Center for Practical Theology Co-Directors

Eunil David Cho

Dr. Eunil David Cho is an Assistant Professor of Spiritual Care and Counseling at the Boston University School of Theology (STH). He is a practical theologian whose research in pastoral theology and spiritual care, especially among immigrant and refugee communities, engages the fields of narrative theories, psychology of religion, and sociology of religion. He approaches spiritual care from the position of an ethnic and racial minority by integrating proficiency in critical race theory, global migration, qualitative research methods, and Asian American studies. As a scholar-practitioner, he is committed to teaching out of his personal and academic expertise as an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a chaplain in a way that contributes to the transformation of personal, communal, and public life. 

He is in the process of completing his first book titled, Making Sense of Life with God: Religious Stories Dreamers Tell in the Face of Uncertainty (Brill’s Theology in Practice Series). He is on the steering committee of the Society for Pastoral Theology (SPT) and in 2022, became the co-editor-elect of the Journal of Pastoral Theology. He is also a former editor (2016-2018) of Practical Matters: Journal of Practical Theology and Religious Practices at Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion. Recently, Dr. Cho became the project consultant for the Trauma-Responsive Congregations project at STH, which is led by Dr. Shelly Rambo and generously supported by the Lily Endowment. 

Courtney Goto

Dr. Courtney T. Goto is Associate Professor of Religious Education and a co-Director for the Center for Practical Theology. Her research interests include intersections of racism, culture, and faith; as well as aesthetic teaching and learning, creativity, and embodied knowing. She is author of Taking on Practical Theology: The Idolization of Context and the Hope of Community (Brill, 2018). In this book, she explores the regnant paradigm to which the field of practical theology is captive, reflecting on issues of power and privilege in knowledge production from her perspective as a Japanese American. Goto is also author of The Grace of Playing: Pedagogies for Leaning into God’s New Creation (Pickwick, 2016). She designs courses that explore both theory and practices, often through experiential learning and community-based research. 

David Schnasa Jacobsen

Dr. David Schnasa Jacobsen came to Boston University in 2011. Dr. Jacobsen is Professor of the Practice of Homiletics, Director of the Homiletical Theology Project, and Co-Director to the Center for Practical Theology. Dr. Jacobsen is committed to helping students and pastors claim their role as “theologians of the Word” in preaching and encourages masters and doctoral students to wrestle with their own theology of the gospel while they learn as homiletical theologians to become better public, theological leaders in faith communities, the academy, and in the wider pluralistic world that God so loves. Dr. Jacobsen is a clergy member of the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church. His ongoing areas of research include the practice of preaching, homiletic theory, theologies of preaching, the relation of Word and Sacrament, hermeneutics, Biblical criticism, and the connection of all these to theology itself.  He is married to Cindy Schnasa Jacobsen, a Lutheran pastor and practicing pastoral psychotherapist.

Bryan P. Stone

Dr. Bryan Stone has served as the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Boston University School of Theology since 1998 and is currently Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. He directs the Congregational Research and Development Project and the Finding Faith Today Project.  Dr. Stone has focused his research on how congregations relate to the changing dynamics of contemporary culture.  As a consultant and teacher, he has mentored students and pastors from around the nation, and has served as church planter, pastor, and director of non-profit agencies.  Dr. Stone brings to the Center unique experience and expertise in the challenges and opportunities of urban and multicultural ministry and new church development as well the relationship of theology to popular culture. Visit Dr. Stone’s website!

Claire E. Wolfteich

Dr. Claire Wolfteich is Professor of Practical Theology and Spirituality Studies at Boston University School of Theology. Her teaching and research interests include Christian spirituality; religion and public life; theology and practice; theologies of vocation, work, and family; lay spirituality; spiritual autobiographies; and American Catholicism. She co-directs the Center for Practical Theology and is Project Director of the Creative Callings research grant project and innovation hub (www.creativecallingsproject.org), funded by the Lilly Endowment. Dr. Wolfteich is a past President of the International Academy of Practical Theology and of the Association of Practical Theology. She also is a past President of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality.

Her most recent book is Motherwork, Public Leadership, and Women’s Life Writing: Explorations in Spirituality Studies and Practical Theology (Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill Publishers, 2017), a monograph that explores mothering as spiritual practice through the life writing of women from the medieval mystic Margery Kempe to twentieth-century lay leaders Dorothy Day and Dolores Huerta. She also has designed and edited two volumes on Catholic scholarship and practical theology: Catholic Approaches in Practical Theology: International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Leuven, Belgium: Peeters Publishers, 2016), co-edited with Annemie Dillen, and Invitation to Practical Theology: Catholic Voices and Visions (Paulist Press, 2014). With colleague Bryan Stone, she wrote Sabbath in the City: Sustaining Urban Pastoral Excellence (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008), the fruit of a five-year grant project funded by the Lilly Endowment. In addition, she has authored several other books on spirituality: Lord, Have Mercy: Praying for Justice with Conviction and Humility (San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2006); Navigating New Terrain: Work and Women’s Spiritual Lives (Paulist Press, 2002), and American Catholics Through the Twentieth Century: Spirituality, Lay Experience, and Public Life (Crossroad Publishing Co., 2001).

Dr. Wolfteich serves on editorial boards for several scholarly journals, including International Journal of Practical TheologySpiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality; and The Way: A Review of Christian Spirituality, published by the British Jesuits. In addition, she is on the Editorial Board of the Theology in Practice Series (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Publishers). She enjoys integrating teaching and scholarship and connecting the academy with the lives of faith communities.

Staff

Rebekah Neuberger, Administrative Coordinator

Rebekah Neuberger began working for the Center for Practical Theology in 2023. She is an MDiv student focusing her studies on global and community engagement, as well as on the intersection of faith and ecological justice. Before coming to BU, Rebekah graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with a degree in English Literature. Rebekah is originally from Batavia, Illinois. In her spare time, she loves to read and write, watch films, crochet, and hang out outside.