News and Events
The engineering firm of Jacobs Carter Burgess is conducting a study of the DDH building this summer. Working in consultation with long-time DDH architect Paul Steinbrecher, they are assessing what is needed to air condition the kitchen and dining areas, the environmental and energy effects of the building, and what is needed to prepare for accessibility. Initial observations suggest that the 1928 building is already more energy efficient than might be supposed. However, its sturdy construction poses challenges for air-conditioning and accessibility needs.
Alumnus Harry B. Partin (1947) died June 10 in Durham, North Carolina. He was 82. Mr. Partin was a professor of the History of Religions at Duke University for thirty years in the Department of Religion and also in the Graduate Program in Religion. Born in Nicholasville, Kentucky, he graduated from Transylvania University. As a Disciples Divinity House Scholar, and earned his B.D., A.M., and Ph.D. degrees at the Divinity School. Before he joined the Duke faculty in 1964, he served on the staff of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, where he conducted a five-year study of the relations between Christians and adherents of other major religions, principally Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Trained particularly in Islamic history and religion, his broader interests included the history and phenomenology of religion. Later in his career, he developed an interest in the study of “new religions” and, in 1988, co-authored Religious and Spiritual Groups in Modern America with Robert Ellwood, which became a widely used college text. Mr. Partin was a Danforth Fellow and a member of the Committee on History of Religions of the American Council of Learned Societies. He was a longtime member of the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Durham. He is survived by his wife of more than fifty years, Marilyn Partin, and their three children.
Three individuals have been selected as Disciples Divinity House Scholars beginning in fall 2008. They are Anna Liv Gibbons, a 2008 Religious Studies graduate at Grinnell College who is a member of First Christian Church, Eugene, Oregon; Katherine Raley, a 2007 cum laude graduate of Furman University and member of First Christian Church, Columbia, South Carolina; and Jonathan Wallace, a 2008 graduate of the University of Memphis, where he majored in African and African-American Studies, and a member of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church. They were selected from a highly competitive pool. Each has been awarded full M.Div. tuition, a $3,000 stipend, and free housing or a housing subsidy. As Disciples Divinity House Scholars they will participate in a teaching/learning ethos that undergirds their preparation for ministry and fosters excellence in leadership and scholarship. They will join nineteen returning Disciples Divinity House Scholars who are earning M.Div., A.M., or Ph.D. degrees at the world-renowned University of Chicago Divinity School.
Ana K. Gobledale spoke at the Annual Convocation of the Disciples Divinity House on Thursday, June 12. An alumna and author, she has recently returned from Mulgrave, Australia, where she was Professor of Practical Ministry at the Churches of Christ Theological College. The convocation marked the close of the 113th academic year and celebrated graduating Disciples Divinity House Scholars. The tradition began in 1933.
An Associated Press story about young activists, religion, and politics features House Scholar Beau Underwood. In it, reporter Lillian Cunningham writes, "Beau Underwood is putting his faith in politics. He's a 22-year-old at the University of Chicago Divinity School, an active member of the Disciples of Christ and -- in his spare time -- he's showing candidates that the path to political righteousness doesn't always veer right...." Click here to read the article
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.