United Methodist Faculty

The School of Theology includes a number of faculty and staff who are United Methodist (or closely affiliated) and who provide leadership in The United Methodist Church including boards, agencies, and local churches

Professor Katheryn Pfisterer Darr, a 1989 winner of Boston University’s prestigious Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching, has authored three books, essays and articles for essay collections and major scholarly journals, respectively, and educational materials for the United Methodist Publishing House. To date, her writings have focused especially on the books of Isaiah and Ezekiel. Her current research/writing project is a study of proverbs appearing in ancient Israel’s prophetic corpus. A United Methodist, Professor Darr served on the Editorial Board for the New Interpreter’s Bible commentary series (Abingdon Press) and authored the commentary on Ezekiel for that series. She enjoys bringing biblical scholarship not only to her students, but also to pastors and their congregations.
The Rev. Dr. Cristian De La Rosa is the Clinical Assistant Professor of Contextual Theology and Practice and Director of Contextual Education and Community Partnerships at Boston University School of Theology.  She received a Bachelors degree from the University of the Pacific, a Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary, a Masters in Sacred Theology and her Ph. D. in Theology and Ethics from Chicago Theological Seminary. Her areas of interest include Feminist and Mujerista Theologies, cultural theory, Latin American Liberation Theology, and the Hispanic/Latino community and its religious history. Originally from Mexico, Dr. De La Rosa is an ordained elder with the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, as UM representative in the National Council of Churches, and as the director of the Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA).
Dr. Evans focuses on the history of Christianity, American religion, and Methodist studies. He is the author of several books, including: Liberalism without Illusions: Renewing an American Christian Tradition and The Kingdom is Always but Coming: A Life of Walter Rauschenbusch (recipient of an Award of Merit from Christianity Today).   An ordained elder in the Upper New York Annual Conference, Dr. Evans has lectured and taught in numerous church and academic settings.
Courtney T. Goto is an Assistant Professor of Religious Education and a co-Director of the Center for Practical Theology.  Her recent research interests include aesthetic teaching and learning; imagination, creativity, and embodied knowing in adult religious education; and intersections of power, privilege, and culture in practical theology.  Her most recent book is The Grace of Playing: Pedagogies for Leaning into God’s New Creation (2016).  Her current book is a moral project on dynamics of power and oppression in discourse, research, and teaching in practical theology.  Goto is a third generation Japanese American United Methodist.
Susan Wolfe Hassinger has served as bishop-in-residence at STH since 2005. She was elected a bishop of the United Methodist Church in 1996, and was assigned to the Boston Area, the New England Annual Conference. She retired from the responsibility as a residential bishop at the end of August 2004 and served as interim bishop in the Albany Episcopal Area from 2006-2010. Immediately prior to being elected as a bishop, Susan had been director of The Office of Resourcing for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church. In that capacity she worked with congregations and church organizations of various sizes, settings, and racial/ethnic backgrounds in conflict transformation, visioning, team building, and congregational development. Bishop Hassinger has been part of the design team and first president of JustPeace Center for Conflict Transformation and Mediation. She has also served on a task force on Theological Education and Leadership Formation that included representatives of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools. That task force has produced a working document “A Wesleyan Vision for Theological Education and Leadership Formation for the 21st Century.” She has also been a part of a joint task force that produced a study on Holy Communion, “This Holy Mystery,” that was adopted by the 2004 General Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Dean Robert Allan Hill has been preaching since 1976.  As an elder (Upper New York Conference) in the United Methodist Church he has had experience in ten local churches, five different annual conferences, multiple annual conference board assignments, General and Jurisdictional Conference participation, General Board membership (GBHEM), various speaking engagements (including advocacy for the full humanity of gay people), and denominational leadership discussions. His views of the present condition of the church, particularly in the Northeast, and prospects for ministry into the future, have provided a complementary perspective to that of some recent Northeastern UMC denominational leadership.  His main denominational interests have been in Large Church ministry and Theological Education. He is the author of thirteen books, and several articles, book reviews, and other publications. Dr. Hill was given the Harry Denman award for Evangelism in 2003.  Currently he serves on the Board of the New England Annual Conference United Methodist Foundation, the Board of Visitors of the Learning Project Elementary School (Back Bay, Boston), the Board of the Harvard-Epworth Wesley Foundation , and the Board of Visitors for Harvard Memorial Church.  He is an active member of the Boston Ministers’ Club and the New Haven Theological Discussion Group, and an inactive Rotarian.
