Category: Faculty and Students Honors and Awards

School of Theology Awards Garner Prize for Preaching 2017

November 1st, 2017 in Alumni/ae News, Awards, Faculty and Students Honors and Awards, News

This year’s Garner Prize for Preaching took place in Marsh Chapel on Saturday, October 28. The Rev. Dr. S. Chapin Garner (STH’97), Senior Minister at the Congregational Church of New Canaan in CT, with his wife Tammie Garner, Esq. (LAW’97) along with their church in Connecticut, provide the funding for the Garner Prize for Preaching every year. We thank them for being so steadfast in their support.

We are pleased to announce this year’s Garner Prize for Preaching winners are:
1st: Nikki Young
2nd: Alicia Vélez Stewart
3rd: Danyal Mohammadzadeh
Honorable Mentions: Emelia Attridge and Roger Gordon

Be sure to congratulate them all the next time you see them! To view all of Saturday’s preachers in action, please view the online album here.

Dr. Dana Robert Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from American Society of Missiology

June 19th, 2017 in Alumni/ae News, Awards, Faculty and Students Honors and Awards, News

Wheaton, IL – Dr. Dana L. Robert, Truman Collins Professor of World Christianity and History of Mission and Director of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at the School of Theology, was awarded the American Society of Missiology (ASM) 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award on Saturday, June 17, 2017 at the annual conference in Wheaton, IL. She attended her first ASM Conference in 1984 and has been a strong contributor and supporter of the Society ever since. She received the award, presented by Frances Adeney and Bonnie Sue Lewis, in front of an audience that included 21 of her former STH students. Dana has said that her real contribution to the field was her students, so it was exciting to have large a great number of them present for this event. 

Congratulations, Dana, on another outstanding achievement!

Dana Robert lifetime achievement award

Dr. Dana L. Robert receives the 2017 American Society of Missiology Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was presented by Frances Adeney and Bonnie Sue Lewis.





Dana Robert Lifetime Achievement Award students

Associate Dean Pamela Lightsey and Colleagues Receive Grant from Wabash Center

April 27th, 2017 in Alumni/ae News, Faculty and Students Honors and Awards, Faculty Publications, News

Associate Dean Pamela Lightsey, along with two other womanist colleagues, Dr. Wil Gafney and Dr. Valerie Bridgeman, had their application for the Peer Mentoring Cluster approved by the Wabash Center. The purpose of their grant is stated as: “Peer Mentoring Clusters program supports faculty of color who are former participants in Wabash Center programming and want to gather a small group for further networking and vocational growth. Minoritized faculty of color face particular challenges and pressures, and can benefit from networks of peer-to-peer mentoring. Peer mentoring conversations can surface ways to meet the demands of mid-career teaching and administrative jobs, and can provide faculty of color with strategies to not only discern challenges and pressures, but to navigate them as well.” 

Congratulations to Pamela and her colleagues on this important work. Below is a Q&A with Pamela on what this grant award means to her and what she hopes it will accomplish.

Describe your feelings about the meaningfulness of the work. What will this mentor cluster provide minoritized faculty of color?:

I’m honored and excited to be a recipient of this grant. As Womanist scholars, our project title is Womanist Separation for Wholeness. Women and faculty of color face unique challenges in academia. The peer-to-peer mentoring cluster allows faculty of color opportunities to reflect on those challenges, share helpful experiences as well as strategies for success. In the case of the makeup of our cluster, it also allows me to deepen my work as a scholar who is interested in interdisciplinary research.

Do you and your colleagues have a proposed itinerary for the three meetings you will lead, or will the discussions about self-care and managing commitments be more organic?

We have a bibliography of works that we will be reviewing during our times together. These books will help us reflect on our commitments to activism, academia and the church.

The Peer Mentoring Cluster program requires that you meet three times. Will there be added online conversation as well, between these in-person meetings?

We have no additional planned meetings but as a natural consequence of our time together will likely be having conversations (email, phone) between meetings.

School of Theology Student Brandon Crowley Receives 2017 FTE Fellowship

April 26th, 2017 in Alumni/ae News, Faculty and Students Honors and Awards, News

Brandon Thomas Crowley, School of Theology doctoral candidate in Practical Theology, has been chosen to receive a 2017 Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) Fellowship to support his doctoral program. 

