Seminary (Ashland, OH). Rev Barkhauer has also earned an Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising and is an adjunct professor with both Lexington Theological Seminary, and the IU School of Philanthropy.  He is married to Laura and they share three grown children and three grandchildren.  

Jon Barnes

Jon Barnes has over a decade of international experience, serving in South Africa and Mozambique with Global Ministries (DoC and UCC) and in South Africa, Lesotho and eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) with the Mennonite Central Committee. Barnes serves LTS as the Program Director for the Pathways for Tomorrow Grant as well as teaching as adjunct faculty. He received a BA from Gardner-Webb University (1993), a MDiv from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (2000), and a PhD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (2010) in South Africa.  In addition to numerous journal articles, Barnes is the author of Power and Partnership: A History of the Protestant Mission Movement (Pickwick, 2013) and co-editor of Restoring Dignity, Nourishing Hope: Developing Mutuality in Mission (Pilgrim Press, 2016). More recently, he wrote “Mission and Ministry in the Age of Pandemics” for the recently released book Threshold Dwellers in the Age of Global Pandemic (Pickwick, 2022).

 

Richard Coble

Adjunct Professor of Leading the Church through Care

Richard Coble is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament for the Presbyterian Church (USA) and serves Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, NC as their Associate Pastor of Congregational Care, Education, and Formation. He is the author of many peer reviewed articles and one book, The Chaplain’s Presence and Medical Power: Rethinking Loss in the Hospital System (Lexington Books, 2018). He holds a PhD in Religion, Psychology, and Culture from Vanderbilt University as well as a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. At Lexington, he teaches classes in pastoral care and counseling. 

Kristel Clayville

Adjunct Professor of Interpreting the Behavior for the Church

Rev. Dr. Kristel Clayville holds a PhD in Religious Ethics from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School. She is a Sinai and Synapses Fellow as well as a Senior Fellow at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. Formerly, she was the Acting Director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science. Clinically, she works as a chaplain and ethicist at the University of Chicago Medical Center, and focuses on the existential and spiritual issues facing organ transplant patients. Kristel’s early research was on the uses of the Hebrew Bible in environmental ethics, especially through the work of Holmes Rolston, III and Hans Jonas. More recently, she has turned toward the intersection between environmental ethics and bioethics to study the green burial movement and organ donation as genres of recycling. She actively pursues clinical research in how patients engage their religions to understand the medical care they are getting and make decisions about it. She is ordained in the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.

Elizabeth Conde-Frazier

Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Conde Frazier is a practical theologian. She is an ordained pastor of the American Baptist Churches with over ten years of pastoral experience. She was founder of the Orlando E. Costas Hispanic and Latin American Ministries Program at Andover Newton Theological School, served as a tenured professor of religious education at the Claremont School of theology and as academic dean and vice president of education at Esperanza College of Eastern University. Currently she is the Coordinator of Relations for Theological Entities at the Association of Hispanic Theological Education. She is a Judson Press author of the bilingual book Listen to the Children: Conversations with Immigrant Families.  

Dr. Conde-Frazier holds a Ph.D. from Boston College, a M.Div. from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a B.A. From Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

Yara González-Justiniano

González-Justiniano, originally from Puerto Rico, completed her doctor of philosophy in practical theology at the School of Theology of Boston University with concentration in church and society this year. In addition, she holds a master of divinity with concentration in community and global engagement, a bachelor of arts in communications, a minor in modern languages, and a minor in theater. Her research interests include Latinx theologies, cultural identity and memory studies, postcolonial theory, popular culture, and popular religion.

González-Justiniano is Under Care with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is in the process of ordination. She also works with different church communities in hopes of maintaining an open dialogue between academic endeavors and the church.

Jo Ann Deasy
Douglas Clark

Douglas H. Brown Clark serves as Adjunct Professor of Church History at Lexington Theological Seminary. He also teaches courses in African American and African Diaspora religions as a part of Louisville Seminary’s Black Church Studies program. Clark received a BA from Davidson College and an MDiv from Vanderbilt Divinity School, where he earned second honors and served as Student Body President. He then earned a PhD at Vanderbilt University, where he studied American and African American religious history with a focus on race, civil rights, and reparations. His current book project, A Solid Black Hyphen: Race, Religion, Identity, and the Black Power Activism of Gayraud S. Wilmore, examines the history of religion in the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, with a focus on late 1960s Black clergy advocates for reparations, especially Presbyterian minister, theologian, and activist Gayraud Wilmore. Clark’s research has benefited from support as a Research Fellow with the Presbyterian Historical Society, and as a Fellow in Vanderbilt’s Program in Theology and Practice. He chairs the southeast regional AAR’s History of Christianity section. He previously chaired Vanderbilt’s Graduate Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and currently serves on the Presbytery of Charlotte’s Anti-Racism Ministry Team.

Chris Dorsey

The Rev. Bernard “Chris” Dorsey currently serves as President of Higher Education & Leadership Ministries (HELM) of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). An ordained Disciples minister, he earned his M.Div from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. He has taught at a variety of academic and theological institutions and previously served as local church pastor, University Chaplain for Clark Atlanta University, and as the Vice President of Development and Marketing at Chicago Theological Seminary. He previously served as Assistant Professor of Theology and Preaching at Western Theological Seminary. Some of the courses he taught at WTS included Preaching Foundations; Race, Culture, and Reconciliation; Theologizing Violence; and the Theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer & Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wilson Dickinson

Director of Doctor of Ministry and Lay and Continuing Education Programs

Adjunct Professor of Theology

(859) 280-1219

2011          Ph.D. Syracuse University

2008           M.Phil. Syracuse University

2005           M.Div. Vanderbilt University

2002           B.A. Transylvania University

Dickinson has been teaching at LTS since 2016. Prior to coming to LTS, he was Associate Dean for Religious Life at Transylvania University, where he taught in the Religion, Philosophy, and Environmental Studies programs.

Dickinson is a theologian, organizer, and minister whose work takes place at the intersection of environmental justice and discipleship. He approaches theology through traditions of liberative wisdom—integrating a wide range of disciplines from biblical studies, social history, practical theology, philosophy, social theory, and aesthetics and bringing them to bear on issues of everyday life, community building, and cultivating movements for justice. At LTS he teaches courses like Pastoral Theology, Jesus and Environmental Justice, Food and Faith, Mystical Theology, and Building Capacity for Transformative Ministry.

His first book is entitled, Exercises in New Creation from Paul to Kierkegaard. This book articulates a vision for philosophical theology around the practices of the care of the self, the city, and creation. His second book, The Green Good News: Christ’s Path to Sustainable and Joyful Life, is an environmental justice reading of the Gospels that is written to bridge scholarly, church, and activist audiences. His third book, Singing the Psalms with My Son: Spiritual Exercises for Climate Crisis (forthcoming 2023) is a collection of theological mediations that look to the Psalms and the practices of parenting as refuge, hope, and transformation in the face of climate change. He is currently working on a project on Christ and the Commons.

In addition to serving at LTS, Dickinson is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is the director of the Green Good News, an organization that is rooted in a number of food justice ministries and which educates, cultivates, and organizes Christian communities to follow the ways of justice, joy, and simplicity. He is also involved in building wider movements to cultivate and connect the Christian food movement, climate justice networks, and the Christian Left. He is chair of the Christ Seminar, a project on Christologies of the People with the Westar Institute, and area editor for ecology and environment for The Bias Magazine.

Doris Garcia-Rivera

Academic Coordinator for Pathways for Tomorrow Grant

B.Sc., University of Puerto Rico, 1978

M.Sc., Medical Science University of Puerto Rico, 1981

M.A.R. Andover Newton Theological School, 1988

Ph.D. Boston Theological School, Boston University

 

Rev. Dr. Doris Garcia-Rivera joined the faculty in December 2021 as Professor of Old Testament and Mission and Evangelism in the Certificate in Hispanic Ministries and recently as the Academic Coordinator for Pathways for Tomorrow Grant.

Dr. Garcia-Rivera served as Interim Director of Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA-Bautistas por la Paz), a nonprofit international peacemaking network of thousands of peacemakers from four member nations – Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States, with connections to South America, Africa and Europe nurturing the organization during the pandemic.

As part of the Hispanic biblical scholars active in Christian missions, theological education, human development and social justice, Doris spent 23 years of missionary service in Central America connecting Indigenous and Central Americans communities with churches and organizations in the U.S. through the International Ministries of American Baptist Churches (IM-ABC). After this transformational time, Doris became the first Hispanic woman to preside (2014-2019) the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico an ATS accredited institution. She brought the seminary back to life after hurricane Maria with the collaboration of multiple reliefs organizations, partner churches, seminaries, and volunteers. She promoted continuing education and improved the seminary’s information technology infrastructure. Doris’ commitments have taken her throughout the United states and Central America as missionary, teacher, international speaker, consultant and board member of higher education accrediting institutions. She is founder of theological schools and programs. Since 1982 Doris has collaborated with a variety of journals and digital spaces sharing valuable biblical and theological knowledge receiving several awards for her writings.

