Elaine A. Heath, a theologian and preacher who will become dean of Duke Divinity School on July 1, will deliver the Albright-Deering lecture at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary at 4 p.m., Thursday, May 19. She also will speak during the 11:30 a.m. chapel service that day. Both events are free and open to the public.
Currently a professor of evangelism at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology, Heath has titled her lecture What Would Wesley Do? Reclaiming Apostolic Vision in the United Methodist Church. Using the backdrop of Methodism beginning as a lay monastic movement, she will explore what it could happen if Methodists reclaim the apostolic, monastic vision of Wesley, but live it in the 21st century?
“Elaine Heath is a leading scholar of emergence, the process by which religious faith finds new life outside familiar institutional forms,” said Richard H. Brodhead, Duke’s president, in announcing her selection as dean of the the Divinity School. He also noted that Heath has “reached out to establish new communities with people marginalized in many ways.”
Heath is the co-founder and leader of the Missional Wisdom Foundation, which aims to help clergy and laity develop missional communities through on-site learning and theological education. As an ordained United Methodist elder, she served as a pastor in the East Ohio Conference and was a professor and director of the doctor of ministry program at Ashland Theological Seminary before joining the SMU faculty in 2005.
She is also the author of several books, including Missional. Monastic. Mainline. A Guide to Starting Missional Micro-Communities in Historically Mainline Traditions.
“Leaders across the Christian spectrum have turned to her for guidance in reshaping the mission and ministry of churches in their local settings,” said Randy Maddox, Duke Divinity’s professor of Wesleyan and Methodist studies, who chaired the search committee.
The Albright-Deering Lecture Series in Methodist Studies was established at PTS in 1999 through individual contributions and a generous gift from Joseph and Gail Deering of Dayton, Ohio, to celebrate Joseph's career accomplishments and to honor their former pastor, the late Rev. Dr. H. Pat Albright. The lectureship is intended to bring outstanding scholars in the Wesleyan tradition to the PTS campus.
Get details on the lecture and related events and register at pts.edu/AD-2016.