Contact: Rev. Cynthia Owen Jarrold, Sr. Advisor for Funding Strategies and External Affairs
[email protected] /(913) 219-3198


The Gamaliel Network announces new partnership with Eden Theological Seminary

Chicago, IL – April 21, 2022 – The Gamaliel Network is pleased to announce that it is entering into a partnership with Eden Theological Seminary (ETS) as part of our ongoing effort to dismantle structural racism through our Race and Power Institute.

“The partnership with Eden Seminary in the development of Gamaliel’s Race and Power Institute is a testament to the recognized need for faith leaders to help to repair the soul of our nation or in the words of Kelly Brown Douglas, the ‘moral imaginary,’” said Rev. Dr. John C. Welch, Chairman of the Gamaliel Board of Directors. “Seminaries are where formation happens and where the conversations can begin.”

ETS is a Progressive Christian institution located in St. Louis, MO. Since 1850, ETS has been committed to the theological and spiritual formation of Christian leaders and the pursuit of justice. According to Eden President Deborah Krause, “This partnership empowers Eden to combine impactful resources of theological education for social justice with Gamaliel’s proven capacity to move people to change systems of domination and structures of oppression. We are excited for what this means for ministry and for justice organizing!”

Through this partnership, courses focused on race and power in community organizing will be taught to ETS students and will launch on May 31, 2022. A certificate in Race and Power will also be added to ETS’s course offerings.

These efforts are part of Gamaliel’s ongoing effort to launch the Race and Power Institute (RAPI), an entity within Gamaliel that aims to create a bridge between race analysis and organizing work and provide ongoing professional development and resources for organizers and leaders within and outside the Gamaliel Network at the intersection of policy, praxis, and philosophy. Already at work to fulfill its purpose, the Gamaliel Race and Power Institute will fully launch at Gamaliel’s biennial Race and Power Summit in December 2022.

Ms. Angela James, a 30-year veteran faith-based community organizer and national staff member in the Gamaliel Network, and racial equity specialist, is the Director of the Gamaliel Race and Power Institute. Rev. Dr. Dietra Wise-Baker, Eden Assistant Professor of Community Engagement and Contextual Education, serves as Organizing Director of the Gamaliel Race and Power Institute at Eden Theological Seminary.


Gamaliel is a grassroots network of non-partisan, faith-based organizations in 13 states and 43 regions that has, for 35 years, trained ordinary people to effectively participate in the political, environmental, social and economic decisions affecting their lives. Gamaliel’s work is rooted in a shared set of values like diversity, inclusion, and democracy. Gamaliel is committed to a long-term transformational agenda that creates structural racial equity, builds the people’s control of government and the economy, and expands the public sphere. Gamaliel builds power to transform the world as it is into a new world marked by equity, compassion, hope, shared abundance, and radical inclusiveness.

Download the full press release here.

On February 19th the St. Louis City NAACP will present the Freeman/Seay Commitment to St. Louis Award to presidents and alumni of schools of higher education in the St. Louis area. Eden Theological Seminary is honored to be among them. Congratulations to Eden’s president, Rev. Dr. Deborah Krause and alumni, Rev. Dr. Cassandra Gould on receiving this award. The award is presented annually in recognition of exemplary service, distinguished leadership and commitment to improve the cultural, social and economic growth and development of the St. Louis area. The award is named in honor of the late Attorney Frankie Muse Freeman and the late civil rights activist Norman R. Seay.

Ordained in the Missouri Conference of The United Methodist Church, The Reverend H. Russell Ewell II currently serves as The Pastor of Terrace Lake United Methodist Church (Kansas City MO). Additionally, he is the Chair Emeritus of The United Methodist Association of Ministers with Disabilities, and serves as a board member of Missouri Faith Voices. As a person with a disability in pre- ADA America, his personal and systems advocacy skills began to develop the day his parents enrolled him in kindergarten. There, ophthalmologists and educators forewarned, “Blind students could not succeed in integrated classrooms.” So “don’t bother dreaming of one day seeing your son graduate from high school with a diploma.”

Proving conventional wisdom wrong, Russell graduated from Normandy Sr. High (St. Louis MO) and earned a B.S. in Sociology from Southern Illinois University (Edwardsville). In 2009 he distinguished himself by becoming the first blind student to graduate from Eden Theological Seminary in its 168-year history. He also has the distinction of being the first blind person to be ordained in The Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Rev. Ewell advocates for people to realize their power and apprehend their life goals. He gives talks across the country on Disability Advocacy and Awareness, The Disability Rights Movement, The Intersections of Religion and Disability, and The Intersectionality of Disability and Black Theology. Russell is a tireless advocate for a more liberating and inclusive theology of disability. He is passionate about empowering the disenfranchised and assisting all people in realizing their potential, purpose, and worth in The Church and society. Rev. Ewell is the proud husband of The Reverend Adrienne Denson Ewell.

Join Chalice Press for a FREE author Q&A with guests who were in the frontlines of the protests, including Eden’s president, faculty, and alumni. We will discuss the lasting changes and hope from this movement.

