Stalcup School of Theology for the Laity

stalcupThe Stalcup School of Theology for the Laity is open to all who want to continue learning and growing through biblical study, exploration of contemporary issues from a faith perspective, interfaith dialogue, and critical thinking about the basis of Christian understanding of God, humanity, and the world.  Top scholars with a heart for the church bring their expertise and passion for sharing that knowledge with people engaged in ministry and those who simply want to learn.

Seminars are typically held on Saturdays and participants may attend an individual event or sign up for the whole series.

The School is made possible by the generosity of SSTL’s former Dean, Joe Stalcup, and his wife, Nancy Vaughn Stalcup, and the gifts of others who share their commitment to theological education.

2019-2020 SEMINARS

Executing God?: Atonement Through Anti-Violent Eyes
Thirteenth Schubert M. Ogden Seminar on Systematic Theology
Saturday, March 14, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. CANCELLED
Northway Christian Church, Dallas
Sharon Putt, Professor of Theology and Religion, Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, PA

What kind of vengeful, violent God can only be satisfied by the vicarious blood sacrifice of an innocent man and still be considered just? Does God require some sort of transactional pay back in order to forgive sin? Does this notion compromise authentic forgiveness? We will traverse the pages of the Bible and Christian doctrine to help us re-think notions of divine justice and forgiveness and to find answers to those questions. Our exploration will motivate us to re-think the traditionally held doctrines of atonement such as penal substitution and satisfaction theories and suggest a theory more in line with a God of love and forgiveness.

Sharon Putt is Professor of Theology and Religion at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, PA. She earned a PhD in Religious Studies from Southern Methodist University and is the author of Razing Hell, Executing God, and the forthcoming Constructing a Theology of Non-Violence: Systematically Confessing the Apostles’ Creed. She works in the area of divine non-violence, atonement, and interfaith theologies.

Multiple Meanings: Why the Bible Means Different Things to Different People
Fourteenth Fred B. Craddock Seminar on the Gospels
Saturday, April 4, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.- CANCELLED
Rush Creek Christian Church, Arlington
Mark Allan Powell, Professor of New Testament, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH

Having taught in Africa, Russia, Estonia, Latin America, and the United States, professor Mark Allan Powell will share with us the different ways that well-known Bible stories are understood in those countries and will reflect on what this tells us about how we understand the Bible. You will learn some new things about familiar stories — and we will reflect together on how and why the Bible as “a living Word” is able to speak differently to people in different contexts. We will be touching upon matters that demand rigorous intellectual engagement, but we will do so with a popular focus. Why has the Good Samaritan parable been popular in country music? Was the prodigal son an undocumented immigrant? Who decided that the biblical magi should be called the “three wise men”? Who made them “kings”—and why? Dr. Powell will relate story after story of novel biblical interpretations that are intended to be intriguing and memorable—but, ultimately, to raise important unresolved issues for continued use of these texts as scripture.

Mark Allan Powell is Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary and an internationally known biblical scholar. He is editor of the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary and author of more than 30 books on the Bible and religion, including the widely used textbook, Introducing the New Testament. He has also written in the areas of spiritual formation (Loving Jesus), stewardship (Giving To God), and homiletics (What Do They Hear?: Bridging the Gap between Pulpit and Pew). Powell’s DVDs How Lutherans Understand the Bible have received widespread use throughout the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and were excerpted for inclusion in the Lutheran Study Bible.

Aging Well – Or Not – In Fiction and Faith
Fourteenth Fay and Alfred Grosse Seminar on Religion and the Literary Arts
Saturday, April 25, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.- CANCELLED
Northway Christian Church, Dallas
Lee Ramsey, Marlon and Sheila Foster Professor of Pastoral Theology and Homiletics, Memphis Theological Seminary, Memphis, TN

This seminar explores aging and faith through the window of contemporary fiction. Novels and short stories open vistas for us upon the many ways that aging impacts faith and belief, and the literary artist helps us consider the challenging questions: What does it mean to “age well” or not? Is aging a fertile ground for maturation in faith, or is it a threat to spiritual meaning and purpose? The biblical tradition extols the wisdom and virtue of “the elders.” In the North American culture obsessed with aging, or rather the cult of youth, are the aging in contemporary fiction mentors of spiritual wisdom, courageous voyagers into the unknown territory of death, faithless victims of senility, plucky activists who inspire the young for common cause, recalcitrant traditionalists, or worn-out believers whose hope flickers dimly while awaiting whatever comes next? What are the stories that fiction tells about religious faith, in general, and Christian faithfulness, in particular, as we advance in chronological years?

