The Right Reverend J. Neil Alexander, Th.D.

Professor of Liturgy, and the Quintard Professor of Theology

I am often asked to describe Sewanee’s distinctive liturgical tradition. One church historian, not a Sewanee insider, has referred to it as “Sewanee High Church.” What he means is that we are totally devoted to the American prayer book tradition and the best of Anglican church music. We are not low church as that is usually understood, but neither are we Anglo-Catholics with reference to what that generally implies. Reginald Fuller once called Sewanee “pre-Tractarian catholics in the prayer book tradition.” Bishop Judson Child, a Sewanee alum and our 19th University chancellor, often spoke of Sewanee as the place where he learned “catholic liturgy and evangelical preaching; it’s where I learned to be an Anglican.” We care about these things now as much as ever. The Book of Common Prayer and The Hymnal 1982 are the heart of our life in worship and devotion, ever present in our classrooms for theological study, and the standard to which we hold ourselves in nearly every way imaginable.

The Reverend William F. Brosend II, Ph. D.

Professor of New Testament

Critical study of the New Testament is foundational to all we do in seminary and in ministry. In the words of the Prayer Book collect, we must not only "hear" the words of Scripture, but "read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them." I approach the task primarily through historical, literary, and socio-rhetorical methods, always mindful that our study, while rewarding for its own sake, is preparing us to teach and preach in ways that inspire others to engage Scripture more deeply.

Cynthia S. Crysdale, Ph.D.

Professor of Christian Ethics and Theology

I have always enjoyed seeking out the deeper patterns in life. These include the meaning of life and how we live in tune with God the all-powerful creator, the one who reverses sin and death, and the one whose spirit enlivens all we do. I see the task of theology as a kind of gardening—digging and thinking hard about the big God questions while also connecting the dots amongst ideas in a way that will spark the imagination of the ordinary person—and create beauty. I love teaching seminarians because they come with so many different life experiences and gifts. I enjoy making them think hard, use their imaginations, and connect the dots. Currently, I am just thrilled to be learning about the wonders of the emergence of life in my study of evolution, and making sense of it in light of a robust theology of God.

The Reverend Julia Gatta, Ph.D.

Bishop Frank A. Juhan Professor of Pastoral Theology

Through my teaching of pastoral theology and courses in Christian spirituality, I hope to prepare future priests to exercise their distinct vocation in the church as prayerful, discerning, and able pastors. I believe that the classical tradition of the “cure of souls” offers deep roots to support a pastoral ministry exercised with theological integrity and practical wisdom. After 25 years in parish ministry, I am convinced that the grace of Christ surrounds all sorts of pastoral situations and serves as an ever-fresh source of strength, insight, and joy. I have explored these themes in my book, "The Nearness of God: Parish Ministry as Spiritual Practice," and I have recently published "Life in Christ: Practicing Christian Spirituality" for use in programs of adult education.

Paul A. Holloway, Ph.D.

University Professor of Classics and Ancient Christianity

I am a cultural historian trained in the study of ancient religion with special interests in Jewish and Christian origins. I am also a philologist interested in the close reading of ancient texts. I teach in both the undergraduate college and the seminary. In the seminary, I teach electives on such topics as the Dead Sea Scrolls, Judaism in the time of Jesus, early Jewish apocalpyticism and mysticism, the apostle Paul and his interpreters, the rise of Christian beliefs, and Christians in the Roman Empire. Students able to read Greek often register for my courses in the Classics Department or gather in my seminary office to read and discuss some ancient Jewish or Christian document.

The Reverend Benjamin John King, Ph.D.

Professor of Christian History, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of the Advanced Degrees Program

I am first of all a lover of history, but also a lover of Christian theology, and the areas where both come into conjunction are those to which I am drawn. My area of expertise is John Henry Newman and the Oxford Movement. I am committed to the need to tell the truth about the Christian past, especially as that relates to race, and am an enthusiastic member of the working group of the University's Roberson Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation.

The Reverend Robert MacSwain, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Theology

A philosophical theologian by training, I teach the introductory course in Christian doctrine and electives in both theology and ethics. My courses all wrestle with the question of how an infinite God became a finite human, and the implications of this incarnation for contemporary Christian belief and practice. I am particularly interested in how literature, art, and music can help us grasp these issues imaginatively as well as rationally.

