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RICHMOND, Virginia – The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union University (STVU) will launch its Center for Faith, Leadership, and Public Life with a public lecture by the Reverend Michael-Ray Mathews, a leader in the multi-faith movement for justice and director of clergy organizing for Faith in Action, the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States, with over 1,000 religious congregations in more than 150 cities and towns across the nation. The lecture is scheduled for Thursday, October 18, 2018, at 6:30 pm in the Allix B. James Chapel at Coburn Hall on the university campus, and is free and open to the public.
The Center for Faith, Leadership, and Public Life is dedicated to developing globally minded and faithful civic leaders committed to community well-being, healthy congregations, social justice, and environmental sustainability. The Center collaborates with community and university partners in advancing a broad and inclusive ethic of freedom and justice for all of God’s creation.
“The establishment of this center is vitally important for STVU, particularly at this time in our nation’s life,” says Dr. Corey D. B. Walker, Vice President of Virginia Union University and Dean of STVU. “With our contentious public discourse, we need spaces that support the development of civic-minded and engaged faith leaders who can offer informed perspectives on important public issues and concerns.”
The new center will be directed by Dr. Faith B. Harris, a professor of theology at STVU. Dr. Harris teaches and conducts research in the areas of systematic theology and ethics with special interests in environmental and womanist theologies. An ordained Baptist minister, Dr. Harris is active in a number of civic organizations and currently serves as chair of Virginia Interfaith Power & Light.
“We are in the midst of a deep struggle in our public discourse on issues of justice and equity for a sustainable world,” says Dr. Harris. “Our public dialogue needs the voices of faith leaders who understand the complexities of the issues that confront our society and are committed to offering thoughtful responses informed by the rich resources of our faith traditions.”
Located in historic Kingsley Hall on the campus of Virginia Union University, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology (STVU) is a leader in graduate theological education. Named after the late Samuel DeWitt Proctor (1921-1997), distinguished pastor, scholar, educator, and civic leader, STVU is grounded in the rich traditions of African and African American religious life and culture. STVU offers signature graduate theological programs taught by one of the leading faculties in the field. STVU students come from diverse personal and professional backgrounds but share a common quest—to uniquely and authentically answer their call to Christian ministry. Learn more at www.vuu.edu/theology.