Alumni News 2010-2011

Posted June 27, 2011

The Rev. Elyse Nelson Winger (MDiv'99) has been appointed the new University chaplain of Illinois Wesleyan University. “The IWU community will be well served by Chaplain Nelson Winger’s strong background and experience, as well as her proven commitment to diversity and social justice,” said Kathy Cavins-Tull, IWU vice president for student affairs and dean of students. 


Nelson Tebbe (PhD'06) is Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School. He writes about religious freedom and general constitutional law and theory. He is Chair of the Law and Religion Section of the American Association of Law Schools, co-organizer of the Brooklyn Legal Theory Colloquium and the Annual Law and Religion Roundtable. His most recent article, on the constitutional status of nonbelievers, will be published in the September 2011 issue of the Virginia Law Review.

Posted June 20, 2011


Rev. Dr. Matthew Myer Boulton (PHD'03) has been named the Christian Theological Seminary’s sixth president.  Boulton is relocating to Indianapolis from Cambridge, Massachusetts where he has served as Associate Professor of Ministry Studies at Harvard Divinity School (HDS) since 2007. He has taught a broad range of courses on Christian theology, preaching, and history, including courses that put social justice work in theological perspective. His teaching and research have explored the ways in which Christian life is shaped through worship and music.  

Philip Harrold (PHD'01), Associate Professor of Church History at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, has recently co-edited (with D. H. Williams) and published, The Great Tradition--A Great Labor: Studies in Ancient-Future Faith (Cascade Press, 2011). The volume includes essays by D. H. Williams, Tony Clark, Edith Humphrey, Simon Chan, D. Stephen Long, George Sumner, and Dominic Erdozain. While the focus is on contemporary Anglicanism, the wider search among evangelicals for "deep church" (C. S. Lewis) is described from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Joe Blosser (PHD'11) has been named Asst. Professor of Religion and Philosophy, and Director of Service-Learning at High Point University in High Point, NC.

Laura Desmond (PHD'11) teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY.

Cooper Harriss (PHD'11) will be Visiting Assistant Professor of Race and Religion at Virginia Tech, Dept. of Religion and Culture, in Blacksburg, VA.

Garry Sparks (PHD'11) will be Visiting Assistant Professor of the Humanities and Theology at Christ College, Valparaiso University, in Valparaiso, IN.

Sandra Sullivan-Dunbar (PHD'10) is Assistant Professor, Department of Theology, Loyola University Chicago.

Dov Weiss (PHD'11) will be Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Mark Franzen (MA'10) is the Program Coordinator for Lumen Christi Institute in Chicago.

Liv Gibbons (MDV'11) will be ordained July 17 at First Christian Church, Eugene, Oregon.   In August, she will become the Minister in Residence at Central Christian Church, Lexington, KY.

Julia Hogren (MA'11) will be an Editorial Assistant at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago.

Jennifer  Jaszewski(MA'11)will teach Secondary Math for Teach for America in Phoenix, Arizona.

Don Messner (MDV'11) will be Assistant Minister for Membership Development at First Unitarian Church of Rochester, NY.

Tristan Orozco(MDV'10)is Associate Minister atPlymouth Congregational Church (UCC) in Des Moines, IA.

George Sanchez (MA'11) will teach in the English Department of Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, IL.

Vijay Shah (MA'11) teaches Science at CICS Ralph Ellison High School in Chicago.

Andria Skornik (MDV'11) will be a CPE Chaplain Resident at Resurrection Healthcare CPE Residency in Chicago, IL.

Annette Thornburg (MDV'11) will be a Pastoral Resident at the Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, TX.


Posted May 20, 2011

Dr. Thomas F. Freeman (PhD'48) was honored on March 27 for sixty years of service as Pastor of Mt. Horem Baptist Church in Houston, Texas.  Dr. Freeman, the Distinguished Professor of Forensics at Texas Southern University, was also honored, in 2009, for sixty years of service to TSU, and especially commended for his work with their debate team.  TSU has established the Thomas F. Freeman Honors College, in his honor.

Anthony C. Yu (PhD'69) writes with news of Sueo Oshima (AM'65, PHD'70):  Oshima studied with all the major theologians of Swift Hall in the sixties and finished a dissertation on Karl Barth and Heidegger, with Professor Joseph Haroutunian.  When he wrote on the connection between the Swiss theologian who visited Chicago in 1962 and the German philosopher, most scholars here and abroad thought he was a bit crazy, but time has more than vindicated his approach.   During his teaching career of nearly four decades back in his home country, he published four books (a revised and translated version of his Div Sch dissertation, and monographic studies of Karl Barth, Paul Tillich, and Paul Ricoeur in Japanese).   In Japan, he is a celebrated authority on Barth and Tillich.


Posted May 5, 2011

The Rev. John M. Buchanan (BD'63) will receive an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from CTS and deliver the commencement address on May 14.

Kelly Hayes (PHD'04) turned her dissertation on Afro-Brazilian religious rituals into a documentary film, Slaves of the Saints.

Kurt Elling keeps it bittersweet on his new album, "The Gate".

Erin Bouman (MDV'09) was ordained at the Faith Lutheran Church (ECLA) in Homewood, Illinois, last November.  


