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Union Presbyterian Seminary announces faculty appointments

Davis and Taneti begin appointments July 1

Union Presbyterian Seminary release

RICHMOND, VA — Upon the recommendation of the faculty and the president, the board of trustees of Union Presbyterian Seminary has appointed the Rev. Dr. Rebecca L. Davis as associate professor of Christian education, with tenure, at the Charlotte campus; and Dr. James E. Taneti as assistant professor of world Christianity at the Richmond campus. Taneti’s primary role will be as director of the Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center for Christian Education.

Davis comes to UPSem from her position as associate professor of religion and Christian education and director of the Christian education program at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. She has served in this position since 2010. Davis received the 2018 ENRICH Educator of the Year Award from the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE).

Davis is well known to the Charlotte campus, where she has served as a visiting associate professor of Christian education and as associate pastor for children and their families at Myers Park Presbyterian Church.

Her work in church and community is extensive. She has served as parish associate for Fountain Inn Presbyterian Church in Fountain Inn, South Carolina; associate general presbyter for congregational programming and leadership development, Peace River Presbytery; pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Monahans, Texas; associate pastor for education and general ministry, Central Presbyterian Church, Mobile, Alabama; and director of Christian education, Enslow Park Presbyterian Church, Huntington, West Virginia. She has served on the Committee on Justice for Children and their Families for the National Council of Churches in the USA and has worked as coordinator of the religious action division of the Children’s Defense Fund, Washington, D.C. She also has served as associate director of alumni affairs at Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Davis received her Bachelor of Arts in Classis, Philosophy and Religion at Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia. She received her Master of Arts in Christian Education, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Education from Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education (now Union Presbyterian Seminary).

“Dr. Rebecca Davis comes to us as one of the best recruiters for seminary admissions,” President Brian K. Blount said. “A dedicated, talented, and passionate teacher, I look forward to working with her as a cherished member of the Union Presbyterian Seminary faculty.”

Dr. Taneti comes to UPSem from his position as director of ministry and context/associate professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Taneti has also served as an adjunct professor at North Carolina Wesleyan College, Mount Olive University, and the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Virginia. Additionally, he has served as a visiting instructor at Mennonite Brethren College in India and as a junior lecturer at Serampore College, India.

Taneti received his Bachelor of Theology at Serampore College in India and Bachelor of Divinity and Masters of Theology at United Theological College, Bangalore, India. He received a Master of Theology from both Western Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in Church History from Union Presbyterian Seminary in 2012. He is an alumnus of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Allied Health Professions and part of the Yale-Edinburgh Group on the History of the Missionary Movement and World Christianity.

“Dr. James Taneti brings a wealth of international experience and strong global connections to his work as director of the Rhee Global Mission Center,” President Blount said. “I am excited about the partnerships he will establish with theological institutions around the world in this new role. With his help, UPSem will reclaim a strong ministry in the global mission of theological education.”

As director of the Syngman Rhee Global Mission Center for Christian Education,  Taneti will  have responsibilities in teaching and advising in the master’s level programs in Richmond and the Blended Learning Program’s Master of Arts in Christian Education program; developing and administering programming of the center; and strengthening the seminary’s existing global relationships in Ghana, South Korea, China, India, Central America, and Egypt, as well as building new relationships.

The center will recruit 10 students per year, particularly from developing countries, to pursue a global Master of Arts in Christian Education and live in Richmond Hall. It will also seek students who wish to study for a briefer time to do continuing education, work with faculty and use the library; and students who would visit with faculty to conduct research. Also, the Global Mission Center in Seoul, South Korea, will send students on a short-term basis to use the seminary’s resources.

Both appointments will begin on July 1, 2018.


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