Rev. Garcia-Rivera is an ordained minister of the ABC – Puerto Rican Baptist Churches since 1990. Doris’ interests are in Interculturality, Ancient Near Eastern culture and Prophetic Literature. She enjoys science fiction, writing and hearing music. She is a proud white Afro-descendant Puerto Rican woman and mother of three adults.

Deborah H.C. Gin

Deborah H.C. Gin is ATS Director of Research and Faculty Development. In addition to launching the Association’s new research initiative and directing programs for faculty, she contributes to the ongoing dialogue about organizational and educational models that will have future viability and sustainability. Gin came to ATS from Azusa Pacific University, where she served as a senior faculty fellow in the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment and as associate professor of ministry at Azusa Pacific Seminary. She previously served as Director of Diversity Studies at Azusa.

Gin’s areas of research include pedagogy, higher education administration, multicultural education engagement, and diversity inclusivity. Her articles have appeared in To Improve the Academy, Theological Education, and Multicultural Education Review. Chapters she has published include ““Ruth: Identity and Leadership from Multivocal Spaces,” In Mirrored Reflections: Reframing Biblical Characters; “Loving My Neighbor,” in Strength to Be Holy; and “Asian American Ethnic/Racial Identity Development,” in Asian American Christianity: A Reader.

Gin is a regular blogger on leadership issues related to Asian American women, has been a frequent invited speaker on topics related to race, excellence, and inclusion, and is a member of the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ VALUE initiative Intercultural Competence rubric development team.  She earned an MDiv from Haggard Graduate School of Theology, an MA in music from the University of Southern California, and a PhD in higher education from Claremont Graduate University.

William R. Grimes

Education: 

AA Kennedy King College – Chicago Il 

AS Kennedy King College 

BS University of Illinois, Chicago, Il 

BHS University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 

MPS Loyola University, New Orleans, LA 

D.Min Graduate Theological Foundation  

 Bill Grimes was born in Chicago and attended parochial schools.  Feeling called to the ministry he attended St. Meinrad High School Seminary in southern Indiana.  While at St. Meinrad he realized that he wanted to try living  the monastic life.  He decided to enter Gethsemani Trappist Monastery in Kentucky and was fortunate to have Fr. Louis (Thomas) Merton as his novice master, mentor, teacher, spiritual director and friend.  Today he is an ordained Deacon and his ministry is primarily providing  health care in Eastern Kentucky to the uninsured people of this Appalachian Region.  He is married and has nine children and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.   He is also a professor emeritus at University of Kentucky, College of Health Sciences, where he taught full and part time for 15 years.  

Dr. Grimes began teaching at Lexington Theological Seminary in 2021 with his first course during the January  intensive sessions.   

Grimes is passionate about social justice issues and stresses the importance of practicing the Works of Mercy and truly living the Gospel message.   

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” 

Mother Teresa of Calcutta 

Michael R. Grigoni

Contingent Professor of Social Ethics and Roman Catholic Studies

B.A., Western Washington University, 2000

M.A., University of Washington, 2007

M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School, 2009

Ph.D., Duke University, 2020

Michael Remedios Grigoni began teaching at Lexington Theological Seminary in 2020. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, he earned his B.A. in Philosophy from Western Washington University, his M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Washington, and his M.T.S. in Theology from Harvard Divinity School. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, he served as Pastoral Assistant of Liturgy and Music at Church of the Assumption in Bellingham, Washington. He received his Ph.D. in Religion from Duke University where he currently serves as Research Associate at the Kenan Institute for Ethics.

With research interests spanning Christian ethics, political theology, and ethnographic theology, his current project develops a Christian ethics of handgun ownership that emerges from ethnographic fieldwork he carried out with Christian handgun owners and Christian anti-gun violence activists in North Carolina. His work appears or is forthcoming in the Journal of Moral Theology, Ecclesial Practices, Practical Theology, and Comment.

His research has been supported by the Louisville Institute, Hispanic Theological Initiative, and Kenan Institute for Ethics. He is also an Emerging Scholar with the Center for the Science of Moral Understanding at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which has awarded him a two-year research grant in support of his project on guns and US American Christianity.

He served as the co-chair of the Fieldwork in Ethics Interest Group of the Society of Christian Ethics from 2019–2021, and he currently serves on the steering committee of the Ecclesial Practices Unit of the American Academy of Religion. He has presented his research at the American Academy of Religion, Society of Christian Ethics, College Theology Society, Duke Center for Firearms Law, and was a featured guest on WUNC 91.5’s The State of Things with Frank Stasio in February 2020.

Tim Kulbicki

B.A., St. Hyacinth College Seminary (Granby, MA), 1981
S.T.B., Pontifical Faculty of St. Bonaventure (Rome, Italy), 1985
H.E.L., Pontifical Gregorian University, 1990
H.E.D., Pontifical Gregorian University, 1997

The Rev. Dr. Timothy Kulbicki, OFM Conv. joined the faculty as an adjunct instructor in 2021. He is a Roman Catholic priest and a Conventual Franciscan Friar of the Our Lady of the Angels Province, headquartered in Ellicott City, MD. Currently he is the Campus Minister and Pastor of the Newman Student Center Parish in Chapel Hill, which serves the University of North Carolina.

Friar Tim completed his religious formation at his Order’s seminaries in Ellicott City, MD; Granby, MA; and Rome, Italy, prior to completing his advanced studies in Ecclesiastical History. In addition to pastoral service in Holyoke, MA, and Baltimore, MD, Friar Tim was a member of the faculty and Academic Dean at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, MD, where he also taught in its Ecumenical Institute and held the Robert F. Leavitt Distinguished Service Chair. Prior to his appointment to Chapel Hill, he served in his Order’s General Curia in Rome, 2013-19.

Friar Tim has published in the area of his religious community’s history and spirituality, most recently co-authoring with Robert Lezohupski, OFM Conv., Commentary on the New and Revised Constitutions of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual (2019), also translated into Italian Spanish, and Polish. He has presented workshops and preached retreats both on the national and the international arenas.

Friar Tim is a member of the American Catholic Historical Association, the United States Catholic Historical Society, and the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, as well as being a consultant with the Diocese of Raleigh and his Order’s General Curia in Rome.

Altonnette D. Hawkins

The Rev. Dr. Altonnette D. Hawkins (Toni) is an ordained United Church of Christ (UCC) minister with ministerial partnership standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She is the Associate Conference Minister of Leadership Formation and Discernment in the Indiana Kentucky Conference of the UCC serving 130 congregations and 7 associations. She is the former 1st Vice Moderator for the Christian Church in Kentucky (DOC).  She enjoys teaching and facilitation as a licensed diversity & inclusion educator and  certified conflict resolution mediator. Also, she is a member of the Christian Church of Kentucky Regional Anti-racism and Pro-reconciliation Team and a trainer. In the UCC Indiana Kentucky Conference, she is the resource staff person to the Anti-Racism Task Force. 

Dr. Hawkins is the author of two self-care books: Self-care Reflections for Caregivers and Me Time: A Self-care Coloring Book and Journal. She earned a B.A. in Public Administration from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ; a M.Div. at Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, DC. and a D.Min at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary where she serves as an adjunct faculty member. She serves on several local, regional and national boards. She believes that we are all in a state of “becoming”. Thus, her favorite saying is, “The best is yet to come!” 

John H. Hull, Jr.

Adjunct Professor of Hebrew Bible

John Hull has taught Hebrew Bible since 2009. He is Minister Emeritus at Beargrass Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, where he served as Minister of Faith Development from 1998—2019. An ordained Disciples of Christ minister, he previously served at First Christian Church of Atlanta and Temple City (CA) Christian Church. He has been visiting lecturer in Biblical Studies at Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles) and has served as contingent faculty at colleges and seminaries in California and Texas.

Dr. Hull’s Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible is from Claremont Graduate University. He also has a M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and a B.A. in biblical studies from Azusa Pacific University.

The areas of the Hebrew Bible in which Dr. Hull specializes include narrative and prophetic literature. At LTS he has taught courses in the Deuteronomistic History (Joshua—Kings), the Prophets, the Book of Amos, and Ruth and Jonah. Dr. Hull has published articles on the books of Judges and Kings.

Dr. Hull is married to the Rev. Dr. Caryn Yoast, who holds a D.Min. from LTS. They now live in Erie, Colorado between Boulder and Denver and have two daughters who also live in Colorado. Dr. Hull enjoys hiking and backpacking, fly fishing, cooking, photography and American and family history. He has great concern for climate and the environment as well as justice. 

April Johnson

Rev. April G. Johnson serves as the Minister of Reconciliation for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. She brings to this work a deep passion for racial understanding, justice and compassion.  As Minister of Reconciliation, Rev. Johnson facilitates the church-wide process of awareness, analysis and action toward healing the fractures in the body of Christ that are caused by systemic racism. She collaborates with organizer trainers, regional and congregational staff leadership, anti-racism teams and ecumenical partners in her efforts to guide this work. Rev. Johnson has added mediation to the toolbox of Anti-Racism skills and practices in the church’s pursuit to embody a Pro-Reconciling identity. In her capacity as both pastor and administrator, Rev. Johnson emphasizes the importance of relationship-building across differences as one of the critical ways that we actualize God’s plan for humanity and creation.

