Pamela Lightsey

Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, Associate Professor of Constructive Theology
Ph.D., Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
M.Div., Gammon Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center
B.S., Columbus State University

“I believe humanity is interconnected. This means, I have a responsibility to the world to agitate for justice; I also have a responsibility not to lose my love for the human soul and human dignity in the midst of that work.”

The Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey joined MLTS in January 2018. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Lightsey served as Associate Dean of Community Life and Lifelong Learning, Clinical Assistant Professor of Contextual Theology and Practice at the Boston University School of Theology.

Dr. Lightsey brings a special mix of life experience and professional proficiency to the position. Following service in the US Army and work as a civil servant, she received her academic and theological training at Columbus State University (BS), Gammon Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center (M.Div.) and Garrett-Evangelical Theological School (PhD). After ordination, she served first as a United Methodist congregational pastor and then as a theological school educator, scholar, and administrator. She continues to serve as UMC clergy — most recently as Interim Site Pastor at Urban Village Church - Hyde Park. Throughout her vocational life, she has been a leading social justice activist, working with local, national and international organizations focusing primarily on the causes of peacemaking, racial justice and LGBTQ rights. She currently serves as a member of Mayor Lori Lightfoot's LGBTQ Advisory Council for the city of Chicago.

Dr. Lightsey’s publications include the book, Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology (Wipf and Stock), Transforming Service: Reflections of Student Service Professionals in Theological Education (Pickwick Publications), and "He Is Black and We are Queer" in Albert Cleage Jr and the Black Madonna and Child (New York: Palgrave Macmillan).

Dr. Lightsey was drawn to Meadville Lombard for many reasons. First and foremost is her work with UU students and ministers over the years — both as an educator and as an activist. Further, as we grow, she sees the need for a new level of administrative practices to serve students and is eager for the work. She is also attracted to the culture of innovation that exists here; our commitment to contextual theological education, our intention to further internationalize our school; our ongoing work for diversity, inclusion, and the dismantling of white supremacy; and of course, the foundational theological values that we hold.