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Wesley Theological Seminary to Welcome Two New Faculty Members in the 2013-14 Academic Year

Apr 13 2013

Wesley Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of two new faculty members who will begin their tenure at Wesley during the 2013-14 academic year. Paul Kang-Kul Cho will serve as Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible, and Reverend Dr. F. Douglas Powe, Jr. will serve as the James C. Logan Professor of Evangelism and Urban Ministry at Wesley, funded in part by the Foundation for Evangelism as an E. Stanley Jones professorship in evangelism.

Paul Kang-Kul Cho received a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Yale University, a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, and will receive his Ph.D. from Harvard University in May 2013. His dissertation is entitled, “The Sea in the Hebrew Bible: Myth, Metaphor, and Muthos.”

Cho’s research interests include the Biblical books of Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah, Psalms and Job, as well as the areas of apocalypticism, biblical motifs and biblical theology. In describing the theme of his Ph.D. dissertation, Cho says, “I extend the study of the sea figure and the sea myth pattern in the Hebrew Bible from mythology and metaphorology to include narratology. I propose that the sea myth pattern of conflict, victory, and goodly consequences defines the U-shaped narrative structure or “muthos” of the Hebrew Bible.”

Cho has had significant experience as a lecturer and teaching fellow at Penn State University and at Harvard University and Divinity School. He is the author of numerous working papers, reviews, and several articles currently under review, including “The Integrity of Job 1 and 42:11-17”, “The Multiple Dimensions of Leviathan in Isaiah 27:1: An Analogy for Apocalypticism,” and “Feasting and Death in the ‘Isaiah Apocalypse’ (Isaiah 25:6-8).”

Cho is ordained in the United Presbyterian Church and has served as guest preacher at the Formosan Grace Christian Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and as children’s ministry pastor at the New Haven Korean Church in New Haven, Connecticut.

“I have dreams for reconciliation between the Asian and African American communities, mutual understanding and cooperation between Korean and English ministries in Korean American churches, contemporary thinking and articulation of what the church might mean by the ‘Word of God,' and a more intuitive understanding of language and its use in the Bible,” Cho said in a 2007 Yale Divinity School interview.

“I believe that Paul Cho is a strong addition to the Wesley faculty. We look forward to welcoming him into our midst,” said Dr. Bruce Birch, Dean of Wesley Theological Seminary.

Reverend Dr. F. Douglas Powe received a B.A. in Economic Management from Ohio Wesleyan University, a Master of Divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Emory University. He has served as the E. Stanley Jones Associate Professor of Evangelism and Associate Professor of Black Church Studies at St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri from 2004 to the present. Among the courses Powe has taught at St. Paul’s are “Postmodern Evangelism,” “Theology in Black and White,” and “African American Methodism.” Dr. Powe taught “Women of the Bible,” “World Religion,” and “History of Religious Thought,” as a professor at Spelman College from 2002-2004. He is ordained in the United Methodist Church.

Dr. Powe’s research has focused on the topics of evangelistic theology and practices, Pan-Methodism, and the Black church. “My research in evangelistic theology and practices informs my teaching in these areas by helping students reflect upon the theology informing their evangelism. My goal is to prepare students for various ecclesial contexts and the importance of developing appropriate practices for that context,” Powe said.

In an October 2012 interview with Grace & Peace magazine, Powe said, “Evangelism is helping others to fully understand the love, forgiveness, and reconciliation that is possible with Christ. We have the ability to participate with God in changing this world and impacting others by sharing what Christ is doing in our lives. That to me is the bottom line of evangelism - that Christ has changed us, Christ has transformed us. We can’t keep this to ourselves.”

Dr. Powe is the author of many books and articles, most recently, New Wine, New Wineskins: How African American Congregations Can Reach New Generations (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2012), and Just-us or Justice: Moving Toward a Pan-Methodist Theology (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2009). Additionally, two new books will be published in 2014 and 2015, respectively;  Religio-Political Narratives in America: From Martin Luther King, Jr. through Jeremiah Wright, a book co-authored with Johnny Hill and Angela Sims, and NSFC (Not Safe for Church): The Ten Commandments for Reaching New Generations, co-authored with Jasmine Smothers.

Dr. Powe represents a strong addition to the faculty of Wesley’s Urban Ministry program located just blocks from the White House and U.S. Capitol building in the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood of downtown Washington, D.C. The Urban Ministry program at Wesley centers on contextual education. In partnership with two historic churches, Wesley's urban ministry students learn to engage the poor and the powerful, to meet the needs of diverse cultures, and to answer their call to dynamic, applied ministry in the complex social systems of the inner-city. Students work on important community initiatives such as Wesley’s Heal the Sick initiative, a pilot program of faith-based healthcare that seeks to prepare ministry leaders to support congregational development of health ministries and link such ministries with hospitals and health care providers. 

David McAllister-Wilson, President of Wesley Theological Seminary, said, “Dr. Powe brings a unique combination of gifts. Raised in the Church of God, now a United Methodist, Doug is steeped in a Wesleyan and Holiness spirituality. These attributes combined with his study of the black church and his study of millennial generation spirituality has made him a leader in evangelism for the 21st century.” 

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