Before coming to the Disciples’ Center, Rev. Johnson served at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois as Assistant Dean of Students /Director of Diversity Services and as Associate College Chaplain.  During her tenure at the College, Rev. Johnson provided leadership in developing a campus climate of welcome and inclusion.  She also led several cross-cultural short-term service-learning opportunities for students in Belize, Central America and Kenya, East Africa.  It was the joy of her ministry at the College to accompany young adults as they discovered their global connectedness and as they enhanced their inter-cultural competencies.    

She received her Bachelors of Arts from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana and her Masters of Divinity from Howard University in Washington, DC.  While at Howard, she was the Assistant to the Editor for the Journal of Religious Thought and the editor of the school’s weekly student-staff newsletter-The Weekly Word.  She enjoys writing, travel and is hopeful to return to playing golf.  Rev. Johnson is a native of Chicago, Illinois.

Donald Gillett

Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Leadership

B.S., Jarvis Christian College
M.B.A., Indiana Wesleyan University
D.Min., Lexington Theological Seminary

Reverend Dr. Donald K. Gillett, II, has been the Senior Pastor at East Second Street Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) since July 1999. Prior to his call to ESSCC, he served as Youth Minister and Associate Minister at Park Manor Christian Church in Chicago.  He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, TX; a Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL; a Doctorate of Ministry Degree from Lexington Theological Seminary, Lexington ,KY; and a Master of Business Degree from Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, IN.

Gillett serves as the Chair of the Division of Overseas Ministries board and serves on numerous boards including the Kentucky Council of Churches Executive Board, and the Academy of Preachers Board of Directors. Moreover, he is the immediate past Moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in KY.  Gillett and the East Second Street Christian Church have been the recipients of several grants including:  Worship Renewal Grant from the Calvin Institute of Worship, the College of Pastoral Leaders Grant, and the Pastoral Renewal Grant from the Lilly Endowment, to name a few.

Barbara Lomonaco

Adjunct Professor of Cultural Studies

Barbara LoMonaco has been teaching at LMS since 2015.  She earned her B.A. in philosophy, and M.A. and Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Southern Methodist University and has conducted ethnographic research in Greece, Italy, and domestically.

She has served as an administrator in higher education since 2012 and is currently Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. She oversees the areas of Student Involvement and Leadership, Residence Life, Counseling and Psychological Services, Intercultural Student Engagement, Student Conduct and Compliance, Disabilities Services and Academic Support, Health Services, and International Student Services.

Richard Lowery

Adjunct Professor of Hebrew Bible

Richard H. Lowery is an ordained Disciples minister and President of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society. He earned a Master of Divinity and a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Yale University. He earned a bachelor’s degree with high honors from the University of Tennessee, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and was recently honored by the Department of Religious Studies with the Charles H. Reynolds Distinguished Alumnus/a Award. Rick taught most of his career at Phillips Theological Seminary in Oklahoma, where he was the first Johnnie Eargle Cadieux Professor of Hebrew Bible. He served as interim vice president and dean of Lexington Theological Seminary. He has been an adjunct professor at several seminaries. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and served as a regional president. He is a member and former president of the Association of Disciples for Theological Discussion. He has written and collaborated on a number of books, including Sabbath and Jubilee and Chalice Introduction to the Old Testament, both published by Chalice Press. With Bishop William Barber II and the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharris, he co-authored Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing (Beacon Press, 2018). He served as co-editor of and writer for Seeking God’s Design: Disciples’ Quest for Unity and Wholeness (Chalice Press, 2019) and recently wrote for and edited Wellsprings of Hope: Prayers for a Prophetic New Vision for Disciples (Chalice Press, 2020). He has written Bible studies, worship and preaching aids, and prayers for a number of seasonal prayer books. Rick has lectured and preached at numerous church gatherings in the US and abroad and served on various Disciples and ecumenical commissions and committees, including the executive committee of the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission, where he helped produce the study document on Moral Discernment in the Churches. Rick is married to the Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins, who served 12 years as general minister and president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and now serves as pastor of Bethany Memorial Church, a congregation founded by Alexander Campbell. They live in Bethany, WV. 

Jules Martinez-Olivieri
Narola Ao McFayden

Adjunct Professor of Leading the Church in Formation

M.Th United Theological College, India

Th.M. Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

Ph.D. Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, Virginia

Dr. McFayden’s pedagogy is informed by her experience living, learning, and teaching on two continents. In India, she taught at Little Star High School and Trinity Theological College. In the United States, she taught at Union Presbyterian Seminary and Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. She has taught at LTS since 2016.

Dr. McFayden is the author of two books, Traveling in Time with Pioneers of Our Faith (2016) and Mary Mead Clark: Her Life and Legacy (2019). She also has published essays and book reviews in peer-reviewed journals. Her current research focuses on the formative power of rituals, particularly exploring what Christians can learn from rituals of non-Christian religions.

Dr. McFayden is a member of American Academy of Religion; Religious Education Association; and Pacific, Asian, and North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry.

Christy Newton

Adjunct Professor of Social Ethics

B.A., Texas Christian University, 1995

Grad. Dip., Monash University, Melbourne, Aus., 1996

M.Div., Pacific School of Religion, 2000

Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union, 2011

Rev. Dr. Christy Newton received her Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union in the interdisciplinary disciplines of theology, globalization, and material culture.  She is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with a M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion, and she has served Disciples and United Church of Christ congregations in Arkansas and California for over 20 years.  She also worked in campus ministry/church relations at Chapman University in Orange, California. 

Currently, she serves as the Senior Minister of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Vallejo, California, and she teaches online courses in social ethics, practical theology, and spirituality for Lexington Theological Seminary and Pacific School of Religion.

Her ministry and teaching focus on the gritty, tangible intersections of embodying justice, translating a prophetic gospel message into widely-accessible language and action, and using the arts to open up the deeply transformative possibilities of the spirit.  She is energized by practical and public theologies that insist on hospitality and compassion, and she is inspired to help individuals and communities find ways to sustain their prophetic voices in a difficult and polarized world.

Francesca Debora Nuzzolese

Rev Dr Francesca Debora Nuzzolese is a pastoral theologian and psychotherapist. She fulfills her calling by engaging the academy, communities of faith, and the humanitarian sector. She has held tenured teaching and research positions in the USA and Australia and is currently involved in psychospiritual and trauma care education in the regions of Europe and the Middle East. Her main teaching areas are pastoral theology, spiritual formation, pastoral care, counseling, and trauma care. She is involved in private psychotherapeutic practice and spiritual direction, and consults with faith based NGOs on sustainability of care for anti-trafficking practitioners and first respondents in the European refugee crisis. 

As a scholar, activist and clergywoman, Dr Nuzzolese is committed to the organic integration of theory and pastoral praxis, holding together issues of faith and social justice through research, advocacy and therapeutic intervention. The current focus of her research is the phenomenon of traumatization in which both humans and the planet are caught, due to the convergence of socio-economic, political and environmental forces. In her upcoming book, The World as a Trauma Zone, she draws from her therapeutic work with victims of labor and sexual exploitation and those who are dislocated due to forced migration to reflect on the impact of trauma in our shared human experience; and seeks to construct a theo-ethical response in the form of creative, radical and uncommon imagination.

William Lee

Adjunct Professor of Leading the Church into Worship

M.Div., Duke University Divinity School (1978)
D. Min., Ashland Theological Seminary (2009)

Dr. Lee holds the B.S. degree from Virginia State University, the M.Div. degree from Duke University Divinity School, and the D.Min. degree from Ashland Theological Seminary.  Dr. Lee is pastor of Loudon Avenue Christian Church, Roanoke, Virginia, a congregation he has led for over 34 years, turning it into a major force for improvement in the city of Roanoke and one of the leading congregations among the Christian Churches in Virginia.  He is also a former moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and is vice-moderator of the LTS Board of Trustees. 

Joi R. Orr

Rev. Joi R. Orr is a PhD Candidate at Emory University in Religion, where she studies Christian ethics, Black Nationalism, food and land sovereignty, political theology, and asset-based community development. Her dissertation is entitled, “Liberation from the Ground Up: Food Sovereignty, Land Tenure, and the Black Struggle for Justice.” In 2004, Rev. Orr received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Maryland College Park, and in 2006, she earned the AmeriCorps Siegel Education Award for her service with the Sisters of the Good Shepherd where she practiced “living simply so that others may simply live.” In 2010, she graduated from Howard University School of Divinity, and was ordained an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Recently, Rev. Orr was named a 2020-2022 Louisville Institute Postdoctoral Scholar and Visiting Professor of Christian Ethics at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA.

