Homiletics Professor Debra J. Mumford named Academic Dean at Louisville Seminary

She’s authored books on envisioning God’s reign and ‘prosperity preaching’

by Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary | Special to Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Dr. Debra J. Mumford

LOUISVILLE — The Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Debra J. Mumford as the seminary’s Academic Dean.

According to an LPTS news release, Mumford joined Louisville Seminary’s faculty in 2006 and serves as the Frank H. Caldwell Professor of Homiletics and Director of the Money Matters for Ministry program. For the past two years she has also served as Assistant Dean of Academic Initiatives. Mumford will begin her service as Dean on July 1.

“From the first moment I walked onto the Louisville Seminary campus in 2006, I realized ours was a very special community,” she said. “More than 14 years later, I am more convinced than ever that the unique ways we interweave our commitments to anti-racism, critical theological thinking, and inter-religious dialogue into everything we do sets us apart in theological education. I am excited about our future and know that because of the gifts and talents of amazing faculty, staff, students, administrators, and members of our Board of Trustees we will meet the many challenges that stand before us.”

Mumford is an ordained minister in American Baptist Churches USA and an affiliate minister with the Alliance of Baptists. She majored in mechanical engineering at Howard University and worked in engineering before answering her call to ministry. Mumford served as a youth pastor, associate minister, and church administrator in several congregations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her scholarly interests include African American prophetic preaching, prosperity preaching, eschatology and the reign of God, and preaching and health.

In 2019, Mumford published her latest book, “Envisioning the Reign of God: Preaching for Tomorrow” (Judson Press). In her book, Mumford takes the Christian study of “last things” (eschatology) and makes it practical for pastors and church leaders today. Her other publications include “Exploring Prosperity Preaching: Biblical Health, Wealth, & Wisdom” (Judson Press); “Slave Prosperity Gospel” for Homiletic; “The Gospel of Prosperity: Jesus, Capitalism and Hope” in Homiletical Theology: Theologies of the Gospel in Context; and several others.

Outside of Louisville Seminary, Mumford serves on the Board of the Louisville Youth Group, a grassroots organization that provides resources and a safe space for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning young people ages 14 to 20.

Mumford earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Howard University, her Master of Divinity degree from American Baptist Seminary of the West, and her Master of Arts degree and doctorate from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Dean Mumford and for our work together,” said the Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard, III, president of Louisville Seminary. “We are blessed that she will provide decanal leadership at LPTS.”

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