Dr. Luis Rivera Says “Yes” to a Call at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

08-09-2013 by

B. Vaughan

McCormick Theological Seminary announces Dr. Luis R. Rivera has accepted a call as the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. His last day at McCormick will be August 31, 2013. His role as Dean at Garrett will begin on January 1, 2014. He will be the first Latino dean to serve at the United Methodist seminary in Evanston, IL. McCormick President Frank Yamada shared the news on Friday saying, “We are happy for Garrett and for Dr. Rivera, even as we know how much we will miss our friend and colleague. We look forward to further collaboration with him in his new role with Garrett-Evangelical.”

Dr. Rivera says, “McCormick has given me opportunities to develop and flourish in my service and leadership as a teacher, scholar, and administrator, for which I am profoundly grateful. I have served McCormick with dedication, loyalty, enthusiasm, and joy during all these years. McCormick has been a formative and supporting learning community in more ways that I can think.”

Read Dr. Rivera's letter to
the McCormick Community. 

As Dr. Rivera concludes his tenure as Dean of Faculty, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the James G. K. McClure Professor of Theological Education, he celebrates 17 years of service and teaching in the area of theology. He has offered courses in English and Spanish in the Masters and Doctoral level programs. As one of the instructors for Introduction to Theology, all students at McCormick have experienced his insight and encouragement. He has taught courses in Ecclesiology, Between Hostility and Hospitality (Theology and Immigration), Latin American Liberation Theology, and a Seminar on the work of Leonardo Boff.

Besides teaching, Rivera has been a member or chair in multiple committees ranging from the JKM Library Board to the Strategic Planning Committee to several review and search committees. Rivera also made programmatic contributions to McCormick through his leadership in the Center for the Study of Latino/a Theology and Ministry. Guided by this vision, the Center received in 2006 a LUCE Foundation grant to support three of the Center’s programs: a yearly lecture series on Hispanic Theology; a Consultation on Second Generation leaders in Ministry; and a year seminar on intercultural relations for Latino/a and African American pastors. 

President Yamada adds, “Dr. Rivera’s leadership took root, developed, and grew at McCormick. Our seminary is producing some of the most sought-after leaders in the academy and Church. We celebrate Luis’ leadership and look forward to seeing it continue at Garrett, even as we prepare more leaders to lead in McCormick’s cross-cultural, urban, Reformed, and ecumenical way.”

Rivera joined McCormick’s faculty in 1995, but his association with McCormick started in 1987 when he became the recruiter and coordinator for McCormick’s Doctor of Ministry Program extension in Puerto Rico from 1987 to 1995. In this capacity, he recruited students, accompanied them to summer residency and served as their thesis advisor.

Rivera holds degrees from the University of Puerto Rico (B.A.), the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico (M.Div.), and Harvard University, the Divinity School (Th.M., Th.D.).


About McCormick Theological Seminary

McCormick is one of 12 schools related to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and is an accredited member of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) and is affiliated with the University of Chicago, the Hyde Park Cluster of Theological Schools and the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS). As one of the nation’s most respected seminaries, it celebrates and prepares women and men from all denominations and backgrounds for Christian ministry and service in the year 2040 and beyond, advancing a model of education that is cross-cultural, urban, Reformed and ecumenical.