By Danielle Marie Stecher
David Felten (STH ’88) is a native of Phoenix and received a music education degree from Arizona State University before attending Boston University School of Theology where he earned his MDiv in Biblical Studies and History. Before completing Chaplaincy training at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, David spent a year studying as a Rotary Graduate Scholar at Perth Theological Hall of Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. There he received an Honours degree and a taste for Promite.
David spent eight years as Associate Pastor and Co-pastor at Epworth United Methodist in West Phoenix and was appointed to start a new church in the Northeast Scottsdale area in July of 1998. Starting from scratch, Via de Cristo grew into a dynamic faith community serving a niche group of spiritual seekers and those who would otherwise be “church alumni.” David currently serves as the pastor of The Fountains, a United Methodist Church in Fountain Hills, Arizona, a Reconciling Congregation affiliated with the Center for Progressive Christianity.
In an effort to offer educational materials that were not being produced by other publishers, David and fellow United Methodist pastor, Jeff Procter-Murphy, created a new curriculum for Progressive Christians called Living the Questions. Developed at Via de Cristo and Asbury United Methodist, what started out as just one DVD series is now a growing catalog of curriculum, including “DreamThinkBeDo,” “Saving Jesus Redux,” “Matt & Lucy’s Version Births” (a Children’s Christmas Pageant), and a series questioning capital punishment with Sr. Helen Prejean. The newest series, “The Jesus Fatwah: Love Your Muslim Neighbor as Yourself,” (www.thejesusfatwah.com) brings together both Islamic and Christian scholars to counter Islamophobia and offer reliable information about what Muslims believe, how they live out their faith, and how we all can be about building relationships across the lines of faith. LtQ curriculum is now in use in nearly 6,000 churches in North America, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand.
David and co-author, Jeff Procter-Murphy, published their first book together in 2012: “Living the Questions, the Wisdom of Progressive Christianity.” Published by HarperOne, the book is available for browsing online here; http://www.harpercollins.com/browseinside/index.aspx?isbn13=9780062109361
Although David is a full-time pastor, he’s never strayed far from his roots as a musician. You’ll often find him playing in a variety of worship and concert settings, including on a number of CDs and on occasion, in his brother’s Washington-based big band, The Eric Felten Orchestra.
In the wider community, David is one of the founding directors of the Arizona Foundation for Contemporary Theology (www.azfct.org) and one of the founders of No Longer Silent: Clergy for Justice (www.nolongersilent.org), a group advocating for the full inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people both in the church and in the community. David is currently serving on the Dean’s Advisory Board of Boston University’s School of Theology (http://www.bu.edu/sth/) and on the board of the Phoenix Chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (www.au.org). David’s wife, Laura, is an administrator for a large Arizona public school district. Their son, Nat, is the proud big brother of twins, Mattie and Sam. They live in Phoenix.
Living the Questions: http://livingthequestionsonline.com/
Harrell F. Beck Online: http://www.harrellbeck.com/
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-david-felten/
Dr. William Bobby McClain (STH ’62, STH ’77) earned his B.A. degree, summa cum laude, at Clark College, Atlanta. He conceived of and chaired the committee which produced the hymnbook, Songs of Zion, which sold more than 2.5 million copies and changed the composition of Christian hymnals of every denomination. He most recently co-chaired the committee for the sequel to Songs of Zion: Zion Still Sings! For Every Generation.
After the publication of Songs of Zion, he wrote Come Sunday: A Liturgical Companion to Songs of Zion, and he is at work completing African American Preaching and the Bible: The Preaching of Zion, the third book in this trilogy.
In 1978, Dr. McClain established and served as the executive director the Multi-Ethnic Center for Ministry at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey. There he wrote Travelling Light: Christian Perspectives on Pluralism. He is also the author of Black People in the Methodist Church: Whither Thou Goest and with the late Dr. Grant Shockley and Dr. Karen Collier, Heritage and Hope: African American Presence in Methodism.
In 1991, his Clark Atlanta University alma mater awarded him the Doctor of Divinity degree in recognition of his achievements in religion and civil rights. In 1999, he was named to the Mary Elizabeth McGehee Joyce Chair in Preaching and Worship at Wesley Theological Seminary, the first fully-endowed chair in the seminary’s history, where he has taught preaching for many years and retired in 2013.
