Faculty and staff at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary–Boston, also known as the Campus for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME), are dedicated to providing the best contextualized urban theological education for men and women. Our goal is to expose students to a breadth of interdisciplinary studies and equip them with the necessary skills and core competencies needed in church ministry in the city and metropolitan context. CUME achieves this by utilizing staff with ministry training and experience, practitioner-scholar instructors, and by crafting a rigorous learning environment for a transformational learning experience for those seeking to clarify their call and prepare for a lifetime of spiritual growth in ministry.
Virginia Ward, M.A., D.Min.
Dean of the Boston Campus
Executive Director for the Northeast Region, Assistant Professor of Youth Ministry and Leadership
Seong Hyun Park, M.A., Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Cohort-Based Education Core Curriculum & Research, Assistant Professor of Old Testament
Quonekuia Day, M.S.W., M.Div., Th.M.
Old Testament Studies and Biblical Hebrew
Eldin Villafañe, M.A., Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Christian Social Ethics, Emeritus
Jim Critchlow, B.S., M.Div., MABL, Ph.D.
Ranked Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biblical Languages and Old Testament,
Accreditation Liaison Officer
Pierce Fellowship Coordinator
Gordon-Conwell, Boston Campus
Dr. Virginia Ward serves as the Dean of the Boston Campus and the Executive Director of the Northeast Region. The Boston Campus, known as the Center of Urban Ministerial Education, CUME, offers premium theological education with an emphasis in practical ministry for the church situated in the city. CUME prepares diverse men and women seeking the peace of the city in varied ethnic contexts. Virginia’s local and national involvement in the training and development of youth leaders spans three decades. She teaches youth ministry, leadership and urban ministry development courses for the Boston Campus.
Dr. Ward comes with extensive experience as an urban pastor, ministry organizer, and youth ministry expert. After an initial study in Management at Northeastern University and courses at Harvard Extension School, Dr. Ward pursued education in ministry, earning her Diploma in Urban Ministries, Master of Arts in Youth Ministry, and Doctor of Ministry in Emerging Generations, all at Gordon-Conwell. A third-generation minister, Rev. Ward is an Associate Pastor at Abundant Life Church where her husband Bishop Larry Ward is the Senior Pastor.
Among the many ministry organizations Dr. Ward has served are: DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative (Boston City Coordinator; Coach for Pittsburgh, San Diego, Detroit and New York; Trainer), Black Ministerial Alliance (Trainer and Consultant), InterVarsity (New England’s Black Campus Ministries Director and Consultant), and Orange (Keynote Speaker and Workshop Leader).
Virginia is co-author on the book It’s Personal: Five Questions You Should Answer To Give Every Kid Hope, and she conducts research on ethnic/multi-ethnic youth and family ministry.
Virginia resides in Boston with her husband and they have two adult sons.
Dr. Park joined Gordon-Conwell in 2011 as Assistant Dean of Boston Campus after having taught as adjunct faculty in Old Testament. He served as Dean of Boston Campus from 2016 till 2020. Dr. Park speaks and preaches around the globe on topics in Bible, Israel, revival, and city.
There are two themes that thread through Dr. Park’s life and career – crossing cultures and taking initiatives.
Dr. Park was born in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up in Paraguay. He received his undergraduate degree at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, and while pursuing his graduate studies at Tel Aviv University he taught at Bethlehem Bible College in Palestine. Both in Israel and during his time of doctoral studies at Harvard University, Dr. Park took part in and supervised various archaeological fieldworks in Israel, including the winter palace of king Ahab and his queen Jezebel at Jezreel and the Philistine port city of Ashkelon where he served a term as the Acting Director of Harvard University’s Ashkelon Archaeological Lab. Fluent in several languages, he is often introduced as a Korean in America who teaches Hebrew in Spanish. Dr. Park views competency in cultural diversity as not only a crucial skill in today’s global context but also as a hermeneutical key to reading the Bible which was written in foreign languages (i.e., Biblical Hebrew and Greek) and in foreign cultures (i.e., Ancient Israel, Ancient Near East, and Ancient Eastern Mediterranean).
While in Israel, Dr. Park was a founding member of the Hebrew Conference (vs. Arabic Conference) of International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) in Israel. He was the founding faculty of the first Tourism Department in Palestine and trained the first generation of licensed tour guides in Palestine. He also founded and led the Ben-Yehuda Street Worship in Israel. After moving to the U.S., he founded Boston Onnuri Church in Woburn, Massachusetts, and he and his wife together started ‘Helping Hand’ which has been collaborating with Boston Rescue Mission in ministering to the homeless in Boston since 2000. His years of deanship at the Boston Campus of Gordon-Conwell were marked by formational initiatives he introduced to the campus, including the practice of Noon Hymn.
