Kristine A. Culp, Dean

Kris Culp has been Dean of the Disciples Divinity House since 1991. She is also Associate Professor of Theology in the Divinity School and in the College. She is the seventh dean of Disciples House and was the first woman to become chief executive of one of the theological education institutions of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She led the Disciples Divinity House through its centennial anniversary in 1994, in marking the seventy-fifth anniversary of its Chapel of the Holy Grail in 2005, and through its 125th anniversary in 2019 with a $5 million campaign.

An alumna of the Disciples Divinity House and a 1989 PhD graduate of the Divinity School, she earned the Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of General Studies degree from the University of Iowa. From 1985-91, she was a member of the faculty of Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri.

She is the author of Vulnerability and Glory: A Theological Account (Westminster John Knox, 2010), one of the first theological works to connect multidisciplinary conversations about environmental and economic vulnerability with theological anthropology and sociality. She is the editor of The Responsibility of the Church for Society and Other Essays by H. Richard Niebuhr (2008), which collected Niebuhr’s essays about ecclesiology and communities of faith. Her essays have addressed feminist and womanist theologies; the thought of Simone de Beauvoir, H. Richard Niebuhr, and John Calvin; fiction and visual art as resources and analogues in theological thinking; protest and resistance as theological themes; “experience” in contemporary theology, and issues facing the Disciples of Christ.

She represents the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, and serves as one of the commission's vice moderator. She has served on numerous boards, including, presently, the Board of Stewards of the Week of Compassion; she regularly serves in an advisory capacity to various groups; and she has served as chair of the Council on Theological Education of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and on the denomination's General Board and Administrative Committee. She was a founding member of the Board of Directors of DisciplesWorld, a journal of news, opinion, and features about the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and its chair from 2006-09. She is a former president of the Association of Disciples for Theological Discussion and was a founding member of the Forrest Moss Institute, an association of Disciples women scholars.

In her research and teaching, Kris Culp seeks to forward theology’s diagnostic and constructive contributions to knowledge and to life while also critically examining the ways certain theological constructions have functioned. Her current project explores creaturely glory. She engages a long history of practical theological discernment and deliberation about eating and tasting, architecture and place, visual art, and the natural world—and thus about enjoyment, vulnerability, suffering, resistance, change, and “aliveness.” The book project was initially developed as part of the Enhancing Life Project at the University of Chicago and Ruhr-University Bochum, funded by the John Templeton Foundation.

Email Dean Kris Culp or telephone her office at 773.643.4411.

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