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VDS student’s field education, guided by VDS alumna, provided much-needed pastoral care at local domestic violence shelter

Jun. 16, 2022—Camille Kammer (MDiv ’22) was one of the few VDS students whose field education at the YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee was completed in-person during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Her work providing pastoral care to women fleeing domestic violence served the largest domestic violence shelter in the region and was guided by Erika Callaway Kleiner (MDiv ’02).

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Scholars of economic justice from varied disciplines expand on Wendland-Cook Program’s mission in Academic Fellows Forum

Mar. 29, 2022—For the first time in its history, the Wendland-Cook Program in Religion and Justice has accepted three scholars into its year-long fellowship program, which focuses on matters relating to the intersections of religion, economic justice, class and labor, and environmental justice. The previous cohort in 2020 had a single fellow. During his fellowship, Jeremy Posadas,...

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Lament is not about helplessness or hopelessness

Mar. 11, 2022—Lament is not about helplessness or hopelessness. When done in community, we name that which is causing us to be tempted by despair with as much precision as possible and then begin to take steps to address—if not eradicate—that which keeps us from a more just world.

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Divinity students bring unique experience with grief rituals during an era of extraordinary death

Feb. 7, 2022—Meg Wade, a second-year MDiv student, brings her passion for helping those in mourning process their grief as a “grief doula,” while George Schmidt, a second-year PhD student in theological studies, brings his experience as an military chaplain that was present at hundreds of burial ceremonies to assist next of kin at the Arlington National Cemetery. Both highlight contrasts as well as similarities in the way society ritualizes grief.

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Public theology fellow leaves legacy of community building and support

Dec. 20, 2021—The Rev. Teresa L. Smallwood, who helped launch Vanderbilt’s Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative as associate director in 2017, is moving to Pennsylvania’s United Lutheran Seminary in January. Over Smallwood’s four years at Vanderbilt Divinity School, the Collaborative has hosted nearly 30 workshops and more than 20 fellows and scholars to advance racial justice...

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Favorite Nashville Spots

Jul. 28, 2021—Are you moving to Nashville for divinity school? Coming to visit to see if you’d like to join us at Vanderbilt Divinity? We put together a list of favorite Nashville spots recommended by VDS students and alumni. You want it? Nashville’s got it. This is not an exhaustive list – just a place to get you...

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Charge to the Class of 2021

May. 17, 2021—Delivered by Vanderbilt Divinity School dean, emilie m. townes on May 16, 2021 whether we are talking calendar year or academic year, this has been some year we have lived and it’s good to see so many of you in the flesh rather than in zoom boxes those boxes had their advantages…and disadvantages but i...

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2020 Charge to the Graduates

May. 2, 2021—Delivered by Emilie M. Towes on May 2, 2021 You are the only graduating class to get two charges from the dean. I’m not sure if this will help or hurt but here we are. In this unusual moment, let me begin by reminding you that last year I began by quoting Thomas Paine and...

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This is the first step not the conclusion

Apr. 20, 2021—A reflection from our dean, Emilie M. Townes Guilty on all three counts. These three counts can be—and hopefully will—be positive steps to not only police reform but to our very broken criminal justice system where the scales of justice are not blind but often tilted against the poor, people of color, women, queer, trans,...

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the power of words to harm and heal

Apr. 2, 2021—Emilie M. Townes Spring Faculty Assembly Presentation Delivered 1 April 2021 download a PDF of this presentation with its original formatting.   perhaps you are familiar with this childhood chant: sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me i remember my teachers, grandmother, parents, aunts, and other mothers teaching it...

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