A Tradition of Excellence

A tradition of wider church leadership:

Teresa Hord Owens is the General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the US and Canada. Lee Hull Moses is Chief of Staff for the OGMP. Joan Bell-Haynes is Executive Regional Minister, Central Rocky Mountain Region. Chris Dorsey is President of Higher Education and Leadership Ministries; April Lewton is Vice President for Development and Marketing at the National Benevolent Association. Vy Nguyen is Executive Director of Week of Compassion. Bonnie Osei-Frimpong is Director of NBA Xplor. Aaron Smith is an Area Director with the Pension Fund. Bethany Watkins Lowery is Director of Development at Church Extension. They are part of a legacy of wider church leadership that includes Dennis Landon, Roland Sheafor, Robert Thomas, and David Vargas.

A tradition of vibrant congregational ministry:

Judith Guy, a 2017 graduate, is the minister of the Mackinaw (IL) Christian Church; Colton Lott, a 2018 graduate, serves First Christian Church of El Reno, Oklahoma. Other recent graduates serve congregations across the country: Doug Collins is the associate minister of Allisonville Christian Church, Indianapolis; Danielle Cox is the senior minister of Avon (IN) Christian Church. Alexis Vaughan Kassim is the associate pastor of Little River UCC, Annandale, VA. Allie Lundblad serves Arlington Heights Christian Church as pastor.

Among others serving congregations are McKinna Daugherty, Altoona Christian Church, Altoona, IA; Michael Karunas, Central Christian Church, Decatur, IL;  Laura Jennison Reed, Christian Church of Villa Park, IL; Michael Swartzentruber, South Elkhorn Christian Church, Lexington, KY; Beau Underwood, First Christian Church, Jefferson City, MO; Sarah West, First Christian Church, Wadsworth, Ohio; and Melinda Keenan Wood, Pilgrim United Church of Christ, Durham, NC.

A tradition of ecumenical leadership:

Jack Veatch, a 2019 graduate, is studying at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland, this year. Vy Nguyen is the Executive Director of Week of Compassion, coordinating Disciples' response to humanitarian needs through an ecumenical network of response. Garry Sparks serves on the NCC's Faith and Order Commission; Kris Culp serves on the WCC's Faith and Order Commission. They continue a tradition that includes JoAnne Kagiwada, Michael Kinnamon, Tom Quigley, and former deans W. E. Garrison and W. Barnett Blakemore.

Graduates also serve in ecumenical campus ministry: Peter Browning, Chaplain and Professor of Religion, Drury University; Angela Kaufman, Minister to the University at Texas Christian University; and Stephanie McLemore, Chaplain at Lynchburg College.

A tradition of social visionaries:

Sandhya Jha directs the Oakland Peace Center and an author and frequent speaker. Ayanna Johnson Watkins is lead organizer of MICAH (Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope). Ken Brooker Langston leads Disciples Justice Action Network and coordinates the Disciples Center for Public Witness. Rob Wilson Black is the Chief Executive Officer of Sojourners in Washington, DC. Ana Gobledale, with her husband, Tod, has served all over the world, including presently in Salisbury, UK. They extend a tradition that includes Arthur Azlein, Marshall Dunn, William Fox, Russ and Barbara Fuller, Dan Genung, Barton Hunter, David Kagiwada, Harvey Lord, Frank Mabee, Rolland Pfile, and Ian McCrae.

A tradition of excellence in teaching and scholarship:

Patricia Duncan, a 2014 PhD graduate, is Assistant Professor of Religion at Texas Christian University. Others who teach in colleges and universities are Joe Blosser, High Point College, North Carolina; Larry Bouchard, University of Virginia; Emily Brooker-Langston, St. John's College, Annapolis; Peter Browning, Drury University; Spencer Dew, Denison University and Ohio State University; Volney Gay, Vanderbilt University; David Hall, Centre College; Jennifer Jesse, Truman State University; Santiago Piñón, Jr, Texas Christian University; Ritch Savin-Williams, Cornell University; and George Shields, Kentucky State University, and Garry Sparks, George Mason University.

Among those who serve in graduate theological education are Tim Lee, Brite Divinity School; Daisy Machado, Union Theological Seminary; Bonnie Miller-McLemore, Vanderbilt Divinity School; Mark Miller-McLemore, Vanderbilt Divinity School; Stephanie Paulsell, Harvard Divinity School; Scott Seay, Christian Theological Seminary; as well as Kris Culp and Cynthia Lindner at the University of Chicago.