FTE is a leadership incubator that inspires young people to make a difference in the world through Christian communities, providing resources, networks, and fellowships to help future pastors and theological educators.

Congratulations, Brandon! Please view the full press release from FTE below.



April 19, 2017

The Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) has selected 16 students across 13 institutions to receive a fellowship to support their PhD or ThD program in religion, theological studies or biblical studies.

The students within this class of FTE Fellows will either receive the Fellowship for Doctoral Students of African Descent or the Fellowship for Latino/a, Asian and First Nations Doctoral Students. Each recipient will be awarded a living stipend of up to $25,000 to support her or his studies past the coursework stage. Fellowship recipients will also attend the 2017 FTE Christian Leadership Forum, held May 31 – June 3, in Atlanta, GA, as a part of the award. The Forum provides opportunities to develop a community of peer support, explore issues important to leadership formation, engage in professional development and establish mentoring relationships to lead change for good within communities.

FTE is pleased to announce the following fellowship recipients:

FTE Fellowship for Doctoral Students of African Descent

  • Amaryah Shaye Armstrong, Vanderbilt University, Theological Studies
  • Brandon Thomas Crowley, Boston University School of Theology, Practical and Queer Theology
  • Earle J. Fisher, University of Memphis, African American (Religious) Rhetoric
  • Marie Green, University of St. Michael’s College, Christian Education
  • Nicole Hoskins, Drew University, Christian Social Ethics
  • Itohan Idumwonyi, Rice University, African Religions, Pentecostalism, Women and Gender Studies
  • Malith Jongkuch Kur, McGill University, Religious Studies
  • Vivian A. Laughlin, Andrews University, Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology
  • Toni Bond Leonard, Claremont School of Theology, Religion, Ethics, & Society
  • Marvin E. Wickware, Jr., Duke University, Christian Theological Studies

FTE Fellowship for Latino/a, Asian and First Nations Doctoral Student

  • Lisa Ann Dellinger, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Theology, Ethics, and History
  • Marlene M. Ferreras, Claremont School of Theology, Practical Theology and Psychology of Religion
  • Sheng-Ping Guo, Emmanuel College, University of Toronto, Global Christianity
  • Lydia Hernández-Marcial, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Hebrew Bible
  • Ekaputra Tupamahu, Vanderbilt University, New Testament and Early Christianity
  • Lis Valle-Ruiz, Vanderbilt University, Homiletics and Liturgics

“The 2017 class of FTE Fellows represent rising scholars who are making an impact in theological and religious studies and in their local communities. These Fellows are leading change for good through scholarship, advocacy and social change,” said Director of Strategic Partnerships for Doctoral Initiatives Patrick B. Reyes. “We are honored to support and walk alongside these leaders that the church, academy and world need now.”

FTE is committed to supporting rising theological educators from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups who are committed to making an impact through their teaching and scholarship. Since 1999, FTE has awarded over 550 fellowships to students of color and has maintained a 98 percent retention rate among its Doctoral Fellows. In addition to its current fellowships for dissertation stage doctoral students, FTE provides professional development opportunities for PhD or ThD students in the first two years of their studies. According to the Association for Theological Schools, in North American theological schools less than 20 percent of faculties are people of color.

FTE’s doctoral initiatives foster diversity in the academy by accelerating the successful completion of doctoral degrees among students of African, Latino/a, Asian and First Nations descent by providing financial support, a community of peers and mentors and professional development opportunities.

The Forum for Theological Exploration is committed to cultivating diverse young adults to be faithful, wise and courageous leaders for the church and the academy. FTE provides resources and a forum for young adults and students to explore their purpose and call to pastoral ministry and teaching. For more information, visit

Dr. Dana Robert elected as member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 12th, 2017 in Alumni/ae News, Awards, Faculty and Students Honors and Awards, News

Dr. Dana L. Robert, Truman Collins Professor of World Christianity and History of Mission and Director of the Center for Global Christianity and Mission at the School of Theology, has been elected as a member of the 237th class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as of Wednesday, April 12, 2017. The Academy was founded in 1780 by John Adams and other prominent Harvard College graduates to promote scholarship in the arts and sciences. Other members of this class include philanthropist and singer-songwriter John Legend, and award-winning actress Carol Burnett. Please see the press release below for full information on this outstanding achievement.