Monday, January 31st, 7 pm CST

Register with Chalice Press over on their event page.

Did the protests that started in Ferguson, Missouri in 2015 have a lasting change or effects?

About this event

Faith after Ferguson, Leah Gunning Francis’s follow-up to her landmark book Ferguson and Faith, revisits the activists who took to the streets in 2014 to protest the killing of Michael Brown, a young Black man, by a white police officer. In this livestream, Gunning Francis is joined by others who participated in those protests and have seen what has — and has not — changed as a result of those protests and the political changes locally and nationally. How has social activism changed the lives of the protestors? What barriers must still be overcome? How can we be better allies? Hear from those who have seen first-hand what remains to be done.

Congratulations! Eden Seminary’s Professor of Worship and Preaching, Christopher Grundy, has been awarded a $17,500 Teacher-Scholar Grant for the 2022-23 academic year  by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, one of 16 to be given this year.  Dr. Grundy will be coordinating a project aimed at inspiring congregations to begin establishing the kind of local, outdoor worship spaces that are needed for an era of ecological crisis and recovery.  The project will focus on fostering imagination about worship spaces that can help to draw people into a deeper relationship with their natural environment, experience that environment as sacred and sacramental, form them spiritually as agents of ecological justice and recovery, and help them to process and respond faithfully to increasing ecological disasters.  The point is to shift not just the language, symbolism, and subject matter of worship, but also the locations and embodied practices in worship spaces designed for an era of ecological crisis.
Teacher-Scholar Grant

The project includes events to which the public is invited.  Watch for these events in the fall of 2022 and the spring of 2023. These public events will launch and then cap off a cross-disciplinary design competition for theological students of Eden Seminary and landscape architecture students of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University, St. Louis.  Competition teams will include both seminarians and landscape architecture students. The design contest will provide a vehicle for conversation, imagining, and grounding of theory in actual designs.  Work on designs and accompanying narratives for the competition will be built into coursework offered at the two schools. A second public event, held in the spring of 2023 will reveal winners of the competition and provide an opportunity for the winning teams to present their designs to the public.

In support of this project, Dr. Sonja B. Williams, Dean of the Seminary writes, Dr. Grundy’s “keen sense of how to  balance innovation with tradition in worship have been central to the formation of a whole generation of students.  As the world continues to come to grips with climate change, environmental racism, and increasing climate disasters, this project promises to foster much-needed imagination among worship leaders and students of the sacred.” 

This program is made possible through a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.  Since 2000, Vital Worship grants by the Calvin Worship Institute have been awarded to worshiping communities and teacher-scholars in 45+ states and provinces and in 40+ denominations across the spectrum of Christian traditions, including Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, and Non-Denominational communities. Geared toward teacher-scholars in any field doing integrated research that connects worship with other disciplines of study and practice, the grant funds a research project that shows promise to serve worshiping communities by strengthening Christian public worship spaces. The program is generously supported by Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. Founded in 1937, the Endowment’s major areas of programming are religion, education, and community development.
Learn more.

The Eden Seminary Student Social Justice Council presents “Women on the Frontline: Faith and Justice Panel”  Guest host: Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale and Panelists:  Rev. Dr. Cassandra Gould, Bishop Leah Daughtry and Dr. Barbara Williams-SkinnerWednesday, February 9, 2022 at 3pm CSTJoin on Facebook Live at

Current Eden Students.  Check out this opportunity to compete for a registration scholarship for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference 2022. (Conference dates: Feb. 19-26)


Eden’s student social justice council recommends 2/3/22 UCC Just Peace Network and CHHSM event to you.
“Don’t Shoot: MLK and Gun Violence Then and Now”

Register here:

The Social Justice Council is pleased to announce our Dr. Cynthia L. Hale Faith and Justice Scholarship recipient. 

Dr. Hale is a trailblazer of trailblazers. She is a woman of vision and revered worldwide for her leadership, integrity, and compassion. Dr. Hale was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. She also served as a member of the 2016 Platform Committee for the Democratic National Convention and delivered the Invocation at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. During her 42 years of ministry, her ministerial gift has drawn thousands, young and old, to witness the anointing of a woman totally sold out for the Kingdom of God.

Congratulations to Dr. Zaria Davis who is a current MDiv student and is on the rise and continuously diving into areas that promote freedoms for those who are justice impacted. Her desire is to grow deeper and more connected to the area of ministry. It is our prayer that she will be richly blessed while attending the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference. 

The faculty and students gather for the week, exploring topics and building community.  Each day starts and ends with worship led by Dr. Grundy and the students and throughout the day students interact with members of the Eden community.

We Each cohort has a unique focus (1st year- Getting up and running with the DMin as they shift their focus to thinking about how their ministry setting can be a place for exploration and research; 2nd year- Exploring Practical Theological Research Methods that they might consider as they continue to find a focus for their research focus; 3rd year – Drilling down to a focus for their research and getting a sense for how they might frame it)

The DMin Intensive is a time to do all that, as well as continue to celebrate the relationships they are building with each other and Eden.