Lee Ramsey is the Marlon and Sheila Foster Professor of Pastoral Theology and Homiletics at Memphis Theological Seminary, where he has been teaching since 1998. He holds an MDiv from Candler School of Theology at Emory University and a PhD in Religion from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Ramsey is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and serves as the pastor of Elm Grove United Methodist Church in Covington, TN. His teaching and research interests include the relationship between pastoral care and preaching, pastoral care in times of grief and loss, and the use of fiction and film to explore Christian faith and the practices of Christian ministry. Dr. Ramsey is the author of Preachers and Misfits, Prophets and Thieves: The Minister in Southern Fiction and Care-full Preaching: From Sermon to Caring Community. Dr. Ramsey is married with two adult children, and in his free time he enjoys gardening, birdwatching, fly fishing, and sitting on the porch and reading a good novel while accompanied by his yellow Labrador, Annie.


The Borderlands as a Political and Religious Reality
Thirteenth Jean and Parker Wilson Seminar
Saturday, September 7, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Northway Christian Church, Dallas
Francisco Lozada, Charles Fischer Catholic Associate Professor of New Testament and Latina/o Church Studies, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX
Irasema Coronado, Kruszewski Family Endowed Professor of Political Science, University of Texas, El Paso, TX

The borderlands seminar offers the opportunity to confront conventional interpretations of Christianity, cross-border cooperation, environmental issues, and the social movement of people and the response by civil society, especially religious organizations, to ameliorate human suffering. This seminar discusses the historical antecedents of how the U.S.- Mexico border evolved, including the original inhabitants of the region, the making of the Spanish Borderlands, the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and the creation of the political boundary that is now the border. An overview of the program put in place in World War II to address the labor shortage in the U.S. lays the foundation for understanding the current economic, social, cultural, and political situation. A discussion of globalization and its impact on the U.S.-Mexico border and the subsequent Maquiladora program will shed light on the interdependent nature of the two countries’ economies. The day concludes by considering the implications of borderlands on our understanding of Christianity.

Francisco Lozada, Jr., Charles Fischer Catholic Associate Professor of New Testament and Latina/o Church Studies at Brite Divinity School where he also directs both the Latina/o Church Studies Program and the Borderlands Institute. He holds a doctorate in New Testament and Early Christianity from Vanderbilt University. He is former co-chair of the Johannine Literature Section, Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), past president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States, and co-chair of the Latino/a and Latin American Biblical Interpretation Consultation (SBL). His most recent publications include: Toward a Latino/a Biblical Interpretation (Resources for the Biblical Study 91) and Latino/a Biblical Hermeneutics: Problematic, Objectives, and Strategies (Co-edited with Fernando F. Segovia).

Irasema Coronado is the Kruszewski Family Endowed Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at El Paso where she has also served as associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and associate provost. She received her undergraduate degrees from the University of South Florida and an MA in Latin American Studies and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Arizona. Dr. Coronado has served on the Environmental Protection Agency Good Neighbor Environmental Board, the National Advisory Committee for the U.S. EPA, and the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation in North America. Currently, she serves on the EPA’s National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology and the Department of Human Health Services’ National Advisory Environmental Health Sciences Council. Hispanic Business Magazine named her one of the Top 100 Influential Hispanics in the US. She is co-author of Fronteras No Mas: Toward Social Justice at the U.S.-Mexico Border and Políticas: Latina Public Officials in Texas. She co-edited Digame! Policy and Politics on the Texas Border and Juntos Pero No Revueltos: Estudios sobre la frontera Texas-Chihuahua.

Human and Divine Love and the Making of the Self: A Feminist Approach
Saturday, September 28, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Northway Christian Church, Dallas
Natalia Marandiuc, Assistant Professor of Christian Theology, Perkins School of Theology, Dallas, TX

Love is at the core of the Christian theological narrative, both as an assurance of God’s enormous love for humanity and as a call for human beings to love God and people. Yet underneath the commandment to love other human beings as one’s own self, which rightly channels human desire, lies an equally powerful need to receive such love. Recent research in the neuroscience of attachment theory shows that love attachments are indispensable for the formation and sustenance of human personhood. This seminar will explore how the human self may be conceptualized, what the relation between the experience of love and the human self looks like, and how human and divine love interweave in human attachments. We will consider Christ’s incarnation as a pattern for the union of human and divine loves. We will also ponder how human differences, including gender, sexuality, race, and economic status impact the claim that the self emerges from relations of love.

