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, MA, DMin
Dean of the Boston Campus, Assistant Professor of Youth Ministry and Leadership
Seong Hyun Park, MA, PhD
Associate Dean of Cohort-Based Education Core Curriculum & Research, Assistant Professor of Old Testament
Quonekuia Day, MSW, MDiv, ThM
Old Testament Studies and Biblical Hebrew Instructor
Eldin Villafañe, MA, PhD
Distinguished Professor of Christian Social Ethics, Emeritus
Jim Critchlow, MDiv, MABL, PhD
Ranked Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biblical Languages and Old Testament,
Accreditation Liaison Officer
Pierce Fellowship Coordinator
Gordon-Conwell, Boston Campus
Executive Assistant to the Boston Campus Dean
IT Project Manager & Service Desk Coordinator
Campus Operations Manager
CUME Student Success Coordinator
Assistant Registrar and
International Student Advisor
Project Manager for
CUME Lilly Grants
Visit our faculty directory for a full listing of CUME instructors and faculty.
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.
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 (Christian Studies) 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 now have a daughter and attend New Life Church in Leominster, MA.
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.
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.
Ural was born and raised in Boston, MA. He spent most of his youth involved in church activities at Twelfth Baptist Church, under the leadership of Reverend Dr. Michael E. Haynes. He had the opportunity for several years in to live in North Carolina where both of his parents were born and raised. He met his beautiful wife here in Boston while living and attending college in North Carolina. After a couple of years of dating long distance, they decided to move back to Boston. They were married two years later and celebrated 30 years of marriage in July of this year. They have a son and three grandchildren. Ural enjoys traveling with his wife to places they have never been before, listening to music of various genres, playing golf, and working in God’s kingdom.
Christopher Bolder was born and raised in Kannapolis, North Carolina in a Christian home of preachers and singers. Christopher is passionate about community relations and breaking generational barriers to see cities and churches emerge.
Studied at the University of NC State, the Center for Public Relations, and Theological Seminary School of Ministry, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in Ministry. Pastored and planted 2 churches, currently enrolled at GCU for Psychology, Certified life coach and specialist.
An author, public speaker, and psychologist. As a counselor and coach, Christopher most of his time mentoring individuals seeking new starts and second chances. Christopher and his wife, Brittney, have been married since 2012. They are the proud parents of three children, Brooklynn, Christopher Jr. and Ezekiel Bolder.
Barbara Rodrigues is a Brazilian-American from greater Boston, Massachusetts. She lived and studied in Dallas, Texas for three years where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry. Barbara joined Gordon-Conwell in October 2021. She is passionate about seeing people’s lives transformed through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Barbara does what she loves every day, which is to serve God and serve CUME & LGM students. Outside of Gordon-Conwell she is a remote student at Dallas Baptist University. In Barbara’s spare time, she loves volunteering at church, spending time with family, laughing with friends, travelling, watching her favorite TV show Friends, or sipping on a cold iced coffee.
Lucien was born in Bukevu, Congo. He has lived here in the United States for three years. Lucien has a wife and a daughter who live in the Congo. We are praying they will be able to join him here soon. In his home country and Uganda, Lucien was an evangelist. He attended seminary at the All Nations Theology School and Seminary.
Pastor Johana E Perez Rivera, born to Christian parents on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, married for over 32 years to Sergio Perez and mother of two adult children, Jahdiel and Jochebed, and proud grandma of three and hope for more. She studied Early Childhood Psychology, has a Masters in Christian Ministries, and is currently a candidate for a Doctor in Ministry at Gordon Conwell. She is the Student Coordinator of Student Success at Gordon Conwell-Boston Campus. She is the Director of Education for COPAHNI. Works in collaboration with World Vision as Head Regional Partner for the Northeast.
Two of her strengths and most significant contributions to the local and Church abroad have been the development of the School of Service. This curriculum targets the development of leaders around the Senior Pastor. She is one-of-three Senior Partners working in a Multicultural Program called Thriving Congregation, precisely doing that. Second, targeting the next generation by teaching adults how to build a generational bridge that will allow faith, values, and spiritual formation to happen by using a curriculum she developed called Culture of Trust. She considers herself a bridge maker.
My name is Gerald Dowling and I was born in South Carolina. I graduated from University of Massachusetts Boston with Bachelors Degree Political Science. I also Graduated with Masters Degree in Church Leadership and Mobilization from here at Boston CUME. I am ordained Minister who resides in Weymouth with my wife and son. I enjoy reading the Bible and watching Western movies, playing the guitar and keyboard.
Karla was born in Brazil and was called to the US at 19 years old. She’s been married for 23 years to her husband Rev. Diogenes Bezerra and they’re blessed with 2 daughters: Isabelle and Arielle – both college students. They’ve been pastoring a Brazilian Church in Somerville for over 2 decades. Karla is an Alumni from CUME, Class of 2003 with her MA in Urban Ministry. She is involved in many areas in her church such as: Youth/Worship Ministry and Pastoral Counseling. Karla is very passionate about serving the church, serving the community, and cooking a good Brazilian meal for her family and friends.
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