This is one of the highest and most prestigious honors that a scholar in the arts and sciences can attain. As one can imagine, Dana herself is “in shock. I can hardly believe it.” She has also graciously offered some background on her groundbreaking work:

“When I was in graduate school, I took an extra doctoral exam in African Christianity so that I could compare Christianity across cultures. I was interested also in the history of Christian mission, which at that time was seen as a completely outdated subject. I wanted to work in what I thought of as  “Comparative Christianity.” The framework of “World Christianity” did not exist at the time, and so I was just dreaming. Now, over thirty years later, the field of World Christianity is alive and flourishing. At Boston University School of Theology we founded one of the first Centers for Global Christianity in the United States, and over the years we have produced dozens of young scholars in that field, who are teaching around the world. I am very proud of my association with Boston University, where ahead of the curve, we have helped to shape the field of World Christianity.”



The 237th class of members includes philanthropist and singer-songwriter John Legend, award-winning actress Carol Burnett, chairman of the board of Xerox Corporation Ursula Burns, mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, immunologist James P. Allison, and writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

CAMBRIDGE, MA | APRIL 12, 2017 – The American Academy of Arts and Sciences today announced the election of 228 new members. They include some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, as well as civic, business, and philanthropic leaders.

The list of the 237th class of new members is available at

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing—and opportunities available to—the nation and the world. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies in science, engineering, and technology policy; global security and international affairs; the humanities, arts, and education; and American institutions and the public good.

Members of the 2017 class include winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Wolf Prize; MacArthur Fellows; Fields Medalists; Presidential Medal of Freedom and National Medal of Arts recipients; and Academy Award, Grammy Award, Emmy Award, and Tony Award winners.

“It is an honor to welcome this new class of exceptional women and men as part of our distinguished membership,” said Don Randel, Chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors. “Their talents and expertise will enrich the life of the Academy and strengthen our capacity to spread knowledge and understanding in service to the nation.”

“In a tradition reaching back to the earliest days of our nation, the honor of election to the American Academy is also a call to service,” said Academy President Jonathan F. Fanton. “Through our projects, publications, and events, the Academy provides members with opportunities to make common cause and produce the useful knowledge for which the Academy’s 1780 charter calls.”

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 7, 2017, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing the nation and the world. Current Academy research focuses on education, the humanities, and the arts; science, engineering, and technology policy; global security and international affairs; and American institutions and the public good. The Academy’s work is advanced by its elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs from around the world.


Assistant Professor Jonathan Calvillo wins grant for minority scholars

March 16th, 2017 in Alumni/ae News, Faculty and Students Honors and Awards, News

We are pleased to announce that Assistant Professor Jonathan Calvillo has been awarded one of the prestigious Louisville Institute’s First Book Grant for Minority Scholars. This is a huge honor, and it will allow Jonathan to take time for intense research on his major project, “The Saints of Santa Ana: Ethnic Membership and Religious Identities in the Barrio.” You can learn more about the fellowship at


The Louisville Institute’s First Book Grant for Minority Scholars enables junior, tenure-track religion scholars of color to complete a major study that contributes to the vitality of Christianity in North America. Grants of up to $40,000 support year-long research projects that will lead to the publication of a first (or second) book.

Louisville Institute is funded by the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment and based at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary (Louisville, Kentucky). The Institute’s fundamental mission is to enrich the religious life of North American Christians and to encourage the revitalization of their institutions, by bringing together those who lead religious institutions with those who study them, so that the work of each might inform and strengthen the other.

STH Assistant Professor Jonathan Calvillo Awarded Grant

February 23rd, 2017 in Faculty and Students Honors and Awards, News

Assistant Professor of Sociology of Religion Jonathan Calvillo has been awarded a grant from Global Religion Research Initiative in curriculum development. His proposed course “Religious Change and Competition in Latin America” employs a sociological lens to examine the dynamic patterns of religiosity in Latin America. Please visit the GRRI website for more information on Jonathan’s proposal and how the grants are awarded to deserving faculty members.


