The Rev. Dr. José Rodríguez has agreed to serve as director of the Multicultural Center and Ms. Kimberly Ferguson will serve as the part-time program coordinator for an 18-month term (Feb. 1, 2009-June 30, 2010) to further important recruitment and programmatic initiatives intended to expand the participation of communities of color at LSTC and in the ELCA. He will work collaboratively with leaders from African Descent, Arab-Middle Eastern, American Indian, Asian Pacific Islander, Alaskan Native, Caucasian, and Latino/a communities to promote a more diverse and culturally competent seminary and church. Prof. Rodríguez will continue to teach systematic theology courses.
The Multicultural Center is generously funded by a grant from the ELCA. The goals of the Multicultural Center include developing and strengthening lay schools of theology for African Americans, Latinos, Chinese, and Arabs in large cities in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa. It will encourage partnerships between LSTC and the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest, the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and the Lutheran Theological Center in Atlanta. The Center will strengthen the Latino doctor of ministry and Ph.D. programs at LSTC. It will assist with recruitment of students of color for all degree programs at LSTC and provide assistance, support and mentoring for them at the seminary.
The Rev. Dr. José Davíd Rodríguez holds the Augustana Heritage Chair of Global Mission and World Christianity and is professor of systematic theology. He served congregations and taught at the Seminario Evangelico de Puerto Rico and the Comunidad Teologica de Mexico, and was an adjunct faculty member at Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Ill., and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Lombard, Ill., prior to joining the LSTC faculty in 1985. He directed LSTC's graduate studies programs from 2004 -2007. For a full biography, visit http://www.lstc.edu/people/faculty/index.php?action=viewFaculty&id=22
Ms. Ferguson is a lifelong Lutheran who has held various positions at LSTC for the last eight years. She worked in fund raising, recruitment and program coordination for several non-profit organizations before joining LSTC's staff. Her contacts in the African American community and her commitment to cross-cultural understanding are assets in her new role as program coordinator for LSTC's Multicultural Center.
Kathleen D. "Kadi" Billman
Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs
Director of Communication and Marketing
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.