William Paulsell

Adjunct Professor of Church History

Rev. Dr. William Paulsell is a preeminent voice in the Disciples of Christ on spirituality. He is the author of seven books on the spiritual life, most recently a book on (Thomas) Merton and the Protestant Tradition. He is a graduate of Texas Christian University and received seminary, masters, and PhD degrees from Vanderbilt University. He taught religion and philosophy at Barton College for nineteen years, served as Dean and later President of Lexington Theological Seminary, as well as senior minister of North Christian Church in Columbus, Indiana. After retirement he taught fulltime for four more years at LTS and continues to teach an occasional course if the need arises.

Lon Oliver

Dr. Lon Oliver serves as the Executive Director of Appalachian Ministries Educational Resource Center (AMERC) and the Administrator of Disciples Appalachian Scholarship Ministry.  In addition, Lon serves on the Executive Committee of the Rural Network in the United States and Canada and is the Vice President of the Board of Human Economic Appalachian Development, a nonprofit microbusiness and leadership council.  He is the pastor of Nicholasville Christian Church in Nicholasville.

Lon’s special interests include  Appalachian faith and music, the Second Great Awakening in Kentucky and the retelling of history from the perspective of America’s multicultural society. Lon has his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Lexington Theological Seminary.  He is married to Maria Oliver.  Lon and Maria are the parents of their adult child, David.

Chris Rodkey

Adjunct Professor of Religious Education and Theology

Dr. Christopher Rodkey is a public theologian in south-central Pennsylvania, where is he Pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Dallastown, PA. He is a graduate of St. Vincent College (B.A.), the University of Chicago (M.Div.), Meadville Lombard Theological School (D.Min.), and Drew University (Ph.D.). He regularly teaches philosophy at Penn State York, where he was awarded the Burness Award for Excellence in Teaching, and has had extensive training in online pedagogy and course design from Penn State’s Global Campus. He holds lifetime certification as a Specialist in Religious Education from the United Church of Christ and has substantial ministry experience in children’s, youth, and young adult ministries.

Dr. Rodkey’s publications include The Synaptic Gospel (2012), Too Good to be True (2014), The World is Crucifixion (2016), The Palgrave Handbook of Radical Theology (co-editor, 2018), and The Bonhoeffer Chrism Mass (2020). He has additionally co-created a series of three devotional coloring books for Chalice Press and was on the revision team for God & Me (2020), one of the scouting awards programs for children from P.R.A.Y. publications. He currently is a recipient of a research grant from The Louisville Institute on contemporary confirmation practices in the American church.

Kimberly D. Russaw

Kimberly D. Russaw holds the Ph.D. in Religion from Vanderbilt University where she studied Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel.  She has taught and lectured in diverse learning environments including the local and connectional church, universities, and seminaries, and is currently the assistant professor of Hebrew Bible at Christian Theological Seminary (Indianapolis, IN).  She is the author of Daughters in the Hebrew Bible (Fortress Academic, 2018) and Revisiting Rahab (Wesley’s Foundery Books, forthcoming 2021).

A sought-after teacher, lecturer, and preacher, Russaw was named one of “Six Black Women at the Center of Gravity in Theological Education” by NBCNews.com and inducted into the prestigious Martin Luther King, Jr. Collegium of Scholars. Russaw is an ordained clergywoman in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and holds membership in the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Academy of Religion, and the Society for the Study of Black Religion.

Laura Taylor
Yvonne Martinez Thorne

Rev. Dr. Yvonne Martinez Thorne is founder and CEO of Cultivating Wholeness Counseling Associates, where “Caring for the Whole Person Matters.” Located in Pennsylvania and Florida, her faith-based practice provides specialized services for ordained clergy and lay leaders.  She also provides secular and faith-based counseling and psychotherapy to adolescents, adults, couples and families across faith, race, and culture.   

Dr. Yvonne Martinez Thorne served as consultant for Area Ministry and Communications for the Philadelphia Baptist Association. In this role she provided regional and pastoral leadership to clergy, lay leaders and congregations.  This included training in strategic planning and team building; strengthening of collaborative partnerships between congregations and the region; strengthening multicultural competence and sensitivity; conflict resolution and crisis intervention; and encouraging of congregational health and wellness. Her work with congregations included a whole-person approach encompassing the development of pastoral and lay leaders.  This method is rooted in her belief that church renewal and challenges facing 21st Century Churches require authentic spiritual and psychological transformation in church leaders and congregations. 

Rev. Martinez Thorne’s commitment to the church continues in her role as consultant to congregations, ecumenical judicatories, and Christian organizations seeking greater wholeness and wellness.  She recently provided disaster relief to clergy and congregations traumatized by natural disasters in Puerto Rico and The Bahamas.  Rev. Martinez Thorne also served in the Baptist World Alliance as Vice Chair of Commission on Christian Ethics, on the Resolutions Committee, and on the Division of Mission, Evangelism, and Theological Reflection.

Rev. Dr. Martinez Thorne is author of several publications and is a frequent platform speaker in the U.S. and abroad.  She currently serves as faculty at Lexington Theological Seminary where she offers courses on clergy wellness and on the importance of healthy boundaries in ministry.  As a multicultural specialist, Dr. Martinez Thorne also provided graduate instruction at seminaries in New Jersey, Kansas and at Hunter College in New York City.  She also provided executive leadership to an ecumenical clergy career center in Missouri and a pastoral counseling center in New Jersey.

Dr. Martinez Thorne holds a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Palmer Theological Seminary and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University.  Rev. Martinez Thorne is ordained clergy of the American Baptist Churches USA.  She is married to Rev. Dr. Leo S. Thorne, former associate general secretary for Mission Resource Development for the American Baptist Churches USA.   

Tamar Wasoian

Adjunct Professor of Church in Formation

Dr. Tamar Wasoian is an Armenian religious educator and practical theologian from Syria. She is an independent scholar and teaches in theological seminaries in the United States and Philippines. 

‘Storied Learning’, nationalism, communal memory, faith, and identity formation are at the core of Tamar’s interests and expertise. She is actively involved with the Armenian community, the Presbyterian Churches (USA), and the Unitarian Universalist Association. 

Catherine Williams

Dr. Williams is on the faculty at Lancaster Theological Seminary as Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship, and Director of Chapel Worship. She is ordained as an Elder in full connection with the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. A graduate of Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Dr. Williams is an accomplished church musician who has taught piano and voice. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from Palmer Theological Seminary, where she also served as an Adjunct Instructor, and a PhD in Homiletics from Princeton Theological Seminary, where she taught as a Graduate Instructor. Dr. Williams lives in Lancaster, PA with her husband and adult daughter. Her two major pleasures are tea-drinking and being Nana to her son’s three adorable children.

Staff

Every member of the Lexington Theological Seminary’s staff is dedicated to supporting our students in their academic journey. The Seminary is proud of its community of highly trained professionals and they look forwarded to helping you with questions and solutions every step of the way, from inquiry through graduation.

Officers
Charisse Gillett

President
(859) 280-1230

Dr. Charisse L. Gillett became the 17th president of Lexington Theological Seminary in September 2011.

She has more than 20 years of successful administrative experience in higher education, including service at Transylvania University, Midway College, Robert Morris College and the University of Northern Iowa. She holds a doctorate in education from Northern Illinois University.

A former moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), she has been a commissioned minister of the Christian Church In Kentucky since August 2010 and is Associate Minister at East Second Street Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where her husband, LTS D.Min. alumnus Dr. Donald K. Gillett, II, serves as Senior Pastor. Dr. Gillett served as Vice President of Administration and Special Projects at the Seminary prior to her appointment as president. She is also a former LTS trustee and officer of the Board of Trustees. She is a member Board of Directors for the ATS Board and the In Trust Center.  

Dr. Gillett is deeply committed to the church and the work of the Seminary in shaping students for ministry. An energetic and dedicated leader, she works closely with a team of trustees, faculty, staff, students, and congregations to grow the Seminary’s new program, which is designed to serve the needs of the church while continuing the Seminary’s storied history of shaping people for ministry.

Dr. Gillett received a $15,000 Reflective Leadership grant from Leadership Education at Duke Divinity in 2018 to think carefully about leading in the midst of crisis.  

Dr. Gillett’s appointment is an historic one in the 146-year history of the Seminary.

She is the first woman and first African-American to lead the Seminary as president.

Loida Martell

Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean and Professor of Constructive Theology

(859) 280-1256

B.Sc., University of Puerto Rico, 1975
DVM, Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, 1979
M.Div., Andover Newton Theological School, 1990
M.Phil., Fordham University, 2000
Ph.D., Fordham University, 2005

 

The Rev. Dr. Loida I. Martell joined the faculty in August of 2017. Prior to that, she was Professor of Constructive Theology at Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Martell is a licensed doctor in veterinary medicine as well as an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches/ USA. She is a bi-coastal Puerto Rican who has taught in various institutions of higher learning including Gordon Conwell’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education in Boston, and the University of Puerto Rico’s College of Allied Health Professionals. She pastored in New York City for 15 years, and served as President of the Board of American Baptist Churches/ Metro New York City from 1994–1996.

