May 23, 2018


Louisville Institute postdoctoral fellow will teach at MTSO

Kyle Eugene Brooks begins two-year fellowship in August

MTSO will welcome Kyle Eugene Brooks to teach homiletics and African and African Diaspora studies through a two-year Louisville Institute postdoctoral fellowship beginning in the fall of 2018. The Louisville Institute, a Lilly Endowment-funded program supporting those who lead and study North American religious institutions, chose Brooks for the award. The institute will provide compensation, insurance, and housing and moving benefits.

Brooks is completing his Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University, with a concentration in homiletics and liturgics, along with a minor concentration in practical theology. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School and a Master of Arts in Urban Education Studies from Yale University, where he also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in molecular, cellular and developmental biology.

In 2012, Brooks won Yale Divinity’s Jess H. and Hugo A. Norenberg Prize, awarded for excellence in preaching and leading corporate worship. At Vanderbilt, he taught the course Black Religious Leaders from the Civil Rights Era to the Present in January of this year, and Preaching and Public Proclamation during the spring semester.

Louisville Institute Executive Director Edwin Aponte approached MTSO Interim Academic Dean Valerie Bridgeman at the 2017 meetings of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature about the possibility of MTSO hosting a postdoctoral fellow. The two worked together to make it happen.

“We’re fortunate that Dr. Bridgeman’s work in theological education and the relationships she nurtures have positioned us to bring such a promising scholar to our campus,” said MTSO President Jay Rundell. “We’re happy to work with the Louisville Institute and excited to have Kyle Brooks on our faculty.”

Bridgeman, who also serves as associate professor of homiletics and Hebrew Bible at MTSO, called Brooks “a wonderful person.” She first met him at a gathering in 2012. “He’s a great scholar, he’s a great thinker, and he’s an amazing poet.”

“I certainly don’t think I would be here without the intentional insight of Dr. Bridgeman,” Brooks said during a visit to campus in April. “She made it clear to me some time ago that ‘we would love to see you here.’ I’m excited to have the privilege of stepping into roles here that she has filled.”

Said Bridgeman, “I’m looking forward to being part of his institutional development into the guild. We have two years of him shaping us and us shaping him.”

Methodist Theological School in Ohio provides theological education and leadership in pursuit of a just, sustainable and generative 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.

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Danny Russell, communications director, 740-362-3322