Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) Welcomes Three New Board Trustees

The Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) is pleased to announce the election of three new members to its Board of Trustees. The Rev. Dr. Shively T.J. Smith, J. Larry Stine and the Rev. Starsky Wilson bring leadership and experience from theological education, ministry, faith and activism and law.

“These three individuals bring a tremendous level of talent and expertise in areas that will help FTE build its capacity for the next generation of leaders,” said FTE President Stephen Lewis. “Their insight will be extremely valuable as we navigate our field’s increasingly changing landscape.”

FTE’s Board of Trustees is responsible for governing and advancing the organization’s mission to cultivate diverse young adults to be faithful, wise and courageous leaders for the church and academy. Elected by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), FTE trustees serve a three-year term that can be renewed for a second term.

The Rev. Dr. Shively T. J. Smith serves as assistant professor of New Testament at Boston University School of Theology. Rev. Dr. Smith is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church where she proudly serves as a member and resident scholar at the historic Cathedral of the AME Church, Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, D.C.

As a scholar of New Testament, Rev. Dr. Smith writes and teaches on all 27 books of the New Testament, but her particular focus is on the traditions of Peter, diaspora studies, approaches to biblical interpretation (hermeneutics), Womanist and African American biblical interpretation, and issues related to the treatment of and hospitality to “strangers,” locally and globally. She published her first book, Strangers to Family: Diaspora and First Peter’s Invention of God’s Household with Baylor University Press and is completing a commentary on Second Peter for SBL Press.

She currently serves on the Society of Biblical Literature’s Women in the Bible Steering Committee and the Emory Studies in Early Christianity editorial board for SBL Press. Rev. Dr. Smith has also served as a national mentor for the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) and has been recognized as an outstanding alumna and mentor by IRT’s Maryland Alumni Chapter and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program.

Rev. Dr. Smith completed her Ph.D. in New Testament Studies at Emory University as the first African American female degreed in that specialization. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Academy of Religion, Association for Jewish Studies, and the Society for the Study of Black Religion.

J. Larry Stine is a senior principal at the labor and employment law firm of Wimberly, Lawson, Steckel, Schneider & Stine P.C. in Atlanta, Georgia. A former regional counsel to the U.S. Department of Labor, he specializes in employment discrimination issues, wage and hour matters, and issues involving the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

He also focuses on litigation prevention through counseling, compliance audits and training. In addition, he assists employers with developing workplace policies and procedures to cohere with all state and federal laws and regulations, including those directed at government contractors by the OFCCP. Mr. Stine also provides executive leadership and management training and helps clients design effective systems for personnel management and review.

Mr. Stine graduated cum laude from the University of Georgia and its law school where he was senior editor of the Georgia Law Review. He is admitted to practice in Georgia and in U.S. District Courts in Arkansas, Florida, Colorado, Texas and Tennessee, the U.S. Supreme Court and the 4th, 5th, 6th, 10th and 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Rev. Starsky D. Wilson is president & CEO of Deaconess Foundation, a faith-based grant-making organization devoted to making child well-being a civic priority in the St. Louis region. He previously served Saint John’s Church (The Beloved Community) for 10 years where he led activism on several issues, including youth violence prevention, Medicaid expansion, public school accreditation, voter mobilization, capping payday lending and raising the minimum wage. He currently serves as board chair for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) and serves on boards for Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Chicago Theological Seminary, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference and Saint Louis Children’s Hospital. Rev. Wilson is also an advisor to the Democracy Fund, Let America Vote and the National Voter Protection Action Fund.

Rev. Wilson earned a bachelor of arts in political science from Xavier University of Louisiana and a master of divinity from Eden Theological Seminary. He is currently completing his doctoral thesis, titled The Truth of Reconciliation: Leadership for American Apartheid, at Duke Divinity School.

About Forum for Theological Exploration

The Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE) 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.