By Bryan P Stone
Ronald Angelo Johnson (M.Div., STH 2006) chose BUSTH because of the spiritual impact the writings of alumnus Martin Luther King, Jr. had on his life. A native of rural East Texas, he expected the diversity of theological thought among faculty and classmates to challenge his views. And did it ever! His experience equipped him to provide pastoral leadership for theologically diverse, cross-cultural congregations in Boston, New Hampshire, and Indiana. He holds degrees from Texas State University (B.A.), the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University (M.A.), Purdue University (Ph.D.) and is the author of the forthcoming book Diplomacy in Black and White: John Adams, Toussaint Louverture, and Their Atlantic World Alliance (January 2014). He is an assistant professor of history at Texas State University and an associate minister at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Austin. His research and teaching are informed by his Christian ministry, and his previous work as a chapel manager in the Air Force, as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, and as a U.S. diplomat in Luxembourg and Gabon.
The Rev. Hikari Kokai Chang is a regional missionary of The United Methodist Church serving as administrative and program director of the Wesley Foundation in Tokyo, Japan. Regional missionaries are placed and supported by United Methodist Women. Hikari was appointed in 2012 to lead the Wesley Foundation, an independent organization engaged in activities of public benefit with strong ties to United Methodist Women and the General Board of Global Ministries. Her work includes promoting educational and social activities in partnership with churches and other nongovernmental organizations. Hikari was ordained in the New England Annual Conference and is now a member of the New York Annual Conference. She served pastorates in both Annual Conferences. Hikari and her husband, the Rev. Paul Hak-Soon Chang (M.Div. 1989), Executive Director of Korean National Plan, have two daughters.
Ben Hartley has been teaching at Palmer Theological Seminary since 2005. In addition to courses in Christian mission and the history of world Christianity Professor Hartley teaches United Methodist History and Early Doctrine each year. Professor Hartley’s second book, Evangelicals at a Crossroads: Revivalism and Social Reform in Boston was published in 2011 by the University Press of New England (at Dartmouth). The previous dissertation version of that work received the 2007 “Outstanding Dissertation” Award from the Wesleyan Theological Society and the Jesse Lee Prize, an award given once every four years by the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church. At Palmer he also serves as the Director of United Methodist Studies and is an ordained deacon in the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Ben Hartley’s website and blog may be viewed at http://missionandmethodism.ne. He graduated from Boston University School of Theology with a M.Div. in 2000 and again with a Th.D. in 2005.
After graduating from BU, Meredith began a PhD in Christian Education and Congregational Studies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. Her studies and her vocation focus on the intersection of Christian education and social engagement, encouraging disciple-making that is developed through ministries of justice and compassion. She was recently approved for commissioning as a Deacon in The United Methodist Church by her native North Carolina Conference. She now lives in Chicago with her husband and fellow BU-STH alumnus, Mark. She remains a fan of the Boston Red Sox.
Zina Jacque arrived at BU on the cusp of her 40th birthday. Degrees in hand from Northwestern (BA) and Columbia (MA) Universities; seminary was not in her plans. Her position as the Director of Admission at the University of California Santa Cruz was quite fulfilling. But God had another plan. Since arriving in Boston, Rev. Jacque has served as Chaplain for Milton Academy and Bentley University, was appointed the first Executive Director of the Boston Ten Point Coalition and founded the Trinity Church Boston Counseling Center. Currently she serves as the pastor of the Community Church of Barrington, Barrington, IL. She sits on numerous boards and has been appointed Adjunct Faculty for the School of Theology, teaching the spring 2013 course in Pastoral Care. God had another plan indeed, and it was, and is turning out to be, a marvelous thing.
Among 42 years of ministry, Reverend John Blair, (STH ’72) and Becky (CLA ’71) served eight years in Australia’s Outback, respectively, as a Uniting Church Flying Padre flying a Cessna 182, offering pastoral counselling, care and religious services, while Becky managed The Royal Flying Doctor Service Tourist Centre, Broken Hill. In June, he retires as Minister of St. Ninian’s Uniting Church, Lyneham, and Becky as Executive Officer of the Wesley Music Centre in Canberra. Check out www.frontierservices.org.au and www.flyingdoctor.org.au/” and www.wesleycanberra.org.au/music.
Rodrick Echols (M.Div. ’09) is from Memphis, TN and a graduate of Brown University; he worked for three years with Rhode Island area non-profit organizations before coming to Boston University in January 2005. Rod has held development roles with several institutions like Brown, United Way Boston, and City Year. Now a California resident, he serves as a board member at Fairview Community Church of Orange County and Associate Development Director for the University of California, San Diego.
Katie Cole (STH ’12, SSW ’12) is from North Carolina and graduated with M.Div. and M.S.W. degrees from Boston University. As a student, Katie worked for the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) as an Organizer fighting for affordable health care for all. She also completed her field education at Fourth Presbyterian in South Boston. After graduating she continued to be associated with both organizations, as an Organizer with GBIO and recently accepted the position of Director of Youth and Children’s Ministries at Fourth Presbyterian. Katie is featured in “On a Mission” which can be found here.
Dr. Robert P. Crosby (STH ’54) was profoundly impacted by T-groups with Dr. Walter Holcomb and the ministry of Dr. Howard Thurman during his time at STH. He went on to write seven books, founded the Leadership Institute of Spokane-LIOS (later in Seattle) in 1969 and created the first ever M.A. in the Applied Behavioral Sciences in 1973. At 84, he remains active and continues consulting work. In September 2012, Dr. Crosby received the 2012 School of Theology Distinguished Alumnus award.
Alex Froom (STH 2012, SSW 2012) is a recent alum of STH. Leaving Boston, Alex followed his passion to the southwest where he is now the Executive Director of Rez Refuge Ministries. This non-profit is devoted to building relationships and leaders in Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation, Arizona by running a community center, providing youth development programs, wilderness programs, and a community garden. Learn more about what Alex and Rez Refuge Ministries are up to here: (link http://www.rezrefuge.com/).