Disciples Divinity House

of the University of Chicago

Sympathy to Nancy and Clark Gilpin (1970; trustee; former dean) on the death of Clark's mother, Jo Ann Gilpin, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on October 3. She was 94. Born in Garber, Oklahoma, Jo Ann Gilpin became an educator and leader in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She was married for sixty-eight years to William C. Gilpin, Jr., who died in 2012. She served as a director of Christian education at Crown Heights Christian Church, Oklahoma City, and for sixteen years at Harvard Avenue Christian Church in Tulsa. "Be a friend, instead of expecting them to be like you," she said of how a Christian educator should relate to youth; "Help them to become themselves." She was a member of the Association of Christian Church Educators, a curriculum representative for the Christian Board of Publication, and office manager of Phillips Theological Seminary. She served as a member of the board of the Division of Homeland Ministries and of the General Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She is survived by three sons, Clark (Nancy) Gilpin, Dennis (Kelley) Hays-Gilpin, and Neil (Bendy) Gilpin, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. More here.

Sympathy to Kerry Waller Dueholm (2000) and Ben Dueholm on the death of Kerry's mother, Kathy Waller, in Spring Hill, Kansas, on September 30.

Judith Guy (2013) has been called to Mackinaw (Illinois) Christian Church, beginning on October 1. She was the keynote speaker for the Women's Retreat of the Christian Church in Illinois and Wisconsin, September 22-24, at Camp Walter Scott. 

Spencer Dew (1998) is spending his sabbatical in Chicago and will speak at DDH on October 23. He is Associate Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at Centenary College of Louisiana. 

Kristel Clayville (2001) is Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Eureka College and a fellow at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. 

Congratulations to Joe Blosser (2005) who has received tenure at High Point University in North Carolina. He is the Robert G. Culp, Jr. Director of Service Learning and soon to be Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy.

Congratulations to current House Scholar Andrew Langford who completed his midpoint dissertation colloquium on September 18. His dissertation considers how medicalized language (language of disease and disability) is used to pathologize religious opponents in the Pastoral Epistles.

In September, Melinda "Lindy" Keenan Wood (1997) became Senior Minister of Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Durham, North Carolina. She was previously Senior Minister of the Pershing Avenue Christian Church in Orlando, Florida.

Mark Lambert, House Scholar and PhD student in Theology, offers the first word in a roundtable on healthcare and religion. His essay, "The Trump Administration, Immigration, and the Instrumentalization of Leprosy", observes that leprosy has made a surprising appearance in current rhetoric about immigration. He explores how medieval and nineteenth-century contexts inform a "toxic petri dish" of  "media sensationalism, the healthcare debate, xenophobia, and religious rhetoric." The roundtable appeared in the September edition of the Religion & Culture Forum, edited by Joel A. Brown, House Scholar and PhD student in Religions in America.

John "Jack" Wesley Divine (1961) died August 18, collapsing after attending a baseball game. He was 82. He was born in Perry, Oklahoma, graduating from the high school where his father was the principal and wrestling coach. He retained strong connections to Perry and a lifelong love of sports, conversation, and good stories. His ministry in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) began in 1957 and included a long career as a chaplain in the Veterans Administration and service to his community.

Jack Divine received a BA in Math and Physics from Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, and a BD from Phillips Theological Seminary, focusing on Theology and Church History. He met his first wife, Wendy Matson, at Phillips, and they were married in 1959. They traveled through Europe together, and served in mission at a camp for displaced Hungarian women in Bad Gasten, Austria. He studied at the Graduate School of Ecumenical Studies in Bossey, Switzerland, and then entered the University of Chicago Divinity School as a Disciples Divinity House Scholar in 1961. He completed the MA in 1965, focusing on philosophical theology. Jack was a passionate advocate for civil rights, traveling to Mississippi to join the clergy march from Selma to Montgomery on “Turnaround Tuesday” in 1965. From 1965 to 1972, he served as minister of the Community Church in Gurnee, Illinois. In 1970, he was appointed as a staff chaplain at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Chicago.

In 1973, he married Anne Frances Benjamin; they would share 44 years of marriage and travel the world together. They moved to Danville, Illinois, where he was a chaplain at the Veterans Administration Hospital. From 1978 until his retirement in 1996, Jack Divine served as a chaplain and chief of chaplains for the Veteran Administration Medical Center in Leavenworth, Kansas. A longtime member of the First Christian Church of Leavenworth, he was also an associate pastor for several years. He served on the Lansing, Kansas City Council and ran for the Kansas State Senate and the Kansas House. He was active in Rotary Club and with the Public Library and United Way in Leavenworth, and served on the board of the Credit Union of Leavenworth County. He is survived by his wife; children Jennifer Divine (Laureen France), Mary Divine Myers (Greg Myers), and John Wesley “Sean” Divine III (Deb Malmon); and four grandchildren. More here