McCormick Days Speakers for 2017


Panelists, Professors, Liturgists and Artists

David Barnhart

David Barnhart (M.Div '05) is an award winning Producer, Director, and documentary filmmaker. His latest project, “The Syrian refugee Story” follows a refugee family through their first year in the U.S. through the lens of the family members themselves as well as through the congregation that is hosting them,” said Krehbiel. “I think the particular people involved are exemplary of why refugee resettlement is so important. It is a life rescuing and lifesaving program.

Anna Case Winters

Rev. Dr. Anna Case Winters Professor of Theology at McCormick Seminary, joined the faculty in 1986. She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and has served the wider church in many capacities, particularly in ecumenical relations. For two terms she was Chair for Christian Unity for the PCUSA and exercised leadership in dialogues with Lutheran, Anglican, and Roman Catholic communions. Case-Winters has also served the global church in several capacities through the work of the World Communion of Reformed Churches. For ten years she moderated the Theology Committee for the Caribbean and North American area, for six years she Co-Chaired the International Commission for Lutheran and Reformed Relations, and she is a continuing member of the Global Network of Theologians. Currently, she is Theology Consultant for the World Communion, and is engaged in planning for the 2017 General Council, advising on the Commemoration of the Reformation Jubilee in particular.

Case-Winters is has research interests and publications in several other areas:  traditional theology engaging with contemporary issues, theological contributions of Reformed tradition, the religion and science dialogue, open and relational theologies, and theologies attending to global, ecumenical, ecological issues. Case-Winters is the author of three books: God’s Power: Traditional Understandings and Contemporary Challenges, Reconstructing a Christian Theology of Nature: Down to Earth, and Matthew: A Theological Commentary. Her next book is tentatively entitled, God with Us: Implications of the Incarnation.

Title and Topic of Keynote Address: “The Unfinished Business of the Reformation”

David Crawford

David Crawford, Interim President, McCormick Theological Seminary. David received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received his juris doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1986.

He is an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and has served as member of the board of trustees at both Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago and at McCormick. He practiced law at Chicago’s Kirkland & Ellis, served as senior vice president, administration and general counsel for property operations at Equity Office Properties Trust, and chief executive officer of Allied Riser Communications Corporation, a company that he co-founded and took public in 1999. He has served as McCormick’s executive vice president and chief business officer since December 2008.

David Daniels III

Rev. Dr. David Daniels III Henry Winters Luce Professor of World Christianity. He is author of various articles on the history of Christianity and book reviews published in Theological Education in Pneuma, Christianity Century, Encyclopedia of African American Religions, and A Sourcebook for the Community of Religions. David also served as an advisor to Legacy of A Leader, a 1991 video documentary on Charles Harrison Mason. He serves on the editorial committee of a new history of World Christianity project funded by Orbis Press.

David serves as a member of various research projects: Religion in Urban America directed by Dr. Lowell Livezey and the Funding of Black Churches project directed Dr. Thomas Hoyt. He has served as a member of the Lay formation and Education Project directed by Dr. Dorothy Bass and the Wesleyan/Holiness project directed by William Faupel. He has served on the advisory committee of Contextualized Urban Theological Education Enablement Program directed by Dr. Edith Blumhofer.

Leslie Diaz Perez

Rev. Dr. Leslie Diaz-Perez, a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, applies her passion in the fields of education and training, missions, and ministry.  Together with her husband Rev. Obed Perez, she is part of the pastoral team at Resurrected Life Church in the Hermosa neighborhood of Chicago. In July of 2017, she assumed full duties as the Director of The Center for the Study of Latin@ Theology and Ministry at McCormick Theological Seminary, a center that contributes to the theological and ministerial formation of Latin@s and non-Latin@s working in Hispanic ministries and theological education by planning courses, conferences, and lectures with other McCormick centers and other institutions in the Chicago area.

Lois Farag

Lois Farag joined Luther Seminary in 2005 as assistant professor of Early Church History. Previously she served as adjunct faculty at Ecumenical Institute of Theology, St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore, Md., Trinity College, Washington, D.C., and full time faculty at Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, Md. A monastic of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Farag is a frequent lecturer. She authored St. Cyril of Alexandria, A New Testament Exegete: His Commentary on the Gospel of John. Gorgias Press, 2007, and Balance of the Heart, Desert Spirituality of Twenty-First Century Christians, Cascade Publishing, 2012.

Veronica Johnson

Rev. Veronica Johnson, serves as Associate Pastor of Discipleship at Greater Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church. She is also the Senior Director of Admissions and Enrollment at McCormick Theological Seminary.

Veronica has a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary.

As an engineer, Veronica worked for Amoco Oil Company, A. Epstein and Sons Company, and Integrated Project Management Co., Inc., and consulted for many Fortune 500 companies as a project manager.

Veronica was born and raised at Christ Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church where the late Rev. Milton Brunson was her pastor. While in seminary, Veronica joined the pastoral staff of Covenant UCC under the pastorate of Rev. Dr. Ozzie E. Smith, Jr. in 2009. In 2011, Veronica joined the pastoral staff of Greater Bethesda and on December 14, 2013, became the first woman ordained into the ministry in Greater Bethesda’s 131 year history, holding an American Baptist USA ordination.

Veronica is the mother of two gifted children, Curtis Johnson II who is a student at the University of Illinois @ Chicago, and Vanessa Johnson, a student at Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights.

