You are here

Welcome Lorena M. Parrish
New Director of Ministry Studies and Assistant Professor of Theology & Practice

(NEWTON CENTRE, Mass., April 22, 2015) -- On behalf of the Andover Newton Trustees and Faculty, Dean Sarah B. Drummond is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Lorena M. Parrish as Director of Ministry Studies and Assistant Professor of Theology and Practice. After a rigorous process of discernment and visioning, national search, and campus-wide consultation, Dr. Parrish emerged as the candidate the Andover Newton community believed best suited to lead the School in deeply rooted, radically open directions in ministerial leadership studies.

Currently, Dr. Parrish leads doctoral seminars and advises doctoral students at New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Jersey. She is a member of the adjunct faculty, teaching Womanist Theology, at Union Theological Seminary. Dr. Parrish is ordained in the American Baptist Churches, USA, and earned her PhD in Systematic Theology at Union. Her specialization in Womanist Studies places her at the intersection of theology and practice in her scholarship and teaching. In her first career, Dr. Parrish worked in publishing and marketing after having earned a BA in Media Communications (cum laude) at New York University.

During her studies toward a joint MDiv at Union and MSW at Columbia University, Parrish experienced first-hand the capacity of field education to transform the ministry education experience. As a student minister at New York City’s Riverside Church, she expanded the church’s outreach to the wider community and drew national attention for her ministry to underserved girls within that congregation. Her success working with young women helped lead to her later work with Girls Incorporated of New York City. Since that time, Dr. Parrish has served three additional congregations, widely varied in their missions and populations. Her experience for a role such as Director of Ministry studies is unparalleled.

As Director of Ministry Studies, Dr. Parrish will direct the Field Education and Doctor of Ministry Programs. Next year, she will partner with Associate in Field Education the Rev. Dr. Susan Suchocki-Brown in teaching field education supervision. In the spring, Dr. Parrish will also offer a course on Womanist Theology and Practice, which will be relevant to all ministers who care about the intersection of theology and ministry to those at the margins. Dr. Parrish will work with the faculty to envision new directions for theological education outside Andover Newton’s traditional degree-program courses, expanding access to Andover Newton’s world-class faculty to new audiences.

Dean Drummond writes: "From the first conversation I had with Dr. Parrish, I felt a strong sense of connection. She brings to Andover Newton the heart of a pastor, the relational skills of a counselor, and the mind of a scholar. She also has the chops of an entrepreneur, which is an area essential to ministry studies at this moment in Andover Newton’s history.”

New Brunswick Theological Seminary Dean, and Andover Newton Trustee and Alumnus, Willard Ashley writes, “[Dr. Parrish’s] work is known to me as both a colleague and friend. She is an excellent choice.”

Upon hearing word of her appointment’s affirmation by the Andover Newton Trustees on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, Dr. Parrish wrote,

I am honored to have been asked to join the faculty of Andover Newton Theological School and truly delighted to accept the offer. I’m excited about being part of a scholastically rigorous and practically engaged academic community that is passionate about preparing and empowering practitioner-scholars for Christian Ministry in the 21st century. I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and students to weave tapestries of new possibilities and fashion ministry that is responsive to the needs of those in a religiously plural, cultural diverse, ever shifting world.

Dr. Parrish will begin her role on Aug. 10, 2015. She succeeds the Rev. Dr. Jeff Jones, who will retire after serving in many capacities at Andover Newton, most recently as Director of Ministry Studies and Associate Professor of Ministerial Leadership. The School will honor Prof. Jones’ service at a campus-wide event on Thursday, April 30, at 4:30 p.m. in the Wilson Chapel lobby.

Visiting for the first time? Please introduce your self here | Enrolled Student or alum? Please check the Community Login above and enter your given credentials.