Dr. Martell pioneered the study of evángelica theology. She has published articles on evangélica soteriology, Christology, doctrine of God, eschatology, Scriptural hermeneutics, globalization, embodiment, and vocation. Her research on Taíno religious beliefs led to the publication of “My GPS Doesn’t Work in Puerto Rico,” on evangélica spirituality. She co-edited Teología en Conjunto: A Collaborative Hispanic Protestant Theology (1997), and more recently co-authored the well-received Latina Evangélicas: A Theological Survey from the Margins (2013).

Dr. Martell is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. As a member of the American Academy of Religion, she currently serves as President of La Comunidad of Hispanic Scholars of Religion. She was appointed to represent the American Baptist Churches/ USA on the National Council of Churches Convening Table for Theological Studies and Matters of Faith and Reason. The American Baptist Home Missions Societies awarded her the 2015 Richard Hoiland Christian Education Award, its highest recognition for “faithful and effective leadership in Christian education,” for her long-standing work in nurturing culturally and racially diverse classrooms and for exceptional leadership.

Dr. Martell is an avid amateur photographer.

Mark V. Blankenship

Vice President for Advancement
(859) 280-1250

Transylvania University, B.A. Psychology 1981

University of Kentucky, M.S. Educational Policy Analysis 1992

Mr. Blankenship appointment began in November 2011.  He previously served in a variety of advancement roles in admissions, alumni relations and fundraising for his alma mater, Transylvania University since 1983.  In his service to the Seminary, Mr. Blankenship serves as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement providing leadership for fundraising, alumni relations, church, and community outreach.  He works with the President and executive leadership to address issues of institutional leadership and governance.

Mr. Blankenship is a founding member of Twin Pines Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Lexington, Kentucky.  He has actively participated in the life of the congregation as has his three children and spouse, Kim.  Mr. Blankenship serves as a Sunday morning teacher and elder for the congregation.  His past roles range from congregational board chair to deacon and committee leadership.

Professionally, Mr. Blankenship is a current member of the Association of Theological Schools Development Officers, Council for the Advancement of Education, Charitable Gift Planners, Central Kentucky Planned Giving Council & Board of Directors, Association of Fundraising Professional, Bluegrass Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Karen Wagers

Chief Financial Officer
(859) 280-1236

Staff
Katherine Alexander

Rev. Katherine Raley Alexander is the Director of Alumni and Church Relations. Rev. Alexander came to LTS in January 2018 as the Advancement Associate and began in her current position in January 2021. Prior to her ministry with LTS, she served as Pastor at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Columbia, SC. Previously, she served as the Associate Pastor at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Colorado Springs, Colo. Rev. Alexander studied ministry and social work at the University of Chicago, where she received a joint Master of Arts in Social Service Administration and Master of Divinity in 2012. She is married to Nathan Alexander and they live in Georgetown, KY, where they attend First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with their two sons, Parker and Michael.

Deena Ainslie

Administrative Assistant
(859) 280-1212

Jon Barnes

Jon Barnes has over a decade of international experience, serving in South Africa and Mozambique with Global Ministries (DoC and UCC) and in South Africa, Lesotho and eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) with the Mennonite Central Committee. Barnes serves LTS as the Program Director for the Pathways for Tomorrow Grant as well as teaching as adjunct faculty. He received a BA from Gardner-Webb University (1993), a MDiv from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (2000), and a PhD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (2010) in South Africa.  In addition to numerous journal articles, Barnes is the author of Power and Partnership: A History of the Protestant Mission Movement (Pickwick, 2013) and co-editor of Restoring Dignity, Nourishing Hope: Developing Mutuality in Mission (Pilgrim Press, 2016). More recently, he wrote “Mission and Ministry in the Age of Pandemics” for the recently released book Threshold Dwellers in the Age of Global Pandemic (Pickwick, 2022).

Kris Bentley

Project Director, Bi-Vocational Ministry Research

Rev. Dr. Kristen Bentley began working at LTS in 2014 when LTS was awarded a grant by Lilly Endowment Inc. as part of its Theological Schools Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Future Ministers (ECFFM). Kris directed the Conversations on Stewardship and Finances Project at LTS from 2014 through 2020 and currently directs the Thriving in Ministry Project, also funded by Lilly Endowment.  In both projects, Kris has guided a research project at LTS regarding bi-vocational ministry, serving as the lead researcher.

An ordained minister with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Kris served in congregational ministry in the central Kentucky area for nearly twenty years, sometimes in the role of a bi-vocational pastor.  Prior to attending seminary, she worked in higher education administration, serving at both Midway College (now Midway University) and the University of Kentucky.
Kris is an alum of Lexington Theological Seminary, holding a D.Min. (2020) and M.Div. degree (1997) from LTS, as well as a M.S. in Education (1981) from Indiana University, and a B.A. (1979) from the University of Kentucky.  Kris and her husband, Perry, live in the Lexington area and are active members of their local congregation.  They have four children – Joshua, Kathryn, John, and Jasmine.

Mark V. Blankenship

Vice President for Advancement
(859) 280-1250

Transylvania University, B.A. Psychology 1981

University of Kentucky, M.S. Educational Policy Analysis 1992

Mr. Blankenship appointment began in November 2011.  He previously served in a variety of advancement roles in admissions, alumni relations and fundraising for his alma mater, Transylvania University since 1983.  In his service to the Seminary, Mr. Blankenship serves as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement providing leadership for fundraising, alumni relations, church, and community outreach.  He works with the President and executive leadership to address issues of institutional leadership and governance.

Mr. Blankenship is a founding member of Twin Pines Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Lexington, Kentucky.  He has actively participated in the life of the congregation as has his three children and spouse, Kim.  Mr. Blankenship serves as a Sunday morning teacher and elder for the congregation.  His past roles range from congregational board chair to deacon and committee leadership.

Professionally, Mr. Blankenship is a current member of the Association of Theological Schools Development Officers, Council for the Advancement of Education, Charitable Gift Planners, Central Kentucky Planned Giving Council & Board of Directors, Association of Fundraising Professional, Bluegrass Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Ashley Brown

Ashley Brown joined our staff in 2021 as the Social Media Manager for Lexington Theological Seminary. Brown posts, tweets, and shares all things LTS. Her goal is to be a friendly voice to educate, engage, and grow our tight knit community on all social media platforms. Brown graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree from Southeast Missouri State University with a double communications emphasis in Advertising and Film & Television.

 Before coming to LTS, Brown served as a Video Production Coordinator for St. Charles County Government working to earn over a million video views online in a single year, and a Video Technician for the City of St. Peters, Missouri creating unique, quality content for residents along with livestreaming board meetings and other events.

 When Brown isn’t clicking away creating content and sharing information, you can find her cuddled up on the couch with her cat and Pomeranian and playing video games with her partner, Montana.

Shelby Brown

Shelby Brown is the Instructional Technology Assistant (ITA) at Lexington Theological Seminary. She assists the Instructional Designer/Technologist and provides support for several of our continuing education initiatives. Shelby’s experiences have taken her from delivering help to fellow congregants at her home church to a job with her local community bank helping to generate profit through the creation of commercials and assistance with their robust banking systems. When Shelby is not connecting with students, or helping students connect through technology, she enjoys spending time with her family, her dog, Oakley, and staying ahead of her school work.

Erin Cash

Rev. Erin Cash is Project Director of the Thriving Congregations Project at LTS.  Prior to serving in this role, she spent 8.5 years as Director of Admissions.  Erin holds her M. Div. from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.  She is a current student in the LTS D.Min. program.

Wilson Dickinson

Director of Doctor of Ministry and Lay and Continuing Education Programs

Adjunct Professor of Theology

(859) 280-1219

2011          Ph.D. Syracuse University

2008           M.Phil. Syracuse University

2005           M.Div. Vanderbilt University

2002           B.A. Transylvania University

Dickinson has been teaching at LTS since 2016. Prior to coming to LTS, he was Associate Dean for Religious Life at Transylvania University, where he taught in the Religion, Philosophy, and Environmental Studies programs.

Dickinson is a theologian, organizer, and minister whose work takes place at the intersection of environmental justice and discipleship. He approaches theology through traditions of liberative wisdom—integrating a wide range of disciplines from biblical studies, social history, practical theology, philosophy, social theory, and aesthetics and bringing them to bear on issues of everyday life, community building, and cultivating movements for justice. At LTS he teaches courses like Pastoral Theology, Jesus and Environmental Justice, Food and Faith, Mystical Theology, and Building Capacity for Transformative Ministry.

His first book is entitled, Exercises in New Creation from Paul to Kierkegaard. This book articulates a vision for philosophical theology around the practices of the care of the self, the city, and creation. His second book, The Green Good News: Christ’s Path to Sustainable and Joyful Life, is an environmental justice reading of the Gospels that is written to bridge scholarly, church, and activist audiences. His third book, Singing the Psalms with My Son: Spiritual Exercises for Climate Crisis (forthcoming 2023) is a collection of theological mediations that look to the Psalms and the practices of parenting as refuge, hope, and transformation in the face of climate change. He is currently working on a project on Christ and the Commons.