Natalia Marandiuc is a constructive theologian whose research relates systematic theology to cultural, social, and feminist theory. Her first book, The Goodness of Home: Human and Divine Love and the Making of the Self won the Aldersgate Prize in 2018. She is currently working on a second book tentatively titled Love and Human Thriving: Existentialist Soteriology as Fulfillment. She received her BS in economics in 1997 from Barry University. Yale University awarded her an MA and MPh in 2009, an MA in Religion in 2004, and her PhD in 2013. Born and raised in Romania, Marandiuc is bicultural and multilingual. She is currently a professor of Christian theology at Perkins School of Theology, SMU, and teaches courses on diverse topics in systematic and feminist theology.

Cultivating Trauma-Informed Faith Communities for Trauma-Responsive Care
Seventh Betty Jo Hay Seminar on Religion and Mental Health
Saturday, October 19, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Northway Christian Church, Dallas
Trina Armstrong, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology and Chair of Pastoral Care and Director of Clinical Training, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL

One study reveals that at least two thirds of adults have had at least one traumatic experience of childhood abuse, neglect, household dysfunction, violence, victimization, and or community violence. For many these experiences contribute to health outcomes over the lifecycle. While traumatic experience is not new, Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) invites us to broaden our views and responses to trauma from something that only happens to marginalized and victimized populations, to an experience that is unfortunately extremely common and shared between care seekers and care givers. In becoming aware of the magnitude of suffering in our families, communities and congregations we can move towards a more humane and collective response. Through TIC, faith communities can be places of hope and healing for trauma survivors when we practice the kind of spiritual life together that intentionally builds positive, caring, compassionate, and loving relationships.

Trina Armstrong is Assistant Professor at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. She provides safe spaces for caregivers and care seekers to engage in authentic relationships for life-giving and transforming encounters. Her philosophy of pastoral care, drawn from diverse caregiving experiences and commitment to womanist theology and student-centered learning, is the foundation of her approach to teaching pastoral care and pastoral theology. Dr. Armstrong received her BS from Golden Gate University, an MA from California Southern University, an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary, and her PhD from Claremont School of Theology. She encourages students to explore their values and beliefs about suffering, healing, and wholeness to cultivate life-giving relationships. She is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

What/How Do I Love When I Love My God?: Love as a Re-Invention of Life
Saturday, November 9, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Northway Christian Church, Dallas
Namsoon Kang, Ph.D, Professor of Theology and Religion, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX

Love is a profound measure of human life, and a person’s philosophy of love permeates one’s philosophy of life. St. Augustine asks a profound question: What do I love when I love my God? Love is life itself, as Plato reminds us, and what one loves and how one loves are the measure of oneself. Love in various forms is as old as humankind. However, love has never been as socio-politically, philosophically, and theologically decisive as it is today. As people have lost their belief in traditional values such as religion, the revolution, or the nation state, love has become the only thing everyone still holds on to, regardless who/what one is. In this context, the world is currently going through a revolution of love, Luc Ferry argues, and love becomes significant sources of the creative human power, and of the meaning of life. In this seminar, we will explore philosophical and theological approaches to love as discourse and practice.

Namsoon Kang, PhD is professor of Theology and Religion at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University since 2006, and taught previously at the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, UK and Methodist Theological University, South Korea. Her most recent books include Religion and Gender, On Forgiveness, Diasporic Feminist Theology, and Cosmopolitan Theology. Teaching and writing from transdisciplinary spaces, her scholarly interests are in discourses of deconstruction, postmodernism, postcolonialism, feminism, and cosmopolitanism. An acclaimed speaker who lectures throughout the world, she served as president of World Conference of Associations of Theological Institutions, 2008-2015. She received the Louise Clark Britten Endowed Faculty Excellence Award twice by vote of the Class of 2009 and of 2012, the Catherine Saylor Hill Award of Faculty Excellence by vote of faculty in 2013, and the Award for Distinguished Achievement as a Creative Teacher and Scholar in 2014, 2016, and 2019 at Brite Divinity School.