Prof. David Schnasa Jacobsen is committed to helping students and pastors claim their role as “theologians of the Word” in preaching. In his courses, he encourages masters and doctoral students to wrestle with their own theology of the gospel. Prof. Jacobsen has been a leader in the Academy of Homiletics (Executive Member, Founding Web Editor, Nominating Committee) and in the Society of Biblical Literature (Founder and member of the Steering Committee, Section on Homiletics and Biblical Studies). He is also a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy as part of the Word in Worship seminar. Prior to coming to Boston, Jacobsen was Professor of Homiletics at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary (Ontario) and cross-appointed to the Doctoral Program in Homiletics at the Toronto School of Theology. Prof. Jacobsen is a clergy member of the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church and has served churches in Pierre, South Dakota and New Johnsonville, Tennessee.
Dean Pamela Lightsey is a scholar, social justice activist, and military veteran whose academic and research interests include: classical and contemporary just war theory, Womanist theology, Queer theory and theology, and African American religious history and theologies. An ordained elder in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church, Pamela pastored an urban church on the south side of Chicago, has done work for several UM general agencies and has strong connections within several mainline denominations. She has been a member of the Pan Methodist Commission for the last two quadrennials.
Dean Mary Elizabeth Mullino Moore sees her primary work as working with others and contributing her small part toward repair of the world (tikkun olam).  Her recent books include Teaching as a Sacramental ActMinistering with the Earth, and Teaching from the Heart, plus the co-edited volumes Children, Youth, and Spirituality in a Troubling Worldand Practical Theology and Hermeneutics. She has also written many articles on education, process and feminist theologies, and justice and reconciliation. Mary Elizabeth is a UMC Deacon.
Rev. Susan J. Morrison has facilitated Integration of Theology and Practice groups with Field Education students for the past 12 years and is now moving into a role as vocational mentor at the School of Theology. As an ordained clergywoman in the United Methodist Church she has served churches in Danvers, Andover and Lexington. Active in the NE United Methodist Conference, she serves on the Board of Church and Society. Currently, she is a Spiritual Director at Bethany House in Arlington, MA. and provides a ministry of presence and spiritual companioning at three residential settings for survivors of brain injury through Supportive Living, Inc.
Dr. Neville was ordained deacon in the Methodist Church in 1963 and elder in the United Methodist Church in 1966, with membership now in the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church, having served summer pastorates in Missouri in 1956 and 1962. The past president of the American Academy of Religion, Dr. Neville is also past president of the International Society for Chinese Philosophy, the Metaphysical Society of America, and the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools. He is currently president of the Highlands Institute for American Religious and Philosophical Thought. He has served as a member of the Accrediting Commission of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada and the Commission on Theological Education of the United Methodist Church. He is a member of the editorial boards of The Journal of the American Academy of Religion and Soundings. He was Associated Editor for Behavioral and Neurological Articles for the Encyclopedia of Bioethics. He has published numerous books and articles.
Thomas W. Porter, Jr. is a trial lawyer, mediator, teacher and minister. He teaches at STH where he directs a concentration in Religion and Conflict Transformation. He was the founding director of JUSTPEACE Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation in The United Methodist Church (2000-2012) . He is the editor of the book, Conflict and Communion: Reconciliation and Restorative Justice at Christ’s Table, the author of The Spirit and Art of Conflict Transformation: Creating a Culture of JustPeace and co-author of The Journey: Forgiveness, Restorative Justice and Reconciliation.    Tom is an elder in the United Methodist Church and a member of the New England Annual Conference, where he was the chancellor for 23 years.   He was a founding partner of the trial firm of Melick & Porter LLP in 1983 and has been a trial lawyer since 1974, representing religious institutions, universities, hospitals, professionals, nonprofit organizations and others. He was a founder and the president of the Council of Religion and Law, a society of law professors, theologians, lawyers and ministers, from 1978 to 1985 and  he is a member of the board of the Journal of Law and Religion and was chair of the board from 1989 through 2001  He was a member of the board of Union Theological Seminary, chairing its educational policy committee, from 1992 to 2001.