Dr. Park served as editor of the Urban Voice series and co-editor of Africanus Journal, and published articles and book chapters on Israel, archaeology, Old Testament, theological education, and spiritual formation. He also co-edited Reaching for the New Jerusalem: A Biblical and Theological Framework for the City (Wipf & Stock, 2013).
He proposed to his wife, Dr. Hyun Gyung Jang, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jerusalem. They have two sons – Daniel and Matthew – and live in Waltham, MA.
Quonekuia A. Day is a full-time Instructor of Old Testament & Biblical Hebrew at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She teaches at the Boston campus and the Hispanic Ministries Program at South Hamilton, MA. She serves on the board for the Society of Gospel Haymanot (SGH).
Professor Day has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Emmanuel College, a Master of Social Work from Boston University, a Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Her doctoral studies have been at London School of Theology in Northwood, England.
As an instructor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary she has taught courses in Old Testament Survey, Genesis, Exodus, Interpreting the OT/NT and Hebrew language. She has taught at Meachum School of Haymanot in St. Louis, MO, and conducted seminars for Pine Manor College and University of Vermont campus ministries. In addition, Prof Day is a public speaker specializing in the area of Old Testament and Sexuality. She has conducted numerous seminars and workshops focusing on the areas of Old Testament, sexuality, mental wellness, conflict resolution, and leadership development. Prof Day can be viewed on YouTube or www.Jude3project.org as one of the guest panelists for the Courageous Conversations Conference. Prof Day is the author of “Feminist, Womanist and Gospelist Interpretations of the Daughters of Zelophehad: Bridging the Gap amongst competing traditions,” in the multi-authored book Gospel Haymanot.
Prof Day is an ordained minister with the Church of God, Cleveland, Tenn. She has over 25-years of ministry experience as a teacher, counselor, outreach/formation minister. Prof Day serves as the Director of Ministerial Care and Development at Deliverance Temple Worship Center, Dorchester, MA.
Dr. Villafañe is a well known leader/scholar in Urban and Hispanic ministry. He was the founding director (1976-1990) of Gordon-Conwell’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME). Prior to coming to Gordon-Conwell, Dr. Villafañe was minister of education at the “Iglesia Cristiana Juan 3:16” in the Bronx, New York, then the largest Hispanic church in the nation. Dr. Villafañe served as the first national president of La Comunidad of Hispanic American Scholars of Theology and Religion, a past president of the Society for Pentecostal Studies (SPS), visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School (fall 1998), and served as president of AETH (Asociación para la Educación Teológica Hispana), USA, Canada and Puerto Rico. Dr. Villafañe was named as one of the nation’s 10 most influential Hispanic religious leaders and scholars by the National Catholic Reporter.
Among his works are: Ricardo Tañon: El Poder y la Gloria de Dios (collaborated with author Ramón Sánchez, 1980); The Liberating Spirit: Toward an Hispanic American Pentecostal Social Ethic (1993); Seek the Peace of the City: Reflections on Urban Ministry (1995); A Prayer for the City: Further Reflections on Urban Ministry (2002); and co-edited, Hispanic Christian Thought at the Dawn of the 21st Century: Apuntes in Honor of Justo L. González (2005). His most recent publications are: Fe, Espiritualidad y Justicia: Teología posmoderna de un Boricua en la diaspora (2006); La Mentalidad Cristiana y la Postmodernidad: Ensayos de un Pensador Pentecostal (2010); and Manda Fuego Señor: Introducción al Pentecostalismo (2012). He is an ordained Assemblies of God minister.
Dr. Critchlow came to his current position at Gordon-Conwell after having worked as an adjunct professor at Gordon-Conwell and Bethel Seminary of the East since 2005. His other academic experience includes working as a teaching fellow at Gordon-Conwell and assisting in the archaeological dig at Robinson’s Arch at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Before entering academics, Dr. Critchlow spent 20 years in the U.S. Army in a variety of leadership roles. He was deployed to a number of countries, including Germany, Iraq, Bosnia and Korea, and served his last two years as the Special Operations Command Manager at the Pentagon.
While in the army, he served as a Bible study leader, Sunday School teacher and local representative for the Officer’s Christian Fellowship. Since leaving the army, he has been ordained in the Conservative Baptist Association and has served as a pastor/deacon at churches in Montana, New Hampshire and Scotland. Currently, he serves as a deacon and Sunday School teacher at True Memorial Baptist Church, Rochester, NH.
Dr. Critchlow’s scholarly interests include the early monarchy of Israel and Judah, prophets and poetry in the 8th to 5th centuries B.C. and the exile of Judah to Babylon. He prefers teaching Greek and Hebrew to students who have struggled with languages in the past.
His personal interests include cycling, racquetball and discipling young believers in Christ.
