Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary – Boston, also called the Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME), offers premium theological education with an emphasis in practical ministry for the church situated in the city. We primarily prepare commuting and busy adult men and women seeking to participate in God’s redemptive work in the world. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to providing the best theological education for men and women serving in the urban, suburban, and metropolitan context.
What do we mean when we say the “city” or “urban church”? The city church is a dynamic environment and resource for preparing and equipping individuals for ministry. Urban ministry as a field for the church located in cities and suburbs is defined by dozens of disciplines of study. Urban-based theological education requires taking into account an interdisciplinary perspective for an effective response to the challenges facing the church in the diverse cities of the world. Our goal is to expose students to its breadth of perspectives and equip them with the necessary transferable 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.
Dr. Park joined Gordon-Conwell in 2004 after years of extensive archaeological work in Israel, and teaching internationally in Argentina and Palestine. Fluent in four languages—Korean, Spanish, English and Modern Hebrew—he currently teaches Old Testament, Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Archaeology.
His archaeological fieldwork included surveying an Iron Age Judahite tomb in Jerusalem, and supervising field excavations of the Persian stratum in the Philistine port-city of Ashkelon, Hellenistic-Roman tombs in Jerusalem, and the vineyard of Naboth and King Ahab’s palace in Tel Jezreel. He has published numerous articles about his fieldwork and other subjects related to Israel and the Old Testament.
Dr. Park was also the acting director of Harvard University’s Ashkelon Archaeological Laboratory in Israel, and was a conference session chair at the 5th World Archaeological Congress in Washington, D.C.
During his career, Dr. Park has held a number of leadership positions, including his current appointment as a board member at the Institute of Christian Leadership. He previously served as missionary for Palestinians in the West Bank; founded Boston Onnuri Church in Boston, MA; served as assistant preacher at Netivyah Messianic Jewish Congregation in Jerusalem, Israel; and has initiated several outreach ministry efforts around the globe.
He is co-editor of the Africanus Journal and the Africanus Monograph Series, and recently co-edited Reaching for the New Jerusalem: A Biblical and Theological Framework for the City (Wipf & Stock, 2013), a volume in the Urban Voice Series for which he serves as the series editor.
Dr. Park’s scholarly interests include the Old Testament and its cultures, Biblical Hebrew, the analysis of cities in Iron Age Israel, and interpreting the Bible in the context of its own land.
His personal interests include music, photography and travel.
Dr. Park proposed to his wife, Dr. Hyun Gyung Jang, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Israel. They live with their two sons in Arlington, MA, where they are involved in Covenant Church. Dr. Park also preaches at the Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana ELIM de Boston in Jamaica Plain, MA.
Dr. Virginia Ward serves as the Director of Leadership and Mentored Ministry Initiatives. She is responsible for facilitating the development of leadership skills and managing urban collaborative field experiences for students. Virginia’s local and national involvement in the training and development of youth leaders spans three decades. She teaches youth ministry, leadership and ministry development courses, along with providing spiritual formation support on 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 minster, 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, 1997-present), Black Ministerial Alliance (Trainer and Consultant, 2005-2011), InterVarsity (New England’s Black Campus Ministries Director and Consultant, 2007-present), and Orange (Keynote Speaker and Workshop Leader, 2014-present).
Virginia resides in Boston with her husband and two adult sons.
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.
Prof. Day joined the Gordon-Conwell faculty full-time in 2009 after having worked for the seminary since 2004 as Coordinator of Student Advisement and Mentored Ministry for the Boston campus and as a teaching assistant and adjunct professor. She has also taught for Vision New England and Greater Love Tabernacle in Roxbury, MA.
Prior to teaching at Gordon-Conwell, Prof. Day, a licensed clinical social worker, worked for Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. From 1997-2001, she worked as a case management social worker for Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates in Boston, and in 1996, spent a year as a family treatment specialist/substance abuse counselor at Dimock Community Health Center in Boston. She has also used her social work skills to co-facilitate a substance abuse support group and coordinate an outreach program at Greater Love Tabernacle.
A licensed evangelist of the International Church of God in Christ, Prof. Day is currently the District President in Boston for the denomination’s Young Women’s Christian Council. She has also served as a conference and workshop speaker for the YWCC and other Christian groups.
Dr. Dyer oversees the Master of Arts in Counseling program license and non-license tracks. She also coordinates teaching and classroom support for Instructors, and provides outreach for community partnerships for CUME. She is an early career researcher whose interests are clergy compassion fatigue and domestic violence in faith communities. As a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Dr. Dyer’s wealth of practice knowledge beyond her classroom experience includes private practice, having provided clinical supervision in the secular and Christian communities, and service as a volunteer facilitator for a Christian community domestic violence support-group. She provides Spiritual Direction at her home church.
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.
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 am currently worships in a Presbyterian congregation in Whitinsville.
Dr. Gide Démosthène is registrar of Gordon-Conwell’s Boston campus. He currently resides in Brockton, MA. He joined the seminary in the year 2004. He holds a M.Div. and a D.Min. in Ministry in Complex Urban Settings from the seminary. In his spare time he enjoys reading, painting, and carpentry, as well as cooking for his family. In his role at Gordon-Conwell, he oversees the registration office and coordinate enrollment management and student services. He also teaches practical theology courses on urban ministry, and he is actively serving as Senior Pastor of Redeeming Grace Christian Fellowship in Brockton, MA; as well as a trustee for First Baptist Church of Brockton, MA. Prior to joining Gordon-Conwell, he served at the First Haitian Baptist Church in various positions and context during 22 years. His ministerial experience extends to about 33 years.
Reverend 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.
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 bee 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.
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.
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