McGinley named Director of The Common Ground Project

03-01-2010 by

Geoff Ashmun

McCormick Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of Emily McGinley (M.Div., Class of 2009) as the new Director of The Common Ground Project. Made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. as part of its Making Connections initiative, Common Ground is designed to address the challenges and generational shifts of pastoral leadership for African American, Latino/a, and Asian American congregations.

McGinley brings a wide range of technical, administrative, and pastoral skills to her new role. A graduate of the University of Washington Fine Arts Program, she has several years of professional graphic design experience and has played a significant role in the branding and marketing of McCormick’s degree programs and ministry centers as well the Common Ground Project and its predecessor, the AADVENT  (Asian American Discipleship for Vocational Empowerment, Nurture and Transformation) Project.

In 2005, McGinley joined the Conference Planning Committee for AADVENT, working with a team to develop and implement conferences for young adult Asian Americans considering careers in ministry as well as serving as worship coordinator and small group leader. Her administrative leadership continued in the lead-up and launch of Common Ground as a member of its identity working group.

The Vice Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Nominating Committee since 2006, McGinley has served the PCUSA and ecumenical partners in local, national and international contexts. Prior to enrolling at McCormick, she was a PCUSA Young Adult Volunteer in 2002-2003, teaching English to elementary, high school and adult learners in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and then after working as Publications Coordinator for the University of Washington’s World Series program, moved to the Chicago area, where she was hired as Youth Director for the Lake Street Church of Evanston. As a McCormick student, she interned at Lake View Presbyterian Church and as a chaplain at Rush University Medical Center.

“Emily brings with her a wealth of administrative and pastoral skills and an uncommon sensitivity to different cultural contexts,” said Dr. David Esterline, Director of the Institute for Cross-Cultural Theological Education, which oversees the Common Ground Project and supports the cross-cultural work of the seminary. “Because of her leadership in both Common Ground and AADVENT, Emily is already deeply invested in the work she is undertaking and is uniquely suited to the project’s challenges and opportunities.”

For more information about the Common Ground Project, call Director Emily McGinley at 773/947-6319 or visit