Asante Uzuri Todd is the first teaching fellow through a new partnership program between Vanderbilt University and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The program, funded by the Lilly Endowment Inc., and Vanderbilt University, helps prepare doctoral students at Vanderbilt for vocations as teachers and scholars in theological education.
Todd will serve as visiting lecturer in Christian ethics during the 2011-2012 academic year. He is completing his PhD at Vanderbilt, writing a dissertation on the works of Cornel West. A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, Todd received his M.Div.from Austin Seminary in 2006 and served as student body president.
Todd is one of five students in his class selected to be a Fellow in the Divinity School’s Program in Theology and Practice. The program aims to form a generation of theological educators who are outstanding teachers of people preparing for ministry and groundbreaking scholars in practical theology.

CHICAGO ― The Center for the Study of Latino/a Theology and Ministry at McCormick Theological Seminary will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a program commemorating a turbulent moment in the seminary’s history. The three-part program, “Community, Campus, and Crisis: Unexpected Stories and Contributions of the Young Lords Occupation in 1969” is presented in conjunction with DePaul University and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

It explores the events surrounding the Young Lords street gang’s occupation of McCormick’s Stone administration building on the Lincoln Park campus. The occupation and accompanying student and faculty protests centered on the rapid gentrification of Lincoln Park and the resulting and abrupt displacement of its largely Latino residents. 

The programs are on three Saturdays: Sept. 10, Oct. 1 and Oct. 15.

The first, “Prophetic Voices of the Community” will be moderated by McCormick associate professor Ken Sawyer. Panelists include Omar Lopez, Daniel Alvarez and Robert Worley Sr.

The second, “Institutional Responses,” features keynote speaker Roberto Navarro. Cheryl Pero, the Director of The Multi-Cultural Center at LSTC, will moderate a panel that includes Obed Lopez, Carol Castro, and Hector Ortiz. 

The final program, “Renewing Covenants with Latino/a Ministries,” will be moderated by Luis Rivera-Rodriguez, McCormick’s professor of theological education, dean of the faculty and vice-president for academic affairs. It will feature keynote speaker Gary Riebe-Estrella. Panelists include Frank Yamada, McCormick’s president, Daniel Rodriguez-Diaz, director of the Center, and Carlos Castro.

LOUISVILLE ― New faculty member the Rev. Lewis O. Brogdon is the featured speaker for the opening convocation of the 159th academic year at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

The service, which is open to the public, will take place Sept. 8 at 11:30 a.m. in the Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel, located on the Seminary campus.

Brogdon will present “Hell on Earth: The Suffering of the Oppressed, Crisis of Hope and Nihilism in America,” based on the story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16. In his address, Brogdon will reflect on the suffering of Lazarus as an example of hell on earth, discussing both historic and contemporary understandings of hell on earth in black religious thought and particularly how this idea offers new language for reflecting theologically on suffering, despair, and the belief there is nothing left of value in America.

SAN ANSELMO, Calif. ― San Francisco Theological Seminary will host a consultation on peacemaking and discernment Oct. 27-30. This consultation is part of the annual meeting of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Social Ethics Network (SEN), which promotes work in Christian ethics and contributes to General Assembly reports on social justice matters.

Carol Robb, SFTS’ professor of Christian social ethics, is chair of the planning team. She will also speak on climate change.

The Rev. James McDonald, the new SFTS president and professor of faith and public life, will participate on a panel entitled “Peace-Building Practices: Identifying our New Context.” His specific topic is “The Church in the Public Policy Arena.” McDonald comes to SFTS after 13 years with Bread for the World, a faith-based advocacy organization in Washington, D.C., that urges national legislators to end hunger.

Several other SFTS professors are expected to participate during two full days of presentations and discussions. The Rev. Sam Hamilton-Poore, director of the seminary’s Program in Christian Spirituality and assistant professor of Christian spirituality, will speak on “Developments in Southern Sudan; Theological Education as Peacemaking.”

Rev. Dr. Greg Love, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, will reflect on themes from his new book, Love, Violence, and the Cross: How the Nonviolent God Saves Us through the Cross of Christ. The Rev. James Noel, professor of African American Christianity, will speak on the important role of suffering. The Rev. Walt Davis, emeritus professor of sociology of religion, will speak on “Israel Palestine Policy and How to Advocate for Peace.”

This year’s consultation is designed to develop resources and strategies for the six-year process of discernment on peace called for by last year’s General Assembly. The PC(USA) steering team guiding the church-wide discernment process will also be present and several contrasting ecumenical perspectives will be represented as well. There is a two-fold question before the church: Peacemaking 31 years after The Believers’ Calling: What next? and What is your response to the challenge of non-violence?

PITTSBURGH ― Pittsburgh Theological Seminary will host its 28th annual Teacher Training Workshop Sept. 24 from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Keynote speaker Kathy Dawson, associate professor of Christian education at Columbia Theological Seminary, will present “Building Blocks of Faith.” In addition to the keynote addresses, participants will attend two afternoon workshops of their choice.

The annual Teacher Training Workshop offers information and instruction for teachers of all grade levels. In addition to the keynote presentation, workshops will be offered on a variety of topics aimed at both new and seasoned teachers. This greatly loved fall workshop is co-sponsored by Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh Presbytery, and Mt. Ararat Baptist Church.

Dawson’s  alma maters include California State University, Long Beach (B.A. with elementary teaching certificate), Presbyterian School of Christian Education (M.A.), Columbia Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Princeton Theological Seminary (Ph.D.). Her writings include Confessing Faith: A Guide to Confirmation in the Presbyterian Church, “When Does Faith Begin?” in Children Among Us: Foundations in Children’s Ministries, and she has been the co-editor of the online journal @ This Point.