MTSO Interim Academic Dean Valerie Bridgeman and two colleagues in theological education have received a $7,500 grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion to fund a Peer Mentoring Cluster program. The other recipients are Boston University School of Theology Associate Dean Pamela Lightsey and Brite Divinity School Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible Wil Gafney, who will be leading MTSO’s Schooler Institute on Preaching Feb. 5 and 6.
“The Peer Mentoring Clusters program supports faculty of color who are former participants in Wabash Center programming and want to gather a small group for further networking and vocational growth,” wrote Bridgeman, Gafney and Lightsey in their grant application. “Minoritized faculty of color face particular challenges and pressures, and can benefit from networks of peer-to-peer mentoring. Peer mentoring conversations can surface ways to meet the demands of mid-career teaching and administrative jobs, and can provide faculty of color with strategies to not only discern challenges and pressures, but to navigate them as well.”
“When Dr. Gafney approached me about joining the cohort, we talked about what insights Pamela, she and I could bring to each other's activism and scholarship,” said Bridgeman, who also serves as associate professor of homiletics and Hebrew Bible at MTSO. “All of us have been very involved in justice work as we teach and write, so it is a good fit for conversation partners. We've all known of one another’s work, and I think we each have our separation personal relationships with one another, but to focus on our work, and our rest, together, is a gift that the Wabash Center's grant has given us and others who get these grants. We've had our first meeting. I'm looking forward to the summer one and subsequent gathering.”
Methodist Theological School in Ohio provides theological education and leadership in pursuit of a just and sustainable world. In addition to the Master of Divinity degree, the school offers master’s degrees in counseling, theological studies and practical theology, along with a Doctor of Ministry degree.
Danny Russell, communications director