Steering Committee

Tracy Hartman (Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond) Chair

Since 2001, Tracy has served as the Daniel O. Aleshire Professor of Homiletics and Practical Theology at BTSR. She teaches preaching and directs the seminary’s Supervised Ministry and Doctor of Ministry programs.  She is the author of Letting the Other Speak: Proclaiming the Stories of Biblical Women and co-author of New Proclamation Commentary.  She also contributed to the Feasting on the Word and Feasting on the Gospels commentary series. Her forthcoming book will help congregations think theologically about risk and change. Dr. Hartman served as preacher and preaching instructor for the First Annual Pastor’s Conference and as preacher and lecturer for the First Annual Lay Women’s Conference at Baptist Theological Seminary at Zimbabwe.  She is active in Baptist life and has served as staff member and interim pastor to several Virginia churches. She enjoys preaching throughout the region. Professor Hartman was a member of the first class of M. Div. students at BTSR and won the Miller Award for Academic Achievement upon her graduation in 1995. Her Ph.D. work at Union Theological Seminary included ground-breaking research into the relationship between parish setting and preaching style for women pastors.

Barbara Sutton (St John’s School of Theology and Seminary) Vice-Chair

For the past ten years, Barbara’s primarily responsibilities have been to direct Field Education and Ministerial Formation at Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville, MN. However, this is sandwiched with other teaching and administrative responsibilities.  She teaches Pastoral Theology courses in Ministry through the Lifecycle, Parish Administration, Ministry on the Margin, Leadership and Community, and Teaching Sacraments.  She is director of the Economic Challenges Facing Church Ministers program for the School of Theology where she works on issues of financial literacy, just wages for lay ecclesial ministers, spirituality of money and stewardship, and financial transparency for parishes.  She also directs the curriculum project for The Saint John’s Bible Seeing the Word project. She served as editor of the Seeing the Word reflection guides, published the facilitators manual, Seeing the Word, and edited three volumes of Illuminating Ministry journal.  By invitation, Barbara will serve as the first Resident Scholar for the Benedictine Center, St. Paul, MN where she will explore the artistic processes involved in the ministry of  community building and leadership.   In 2016, she was awarded a grant to develop the Word and Image project and exhibit that provided Roman Catholic lay ecclesial ministers an opportunity to artistically create collages and poetry which later became part of a traveling national exhibit.    She serves as a consultant to the Diocese of Saint Cloud and assists parishes with planning and formation.   Previous to this she worked in diocesan ministry in West Virginia and pastoral leadership in Florida.  Barbara holds a Doctor of Ministry from Saint Thomas University, St. Paul, MN and a MA in Theology, Barry University, FL and MA in Pastoral Ministry, Saint Thomas University, Miami, FL.

Lee Beach (McMaster Divinity College) Secretary

Lee is the Associate Professor of Christian Ministry, the Garbutt F. Smith Chair in Ministry Formation and the Director of Ministry Formation at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario where he teaches courses on the church in culture, pastoral ministry and Christian spirituality. Prior to coming to MDC Lee pastored for 18 years with the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada serving churches in Peterborough, Cobourg and Scarborough, Ontario. He is currently involved in a new church initiative in Ancaster, Ontario where he lives with his wife Joanne. Lee Received his BRE from Canadian Bible College, his MDiv from Tyndale Seminary and his PhD from McMaster Divinity College. Lee and Joanne have two adult children. He is the author of the book, The Church in Exile: Living in Hope after Christendom (IVP).

John Senior (Wake Forest University School of Divinity) Treasurer

John directs the School of Divinity’s Art of Ministry program, which includes its field education curriculum. His research and teaching focus on pastoral formation for ministry, field-based learning, ministry leadership in both ecclesial and public settings, and the role of theological education in preparing leaders for a wide variety of institutional contexts. Trained in Christian ethics and the sociology of religion, Senior is also interested in political theology and ethics and earth-centered approaches to ministry and the moral life. He is currently working on a book project on structural evil. Senior is an ordained Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Jenny Whitcher (Iliff School of Theology) Communications Director

Dr. Jenny Whitcher is the faculty Director of the Office of Professional Formation and Term Assistant Professor of Religion & Public Life. As an interdisciplinary public scholar committed to social justice and human rights, Whitcher bridges fields of religious, theological, and civic studies within local, national, and international contexts. Her community-engaged teaching and research focus areas include: professional, public, personal, and spiritual formation; religion and public life; democratic culture, leadership, and pedagogy; community organizing; and social change theory and practice. Whitcher is currently a Member in Discernment with the Metro Denver Association of the United Church of Christ. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Denver & Iliff School of Theology, her M.A. from the University of Denver, and B.A. from New York University. Full bio.

Barbara Blodgett (Lexington Theological Seminary) Member-at-Large 

Barbara Blodgett is a professor of pastoral leadership at Lexington Theological Seminary.  She is a minister, educator, and ethicist.  Ordained in the United Church of Christ, she has served in parish ministry as well as the national setting of the UCC.  She received an MDiv from Yale Divinity School and a PhD from the Department of Religious Studies (Ethics) at Yale University.  Her areas of research include pedagogy, pastoral and professional formation, and ministry ethics.  She served as Director of Supervised Ministries at Yale Divinity School from 1998-2009 and currently the chairs ATFE’s Research and Publications committee.  She has published three books– Constructing the Erotic: Sexual Ethics and Adolescent Girls, Lives Entrusted: An Ethic of Trust for Ministry, and Becoming the Pastor You Hope to Be: Four Practices for Improving Ministry—and co-edited one with Matt Floding—Brimming With God: Reflecting Theologically on Cases in Ministry.

Allison St. Louis (Virginia Theological Seminary) Member-at-large

Allison St. Louis joined the faculty of Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) in 2010.  She serves as Director of Field Education and the Second Three Years Program and teaches in the area of Practical Theology.  A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she holds Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Science, and Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude) degrees in Clinical Psychology from Howard University and a Master of Divinity (cum laude) degree from Virginia Theological Seminary.  She was ordained a priest in 2001 by the Rt. Rev. Jane Holmes Dixon. Dr. St. Louis has served on the Board of Directors for the College of Bishops, the Pastoral Services Advisory Committee at Hartford Hospital, the Diocese of Connecticut’s Commission on Ministry, the Diocesan Review Committee in the Diocese of Washington, the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, the Diocese of Washington’s Task Force on Racial Reconciliation and the staff of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation’s Preaching Excellence Program.  She currently serves as a Spiritual Director and as a member of the Steering Committee for the Association for Theological Education (ATFE).  Her cross-cultural experience includes studies in Mexico, Tanzania, Kenya, Israel and the Dominican Republic. Prior to serving as Canon Vicar at Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford, Connecticut (2005-2010), Dr. St. Louis served at the Church of Our Saviour in Silver Spring, Maryland as Associate Rector (2003-2004) and as Assistant to the Rector (2000-2003).

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