Kenneth Miller, D.M.A

Assistant Professor of Church Music and Organist and Choirmaster of the Chapel of the Apostles

Growing up Lutheran, which for me meant singing chorales in the living room, I experienced music as, in Martin Luther's phrase, "theology's handmaid." For Christians, music is not simply a liturgical decoration, but an integral part of our identity; the Prayer Book and the Hymnal are inseparable partners. Here at Sewanee, I hope to build on a tradition of strong music-making by helping clergy and lay leaders develop discerning ears and willing voices, both through classroom teaching and daily chapel services.

The Reverend David Stark, Th.D.

Assistant Professor in Homiletics

Through teaching preaching in core and elective courses, I focus on preaching and scriptural interpretation, preaching as testimony, articulating the gospel as a word of hope and justice, and preaching that shapes a scriptural/theological imagination. My interests include preaching the Old Testament, the history and present of women preaching, African American preaching, preaching with(in) the liturgy, and preaching as resistance and counter movement.

Romulus D. Stefanut, Ph.D.

Director, School of Theology Library; Assistant Professor of Theological Bibliography

By training I am a literary historian of Early Christianity and Hellenistic Judaism, with some forays in patristics and philosophical theology. I came to the field of theological librarianship while serving in various library positions prior to and during my Ph.D. studies at the University of Chicago. I have noticed that as libraries become more and more interconnected in providing electronic access to their collections, their particular strength will only be matched by the quality of their reference and instruction services. This idea is what motivated me to embark into a professional librarian journey. Helping students, faculty, and the surrounding library community to enhance their reading, research, and writing is not only personally rewarding, but worth pursuing professionally.

The Right Reverend James Tengatenga, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor of Global Anglicanism

I am an African Anglican and a post-colonialist theologian. There was never a time in my life when I was not multilingual, multicultural, and ecumenical. This is the reality of the Worldwide Anglican Communion and indeed the Church catholic. Educated in Africa, the U.S.A., and the U.K., it has been a privilege to experience the councils of the church at work and to participate in them. It is this experience as priest and bishop in the church of God, ecumenist, chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, academic and civil society activist that I bring to bear in the teaching of Anglicanism and Missiology. With the help of relevant bibliography, I facilitate for the students an appreciation of and a critical engagement with a church that is “formed by Scripture, shaped through worship, ordered for communion and directed by God’s mission.” I come at this task with a passion to share this knowledge, as a fellow pilgrim, with those who feel called to participate in God’s mission.

Andrew R. H. Thompson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics, Director of Alternative Clergy Training at Sewanee (ACTS), Director of Sewanee Ministry Collaborative

I never really set out to do environmental ethics. But in today’s world, where environmental harms magnify social imbalances, anyone concerned with the moral life must focus on reconciling human relationships with the natural world as well as with one another. My work in environmental ethics examines the ways cultural and social imaginations interact with environmental crises and seeks resources for shaping more constructive imaginations, drawing in particular on the work of ethicist H. Richard Niebuhr. I am especially eager to explore the implications of these ideas for the Church’s ministry, and can imagine no better place to do so than in the midst of Sewanee’s abundant natural gifts.

The Very Reverend James F. Turrell, Ph.D.

Vice Provost and Dean, Norma and Olan Mills Prof of Divinity, Professor of Liturgy

I am passionate about the study of religious practices in the past and about preparing clergy to lead effective worship in the present and future. The historical perspective helps us to understand what we are doing and to resist the merely trendy, instead pointing us towards the things that endure, translated for an evolving culture. I am both a historian and a priest, and both of these vocations inform my work as a scholar and teacher. My interest in dead Britons of the Tudor and Stuart era coexists with my enthusiasm for good liturgy done well in the present, in the service of God and God’s people.

The Reverend Rebecca Abts Wright, Ph.D.

C.K. Benedict Professor of Old Testament

I am an ordained United Methodist minister who loves to teach. My teaching style not only helps students understand the Old Testament in its historical context, but also how it is relevant to the church today.