Reading Acts with a Map
Saturday, January 11, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth
Rubén Dupertuis, Associate Professor and Chair, Religion Department and Co-Director, Humanities Collective, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX

While the journey is central in both Luke and Acts, the theme is developed differently in the two books. In Luke, the journey from Galilee to Jerusalem becomes a frame on which to hang Jesus’ teaching. In the Acts, however, the journey takes the form of a series of adventures in which the reader follows the expansion of the movement. Here, the characters and their carefully plotted and represented geographical movements become means of relating the passing of the message from the provincial outskirts to the center of the Greco-Roman world. In this seminar we explore the somewhat deliberate and selective geographical scope of Acts, such as why stops at Philippi, Athens and Ephesus and not other cities? We’ll also pay attention to how the author engages conventions and patterns readers in the early Roman Empire would have expected to encounter. And finally, how do we as 21st century Christian readers engage ancient narratives that reflect assumptions and popular cultures far removed from our own.

Rubén R. Dupertuis is Associate Professor of Religion and Chair of the Religion Department at Trinity University. He is the author of essays and articles on education in the ancient world as well as on the Acts of the Apostles, ancient narrative, and Greek classical traditions. He is co-editor of Reading Acts in the Second Century and most recently, Reading and Teaching Ancient Fiction. He is a passionate advocate for the importance of the humanities and humanities education and currently serves as co-director of Trinity University’s new Humanities Collective. As an avid cyclist, he thinks the world would be a better place if more people rode bikes.

The Holy Spirit We Never Knew
Thirteenth Jean and Patrick Henry Seminar
Saturday, February 1, 9:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth
Jack Levison, W. J. A. Power Professor of Old Testament Interpretation and Biblical Hebrew, Perkins School of Theology, Dallas, TX

Seventeen words into the Bible, the Spirit hovers over a murky chaos. One hundred and thirteen words from the end of the Bible, the Spirit invites everyone who is thirsty to drink for free. At the start and finish the Spirit is there, bringing order to chaos and satisfaction to people with parched throats. Throughout, the Spirit is active, yet we know so little about the Spirit of God. With our Bibles at hand, we will explore the unknown but not unknowable world of the Spirit, searching out how the Spirit hovers, fills, rushes, clothes, rests, and is poured out upon people. Through the Old and New Testaments, you will learn to expect the unexpected of the Spirit, to prepare for the unprecedented, and, just as important, to discover the unlikely presence of the Spirit where you may least expect it—in the grit and grime of everyday life.

Jack Levison has been featured in the Huffington Post and on,, and, and his writings appeal to a wide popular audience. Eugene Peterson, author of The Message, considered him “the most competent scholar and clearest writer on the Holy Spirit that I have known.” Jack is also an internationally acclaimed scholar; with a BA from Wheaton College, an MA from Cambridge University, where he was a Scholar of Christ’s College and winner of the Fitzpatrick Prize for Theology, and a PhD from Duke University. Jack now holds the W. J. A. Power Chair of Old Testament Interpretation and Biblical Hebrew at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. He is the author of many books, both popular and scholarly. Jack lives in Dallas, with an office down the hall from his wife of thirty-seven years, Priscilla Pope-Levison, who is an associate dean at Perkins School of Theology.

Spiritual Roots of Contemporary Differences in Religion and Politics
Thirteenth W. A. Welsh Seminar
Saturday, February 29, 9:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Northway Christian Church, Dallas
Newell Williams, President and Professor of Modern and American Church History, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX

American Christians are divided on issues of gender, sexuality, health care, immigration, and the environment. Could differences in spirituality be a factor? This seminar will examine the historic development of different types of spirituality among contemporary American Protestants. The influence of 18th century figures including Jonathan Edwards and John Wesley, 19th century forms of evangelism, the impact of the Social Gospel Movement and other developments in the American experience will be examined. For the purposes of this seminar, spirituality is defined as an individual’s or group’s understanding and practice of relationship with God. Special attention will be given to tensions in the spirituality of Mainstream Protestants and implications of these tensions for the contemporary witness of these churches.

Newell Williams is President and Professor of Modern and American Church History at Brite Divinity School. Before assuming his present positions, he taught Church History at Christian Theological Seminary, where he also served as Vice-President and Dean. Previously he had been both Assistant Professor of Church History and Assistant/Associate Dean at Brite. Williams earned degrees from the University of Tulsa (BA) and Vanderbilt University (MA; PhD). He is the author of Barton W. Stone: A Spiritual Biography and Ministry Among Disciples: Past, Present and Future and the editor of A Case Study of Mainstream Protestantism: the Disciples’ Relation to American Culture, 1880-1989 and a co-editor of The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement and The Stone-Campbell Movement: A Global History. He served as Moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is currently chair of the General Commission on Ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the immediate past president of the Association of Disciples for Theological Discussion.

Eilene Theilig | 817.257.7582
Director of Lay and Continuing Education