On June 29, the Rev. Dr. Linda E. Thomas, professor of theology and anthropology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, received the Daughter of Thunder Trailblazer Award from the Chicago Chapter of the National Consortium of Black Women in Ministry.
In presenting the award, Vanessa Lovelace, of the Chicago Chapter of NCBWIM said, "Dr. Thomas is . . .considered a "public intellectual" or "activist scholar.". . .one who is intentional about using her intellect to work, study, reflect, and speculate on or ask questions in the public sphere. . .(she) works to make her scholarship accessible and relevant to the average person. She does this when she is teaching, speaking, and preaching in the academy, in lecture halls, and in the church, including her home church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago where she is the Theologian-in-Residence."
The award salutes Thomas' "pioneering and trailblazing ministry accomplishments over the years. . .paving the way for other women in ministry to have opportunities to share the gifts that our God has endowed them with. . .you have been on the forefront in the academy, church, and community - remaining steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord knowing that your labor is not in vain."
Linda E. Thomas joined the LSTC faculty in 2000. Her work is rooted in a Womanist perspective. Thomas earned a master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and a Ph.D. in cultural and social anthropology from the American University, Washington, D.C. Thomas has taught in the areas of anthropology and religion, world cultures and spiritual formation at Iliff School of Theology, Denver University, Wesley Theological Seminary and Garrett Theological Seminary. At Garrett, Thomas directed the Center of the Church and the Black Experience. She has done extensive research in the area of theology and community in South Africa, Peru, Cuba and Russia.
Thomas is the author of Under the Canopy: Ritual Process and Spiritual Resilience in South Africa, and the editor of Living Stones in the Household of God: The Legacy and Future of Black Theology. In 2005, she and Dr. Dwight N. Hopkins organized and led the groundbreaking conference "Black Theology and Womanist Theology in Dialogue: Which Way Forward for the Church and the Academy?" which brought together leading theologians and clergy.
The National Consortium of Black Women in Ministry was founded in February 2005 by the Rev. Carla Howlett and other female ministers to meet the unique needs of black women in ministry. By cultivating communities of black women in ministry across the United States, NCBWIM supports and draws on the resources of those women to work together on issues affecting the well-being of black women. For more information about the Chicago Chapter, NCBWIM, Inc., please contact the Rev. Rosemarie Green, Chicago Chapter Director.
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The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.