Dear Meadville Lombard Community,
It is my hope that you and your loved ones are doing well. Today, I am writing to share some exciting news from Meadville Lombard.
After months of a rigorous search process, it fills me with joy to announce that we have hired our new Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies and Practical Theology and Chair of the Rev. Dr. Lee Barker Professorship of Leadership Studies. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Rev. Kathryn House, Ph.D.
Dr. House is a theological educator who hones students’ capabilities for critical engagement with diverse traditions and texts so that they might lead with a deep understanding of their contexts and communities and pursue their calls with creativity and courage. Dr. House's dedication to creating a vibrant and inclusive learning environment has made her a highly sought-after educator and mentor. She has served as an Instructor and Teaching Fellow at Boston University’s School of Theology. Following this she was a Visiting Assistant Professor and most recently the Project Director for the Myrtle Collaboration, the Innovation Hub of the Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose Initiative at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
In this appointment, she will be teaching and advising in all our degree programs that prepare students for ministry and public leadership. You can learn more about Dr. House on our website.
Last month, Dr. House opened our Spring Convocation, Immigration, Religion, and Pluralism, with her reflection and meditation.
Dr. Melissa Borja, an assistant professor in the Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Program at the University of Michigan, was the keynote speaker. She delivered a thought-provoking lecture, “Immigration, Religious Diversity, and the Limits of Pluralist Thinking.” This lecture was based on her recently published book, Follow the New Way: Hmong Refugee Resettlement Policy and Hmong Religious Change (2023, Harvard University Press). You can watch the lecture and Q&A below.
After a time to process her lecture in small groups, we were blessed with a worship service led by Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kūpono Kwong, who serves as the UUA's Ministerial Credentialing Director and a Program Leader for the UU College of Social Justice. Rev. Dr. Kwong shared deeply touching stories from his personal journey as an immigrant from the Philippines. Over 40 alums and friends of the school joined the Convocation online. We are delighted that we can offer these learning opportunities to the larger community members more easily now and engage with alums and supporters. Creating community is one of the joys of Meadville Lombard’s theological education and we look forward to continuing engaging with you.
My last word is one of deep gratitude. I would like to thank each and every one of you who contributed to our end-of-year fundraising campaign in December. I am happy to report that we raised $10,000 more than last year’s end-of-year campaign for a total of $87,374. Our alums turned out to support us in high numbers comprising 38% of donors to this campaign. Many of you have set up monthly gifts. Thank you for making it possible for us to continue our work of nurturing our students to embody the collaborative work of liberation in the world through faith-full leadership.
My door is always open. If you are interested in exploring ways in which you can partner with us or support us to amplify our work, I invite you to reach out to me via email email@example.com or phone (312) 212-0666.
Elías Ortega, President