Celebrating Alumna of the Year, Debra J. Mumford

Celebrating Alumna of the Year, Debra J. Mumford

From the Fall 2019 edition of Skylight

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Our 2019 Alumna of the Year, Rev. Dr. Debra J. Mumford (PhD, ’07) says the GTU’s interreligious educational approach and environment helped shape not only her approach to teaching but the way she engages others. “My time at the GTU helped me learn to think critically about the Bible, my faith, and the world in general,” she notes. “The GTU also opened up my ability to see God or goodness in many other traditions, and to listen more closely to my sisters and brothers of other faiths.”

Since 2007, Dr. Mumford has taught at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where she is the Frank H. Caldwell Professor of Homiletics. For the past five years, Mumford has also served as director of the Money Matters for Ministry program at Louisville, a Lilly-funded effort that seeks to help seminary students, pastors, and congregations learn to manage their money more wisely and effectively. She is the author of two books, the newly released Envisioning the Reign of God: Preaching for Tomorrow (Judson Press, October 2019) and Exploring Prosperity Preaching: Biblical Health, Wealth, and Wisdom (Judson, 2012), as well as dozens of journal articles and book chapters.

In addition to her PhD in Homiletics, Dr. Mumford earned a Master of Arts in Biblical Languages from the GTU, as well as a Master of Divinity from American Baptist Seminary of the West, a GTU member school. She is an ordained pastor of the American Baptist Churches USA, with clergy recognition by the Alliance of Baptists.

Dr. Uriah Kim, Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the GTU, celebrated Mumford’s selection. “In her scholarship, teaching, ministry, and service, Dr. Debra Mumford has amply demonstrated the new model for theological educators of the twenty-first century. The work of contemporary religious educators not only must be characterized by rigorous and passionate action, but also must be infused with an entrepreneurial spirit and an interreligious sensibility. Debra embodies all these qualities so central to the GTU, and we are proud to name her alumna of the year.”

Dr. Mumford describes her time at the GTU as “transformative,” helping her think critically about how faith can impact the world and empower others. She brings that same emphasis to her own work with students and congregations. “I take every opportunity to teach others to challenge the status quo and transgress any boundaries that seek to oppress or marginalize. The GTU helped me find my prophetic voice. In turn, I try to help others find their prophetic voices for preaching in particular and ministry in general.”

Join the GTU as we honor Dr. Debra Mumford at the GTU Alumni Reception at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion / Society for Biblical Literature in San Diego, CA, on Saturday, November 23, 2019.