Professor McClain met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Montgomery, Alabama, where Dr. King was pastoring and McClain was a teen-aged preacher in his hometown of Gadsden, Alabama. After completing his seminary degree at Boston University, where King had previously received his doctorate, Reverend McClain returned to Alabama in 1962 to work with King and the civil rights movement and to serve as pastor of Haven Chapel Methodist Church in Anniston, Alabama, where he remained until returning to graduate school at Boston University in the fall of 1964.
From 1968 to 1978, Dr. McClain, an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, served as senior pastor of the historic Union United Methodist Church in Boston. During that same period he taught at Boston College, Harvard University, Northeastern University and Emerson College. From 2001-2003 Dr. McClain served as the Senior Pastor of Philadelphia’s Tindley Temple United Methodist Church where the great Charles Albert Tindley served as pastor and wrote many of his famous and beloved Gospel songs.
Called on frequently to lecture and preach in major pulpits and universities throughout this country and abroad, he has preached in Africa, Asia, the West Indies, New Zealand, and Europe. Professor McClain opened the 126th season of the New York Chautauqua Institution in 2000 as Keynote Preacher and Chaplain-in-Residence with thousands in attendance to listen to his preaching each day. In February of 2009, he lectured in Honolulu, Hawaii, as the 30 th Annual Britt Lecturer.
Dr. McClain is the father of two sons: William Bobby McClain, Jr. and David Wilson McClain. He and his wife, the former Jo Ann Mattos, Administrative Assistant to the Executive Secretary of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church, make their home in Fort Washington, Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Reverend Dr. Joas Adiprasetya (STH ’09) is the President and Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Jakarta Theological Seminary and Pastor at Pondok Indah Indonesian Christian Church, Jakarta. Jakarta Theological Seminary is the oldest ecumenical seminary in Indonesia (80 years in 2014) and is the leading seminary on social issues like LGBTIQ, interfaith, and migrant justice work from among more than 400 seminaries in Indonesia. He is a member of the following organizations: Network of Theologians, WCRC (World Communion of Reformed Churches), a drafting team of WCC’s document on Christian Identity in the Pluralistic Society, the Board of Trustees of ATESEA (Association for Theological Education in Southeast Asia), and the Commission of Theology, Indonesian Communion of Churches. Reverend Dr. Adiprasetya lives in Jakarta on the seminary campus with his wife, Sofie, and three sons (two of them were born while Dr. Adiprasetya was studying in the US).
MT Dávila (STH ’99) is Assistant Professor of Christian ethics at Andover Newton Theological Seminary and is a lay woman in the Roman Catholic tradition. She completed her doctorate at Boston College with a dissertation titled A Liberation Ethic for the One Third World: The Preferential Option for the Poor and Challenges to Middle-Class Christianity in the United States. She received her Bachelors degree from Brown University and her Master in Theological Studies at the Boston University School of Theology. Her main interests are the intersections of class identity formation and Christian ethics in the U.S. context. Her research looks for the intersection of these issues with respect to the relationship of class and militarism, class and immigration, and class and activism. She is currently undertaking a study of leaders of communities of faith, peace and justice practitioners, and others to examine the relationship between different understandings of discipleship and activism-public witness-faith in action.
Professor Dávila has also published articles and contributions on immigration, the use of force and just war theory, the theology of creation of Paul Tillich, Latina/o Theology, Christianity and U.S. civil society, and the role of the social sciences in Christian ethics. Her academic papers and presentations include discussions of feminist activism in the classroom, Catholic social teaching and the option for the poor, immigration and a sojourner identity, public religion and Christian identity, and race, class, and Christian discipleship in the United States.
Professor Dávila lives in Malden with her family, her husband Rob and four children. She is a member of St. Joseph’s Church, a Roman Catholic parish in Malden.
Wayne L. Walther (STH 1974, Th.M.) is a retired member of The Minnesota Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church after serving 38 years in parish and extension ministries. He continues life-long ministry focuses of community involvement as President of the Red Wing Minnesota Noontime Kiwanis Club; prison ministry at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, MN; volunteering at Hope for the Journey Home an ecumenical shelter for homeless families in Oakdale, MN. Wayne and his wife, Susan live in Red Wing, MN and have three married children and four grandchildren.
