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Monday September 30 at 1:30 P.M. in Mulder Chapel

Faith Following Ferguson: Five Years Later

Five years have passed since the killing of 18 year old Michael Brown by a Ferguson, MO police officer.  Brown’s killing sparked a protest movement for racial justice that has not been seen since the Civil Rights movement.  In her book, Ferguson and Faith, Dr. Leah Gunning Francis explored the role of local clergy in this movement and the various ways their faith commitments compelled them to join in.  She has since reconnected with many of these clergy to learn about what’s been happening these past five years.  What have been some of the effects of this movement on the St. Louis region?  How have clergy continued to live out their public faith now that the cameras have gone?  In this lecture, Dr. Gunning Francis will reflect on these learnings and their implications for our nation for such a time as this.

 

Bio:

Dr. Leah Gunning Francis is the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dr. Gunning Francis is also the author of the book Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community (Chalice Press, 2015). She interviewed more than two dozen clergy and young activists who were actively involved in the movement for racial justice in Ferguson and beyond. Dr. Gunning Francis researched and wrote Ferguson and Faith while serving as the Associate Dean for Contextual Education and Assistant Professor of Christian Education at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.

Ferguson and Faith is a collection of stories of courage and hope. Dr. Gunning Francis gleaned from these stories seeds of possibilities that, if nurtured, could serve us well into the future. These are the stories that were rarely imaged on television, yet they are integral to the fight for justice in Ferguson and resonate with the struggle for human dignity around the country.

In 2012, Dr. Gunning Francis was awarded the prestigious Engaged Scholars Fellowship to study issues of risk among middle-class African American young men. She argues that the meta-narrative about young black men puts all of them “at risk,” regardless of socioeconomic class, and utilizes the narrated experiences of black mothers to construct a new narrative about young black men that honors their humanity and is concerned for their well-being.

Dr. Gunning Francis’ additional research interests focus on transformative education as reflected in her doctoral dissertation, Beyond “Band-Aids” and Bootstraps: Toward a Womanist Vision of Christian Education as Social Transformation. Her writing reflects her commitment to the spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of women, men and children; and highlights her particular interest in underserved and minority communities.

Dr. Gunning Francis has provided pastoral leadership for congregations in Georgia, Illinois and Ohio. She has received numerous awards to include the Candler School of Theology’s G. Ray Jordan award for excellence in integrating academic study with constructive leadership and service, and the Fund for Theological Education’s Doctoral Fellow Award. In 2015, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Fontbonne University.

Dr. Gunning Francis earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Hampton University; a Master of Divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University; and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.

A native of Willingboro, New Jersey, Dr. Gunning Francis is married to Rev. Rodney Francis. They live in Indianapolis with their tween-aged children. To learn more about Dr. Gunning Francis visit www.leahgunningfrancis.com.

 

Today’s guest is Dr. Amanda Drury, Director of Vision and Innovation at The Brain Kitchen in Marion, Indiana. Dr. Drury is also Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at Indiana Wesleyan University where she writes and teaches about testimony, innovation, and youth ministry. Shari Oosting sat down with Amanda to find out how practice and theology meet through cooking, doing homework, and hanging out with kids at the Brain Kitchen.

Today’s guest is Dr. Amanda Drury, Director of Vision and Innovation at The Brain Kitchen in Marion, Indiana. Dr. Drury is also Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at Indiana Wesleyan University where she writes and teaches about testimony, innovation, and youth ministry. Shari Oosting sat down with Amanda to find out how practice and theology meet through cooking, doing homework, and hanging out with kids at the Brain Kitchen.

 

This episode features WTS alumnus and Duke Divinity School Th.D. candidate, Alberto La Rosa. Alberto’s doctoral work focuses on a theology of immigration, and in this interview he shares why his work is important in today’s cultural moment, and what it is like to approach theology of immigration as an immigrant himself. Sara Sanchez, a current WTS student originally from Honduras, sat down with him.

 

This episode features WTS alumnus and Duke Divinity School Th.D. candidate, Alberto La Rosa. Alberto’s doctoral work focuses on a theology of immigration, and in this interview he shares why his work is important in today’s cultural moment, and what it is like to approach theology of immigration as an immigrant himself. Sara Sanchez, a current WTS student originally from Honduras, sat down with him.

“One of the things I love about songwriting in general is that It’s framed up in a storytelling tradition,” says artist Sandra McCracken. “When songs are done well they have that power to draw you in and shine a spotlight on places you weren’t noticing before.”

This episode features songwriter and worship artist, Sandra McCracken. Sandra joined us during “Doxophilia” – a week-long exploration of worship and worship renewal. WTS alum Rev. Jonathan Gabhart sat down to discuss Sandra’s work and music’s ability to connect the church and the larger world.

“One of the things I love about songwriting in general is that It’s framed up in a storytelling tradition,” says artist Sandra McCracken. “When songs are done well they have that power to draw you in and shine a spotlight on places you weren’t noticing before.”

This episode features songwriter and worship artist, Sandra McCracken. Sandra joined us during “Doxophilia” – a week-long exploration of worship and worship renewal. WTS alum Rev. Jonathan Gabhart sat down to discuss Sandra’s work and music’s ability to connect the church and the larger world.

Today’s guest is Dr. Deanna Thompson, professor of religion at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN and author of “Glimpsing Resurrection: Cancer, Trauma, and Ministry.” Dr. Thompson was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2008 and is currently in remission. WTS student Katlyn DeVries sat down with Dr. Thompson to discuss how faith is experienced through the trauma of serious illness, and what connections she sees between cancer stories and the Christian story.

Today’s guest is Dr. Deanna Thompson, professor of religion at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN and author of “Glimpsing Resurrection: Cancer, Trauma, and Ministry.” Dr. Thompson was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2008 and is currently in remission. WTS student Katlyn DeVries sat down with Dr. Thompson to discuss how faith is experienced through the trauma of serious illness, and what connections she sees between cancer stories and the Christian story.

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