Third Thursday Conversations with Brite Faculty

Join us the third Thursday of each month for a series of virtual conversations with Brite faculty. These faculty-led discussions will focus on a variety of topics relating to ministry in the midst of changing and challenging times. Registration is required, but there is no cost to participate.


Lament as Ministry: How Groaning and Crying Out in the Spirit Breaks Through Loss and Misery to Hope with Rev. Dr. Stephen V. Sprinkle, Professor of Practical Theology, and Director of Field Education and Supervised Ministry

How does a community respond in ritual and in prayer to violence or disaster? What words do we say? What practices of ministry can break through the numbness of a society overwhelmed with grief and anguish? Could anything be more needful during this very time of frustration and anxiety?

Nurturing Resiliency in Self and Community with Rev. Dr. Joretta Marshall, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care and Counseling

Nurturing resiliency in times of resistance, chaos, anxiety, and cultural trauma is essential. People who are experiencing weariness, tiredness, and spiritual/mental/physical exhaustion can be helped by practices that touch features of resiliency in our individual and communal lives. This webinar be interactive. 


Preaching in the Midst of Crisis with Rev. Dr. Lance Pape, Granville and Erline Walker Associate Professor of Homiletics and Director of Disciples Formation

This is a cultural moment marked by pervasive disorientation, anxiety, uncertainty, polarization, and isolation. What is the task of preaching in the midst of such a crisis? What is the cost of homiletical “business as usual”? How do we resource sermons that dare more than the typical “homiletical punt on third down”? This conversation will engage the Psalms as a model for the kind of linguistic and theological audacity the moment demands.



Where is God and What is God Doing During the Pandemic? with Rev. Dr. Natalya Cherry, Assistant Professor in Methodist Studies and Theology

Are you wondering where God is in the midst of the pandemic? Have you pondered in a panic what God could possibly be up to? Some are happy to offer answers in the form of pious platitudes and certainties (perhaps you have seen the acrostic of COVID that circulated in social media and elsewhere early in the pandemic: “Christ Over Viruses and Infectious Diseases”). In this conversation, instead, we will welcome your own related questions and draw aid for discernment from both the witness of sages of ages past and the helpful wonderings of wise people of God in the present day. Divine action and divine agency are more than academic subjects – they matter in believers’ everyday lives, especially when those lives are threatened on global scale.



“The Possibility of Prevailing: Blackness and Whiteness in a Climate of Vulnerability” with Rev. Dr. Tomi Oredein, Assistant Professor in Black Religious Traditions, Constructive Theology and Ethics

What are the possibilities of life for Black people in the United States today? For racial minorities, the present moment is steeped in intense uncertainty and precariousness. For persons of African descent the moment is made more injurious by the toxic racial climate perpetuated and supported by systems of whiteness within society and the theologies of white Christian churches. What is a viable response to the pursuit of wellness from within Black communities? More importantly, what is the white church’s responsibility towards undoing the benefits of whiteness they receive and responding practically and adequately to the mortal and present dangers minoritized communities are facing? Through concentrated conversation we will talk honestly about Black responses to the present day as well as work to address and determine the shape of useful action from white people and their church communities.



 “Genesis 1: Creatio Ex Nihilo, Imago Dei, and Implications for Ecological Ethics” with Dr. Timothy J. Sandoval, Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible

Gen. 1:26 is famous for its claim that humans are created in the divine image—the imago dei. But it is infamous as one of the “historical roots” of our present ecological crisis—the scriptural warrant for human domination of the rest of creation.  We will revisit this verse, the distinct ways the idea of imago dei have been interpreted, and consider some of the implications of these understandings for ecological ethics. But before doing so we will start at the “beginning,” and with the help of ancient West Asian and Egyptian mythological cosmologies, we will query as to whether the Bible’s very first verses can serve as evidence for the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo, the idea that God created the universe from nothing. And whether it does, or does not, we will ask what difference it might make when it comes to ecological ethics.