News and Events
Emilie M. Townes, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology at Yale Divinity School and a former DDH resident, delivered her Alumna of the Year address, “The Dancing Mind,” at the Divinity School on April 17, 2008. She was selected for the honor by the Board of Trustees of the Baptist Theological Union. After earning her B.A. from the University of Chicago and her M.A. and D.Min. from the Divinity School, Ms. Townes earned her Ph.D. from the Joint Garrett-Northwestern University Program in Religious and Theological Studies in 1989. She is ordained in the American Baptist Church. She previously taught at Union Theological Seminary, Saint Paul School of Theology, and DePaul University. She is the author of Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil, Breaking the Fine Rain of Death: African American Health Issues and a Womanist Ethic of Care, and In a Blaze of Glory: Womanist Spirituality as Social Witness, and Womanist Justice, Womanist Hope. In addition, she is the editor of two volumes: A Troubling in My Soul: Womanist Perspectives on Evil and Suffering and Embracing the Spirit: Womanist Perspectives on Hope, Salvation, and Transformation. This year she became the first African American woman to serve as president of the American Academy of Religion.
Harold E. Ranton (1948) died February 27 in Sacramento, California. He was 87. Mr. Ranton served in World War II as a sea-search radar technician for the Army Air Corps in the South Pacific Theater. A graduate of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, he earned his B.D. as a Disciples Divinity House Scholar at the University of Chicago. After his ordination, he was called to the First Christian Church of Eureka, California, where he served for twenty-five years. From 1977 to 1985, he served Freeport Boulevard Christian Church in Sacramento, California. He was named Minister Emeritus of the South Sacramento Ecumenical Parish. After his retirement, he served a number of interim ministries and also did pulpit supply in area churches. He is survived by his wife of twenty-three years, Janice Ranton, four children, three step-children, two sisters, and two brothers.
A $100,000 pledge over five years will establish the “Saint Andrew Leadership Initiative” at the Disciples Divinity House. The Initiative will help make possible internships as part of the DDH scholarship program. The Initiative honors Saint Andrew Christian Church in Olathe, Kansas, and extends their commitment to visionary leadership in ministry.