STH Students Recognized for Leadership & Preaching

May 29th, 2015 in Faculty and Students Honors and Awards, News

The students at Boston University School of Theology challenge and brighten our community through their leadership, preaching and service. STH congratulates the students who were recognized this year for their leadership.

Art J. Gordon – Donald A. Wells Preaching Prize

10439394_10152941188353002_4620359708915913540_nArt J. Gordon (MDiv ’16) was awarded the 2015 Donald A. Wells Preaching Prize by the Massachusetts Bible Society for a sermon entitled, “Overcoming the Wound of Racism?” Massachusetts Bible Society awards the annual prize for a sermon based on a biblical text that raises an issue of social justice in the contemporary world. Responding to the theme, “Challenges of Racial Justice,” Gordon noted the pain and the discouragement that so many felt after the justice system failed to indict officers who killed unarmed black men.  He describes the danger of a racism that is difficult to prove because it “is conscious in its efforts to be anti-racist and subconscious in racism.”

Gordon reflects on Jeremiah 8:18-22 and the ways that the prophet Jeremiah saw his nation’s progress fall apart, creating “a situation so broken, so unjust, so depressed that Jeremiah loses hope for any cure.” Gordon calls for the church to create a living, prophetic witness that exposes and cuts out covert racism, and that lives out the meaning of the ethical teachings of Jesus.

Art J. Gordon is a Cum Laude graduate of Savannah State University where he majored in History with a concentration in African American History. At Savannah State University he served in leadership positions with Student Government Association and NAACP, and he has held internships with the United States Senate and the Georgia Department of Labor. At STH, Art serves in leadership positions as the Vice President of the School of Theology Student Association and Worship Intern at Marsh Chapel. He is on the ministerial team at the Historic Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury.

Lindsay Popper – David H.C. Read Preacher/Scholar Award

Lindsay Poper Lindsay Popper (MDiv ’15) was salutatorian of the Class of 2015 and received the 2015 David H.C. Read Preacher/Scholar Award, an award created by congregation of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. Popper received the award for two sermons, one from a New Testament text and one from an Old Testament text. In her examination of Genesis 1:1-5, she analyzed the Hebrew words in the text, reflecting on the fear of the unknown and the promise that the Spirit of God is brooding over the waters: “Above and within and around and among all the chaos of our lives, all the blustering blowing spin-drift sea-spray terror and near-drowning darkness of our lives, in all of that we find the Spirit of God, hovering over us like a gentle mother bird.”

Her New Testament sermon unpacked the metaphor that the kingdom of God is like yeast. Our task to provide the right conditions for the yeast—and then to wait, Lindsay preached: “Just as the success of bread rests ultimately on the presence and action of yeast, the bringing and the building of the kingdom of God rests ultimately on God’s action. … God frees us from our belief that we are the world’s last best hope.”

Lindsay Popper is a graduate of Warren Wilson College and has volunteered as a hospice volunteer, with an ecumenical campus ministry, and building community gardens at churches. She has served at First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain, and is currently serving as Minister for Christian Education at Allin Congregational UCC in Dedham.

Outstanding 2015 Graduates

STH would also like to congratulate the graduates who were nominated by faculty and staff to the 2015 STH Student Leadership Society:

Xochitl Alvizo
Bryanna Benedetti
Colin Cushman
Diliana De Jesus
Andrew Del Pilar
Johnny Gall
Sarah Holland
Haley Jones
Kim, Yoojin
Samuel Needham
Kristen Redford Hydinger
Nicholas Romeijn-Stout
Brian Teed

These students have been recognized for their enthusiastic leadership and ministry in STH’s Centers, programs, in student groups, and in the community life of the School of Theology.

Other award-winning graduates include Deborah A. O’Driscoll (MDiv ’15), who received the Order of St. Luke–Hoyt L. Hickman Award for Outstanding Liturgical Scholarship and Practice. Maggie Gann (MDiv ’15) and Samuel Needham (MDiv ’15) received the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts Award. Kristen Lee Redford Hydinger (MDiv ’15) received the Massachusetts Bible Society Award for excellence in liturgical reading of the Scriptures.