Karen Alley (STH 2005, M.Div.) is an attorney in rural northcentral Montana. She received her JD from the University of Montana Law School in 2011, having focused her legal education on alternative dispute resolution. During law school, she was a mediator, seeking conflict resolution for cases in state justice and district courts as well as tribal court.
Her current legal practice focuses largely on representing indigent clients through contracting with Montana’s Public Defender system. Her work includes criminal defense as well as representing parties in child abuse and neglect proceedings. She also has a general family law, mediation, and estate planning practice.
While in law school, Karen was appointed, along with her husband Mark Douglass (STH 2004 and 2005) as the local pastor for the University of Montana Wesley Foundation. She served as the co-pastor of the campus ministry for three years, helping the campus ministry thrive amidst deep budget cuts to campus ministry across the annual conference.
Elizabeth Smith (STH ’09) is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in systematic theology from the Catholic University of America working on a dissertation on the function of ecclesiology in ecumenical dialogues, specifically highlighting the function of ecclesiology in dialogues between Anglicans and Lutherans over the last couple of decades that ultimately led to their entering full communion with one another, and using the theology of Yves Congar to evaluate their approaches from a Catholic perspective. Recently, she moved back to Boston to serve as assistant professor at Regis College. This is an interdisciplinary position that serves her dual interests in theology and music.
Smith is also directing two college choirs, the Regis College Glee Club and the select group, the Regis College Chamber Singers and preparing for two upcoming European concert tours. She also has a private violin studio, teaching violin to twelve students this year. Additionally, Smith is the director of the Children’s Choir and Adult Choir at Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Catholic Church in Waltham. Smith has also traveled a lot recently for various reasons (presenting papers, performing in concert tours, or vacationing) to locations such as: Poland, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji.
Kyle Bozentko graduated from STH in 2010. His research interests include public opinion research, health and economic policy and social movements. He has worked as a health policy organizer, a policy analyst and his most recent appointment was as Executive Director of the Jefferson Center and Jefferson Action in Saint Paul, Minnesota, an organization dedicated to making democracy work for everyone. Kyle received a B.A. from Hamline University in 2007 (Religious Studies and Political Science), Master of Theological Studies (MTS) from the Boston University School of Theology with an emphasis on sociology of religion and politics, and Master of Science from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud Minnesota in Aging Studies.
Bozentko’s experience includes a decade of political strategy and public policy expertise. As a health policy organizer, he initiated outreach activities among local social service, human service, religious communities and public officials in the area to promote health care reform. In his role as policy analyst at the Jefferson Center, Bozentko developed and designed intensive public-policy based civic engagement processes and agenda components to maximize the effectiveness of citizen voices in engaging, processing and contributing to public policy debates.
Bozentko moved quickly from Co-Director of the Jefferson Center to Executive Director due to his extensive outreach efforts with deliberation and dialogue organizations, local, regional and national media, as well as private and university-based public policy institutions to develop strong partnerships and coalitions for expanding the breadth and scope of civic engagement projects.
Currently in his role as the Jefferson Center’s primary public representative, Bozentko works to cultivate the Jefferson Center’s network, develop collaborative initiatives, and works directly with media partners, community leaders, partner organizations, policy experts, participants and staff to develop and implement successful civic engagement and deliberative projects. He continues his work in justice-seeking civic engagement.
Reverend Faith Fowler (STH ’86) is the Senior Pastor of Cass Community United Methodist Church and Executive Director of Cass Community Social Services (CCSS), a Detroit nonprofit agency which responds to poverty with programs for food, health care, housing and employment. She has held these roles since 1994. She graduated from Albion College and also received two graduate degrees: Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from BU STH and a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She currently serves as an adjunct professor for the University of Michigan – Dearborn. She is a Distinguished Alumna of Albion College, University of Michigan-Dearborn School of Education and BU STH. She was also named Michiganian of The Year 2003 by The Detroit News and Detroit districts’ Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Award – 2003. She has a book coming out in September: This Far by Faith: Twenty Years at Cass Community.