Tom has been the Coordinator of Pierce Fellowship at the Gordon-Conwell Boston Campus since 2012, mentoring students in the area of spiritual formation. Tom has also served as the lead pastor at River of Life Church in Jamaica Plain since 1985. He is involved in the prayer movement in Greater Boston and New England, and facilitates Prayer Summits in the region. Additionally, he teaches, counsels and coaches leaders in the areas personal growth, breakthrough and healing ministries. Tom and his wife, Brenda, have been married for 34 years and have 4 children.
Jalem Towler joins the CUME team after graduating with a Master’s Degree, where he focused on the intersections of African American and Japanese culture through Japanese film and media from the 1950s through the 1970s. Previously, Jalem worked as a Non-Profit Management Fellow for the Phillips Brooks House Association at Harvard University, supporting student leaders, and planning a variety of events. With a background in youth development and non-profit work, Jalem’s ministry involvement has often intersected with his professional and even extracurricular interests. Having performed spoken word in Cambridge and Boston based venues, Jalem strives to represent God’s character and do God’s work through art and performance. Jalem hopes to use his creativity, event planning skills, and appreciation of structure and organization to continue helping advance the mission of the Boston Campus.
Marie was raised in Mattapan, MA and joined the Boston Campus in 2019. She attended Northeastern University, where she obtained BSBA and MSL degrees. Her career path includes 12 years at John Hancock, with a background in mutual funds and life insurance. Marie is actively involved in ministry and has served as a trustee, usher, youth leader, financial officer at Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury, MA and Morning Star Baptist Church in Mattapan, MA. She currently attends Motivation Church in Randolph, MA.
Marie enjoys spending time with family, planning events and couponing in her spare time. She and her husband, Mark, have two daughters, Markaylah and Mariah.
Michelle Carter comes to Gordon-Conwell with over 20 years of ministry as the Director of Youth Services and six years as the Director of Dance Ministry at Timothy Baptist Church in Boston. She is guided by Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understandings. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path.” Michelle is a member of the Baptist Convention of New England and Youth Encountering Christ. She brings a welcoming spirit and excellent communications while delivering Registration services to CUME students.
Michelle received a Certificate in Human Resource Management from Northeastern University. Working in state government, she received accolades from the National Association of Government Employees in Communications. She has also worked with elder non-profit agencies, for-profit companies; and is also, a Black-Women Entrepreneur. Her community activities include Christmas in the City, Franklin Park Coalition, Boston Community Garden, Hope Community Garden, Black Girls Can Grow Gardens (online), and Ed Cooper Community Center and Garden. She is a wife and mother of three, who loves the Lord, traveling, the ocean, gardening and baking.
Lucrecia Rodriguez-Lynch was born and raised in Guatemala City, Central America. She holds a B.A in Law and Social Sciences, Attorney at Law and Notary from Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, and a Graduate Certificate from the Women in Politics and Public Policy from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
A lifelong Christian, Lucrecia was ordained as a Minister at Tremont Temple Baptist Church, Boston, by the American Baptist Churches USA in 2011. She still currently serves the Hispanic churches in Massachusetts.
Lucrecia is currently an Associate Director of Admissions for Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Boston Campus. She has taught the “Introduction to Theological Studies” course in Spanish for the Hispanic Ministries Program in Latin America and the Caribbean. Lucrecia is the President and Founder of the non-profit organization Yo’o Inc. in Boston, and Yo’o Guatemala in Guatemala City. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Association for Leadership in Guatemala. She has been an ad honorem Coordinator and Project Management for the Library Bernado Lemus located in Purulha, Baja Verapaz, Guatemala.
Clevette hails from the islands of the Bahamas and joined Gordon-Conwell in 2012 as a student. She eventually joined as staff in 2015. Clevette has worked in various areas of communications, including journalism and audio-visual production. She has a BA in Communications; MA Media Arts; MA in Communications Management and an MAUML from Gordon-Conwell. In her role at Gordon-Conwell, Clevette works in a key dual role in the Admissions Office and the Office of Communications, where she helps to promote Gordon-Conwell’s programs via print, email, and other media channels. Her favorite part of working at Gordon-Conwell is interacting with prospective students from all over the world and different walks of life.
Clevette attends Tremont Temple Baptist Church, where she participates as a vocalist on the Praise and Worship Team and volunteers in the Children’s Ministry. She enjoys singing, reading, cooking, making natural hair and skin-care products, and occasional binge-watching documentaries and telenovelas. Clevette is married to Candido and is the proud mother of one son, CJ. Clevette and Candido are excited to welcome another bundle of joy to their family in December 2020.
