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News from the Hill March 16, 2012 | back to index

Vanderbilt ‘Extern’ Rev. Gerald Liu to Join Andover Newton Faculty for 2012-2013 Academic Year

Rev. Gerald Liu

The Dean of the Faculty is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Gerald Liu, who will serve Andover Newton during the 2012-2013 academic year as Instructor in Worship and Acting Director of Community Worship. Rev. Liu brings outstanding credentials to the position. He has taught Worship and Preaching courses since 2004 in varied settings, including teaching Masters-level students at Vanderbilt Divinity School and the Candler School of Theology (at Emory University), and undergraduate teaching at Trevecca Nazarene University. In 2008-2009, he served as Worship Coordinator at Vanderbilt Divinity School.

Rev. Liu’s research interests center upon the theological aesthetics of sound. A classically- and jazz-trained guitarist with a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Washington University in Saint Louis, MO (magna cum laude), Rev. Liu will defend a dissertation at Vanderbilt Divinity School entitled “Music and the Possibility of Perceiving God” this summer. Rev. Liu brings a national and global perspective to Andover Newton. He hails from Mississippi and is of Taiwanese Chinese American heritage. He has also traveled extensively abroad. As an ordained Elder in the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church, Rev. Liu served churches in Great Britain from 2005-2007. In 2008, he traveled to Uganda to study African hip-hop and co-produced a compilation of Ugandan hip-hop music with Grammy-nominated ethnomusicologist Gregory Barz. Rev. Liu is the youngest of three brothers, one other of which attended the BU School of Theology. He is currently training for an ironman triathlon and looks forward to more time to play guitar after he completes his Ph.D.

Rev. Liu joins the Andover Newton Faculty through the Lilly Endowment-funded Vanderbilt Divinity School Externship Program, which supports scholars as they transition from doctoral work to seminary teaching ministries. He will live on campus and teach two courses, including an introductory worship class in the fall, and an advanced seminar on experimental worship in the spring. He will have an office in Worcester Hall and will participate in faculty governance.

Dean of the Faculty Sarah Drummond writes, “From the faculty members who met with Gerald during his visit, to the students who spent time with him, to his professors and colleagues at Vanderbilt, all express a consistent impression that this is a truly gifted person and good human being. Beyond his instruction and leadership on campus, his outstanding accomplishments and humble manner will make him a tremendous role model for students.” Rev. Liu will relocate to Newton during the summer.

Current Visiting Professor of Worship and Preaching and Director of Wilson Chapel, Prof. Mary Luti, will continue in her role as Visiting Professor next year, teaching courses in worship and early Christian History. She will step back from her role in community worship after this academic year after four years of visionary leadership following the opening of Wilson Chapel.