LSTC student Lydia Hernández-Marcial receives Forum for Theological Exploration doctoral fellowship April 19, 2017

The Rev. Lydia Hernández-Marcial, a doctor of philosophy student at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), has received a doctoral fellowship from the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE). The fellowship is for Latino/a, Asian and First Nations full-time doctoral students who are at the dissertation stage of their studies. Hernández-Marcial is one of only six scholars to receive this award in 2017.

Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs Esther Menn, who is also Hernández-Marcial’s advisor at LSTC, said, “We are thrilled at the good news that Lydia has received an FTE doctoral fellowship. This prestigious award recognizes the innovative quality of her research and highlights her potential as a teacher and scholar. In addition to financial support, the FTE program will offer Lydia an invaluable support network through orientation and mentoring.”

Hernández-Marcial’s doctorate will be in biblical studies. She is specializing in Hebrew Bible, particularly Wisdom Literature. Her dissertation will focus on the book of Ecclesiastes. “I feel drawn to parts of the Hebrew Bible that are not studied in a church context,” Hernández-Marcial said. “There are several voices in the Bible that question tradition. It is important to hear those voices, as well. I am interested in opening spaces for the study of the Bible from the perspective of voices that are silent in the dominant culture. I read the Bible as a Puerto Rican and a Latina.”

As an FTE Doctoral Fellow, Hernandez-Marcial will have access to a mentor who is a senior scholar in Hebrew Bible. She will also take part if the Christian Leadership Forum Doctoral Fellowship Cohort which brings together 24 new and former FTE Fellows, first- and second-year students who are in the early part of their academic careers, for development and support. They meet with 16 tenured faculty of color, attend workshops that give advice about finishing their dissertations and academic publishing.

Even while she is working on her dissertation, Hernández-Marcial is publishing articles and teaching. Two of her essays will appear in a commentary on the lectionary and another will be included in a book honoring Mexican scholar Elsa Tamez. Hernández-Marcial has taught at Seminario Evangelico de Puerto Rico and has been invited to teach as a visiting scholar at Austin Presbyterian Seminary in spring 2018.

Hernández-Marcial holds degrees from the University of Puerto Rico, Seminario Evangelico de Puerto Rico, Union Theological Seminary and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.


Katie Croft Lubeck
Advanced Studies Program Coordinator; International Student Administrator

Jan Boden
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.

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