Shannon Kershner

Rev. Shannon Kershner is the senior pastor of Fourth Presbyterian Church, PC(USA). She grew up in Waco, Texas as the daughter of a Presbyterian minister and an elementary school teacher. Shannon stayed in Texas for college and graduated in 1994 from Trinity University in San Antonio. In 1996, she began her theological training at Columbia Theological Seminary and received her Masters of Divinity degree in 1999. Her sermons and articles have been published in a number of journals, including The Journal for Preachers and Lectionary Homiletics. She is involved in leadership for NEXT Church and serving on its Strategy Team. Shannon is married to Greg, whom she met in high school at a Presbyterian summer conference at Mo-Ranch. They have been married for 21 years and are the parents of 15 year old Hannah and 12 year old Ryan.

Miyoung Kim

Miyoung Kim studied Contemporary Arts at Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. As a current student at McCormick, she strives to illuminate an artistic approach based on spiritual and theological connections between Christian life and diverse social issues. She pays special attention to the suffering world related to human rights, and her work uses trees and the wooden cross as a medium for paintings to unfold solutions to the suffering.

Kenji Kuramitsu

Kenji Kuramitsu is a writer, activist, and Master of Divinity student at McCormick Theological Seminary. He has an academic background in social work, and is interested in the intersections of protest, prayer, and social media. Kenji currently serves on the board of the Reformation Project, a Bible-based LGBTQ Christian advocacy organization, and also serves on the national board of the Japanese American Citizens League, the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States. Connect with him on social media @afreshmind and

Felica Roman

Felisa Roman ( M.Div 1998) is Pastor of the Iglesia Vision de Dios in Hobart, Indiana, and a school social worker in Chicago. She is ordained by the Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal, MI-Midwest Region. Committed to the theological education of Latin@s, she has served as Director of the Institute Bíblico Ebenezer and presently as President of its Theological Board. She was a founding partner and Program Coordinator of the Advanced Latino Theological Program(ALTE-SCUPE) Program.

Naury Sanchez Cintron

Naury Sanchez Cintron In April, Naury Y. Sanchez Cintron (MDiv ’08) was installed as president of the Universidad Pentecostal Mizpa in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Founded in 1937, the theological school of the Iglesia Pentecostal de Dios is the oldest theological school of Pentecostalism on the island. Across its four campuses and 19 extension locations, the university offers bachelor’s and associate’s degrees in Pastoral Theology, Biblical Studies, Christian Education, and Christian Counseling; a master’s degree in Pastoral Theology; and certificate programs in Christian Education, Ministerial Arts, and Chaplaincy.

A native of Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, Sanchez Cintron received ministerial credentials in teaching ministry from Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal, MI- Puerto Rico Región and has served as a professor in Theology at Mizpa Pentecostal University for nine years. She also served the university as interim academic dean. Sanchez Cintron is presently a member of her denomination’s Committee on Theological and Ethics Issues and teaches and preaches at churches and conferences in Puerto Rico, the United States, and South America.

Ken Sawyer

Ken Sawyer is Professor of Church History. Ken received the Ph.D. in the History of Christianity from the University of Chicago Divinity School. His dissertation is titled "’Secret Walkings Before the Lord’: The Devotional Theology of Increase Mather, 1639-1723." Ken's teaching and research focus upon Reformation topics, Anglo-American Reformed groups, Puritanism and New School and Old School Presbyterianism, as well as issues of gender and power in the history of Christianity. He has published articles on a range of topics, from early Christian history in Egypt, contemporary multiculturalisms, and the uses of technology in theological education. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and frequently teaches adult education classes throughout the Chicago area. He is a veteran teacher of Sunday school for four-year-olds.


LaShondra Stephens

Rev. LaShondra Stephens serves as assistant pastor at the Apostolic Church of God, and in addition to her Teaching and Preaching responsibilities, serves as director of the Ministerial Alliance. Rev. Stephens worked in production, promotions, and even as an on-air talent in several areas of media including film, radio, TV, and social media. After serving as administrative support for the Illinois Institute of Technology, God redirected her path to evangelism and family ministry. Her ministry focus is to help cultivate the spiritual growth of the believer through biblical knowledge and understanding. With her love for God and the performing arts, she provides compassionate care to God’s people.

Sharon Welch

Dr. Sharon Welch is currently Affiliate Faculty member at Meadville Lombard Theological School (Unitarian Universalist), after having served as Provost and Professor of Religion for ten years. She has held positions as Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Adjunct Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri from 1991-2007. She was assistant and then associate professor of Theology and Religion and Society at Harvard Divinity School from 1982 to 1991.  Welch is currently a member of the Unitarian Universalist Peace Ministry Network, and is a Fellow of the Institute for Humanist Studies.

Welch is the author of five books, her most recent being Real Peace, Real Security: The Challenges of Global Citizenship (Fortress, 2008).

ADVENT: Jon Gill & Dominic Pettis-El

Jon Gill is one half of the ADVENT team. Jon Ivan Gill is an avid scholar of Whiteheadian process thought, metaphysics, cultural studies, aesthetics, existentialist philosophy, and constructive & secular theology. His creative tangent ranges from underground hip-hop culture to cryptic lyrics he pens in rap, poetry, journal refereeing, book reviews, and academic essays & critiques. The focus of his doctoral studies was “Philosophy of Religion and Theology” & Philosophy at Claremont Graduate University, Prof. Gill synthesizes Whiteheadian “process theological” and philosophical concepts of the idea of God with the aesthetics of underground rap creativity in his work. He postulates a perpetually-evolving, socially-transformative, and theopoetic universal philosophy of life. His staunch support of a truly philosophical and theological trans-disciplinary discourse involves the inclusion of everything from aesthetic atheism and religious pluralism to subversive use of the arts.