alumni/ae profiles

Dr. William Bobby McClain (STH ’62, STH ’77)

March 2nd, 2015

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)

February 3rd, 2015

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)

January 5th, 2015

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 ’74)

December 1st, 2014

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 ’05)

October 31st, 2014

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)

October 1st, 2014

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 (STH ’10)

September 2nd, 2014

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)

August 1st, 2014

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.

Canon Dr. Titus Presler (STH ’95)

July 1st, 2014

Canon Dr. Titus Presler is a pastor, scholar and missionary who has offered leadership in diverse settings in the USA, Africa and Asia. He is Principal of Edwardes College in Peshawar, Pakistan, a church institution where most of the faculty and the 2,800 students are Muslim. A missiologist specializing in mission theology, missionary identity, and gospel-culture interactions, he holds the Th.D. from Boston University School of Theology (1995). Presler is a 2014 School of Theology Distinguished Alumnus. Read more about Presler and the other 2014 Distinguished Alumni.

Lieutenant Commander John Miyahara (STH ’95)

June 10th, 2014

Lieutenant Commander John Miyahara (M.Div., STH ’95) is a native of Denver, CO and is an ordained Elder in the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Upon completion of training in the Navy in 2001, he entered the reserves and was assigned to Earl, NJ, where he was a Staff Chaplain. Chaplain Miyahara completed the CREST (Chaplain and Religious Program Specialist Expeditionary Skills Training) training at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Miyahara has worked closely with the JAG and EOA designing the “Charting Your Course” class for junior sailors to make informed life decisions. He has also partnered with the Guam Department of Mental Health to provide ASIST (applied suicide intervention skills training) for over 100 FCB sailors. Lieutenant Commander Miyahara’s military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Army Achievement Medal. Lieutenant Commander Miyahara is married to Mrs. Andrea Imazeki-Miyahara of Sunnyvale, CA. They have one son, Ben, who is three years old.