In addition to serving at LTS, Dickinson is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is the director of the Green Good News, an organization that is rooted in a number of food justice ministries and which educates, cultivates, and organizes Christian communities to follow the ways of justice, joy, and simplicity. He is also involved in building wider movements to cultivate and connect the Christian food movement, climate justice networks, and the Christian Left. He is chair of the Christ Seminar, a project on Christologies of the People with the Westar Institute, and area editor for ecology and environment for The Bias Magazine.

Dominique Highfil

Dominique Highfil is the Instructional Designer, Technologist, and resident guru for all things tech related at Lexington Theological Seminary. Highfil provides leadership and guidance for the upkeep of our innovative, robust, and secure information technology environment. Prior to joining LTS in June 2018, Highfil served as an Instructional Technology Assistant at the University of Kentucky and global Education & Development Manager at a private corporation in Lexington. She joined LTS from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System Office in Versailles where she spent her time auditing courses against rigorous standards to ensure quality.

Highfil holds a master’s degree in Instructional Systems Design, graduate certificate in distance education, B.A. in Psychology, and a CBA in Innovative Leadership. Her graduate work focused not only on distance learning design and gathering, analyzing and using educational data, but also the role of education in a culturally diverse society and the role of technology in the practice of teaching.

When Highfil isn’t using systematic methodology and instructional theory to create content for courses, she enjoys spending time at home with her spouse, daughters, three dogs, cat, and fish.

Doris Garcia-Rivera

Academic Coordinator for Pathways for Tomorrow Grant

B.Sc., University of Puerto Rico, 1978

M.Sc., Medical Science University of Puerto Rico, 1981

M.A.R. Andover Newton Theological School, 1988

Ph.D. Boston Theological School, Boston University

 

Rev. Dr. Doris Garcia-Rivera joined the faculty in December 2021 as Professor of Old Testament and Mission and Evangelism in the Certificate in Hispanic Ministries and recently as the Academic Coordinator for Pathways for Tomorrow Grant.

Dr. Garcia-Rivera served as Interim Director of Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (BPFNA-Bautistas por la Paz), a nonprofit international peacemaking network of thousands of peacemakers from four member nations – Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States, with connections to South America, Africa and Europe nurturing the organization during the pandemic.

As part of the Hispanic biblical scholars active in Christian missions, theological education, human development and social justice, Doris spent 23 years of missionary service in Central America connecting Indigenous and Central Americans communities with churches and organizations in the U.S. through the International Ministries of American Baptist Churches (IM-ABC). After this transformational time, Doris became the first Hispanic woman to preside (2014-2019) the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico an ATS accredited institution. She brought the seminary back to life after hurricane Maria with the collaboration of multiple reliefs organizations, partner churches, seminaries, and volunteers. She promoted continuing education and improved the seminary’s information technology infrastructure. Doris’ commitments have taken her throughout the United states and Central America as missionary, teacher, international speaker, consultant and board member of higher education accrediting institutions. She is founder of theological schools and programs. Since 1982 Doris has collaborated with a variety of journals and digital spaces sharing valuable biblical and theological knowledge receiving several awards for her writings.

Rev. Garcia-Rivera is an ordained minister of the ABC – Puerto Rican Baptist Churches since 1990. Doris’ interests are in Interculturality, Ancient Near Eastern culture and Prophetic Literature. She enjoys science fiction, writing and hearing music. She is a proud white Afro-descendant Puerto Rican woman and mother of three adults.

Loida Martell

Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean and Professor of Constructive Theology

(859) 280-1256

B.Sc., University of Puerto Rico, 1975
DVM, Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine, 1979
M.Div., Andover Newton Theological School, 1990
M.Phil., Fordham University, 2000
Ph.D., Fordham University, 2005

 

The Rev. Dr. Loida I. Martell joined the faculty in August of 2017. Prior to that, she was Professor of Constructive Theology at Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Martell is a licensed doctor in veterinary medicine as well as an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches/ USA. She is a bi-coastal Puerto Rican who has taught in various institutions of higher learning including Gordon Conwell’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education in Boston, and the University of Puerto Rico’s College of Allied Health Professionals. She pastored in New York City for 15 years, and served as President of the Board of American Baptist Churches/ Metro New York City from 1994–1996.

Dr. Martell pioneered the study of evángelica theology. She has published articles on evangélica soteriology, Christology, doctrine of God, eschatology, Scriptural hermeneutics, globalization, embodiment, and vocation. Her research on Taíno religious beliefs led to the publication of “My GPS Doesn’t Work in Puerto Rico,” on evangélica spirituality. She co-edited Teología en Conjunto: A Collaborative Hispanic Protestant Theology (1997), and more recently co-authored the well-received Latina Evangélicas: A Theological Survey from the Margins (2013).

Dr. Martell is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. As a member of the American Academy of Religion, she currently serves as President of La Comunidad of Hispanic Scholars of Religion. She was appointed to represent the American Baptist Churches/ USA on the National Council of Churches Convening Table for Theological Studies and Matters of Faith and Reason. The American Baptist Home Missions Societies awarded her the 2015 Richard Hoiland Christian Education Award, its highest recognition for “faithful and effective leadership in Christian education,” for her long-standing work in nurturing culturally and racially diverse classrooms and for exceptional leadership.

Dr. Martell is an avid amateur photographer.

Charisse Gillett

President
(859) 280-1230

Dr. Charisse L. Gillett became the 17th president of Lexington Theological Seminary in September 2011.

She has more than 20 years of successful administrative experience in higher education, including service at Transylvania University, Midway College, Robert Morris College and the University of Northern Iowa. She holds a doctorate in education from Northern Illinois University.

A former moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), she has been a commissioned minister of the Christian Church In Kentucky since August 2010 and is Associate Minister at East Second Street Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where her husband, LTS D.Min. alumnus Dr. Donald K. Gillett, II, serves as Senior Pastor. Dr. Gillett served as Vice President of Administration and Special Projects at the Seminary prior to her appointment as president. She is also a former LTS trustee and officer of the Board of Trustees. She is a member Board of Directors for the ATS Board and the In Trust Center.  

Dr. Gillett is deeply committed to the church and the work of the Seminary in shaping students for ministry. An energetic and dedicated leader, she works closely with a team of trustees, faculty, staff, students, and congregations to grow the Seminary’s new program, which is designed to serve the needs of the church while continuing the Seminary’s storied history of shaping people for ministry.

Dr. Gillett received a $15,000 Reflective Leadership grant from Leadership Education at Duke Divinity in 2018 to think carefully about leading in the midst of crisis.  

Dr. Gillett’s appointment is an historic one in the 146-year history of the Seminary.

She is the first woman and first African-American to lead the Seminary as president.

Jaime Mulloy

Executive Assistant
(859) 280-1231

Jaime Willoughby Mulloy has served as the Executive Assistant to the President at Lexington Theological Seminary for 15 years.  Jaime resides in Lexington, KY and has two daughters; Mackenzie (14) and Piper (7).  She holds a bachelors degree in Business Management from the University of Kentucky.

Windy Kidd

Registrar and Director of Financial Aid and Student Billing
(859) 280-1237

Lon Oliver

Dr. Lon Oliver serves as the Executive Director of Appalachian Ministries Educational Resource Center (AMERC) and the Administrator of Disciples Appalachian Scholarship Ministry.  In addition, Lon serves on the Executive Committee of the Rural Network in the United States and Canada and is the Vice President of the Board of Human Economic Appalachian Development, a nonprofit microbusiness and leadership council.  He is the pastor of Nicholasville Christian Church in Nicholasville.

Lon’s special interests include  Appalachian faith and music, the Second Great Awakening in Kentucky and the retelling of history from the perspective of America’s multicultural society. Lon has his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Lexington Theological Seminary.  He is married to Maria Oliver.  Lon and Maria are the parents of their adult child, David.

Stephanie Moon

Rev. Dr. Stephanie Moon is the Interim Director of Admissions as of June 1, 2022. She is proud to serve Lexington Theological Seminary where she acquired her Master of Divinity (2009) and Doctor of Ministry (2022). Her doctoral project was titled “Helping the Small, Rural Church Find Its Power and Create Change,” and the church continues this project of feeding residents of the community fresh produce gleaned from local farmers. She leads North Middletown Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), sings in the Lexington Singers, and enjoys spending time with her husband, Steven, son, Chris, and their three dogs. Prior to going into licensed and ordained ministry, Stephanie taught music in the public schools (1997-2000) and academic intervention for children with language-based learning disorders at The Swift School in Marietta, Georgia (2000-2006). She received her Bachelor of Music from Berry College and her Master of Music Education from Bowling Green State University.

Kimberley Proctor-White

Admissions Associate

Rev. Kimberley Proctor-White is a native of Bowling Green, KY, and currently resides in Nashville, TN. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Lindsey Wilson College, a Master of Divinity from Lexington Theological Seminary, and a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Revered Proctor-White is also a National Board-Certified Counselor.

