DIFFERENCE. BUILDING. CONNECTION.
The Common Ground Project is committed to fostering, building
and strengthening the next generation of Native American, African
American, Latin@ and Asian American church leaders for communities.
The Taste of Seminary event features a number of prominent scholars of color, from a variety of denominational backgrounds, theological institutions and geographic locations. These gifted scholars and professors will provide a tailor-made learning experience for participants. Apply online here.
Rev. Dr. Frank M. Yamada
Director of the Center for Asian American Ministries & Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible
McCormick Theological Seminary | Chicago, IL
Frank earned his M.Div. and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he studied Hebrew Bible with an emphasis in hermeneutics, feminist theory, and culturally-contextual biblical interpretation. Frank is the author of Configurations of Rape in the Hebrew Bible: A Literary Analysis of Three Rape Narratives, and he was an editor and contributor to The Peoples' Bible, a cross-cultural study bible from Augsburg Fortress Press. His scholarship and writing has been featured in several edited collections, bible dictionaries, lectionary volumes, websites, and periodicals such as The Christian Century. As a minister of word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Frank regularly preaches and leads adult education series and workshops throughout the Chicago area. Frank is married to Michelle Yamada. They live in Evanston with their two children, Stephen (18) and Adam (15), and their beloved Australian shepherd mix dog, Roy.
Rev. Dr. Margaret Aymer
Associate Professor of New Testament
Interdenominational Theological Center (affiliated with Johnson C. Smith Presbyterian Seminary) | Atlanta, GA
Born in Barbados to Albert Aymer of Antigua and Shirley Lewin Aymer of Jamaica, Margaret is a first generation Afro-Caribbean-American. After 9 years of moving around the British West Indies, she moved to the U.S. in 1977 and lived in New Jersey for 8 years. She obtained her B.A. from Harvard University before going on to earn her Ph.D. at Union Seminary in New York. She has served as key leadership for a number of PC(U.S.A.) events, ranging from a Health and Wellness Conference to Presbyterian Women, to the upcoming Peacemaking Seminar. Margaret has a special interest in biblical hermeneutics, particularly how African diasporic communities signify the Bible as “scripture.” She is the author of First Pure, Then Peaceable: Frederick Douglass, Darkness and the Epistle of James; Repairers of the Breach: Five Bible Studies on Katrina; Confessing the Beatitudes, the 2011 Horizons Bible Study on the Beatitudes, and is working on a new book called Sojourners' Truths: the New Testament as Migrant Writings.
Friar Gilberto Cavazos-González, OFM
Director of the Hispanic Ministry Program
Catholic Theological Union | Chicago, IL
Gilberto is a former pastor and youth evangelizer in San Antonio, TX, and brings a wealth of ministerial experience to his studies and teaching. As a Latino spiritualogian, Gilberto has a particular concern for the relationship of Christian spirituality, pastoral ministry, Catholic social teaching and culture to the cotidianidad of human existence. His specific interests include medieval spirituality, Franciscanism, and both the Spanish and Mesoamerican roots of contemporary Hispanic/Latino spirituality. Gilberto’s publications include: “Liberation Spirituality and the Process of Canonization for St. Clare of Assisi”; “Whom will you welcome this Christmas?”; "Cara y Corazón. Raíces religiosas en un mexicoamericano," among many others. He has also written entries on spirituality, Mary, pilgrimage, and popular religion from a Latino perspective, plus a number of sidebars for the Encyclopedia on Hispanic American Religious Culture. His first book, Greater than a Mother’s Love: The Spirituality of Francis and Clare of Assisi, is scheduled to be in print for the Spring 2010.
Dr. Wonhee Anne Joh
Associate Professor of Theology
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary | Evanston, IL
Anne's areas of teaching and research are at the intersections of feminist/womanist theology, postcolonial and poststructural theory, critical race theory and cultural studies. Her latest research areas include race and sexuality, postcoloniality and bio-politics of empire, issues of citizenship, human rights, immigration, and psycho-social-religio analysis of subjectivity. Joh immigrated to the United States from Seoul, Korea, with her family when she was 9. Joh is author of Heart of the Cross: A Postcolonial Christology, “Violence and Asian American Experience: From Abjection to Jeong”; “The Transgressive Power of Jeong: A Postcolonial Hybridization of Christology,” in addition to many other publications. Her upcoming book, In Proximity to the Other: A Postcolonial Theological Anthropology, is forthcoming.
Dr. HyeRan Kim-Cragg
Professor of Pastoral Studies
St. Andrew’s College (a United Church of Canada’s theological seminary) | Saskatoon, Canada
Hye Ran is a Korean born Canadian citizen woman, a mother of two inter-racial children and an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK). She holds a TH. D. degree from Toronto School of Theology in the University of Toronto. Her academic interest includes postcolonial feminist theory and hybridity, intercultural theology and ministry. Her main teaching areas are worship Christian education and pastoral/practical theology. She is passionate about Christian leadership to build up a just community where differences are fully valued.
Rev. Dr. Jennifer Ryan Ayres
Associate Professor of Christian Ethics
McCormick Theological Seminary | Chicago, IL
Jennifer was born in North Carolina, and earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She completed degrees from Union-PSCE in Richmond, Virginia (now Union Presbyterian Seminary) and served Myers Park Presbyterian Church as an interim associate pastor. An ordained minister of the word and sacrament, Jennifer earned the Ph.D. from the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, with a concentration in religious practices and practical theology. In an interdisciplinary structure, her studies included emphases in practical theology, ethics, sociology, and human rights. While at Emory University, Jennifer also earned the graduate certificate in human rights. Jennifer’s current writing projects include Waiting for a Glacier to Move: Practicing Social Witness (working title), to be published by Wipf and Stock Publishers; and a co-edited volume on the popular culture context of young adults in the United States.
Rev. Dr. Daniel Rodriguez-Diaz
Director of the Center for Latin@ Theology and Ministry
McCormick Theological Seminary | Chicago, IL
Daniel taught church history at McCormick for 15 years and currently serves as adjunct faculty, in addition to his directorial duties. A graduate of the National University of Mexico, Mexico City, where he received a Ph.D. in History and Latin American Studies, Rodriguez taught church history for 13 years at the International Institute of Higher Studies in Mexico City. He continued with a series of teaching engagements at Colgate Rochester Divinity School, Wesley Theological Seminary and Baptist Seminary of Mexico and worked extensively with the United Methodist Church on anti-racism training and building awareness of United States foreign policy in Latin America. Daniel’s published work includes Breaking Down Walls, Building Bridges: Education Against Racism and the co-edited volumes Hidden Stories: Unveiling the History of the Latino Church with David Cortés-Fuentes and Desde el Reverso: Materiales para la Historia de la Iglesia with Justo L. González.
Rev. Dr. Horace Six-Means
Associate Professor and Area Convener in the History of Christianity
Hood Theological Seminary| Salisbury, NC
Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Horace moved to Salisbury, NC with his wife Amy and their son David, to teach at Hood Theological Seminary. He earned a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal church and has striven to live out commitments to education and ecumenical Christian witness in his teaching, research and work in and with diverse congregations. Horace’s current teaching and research interests include using hybridity and other Postcolonial categories for studying Late Antiquity; Christianity, culture, and the Constitution in US History; early Christian pneumatology; and using film and other forms of popular culture as teaching tools. His book Augustine and the Catholicization of Roman Africa is forthcoming from Peter Lang Publishers. Other writings include "Bishops, Early and Mediaeval" in the New Westminster Dictionary of Church History, and “Saints and Teachers: The Canon of Persons” in Canonical Theism: A Proposal for Theology and the Church.