Forum for Theological Exploration Welcomes Largest Class of Doctoral Fellows in its History

The Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) is pleased to announce its 2018 class of Doctoral Fellows. This is FTE’s largest class to date and is being celebrated in conjunction with the organization’s 50th anniversary of supporting rising scholars of color through fellowships.

This year, 30 students of color across 17 institutions were selected to receive fellowships to support their PhD or ThD program in religion, theological studies or biblical studies. Students in this class will either receive the Fellowship for Doctoral Students of African Descent or the Fellowship for Latino/a, Asian and First Nations Doctoral Students. Each Fellow will receive a living stipend up to $25,000 to help further their studies beyond the coursework stage.

“These students stand on the shoulders of C. Shelby Rooks, Benjamin E. Mays, and others, who created this fellowship at FTE 50 years ago,” said Patrick B. Reyes, FTE director of strategic partnerships for doctoral initiatives. “Each Fellow embodies FTE’s legacy of academic excellence and commitment to communities of color. We’re proud to support them on their journey as they continue to redefine what it means to thrive in the academy.”

As part of the fellowship award, Fellows will have the opportunity to attend the 2018 FTE Forum for Theological Educators, held November 14-16, in Denver, Colorado, prior to the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature. The Forum will provide opportunities for networking, professional development, vocational exploration and mentoring.

FTE welcomes the following recipients into the 2018 class of Doctoral Fellows:

FTE Fellowship for Doctoral Students of African Descent

  • Elyse Ambrose, Drew University
  • Whitney R-E Bond, Chicago Theological Seminary
  • Leonard Curry, Vanderbilt University
  • Ericka Shawndricka Dunbar, Drew University
  • Nyle Fort, Princeton University
  • Seth Emmanuel Gaiters, The Ohio State University
  • Rachelle Renee Green, Emory University
  • James Howard Hill Jr., Northwestern University
  • Nikki Hoskins, Drew University
  • Christopher Hunt, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • Malene Minor Johnson, Chicago Theological Seminary
  • Timothy Rainey II, Emory University
  • Nikia Smith Robert, Claremont School of Theology
  • Taurean J. Webb, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • Bryson White, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • Jeremy L. Williams, Harvard University
  • Shatavia L. Wynn, Vanderbilt University
  • Chelsea Brooke Yarborough, Vanderbilt University

FTE Fellowship for Latino/a, Asian and First Nations Doctoral Students

  • Aminah Al-Attas Bradford, Duke Divinity School
  • Christopher Ángel, University of Notre Dame
  • Gina Jungyeon Bae, Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto
  • Eunil David Cho, Emory University
  • Christina Ann Finsel, The Catholic University of America
  • Francisco Peláez-Díaz, Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Diana E. Rodriguez Click, Emory University
  • Jorge Juan Rodríguez V, Union Theological Seminary
  • Eli Rolón Jeong, Claremont School of Theology
  • Pasesa Sapolu, Graduate Theological Union
  • Briana Wong, Princeton Theological Seminary
  • June Hee Yoon, Drew University

In addition to its fellowships for dissertation stage doctoral students, FTE provides professional development opportunities for PhD and ThD students in the first two years of their studies. FTE developed these doctoral initiatives to help accelerate the completion of doctoral degrees among students of color and to foster diversity in the academy across North America.

Since 1999, FTE has awarded more than 550 fellowships to students of color and has maintained a 97 percent retention rate among its Doctoral Fellows. The Forum for Theological Exploration is committed to cultivating diverse young adults to be faithful, wise and courageous leaders for the church and the academy. FTE provides resources and a forum for young adults and students to explore their purpose and call to pastoral ministry and teaching.