Kimberley was ordained in 2011 by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and in 2014 by Temple Church Inc. of Nashville, TN. She is a talented performing artist with a love for singing, acting, dancing, and writing. In 2009, she was inducted as a charter member into the Academy of Preachers. Her sermon ‘Alabaster Box’ was published in “A Beautiful Thing: Sermons from the Inaugural Festival of Young Preachers” by Lee Huckleberry (Chalice Press: 2010).

Kimberley and her husband, Java, are the proud parents of twin daughters and love serving in ministry together. She is truly passionate about what she does, and welcomes every opportunity that she has to do GREAT things to build God’s Kingdom.

Kathy Rountree

Advancement Assistant/Database Manager
(859) 280-1241

Tanya Tyler

Rev. Tanya J. Tyler is a 2006 graduate of Lexington Theological Seminary and a 1981 graduate of Rockford College (now University) in Rockford, IL. An ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), she has served churches in Burgin, Smithfield, London and Lexington, KY, and Sterling, IL. She was the founding pastor of Chalice Christian Church, a new church start in London, KY, that was established in 2012. She was called as minister of First Christian Church in Ruidoso, NM, in November 2019.

She was formerly the coordinator of the Clergy Mentoring Program at LTS and currently serves as Director of Communications for the Seminary. She was moderator of the Christian Church in Kentucky from 2008-12. She has served on the Steering Committee for the Process of Discernment of Racism in North America for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and on the Board of Directors for Chalice Press, Christian Care Communities, the Christian Church Foundation, and the Center for Faith and Giving. She also serves on the editorial board of Just Women magazine. She previously worked in the Classified and Promotion/Advertising Creative Services departments at the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper and is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in DisciplesWorld and Just Women and other local and national publications, as well as Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Robin Varner

Business Office Manager
(859) 280-1242

Karen Wagers

Chief Financial Officer
(859) 280-1236

Maryann Wellman

Accreditation Liaison

(859) 280-1240

Katie Wolsky

Interim Librarian

Metadata and Course Reserves Manager
(859) 280-1229

Katie Wolsky began work at LTS back when she was still a student at University of Kentucky before graduating with a BA in Fine Arts and a Masters in Library and Information Science.  Her main responsibilities include maintaining the library’s journal collection, managing interlibrary loans, and other student/faculty services.  In her off-time, she enjoys reading books, watching movies, and listening to music.  She also enjoys spending time with her family including her many nieces and nephews.

Dolores Yilibuw

Library Director
(859) 280-1224

Ms. Dolores Yilibuw joined the LTS Team in 2011 to provide a successful logistical plan to relocate the library collection. During the physical relocation planning, she also successfully migrated the library catalog to a cloud-based system to suit an online seminary.  Dolores gravitated to LTS not just because of the mentioned challenges but because of its intentionally ecumenical and practical program. She not only directs the library but does all the library technology. To keep life interesting, she is enrolled in the Creation Care Certificate program.

Before coming to LTS, Ms. Yilibuw was a team leader librarian at EKU and  a library paraprofessional at Emory University Libraries, where she received the Emory Libraries Significant Contribution Award for Creative Initiative in 2006. While there, she acquired an M.S.L.I.S. degree from FSU online. Ms. Yilibuw also earned an M.A.R. degree from Emory School of Arts and Sciences, and a Th.M. degree from Candler School of Theology.

Additional previous careers were with the United Bible Societies of the Asia-Pacific region as a bible translator and translation project coordinator in Micronesia (where she is a native). Ms. Yilibuw also earned a M.Div. degree from Asian Theological Seminary in the Philippines. After getting her B.A. degree from Asbury College (now University) she also served as a high school teacher in the Republic of Palau.

She has taught at Reinhardt College (now University), the University of Kentucky, and has co-taught the Three Rs of Seminary at LTS in the past. Ms. Yilibuw has also dabbled in publishing with an article titled “Tampering with Bible Translation in Yap” appearing in Semeia, a cutting-edge journal in Biblical Studies. Her article was recently republished in a new monograph series called “Indigenous Literatures from Micronesia”. Since her career in librarianship, she has published in the ATLA Conference Proceedings and has presented in state and regional library conferences.

Ms. Yilibuw is a member of the American Library Association. She represents LTS to the American Theological Library Association of which LTS is a co-founder. Dolores also represents LTS to the Digital Theological Library of which LTS is a co-owner. The DTL was created in 2016 by Claremont School of Theology with LTS being the first non-founding member. Today the DTL consists of 40 institutional members.

When Dolores was a young child, she often sat on the beach in her village and gazed at the horizon wondering how she might get through it to the other side.  She left Yap for college at age 17, and though she often visits her clans and family back home, she has only lived one solid year of her adult life in Yap. Subsequently, she is looking forward to retirement where she plans to return to the other side of the horizon for a potential fourth career.

Doctor of Ministry Readers

Roster of DMin Project Advisors and Readers

Robert Baker
Jon Barnes

Jon Barnes has over a decade of international experience, serving in South Africa and Mozambique with Global Ministries (DoC and UCC) and in South Africa, Lesotho and eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) with the Mennonite Central Committee. Barnes serves LTS as the Program Director for the Pathways for Tomorrow Grant as well as teaching as adjunct faculty. He received a BA from Gardner-Webb University (1993), a MDiv from Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond (2000), and a PhD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (2010) in South Africa.  In addition to numerous journal articles, Barnes is the author of Power and Partnership: A History of the Protestant Mission Movement (Pickwick, 2013) and co-editor of Restoring Dignity, Nourishing Hope: Developing Mutuality in Mission (Pilgrim Press, 2016). More recently, he wrote “Mission and Ministry in the Age of Pandemics” for the recently released book Threshold Dwellers in the Age of Global Pandemic (Pickwick, 2022).

 

Kristel Clayville

Adjunct Professor of Interpreting the Behavior for the Church

Rev. Dr. Kristel Clayville holds a PhD in Religious Ethics from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School. She is a Sinai and Synapses Fellow as well as a Senior Fellow at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. Formerly, she was the Acting Director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science. Clinically, she works as a chaplain and ethicist at the University of Chicago Medical Center, and focuses on the existential and spiritual issues facing organ transplant patients. Kristel’s early research was on the uses of the Hebrew Bible in environmental ethics, especially through the work of Holmes Rolston, III and Hans Jonas. More recently, she has turned toward the intersection between environmental ethics and bioethics to study the green burial movement and organ donation as genres of recycling. She actively pursues clinical research in how patients engage their religions to understand the medical care they are getting and make decisions about it. She is ordained in the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.

Elizabeth Conde-Frazier

Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Conde Frazier is a practical theologian. She is an ordained pastor of the American Baptist Churches with over ten years of pastoral experience. She was founder of the Orlando E. Costas Hispanic and Latin American Ministries Program at Andover Newton Theological School, served as a tenured professor of religious education at the Claremont School of theology and as academic dean and vice president of education at Esperanza College of Eastern University. Currently she is the Coordinator of Relations for Theological Entities at the Association of Hispanic Theological Education. She is a Judson Press author of the bilingual book Listen to the Children: Conversations with Immigrant Families.  

Dr. Conde-Frazier holds a Ph.D. from Boston College, a M.Div. from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a B.A. From Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

Jean Hawxhurst
John H. Hull, Jr.

Adjunct Professor of Hebrew Bible

John Hull has taught Hebrew Bible since 2009. He is Minister Emeritus at Beargrass Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, where he served as Minister of Faith Development from 1998—2019. An ordained Disciples of Christ minister, he previously served at First Christian Church of Atlanta and Temple City (CA) Christian Church. He has been visiting lecturer in Biblical Studies at Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles) and has served as contingent faculty at colleges and seminaries in California and Texas.

Dr. Hull’s Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible is from Claremont Graduate University. He also has a M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and a B.A. in biblical studies from Azusa Pacific University.

The areas of the Hebrew Bible in which Dr. Hull specializes include narrative and prophetic literature. At LTS he has taught courses in the Deuteronomistic History (Joshua—Kings), the Prophets, the Book of Amos, and Ruth and Jonah. Dr. Hull has published articles on the books of Judges and Kings.

Dr. Hull is married to the Rev. Dr. Caryn Yoast, who holds a D.Min. from LTS. They now live in Erie, Colorado between Boulder and Denver and have two daughters who also live in Colorado. Dr. Hull enjoys hiking and backpacking, fly fishing, cooking, photography and American and family history. He has great concern for climate and the environment as well as justice. 

Pablo Jimenez

Adjunct Professor of Preaching and Pastoral Leadership

M.Div., Evangelical Seminary
M. Sacred Theology, Christian Theological Seminary
D.Min., Columbia Theological Seminary

Pablo A. Jiménez is a bilingual Hispanic American scholar in the field of homiletics who has taught full-time at the Latin American Biblical Seminary (now University) in San José, Costa Rica & at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, in Austin Texas. He has also served as Adjunct Faculty in several theological seminaries in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. A member of the Academy of Homiletics, he is the only Hispanic scholar who offered bilingual courses for the Cathedral College (also known as the College of Preachers), at the National Washington Cathedral in Washington, DC.

