Pioneering biblical scholar, ecumenist to visit McCormick

11-24-2009 by

Geoff Ashmun
Alice Winters is the first woman named president of a Latin American seminary

The Reverend Alice Winters, a renowned ecumenist and biblical scholar on the faculty of the Reformed University of Colombia, will be meeting with a number of faculty, staff and students at McCormick Theological Seminary, Monday, November 30 through Wednesday, November 2.

Winters will be presenting “Human Rights and the Church in Colombia” at the weekly noon luncheon hosted by the Language Resource and Writing Center, a joint program of McCormick and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Winters’ 17-day stay in Chicago will also include several preaching and teaching engagements with city and suburban Presbyterian churches as well attendance at the December 8 meeting of the Presbytery of Chicago.

Named the first woman president of a Latin American seminary, Winters joined the faculty of the Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Colombia in 1983 and served as its president from 1987 to 1992. Her first visit to Colombia came in 1977, the same year she was ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament by the National Capital Presbytery in Washington, D.C., when she directed a program of leadership training among rural pastors in the jungle wilderness of northwest Colombia. There she incorporated health, agriculture, and community development into theological education before joining the Presbyterian Theological Seminary six years later.

Rev. Winters currently teaches Bible and biblical languages in the School of Theology of the Reformed University of Colombia, which emphasizes study of Scripture in the original languages and seeks to integrate all theological studies in the context of the social and economic situation in Latin America. She has played a critical role in ecumenical Bible study programs for the Latin American Society of Biblical Scholars and the translation of Old Testament and New Testament scholarship into Spanish.

During her time as an educator, Rev. Winters has provided theological formation for almost all of the Presbyterian pastors in Colombia now serving the 50 congregations and missions in the three Presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia.

In response to the increasing violence in Colombia, Alice, along with others in the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, has become involved in the struggle for human rights.  She is active in the Ecumenical Network of Churches and Christian Organizations for Human Rights and in the work with displaced persons in the area of Barranquilla, where she lives.

For more information on Rev. Alice Winters’ speaking and preaching appearances at local churches, contact Gary Cozette at 773/350-3518