Meet the Team
Director of Community Engagement Institute and Center for Public Theology, and Associate Professor of Urban Ministries
Lorena M. Parrish, Ph.D. is the Associate Professor of Urban Ministries and Director of the Community Engagement Institute at Wesley Theological Seminary. Before her arrival to Wesley, Dr. Parrish was the Dirk Romeyn Professor of Metro-Urban Ministry at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, New Jersey. She earned her Ph.D., M. Phil. and M.Div. at Union Theological Seminary in New York. She also holds a M.S.S.W. from the Columbia University School of Social Work. An ordained Baptist minister, Parrish’s academic specializations include Urban Ministry; Womanist Theology; Theology, Ethics and Popular Culture; Theology and the Black Church and Practical Theology.
Assistant Director of the Community Engagement Institute
Jaleesa Hall works to provide visionary, programmatic, and logistical support to the programs of Wesley downtown, and seeks to find ways to better connect Wesley students to community engagement opportunities in the DC area. Jaleesa graduated from Clark Atlanta University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts, and a Master of Public Administration from American University. At Wesley, Jaleesa is also a Urban Fellow and her Fellowship project is the Raising A Village Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides high-quality intervention programs and community resources for under-served children and families. Jaleesa is deeply passionate about issues of social justice and enjoys spending time traveling, being active, dancing, and spending time with those she loves.
Associate Director of the Center for Public Theology
Rochelle Andrews is the associate director for the Center for Public Theology.Rochelle Andrews, a 2018 M.Div. graduate of Wesley (w/concentration in Public Theology) will begin her tenure with us as Assistant Director, Center for Public Theology, on December 12th. Rochelle comes to us with over twenty years of experience in executive project management in both the public and private sectors. She is passionate about public theology and creating ways to amplify voices of people of faith seeking justice as well as promoting healthy dialogue.
Associate Director of Heal the Sick Program
Tom Pruski, RN, MAPS, DMin directs the work of the Heal the Sick program and works closely with other staff to coordinate and develop faith community health networks, institutional and congregational partnerships, serves as lead faculty for the health minister and faith community nurse certificates in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, and Northern Virginia. Dr. Tom Pruski is a registered nurse with a Masters in Pastoral Studies with over 20 years of health ministry experience. He was trained in using Paulo Freire’s popular education model at the Transformation for Health Leadership Training from Global Health Action in Atlanta, Georgia in March 2000. Dr. Pruski has trained over 300 health advocates, including faith community first responders, to prepare and conduct a variety of health and wellness initiatives in their congregations. Tom works with hospitals, universities, public health, local, state, and national government agencies on a variety of health initiatives. He has served as Health Ministries Association’s (HMA) Health Ministers Constituency Chair and on its numerous national conference planning committees. Tom is a member of the Health Minister Association (HMA), Mid Atlantic Coordinators Group, and a lifetime member of HMA.
Rev. Dr. C. Anthony Hunt is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, and currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Epworth Chapel UMC in Baltimore, MD. He is Professor of Systematic, Moral and Practical Theology, and Dunning Permanent Distinguished Lecturer at St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, and also teaches on faculty at Wesley Theological Seminary with the Community Engagement Institute. He is the author of nine books, including: Come Go with Me: Howard Thurman and a Gospel of Radical Inclusivity (2019), Stones of Hope: Essays, Sermons and Prayers on Religion and Race (2017), and Blessed are the Peacemakers: A Theological Analysis of the Thought of Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King, Jr. (2006).
Associate Professor, the Martha Ashby Carr Professor of Christian Ethics and Public Theology
Dr. Elgendy teaches public theology and ethics and administers Wesley’s academic programs in public theology. His research interests are animated by asking questions of subjectivity, spirituality, and politics at the intersection of political theology, systematic theology, and critical theory. His first book, Life Among the Powers: A Political Spirituality of Resistance, is currently in preparation. In addition to WTS, he has taught at Lake Forest College and the University of Chicago.
Ph.D, University of Chicago
M.A., University of Chicago
B.A., Georgetown University
Social and Political Ethics
Theologies of Love and Desire
Renegotiating Power, Theology, and Politics, edited volume (with Joshua Daniel) of conference proceedings, including introduction and chapter, “Revelation without Authority” (October, 2015, from Palgrave MacMillan)
“Hope, Cynicism, and Complicity: Worldly Resistance in Barth,” Political Theology 17:2, 182-198.
“Practices of the Self and (Spiritually) Disciplined Resistance: What Michel Foucault Could Have Said about Gregory of Nyssa,” Studia Patristica LXII, 103-113.
“Reconsidering Resurrection, Incarnation, and Nature in Schleiermacher’s Glaubenslehre,” International Journal of Systematic Theology 15:3, 301-323.
Relevant Classes Taught
Foundations of Public Theology
Paradigms and Practices of Public Theology
Salvation, Redemption, and Atonement
Church, State, and Citizenship
Formative Influences in the Christian Moral Tradition
Love, Desire, and God