Marcela joined Gordon-Conwell in 2016 and has over fifteen years of experience in translating marketing and communications ideas into consumer experiences. As a native Portuguese speaker from Brazil (also functional in Spanish and proficient in English), Marcela uses her intercultural and interpersonal skills to communicate with people at different levels of management and to implement creative approaches for delivering services to diverse audiences. She has a BA in Marketing, an MBA (Project Managent Concentration), an MAUML degree from Gordon-Conwell and is also a D.Min. candidate at Gordon-Conwell.
As a teaching assistant at Gordon-Conwell, Boston, Marcela has assisted faculty members in over 15 classes and is passionate about serving students and seeing their academic and spiritual development mature in the course of their programs. As an Admissions Representative, she loves interacting with people of God from different denominations, backgrounds, ethnicities, and social classes that have a common desire for training to advance the kingdom of God.
Marcela is a member of the Intercultural Institute for Emerging Leaders in the ABHMS American Baptist Home Mission Society in the U.S. She also serves as one of the Board of Directors at YO’O Inc.; a Non-Profit Organization that works to provide education and community development in third-world countries. Marcela enjoys preaching in her church and other ministries around New England and New York. She is an avid volunteer at her church, IBVN Church in Woburn -MA, and is very engaged in the Women’s Ministry, and Family Ministry. She also enjoys reading, watching movies with her family and cooking. Marcela is married to Carlos and is a proud mother of two boys: Benny and Chris.
Dawn Bamiduro was born and raised on Long Island, NY in a Christian family full of ministers and pastors, yet she did not initially expect to go into ministry herself. Drawn to math and science since childhood, she planned to pursue a career in the sciences, but during college, she switched her concentration from biomedical engineering and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in the Comparative Study of Religion from Harvard University. She developed an interest in mission work, which led her to Gordon-Conwell in 2012 as a student at the Hamilton campus.
In 2013, Dawn began working at the IT Service Desk as a student worker. This allowed her to put her technological background to use while pursuing a Master of Arts (Religion) with a focus on cross-cultural missions. In 2016, she joined the IT staff and began working at the Boston campus. She has viewed this assignment as a divine appointment and has been privileged to serve the needs of CUME and its mission to seek the peace of the city, in all its God-given diversity.
Dawn has taken several mission trips (in Central America, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean) and has taught English overseas. She has a life-long passion for dance that has only grown during her time at Gordon-Conwell, and she hopes to incorporate dance ministry and the arts into future mission work.
At CUME, Dawn met her husband, Olufunso, and they married in 2019 at the Hamilton campus of Gordon-Conwell. They are currently members of Tremont Temple Baptist Church in downtown Boston, where they regularly sing on the worship team together.
Hillary joined the Boston Campus in 2019 as an Administrative Assistant to the Boston Campus Dean. She is of Jamaican decent but was born and raised in Dorchester, MA. Hillary worked at John Hancock as a training consultant and manager for 20 years. In 2009, she made a career shift and obtained her MBA from Northeastern University, specializing in Marketing.
Hillary, along with her two children Lizzie and Elie, are members of Morning Star Baptist Church in Mattapan, MA. She has served as a Church Clerk for four years and continues to serve on various ministries at MSBC. Hillary is currently a member of the MSBC Aspirants Class, Co-Chair for the Bishop’s Support Ministry, overall church Communications Liaison.
Hillary loves God, her family and all things creative. Crochet is a favorite pastime of hers and growing her small business. She also enjoys singing, painting or working on embroidery.
Mark Thomas is the Library Director here at CUME. He is responsible for supervising and operating the library here on the Boston campus. He has two masters’ degrees: one in library science and one in religion. For over 25 years, he served in Tempe AZ as the Library Director at Cook School and Theological School, a small theological institution specializing in the educating of Native Americans for church leadership positions. He is an ordained elder and deacon in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and currently worships in a Presbyterian congregation in Whitinsville.
Mark is currently working on a D.Min. at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in the Spiritual Formation for Ministry Leaders track.
Pastor Kelly’s career path includes administration, banking, insurance, education, and pastoral ministry in the local church. As a lifetime member of the church she held various leadership positions both in USA and in the Caribbean. She has been in active ministry more than forty years, and in pastoral ministry for more than thirty-four years. Her focus at this time is on pastoral ministry, evangelism, preaching, teaching, and planting churches. She is the Founder of the Contrivance Church of God, in Manchester, Jamaica. She is also the Founder and Lead Pastor for Shammah Tabernacle Church of God in Brockton, Massachusetts.
Pastor Kelly also served her community as Notary Public for the State of Massachusetts.
Jonathan is the Admissions Counselor at CUME and has been a full-time M.Div. student since 2017. He was born on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, which he visits every year. He is currently completing a Master of Divinity at the Boston Campus, where he has served as a library student worker and Greek TA. He currently attends Tremont Temple Baptist Church in Downtown Boston. He enjoys listening to music, reading, languages, board games, hiking, exercising, and Sabbaths.
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