Jiménez has extensive experience on Hispanic theological education, and extensive administrative experience, having served as National Pastor for Hispanic Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. Pablo is a prolific writer and an experienced editor of religious materials. He has also produced educational videos, radio shows and religious websites.

Pablo currently serves as the Pastor of the Iglesia Cristiana (Discipulos de Cristo) in Espinosa, Dorado, Puerto Rico. He is also consultant editor for Chalice Press, and imprint of the Christian Board of Publication.

 

Deborah Kaiser-Cross
William Lee

Adjunct Professor of Leading the Church into Worship

M.Div., Duke University Divinity School (1978)
D. Min., Ashland Theological Seminary (2009)

Dr. Lee holds the B.S. degree from Virginia State University, the M.Div. degree from Duke University Divinity School, and the D.Min. degree from Ashland Theological Seminary.  Dr. Lee is pastor of Loudon Avenue Christian Church, Roanoke, Virginia, a congregation he has led for over 34 years, turning it into a major force for improvement in the city of Roanoke and one of the leading congregations among the Christian Churches in Virginia.  He is also a former moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and is vice-moderator of the LTS Board of Trustees. 

Susan Lowe
Christy Newton

Adjunct Professor of Social Ethics

B.A., Texas Christian University, 1995

Grad. Dip., Monash University, Melbourne, Aus., 1996

M.Div., Pacific School of Religion, 2000

Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union, 2011

Rev. Dr. Christy Newton received her Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union in the interdisciplinary disciplines of theology, globalization, and material culture.  She is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with a M.Div. from Pacific School of Religion, and she has served Disciples and United Church of Christ congregations in Arkansas and California for over 20 years.  She also worked in campus ministry/church relations at Chapman University in Orange, California. 

Currently, she serves as the Senior Minister of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Vallejo, California, and she teaches online courses in social ethics, practical theology, and spirituality for Lexington Theological Seminary and Pacific School of Religion.

Her ministry and teaching focus on the gritty, tangible intersections of embodying justice, translating a prophetic gospel message into widely-accessible language and action, and using the arts to open up the deeply transformative possibilities of the spirit.  She is energized by practical and public theologies that insist on hospitality and compassion, and she is inspired to help individuals and communities find ways to sustain their prophetic voices in a difficult and polarized world.

John Opsata

Adjunct Professor of Worship

M.C.M. (Church Music), Southern Seminary in Louisville

M.Div., Southern Seminary in Louisville

Ph.D., (Liturgical Studies) Drew University in Madison, New Jersey

The Rev. Dr. John T. Opsata is the senior minister of First Christian Church, Frankfort, Kentucky. Before that he was the pastor of Lakewood Christian Church (Lakewood, OH), and North Middletown Christian Church (North Middletown, KY), as well as associate pastor of Jeffersontown Christian Church (Jeffersontown, KY). He holds a Ph.D. in liturgical studies from Drew University where he wrote his dissertation on “Order at the Table: Lord’s Supper Services in the Disciples of Christ 1883-1960.” Before entering the ministry he had a career as a choir director and minister of music. He teaches preaching and worship in the Lay School of Ministry of the Christian Church in Kentucky, and has written a variety of worship aids, especially related to music in worship.

Christ Rodkey

Adjunct Professor of Religious Education and Theology

Dr. Christopher Rodkey is a public theologian in south-central Pennsylvania, where is he Pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Dallastown, PA. He is a graduate of St. Vincent College (B.A.), the University of Chicago (M.Div.), Meadville Lombard Theological School (D.Min.), and Drew University (Ph.D.). He regularly teaches philosophy at Penn State York, where he was awarded the Burness Award for Excellence in Teaching, and has had extensive training in online pedagogy and course design from Penn State’s Global Campus. He holds lifetime certification as a Specialist in Religious Education from the United Church of Christ and has substantial ministry experience in children’s, youth, and young adult ministries.

Dr. Rodkey’s publications include The Synaptic Gospel (2012), Too Good to be True (2014), The World is Crucifixion (2016), The Palgrave Handbook of Radical Theology (co-editor, 2018), and The Bonhoeffer Chrism Mass (2020). He has additionally co-created a series of three devotional coloring books for Chalice Press and was on the revision team for God & Me (2020), one of the scouting awards programs for children from P.R.A.Y. publications. He currently is a recipient of a research grant from The Louisville Institute on contemporary confirmation practices in the American church.

Juan Rodriguez
Rochelle Stackhouse

Adjunct Professor of Worship and Preaching
M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary
Ph.D., Drew University

Since 2006 Rev. Dr. Rochelle Stackhouse has been the pastor of the Church of the Redeemer UCC in New Haven, CT, and since her ordination by the United Church of Christ in 1982, she has served churches in rural Michigan, just outside New York City, suburban Massachusetts, and interims in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She holds a PhD in Liturgical Studies from Drew University (NJ) and has taught as an adjunct at Lancaster, New Brunswick, Hartford, Moravian and Yale seminaries/divinity schools. She thinks preaching is one of the most fun things she gets to do most weeks, and feels strongly about the power of worship to connect people with God and one another in redemptive and world-changing ways. As someone who has sung in choirs all her life (including her current church’s choir), she revels in how God speaks through almost any kind of music.  Dr. Stackhouse also does occasional freelance writing for a variety of publications.

Jack Sullivan, Jr.

The Reverend Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr., is an ordained minister in the protestant Christian denomination known as the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) US and Canada. He serves as executive director of the Columbus-based Ohio Council of Churches. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Sullivan is an internationally-known preacher, justice advocate, ecumenist, journalist, and death penalty abolitionist. In recognition of his work to stop executions, Dr. Sullivan was given the 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Social Justice by Governor Mike DeWine and the State of Ohio’s Dr. MLK, Jr. Holiday Commission. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio University; a Master of Divinity degree from Lexington Theological Seminary; a Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary (Dayton); and an honorary doctorate from Bethany College, Bethany, West Virginia. Dr. Sullivan is a board member of Journey of Hope: From Violence to Healing, Death Penalty Action, and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. In addition, he is a life member of the NAACP and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Alan Terlep
Christal L. Williams

Rev. Dr. Christal LaShawn Williams is a Twenty-First Century trendsetter, Pastoral Pioneer and Bridge-Builder, and leading voice, echoing through the airways of time, with a soul-stirring message of God’s Love, Kingdom Authority and Deeper Revelation for all people. As an Inspirational Preacher, Spiritual Coach and Prophetic Administrator Rev. Christal Williams offers a grassroots and organic way of asking one to dig deeper into their understanding of God, Faith and Life and Church. This is witnessed in her Life’s work as the Regional Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Tennessee. Prior to coming to Nashville, she served as one of the Associate Regional Minster for the Urban Metro Area (Plus) Congregations in the Illinois-Wisconsin Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). As an influential leader and relationship cultivator, Christal takes to heart her personal mission to love, equip and encourage all persons toward a reconciling relationship with God. Her tenure in ministry has been wide spread throughout Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, and Indiana. Pastor Christal has engaged in ministry around the world; having traveled extensively to India, Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh, China, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Israel-Palestine, Egypt, West and South Africa, and Europe for Ministry and Cross-cultural exchanges. Dr. Christal is committed to ecumenism, accompaniment, hospitality and nurturing global partnerships.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Christal graduated from the Cleveland School of the Performing Arts, where she had a special emphasis on Vocal Music and Theory. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Jarvis Christian College, Hawkins, Texas; a Master of Divinity Degree from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. Christal holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. On June 20, 1998, Christal was ordained a minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) at Southport Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dr. Christal is the proud Founder and President of Credo International Women’s Ministries, Incorporated and A.W.O.K.E. (Anointed Women Overseeing Kingdom Endeavors) and is the author of three books, The Power of Asking; Unleashing God’s Best For Your Life, Moving From Endangerment to Empowerment: Rediscovering the Word of God, Beneath It All: A Conversation Specifically For Women. Currently, serving as a member of the International Disciples Women’s Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), this transformational leader is respected by her colleagues and admired by her friends. In her role as Discovery mentor, Christal offers a thought provoking, contagious leadership that transcends lines of age, ethnicity, culture and theological boundaries. She has a host of trainings, multitudes of certifications and several awards. She is a proud member of The Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc., N.A.A.C.P and IMPACT Network Ministry. Chris is a member of the Board of Trustees of for the Christian Church Foundation, Vanderbilt Board of Visitors, and the Board of Trustees for the Disciple Divinity House at Vanderbilt.

Christal L. Williams has an extensive background in community service, mission work, education and pro-reconciling-anti-racism training, conflict resolution and mediation and Parker Palmer’s Circles of Trust Retreats. She is the author of three books, and a host of articles. Christal has one sister Kim, two nieces and two nephews and also, has four very special Godchildren. Dr. Christal’s hobbies include reading, traveling, music and photography. Her favorite scriptures are Isaiah 61, Ephesians 3:14-21, I John 4:7&8, Revelation 22.

Contact Us

Name(Required)