Dr. Robert’s research and teaching interests span the fields of mission history, the history of world Christianity, and mission theology. At Boston University she has directed seventy doctoral dissertations, and former students hold teaching and ministry positions around the world.  Her book Christian Mission: How Christianity Became a World Religion (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009) is now in its seventh printing. She wrote the study Joy to the World!: Mission in the Age of Global Christianity for the 2010-2011 summer schools of mission for The United Methodist Church. A lifelong United Methodist, she has served on multiple national denominational committees; spoken at national gatherings of United Methodist Women, bishops, and missionaries; and chaired the United Methodist Professors of Mission.
Rev. Dr. Wanda Stahl is an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church and a member of the New England Annual Conference. Prior to accepting her position at BU, Wanda served as Director of Christian Formation for the New England Annual Conference of the UMC for 12 years. Wanda received her M.Div. from Boston University School of Theology and her Ph.D. in Religion and Education from Boston College.  She has completed programs in Individual Spiritual Guidance and Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats from the Shalem Institute in Bethesda, MD and considers it a privilege to accompany people on their faith journeys in a variety of settings. In recent years, her concentrated study and leadership have been in spiritual formation and the building of congregational life. She has served the New England Conference with distinction and has carried leadership and speaking roles in the denomination.
Dean Bryan Stone has served as the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism in the School of Theology since 1998 and has a background in new church development, urban pastoral ministry, and faith-based non-profit development.  He is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, which is a member of the World Methodist Council and a regular participant in the Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies. Central to his teaching, writing, and research agenda is the study of Wesleyan and Methodist theology. In addition to various articles on John Wesley and Wesleyan theology, he co-edited the volume: Thy Nature and Thy Name is Love: Wesleyan and Process Theologies in Dialogue. His most recent books are Evangelism After Christendom: The Theology and Practice of Christian Witness and Sabbath in the City: Sustaining Urban Pastoral Excellence, co-authored with Claire Wolfteich. His research, publishing, and teaching interests are in the areas of evangelism, congregational development, urban ministry, ecclesiology, theology and popular culture (including especially film studies), Christian pacifism, and Wesleyan, liberation, narrativist, and post-liberal theologies.
Karen Westerfield Tucker is a United Methodist elder (presbyter) affiliated with the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. She served a congregation in Rock Island, Illinois and the Wesley Foundation at the University of Illinois (U-C) before pursuing the doctorate in liturgical studies at the University of Notre Dame. She was on the faculty at Duke University for fifteen years, and has taught seminary and continuing education courses throughout the United States and Canada, and in Asia, Pacifica, and Europe. Her academic and research interests include North American liturgical history and theology, Methodist/Wesleyan liturgical history and theology, liturgy and pastoral care, and hymnody. In 2002-2003 she was selected as a Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology to study the theological and cultural dynamics of hymnals.Dr. Westerfield Tucker is the author of American Methodist Worship (Oxford University Press, 2001). She conceived and edited The Sunday Service of the Methodists: Twentieth-century Worship in Worldwide Methodism (Abingdon/Kingswood, 1996), and with Geoffrey Wainwright edited The Oxford History of Christian Worship (Oxford University Press, 2006). She is a writer for the Wesley Works Project (Abingdon Press), and is working on a book drawn from her research as a Luce Fellow.A past president (2009-2011) of the international and ecumenical Societas Liturgica, Dr. Westerfield Tucker is the editor-in-chief of the society’s journal Studia Liturgica. She serves on the Executive Committee of the World Methodist Council, relates to the Council’s Committee on Ecumenics and Dialogue, and is the co-secretary of the international dialogue between the World Methodist Council and the Roman Catholic Church.
Dr. Wildman’s research and teaching interests are in philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, modern Christian thought, and comparative theology. He also works in religion and science, and is convener of the Graduate School’s doctoral program in Religion and Science. His publications pursue a multidisciplinary, comparative approach to important topics within religious and theological studies, and he has lectured on these themes in many parts of the world. His programmatic statement of the theory of rationality underlying this type of integrative intellectual work is Religious Philosophy as Multidisciplinary Comparative Inquiry: Envisioning a Future for the Philosophy of Religion (State University of New York Press, 2010). His scholarly books cover a wide variety of topics, some theoretical and some practical, all pursuing a multidisciplinary, comparative approach. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International Society for Science and Religion.