Posted April 27, 2011

The Rev. Richard Lawrence (DB'62) was awarded the Purpose Prize in 2010 for applying his skills as an organizer to increase affordable housing options in Southern California and opportunities for citizen engagement nationally. As the volunteer co-chairman of the Affordable Housing Coalition the San Diego County, he helped to organize a broad-based alliance of labor, faith-based and community groups called ACCORD, or A Community Coalition Organized for Responsible Development. With ACCORD, Lawrence helped secure a $30 million agreement from real estate investment firm JMI Realty to create 136 units of housing for families earning between $18,000 and $36,000 per year. The units opened in 2009. Among Lawrence’s other successes, he protected San Diego area renters from arbitrary eviction from an SRO hotel and helped advocate for housing-related city ordinances, including one that requires that 10 percent of all new housing be affordable. Now Lawrence is focused on developing “community action think tanks” to engage diverse groups of citizens in exploring pressing issues, including housing and health care.

Grafton M. Thomas (DB'48) reports:  “Briefly, after a short and happy career in teaching and business, I enrolled at U.of C. for ministry, in 1945.  Now 95, my accomplishments beyond the usual:   Ahead of the times, I was the major founder of four Illinois civil rights organizations, removing northern Jim Crow, beginning in 1943 when M.L. King, Jr. was in 8th grade.  This included organizing a successful boycott of employers in 1959, in the southern-culture city of Alton, IL.,  James E. Ray's home, nearly causing a riot.  Lost my pastorate, but worth the fun!  In 1955, led movement to route a county crime syndicate and corrupt politicians in northern IL.  Published my bio: "Confessions of a Maverick Minister" four years ago.  Prof. Vic Obenhaus inspired me .... Am now a widower,  but much involved in two forum groups, each with sixteen educated retired men, I founded in 2000, so I enjoy a weekly discussion on many issues. Still active in walking and golf."  

Rev. Michael R. Swartzentruber (MDV'10) hasaccepted a call to First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Richmond, Kentucky , where he will serve as the Associate Minister.

Abby Zang Hoffman (MDV'06, AM'06 SSA) moved to the suburbs of Rochester, NY (Fairport) in September and now serves as Senior Pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church.


Posted April 20, 2011

Elizabeth Marquardt and Amy Ziettlow (both MDV '99) are each blogging at and on themes including families, death and dying, and spirituality. They welcome your comments.

Larry Rosser (THM'69, DMN'76) is serving as Executive Director of Kimoyo-Lamboya -- a Ghanaian NGO that was formed to respond to the invitation from the Chief and Elders of Lamboya Tribe in Ghana's Upper East Region to use their gift of 160 acres to build a West African Hospital & Medical School, K-12 school, conference center and guest house, microfinance administration and training center, Internet Cafe as well as agricultural/animal husbandry demo programs.

Mary Krawczyk (MDV'92, AM'92 SSA) is the Director of Family Services for Friendly House, an agency doing immigration, child welfare, counseling and education in Phoenix, AZ.   

Jim Bundy (DMN'69, AM'71, PHD'79) recently retired after 42 years in the ministry with the United Church of Christ, the last ten of which were at Sojourners U.C.C. in Charlottesville, VA.   In connection with his retirement, the church published a collection of his sermons from his time at Sojourners entitled Words Along the Way: Sermons for Sojourners (Charlottesville, Sojourners United Church of Christ, 2010). 


Posted March 28, 2011

A Disciples minister, G. E. Ryan Gilbert (MDV'08) had his sermon, "Son of a Zealous God," published in A Beautiful Thing: Sermons from the Inaugural Festival of Young Preachers, ed. Lee Huckleberry (Chalice Press, 2010).  He recently moderated the Transylvania Presbytery's Calvin Retreat and serves on a monthly preaching rotation for two area Presbyterian churches.  In his previous position, he served as the Associate Pastor for Youth at the First Presbyterian Church of Prestonsburg, Kentucky.

This May, Jill Raitt (AM'67, PHD'70) concludes a three-year term (2008-20011) as The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Endowed Chair in Catholic Thought at Fontbonne College in St. Louis, MO.  During the academic year 2011-2012, she will be a visiting professor in the Department of Theological Studies at St. Louis University. 


Posted March 18, 2011

William J. Hynes (AM'69, PHD'76) was inaugurated President of Holy Names University in Oakland, CA on March 16, 2011.


Posted March 9, 2011

Daniel Cooperrider (AB'07, MDV'10) has been called to the position of Pastoral Resident at Wellesley Congregational Church in Wellesley, MA., beginning in August, 2011.

Julian DeShazier (MDV'10) will be installed as pastor of University Church, Chicago IL, on April 10, 2011.

Amy Lignitz Harken (MDV'03) has accepted a call to become Pastor of Mattapoisett (Massachusetts) Congregational Church (UCC).  This move comes after five years' serving as Senior Minister at First Christian Church (DOC) in Independence, Mo.

Dan Kuckuck (MDV'10) has been selected for the pastoral residency program at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, IA.

Beau Underwood (MDV'10, MPP'10) has accepted a position with Faith In Public Life in Washington, DC ( to serve as the organization's Partnership and Outreach Coordinator.