March 2024 issue

March 21, 2024

Dear Friends of ULS:

As we approach Holy Week, there is much to celebrate at ULS. Preaching with Power, our annual forum on Black preaching and theology sponsored by the Urban Theological Institute, was a tremendous success. With five sermons and one lecture on the Philadelphia campus and at neighboring churches, Preaching with Power is celebrating its 42nd year of presenting distinguished African American preachers and theologians. Highlights can be found on our Facebook page.

The annual Nolde Human Rights lecture on March 18 featured New York Times best-selling author Anthony Ray Hinton, who spent nearly 30 years on Alabama's death row as a victim of wrongful conviction before being exonerated in 2015. Mr. Hinton’s lecture was a powerful and moving testament to his remarkable spirit and resilience.

I hope you can join us in Gettysburg for the annual Alumni Luncheon on April 23 and Convocation/Alumni Happy Hour on April 24. Our main speaker at 1:00PM on April 24 is New York Times best-selling author, Kate Bowler. More information and a registration link are noted below.

Lastly, I am pleased to announce that Presiding ELCA Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton will preach at Commencement Eucharist at 11:00AM on May 18at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lancaster, PA. The Rev. Dr. Phyllis B. Anderson, former president of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, will deliver the Commencement address at 2:00PM. Both will receive an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. ULS is privileged to honor these two distinguished women leaders, who both broke new ground in our church. Commencement will be videotaped this year and available within 48 hours on our YouTube channel.

In Christ,

Rev. R. Guy Erwin, Ph.D.



April 24, Gettysburg campus, Valentine Hall
The theme of this year’s Spring Convocation is “Theodicy," a theological concept that attempts to justify God in the face of evil. It is also defined as the defense of God's goodness and omnipotence in the face of evil. This is all good in theory, but when people we love are suffering through no fault of their own, how do we reconcile this pain with the existence of a loving Creator? Speakers include Dr. Natalia Marandiuc, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Kate Bowler, Ph.D., author of seven books including Good Enough, The Lives We Actually Have, and Have a Beautiful, Terrible Day! There will also be a TULSAA Alumni & ULS Community Hour from 5:30 – 7:30 on April 24. Read more and register here for both. Registration deadline is April 21.

On April 23, there will be an Alumni Luncheon at 12:30PM at Dobbin House Tavern in Gettysburg. Registration deadline is April 16.Alumni can register for the Luncheon here.



Dr. Quintin Robertson, Director of the Urban Theological Institute, Black Church Studies Program and Administrative Faculty in Praxis, has been nominated for induction into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. The ceremony will take place on April 11, 2024 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel on the campus of Morehouse.

Dr. Teresa Smallwood, The James Franklin Kelly and Hope Eyster Kelly Associate Professor of Public Theology, was named to the Nominating Committee of the Society for Christian Ethics. She also received an invitation to serve on the AAR Task Force - Valuing and Evaluating Public Scholarship in Religion. Dr. Smallwood has accepted both appointments.

Dr. Reed Carlson, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies and Director of Anglican Studies, will depart ULS at the end of June to join the faculty at the School of Theology of the University of the South, in Sewanee, TN. His title will be assistant professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible. Britta Meiers Carlson, who is Interim Director of Graduate Studies at ULS, will also teach there. Please join us in wishing Reed and Britta the very best.

As part of his responsibilities as the St. John's Summit Visiting Professor at ULS, Dr. Nelson Rivera (pictured here with Pastor Blake Scalet) spent the first weekend in March with the pastor and congregation of St. John's Lutheran Church in Summit, NJ, where he attended a reception, preached in two services, and led an adult forum on Lutheran Identity & Commitments in an Ecumenical Context.