Center for the Study and Practice of Urban Religion
Bishop Alfred Johnson, Director
The Center for the Study and Practice of Urban Religion (C-SPUR) is most closely identified with issues of urban ministry and theology that have been part of the NYTS identity since its inception in 1901. Its efforts and programs are intended to reach beyond the Seminary’s classrooms to engage pastors, laypeople, congregations, denominational leaders, church agencies, other educators, and students (both from NYTS and from other institutions) in interactive learning processes designed to help increase their understanding of the diverse urban ecology in which churches and other religious institutions are situated and to be more effective in carrying out ministry in the city.
Eleanor Moody-Shepherd Resource Center for Women of Faith
Rev. Dr. Wanda Lundy, Director
Since 1988, the Eleanor Moody-Shepherd Resource Center for Women of Faith has sought to expand the commitment to “Gender Justice” through conferences, other learning experiences, and fellowship events designed to support lay and ordained women of faith. The Resource Center serves as an organizing forum for concerns and needs of women within the NYTS constituency. In its mission to facilitate dialogue among women in ministry, it pays particular attention to women’s ministries in a variety of cultural contexts, including African American, West Indian, European American, Korean, and Latina. The Center hosts monthly gatherings throughout the course of the school year, a yearly conference and sponsors Intensive courses on Women’s Studies. Programs of the Center are open to both men and women.
Mentoring for Thriving in Ministry in the City
Rev. Dr. Wanda Lundy, Director
The Mentoring for Thriving in Ministry in the City (MTMC) program launched in 2017 with a grant provided by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. It provides effective mentoring for New York Theological Seminary (NYTS) graduates and other pastors who serve in urban ministries in the New York City (NYC) metropolitan area. The program incorporates a research component that focuses on examining and utilizing effective mentoring practices in diverse urban ministry contexts. The mentoring is beneficial to all NYTS ministerial candidates, many of whom currently serve congregations. We deploy experienced MTMC practitioners to assist our graduates and other urban pastors to develop their goals and skills and to encourage others in their purview. NYTS’ plans to sustain the MTMC program include: 1) integrating the mentoring program into NYTS’ pastoral ministry degree curriculum; 2) establishing a permanent office that will provide resources and coordinate research into best mentoring practices among ministerial students and urban pastors, and 3) sharing research findings in academic journals and other relevant media platforms to strengthen theory and practice.
Center for Global Religions and Cultures (CGRC)
Rev. Dr. Moses Biney, Director
“Obi nka Bi” (“One must not bite the other”) – Peace, Harmony, and Respect
Mission: Promoting peace, harmony, and respect through intercultural and interreligious studies and interaction.
Vision: To serve as a catalyst for peaceful co-existence in the world.
The Center for Global Religions and Cultures (CGRC) is an integral part of New York Theological Seminary and shares in its mission of “preparing faith and thought leaders to engage in relevant, restorative and revolutionary ministry.” As our world struggles to overcome bigotry, sexism, racism, xenophobia, and violence, the center seeks to provide resources and opportunities for teaching and research about global religions and cultures, train leaders for interreligious and intercultural ministries, organize interreligious dialogues between representatives of diverse religions and cultures, and build international networks through educational excursions and conferences. Global religions that feature prominently in the work of the center include Christianity, Islam, African and African Diaspora religions, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
Center for Mental Health & Equity
Rev. Dr. Insook Lee, Director
The Center for Mental Health Equity (CMHE) at NYTS calls for fair opportunities for everyone as mentally healthy as possible. The action requires not only fair access to healthcare but also means working to address broader social well-being and development. This requires removing various obstacles to mental health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences. CMHE strives for the highest possible mental health for all people but gives special attention to the needs of those at greatest risk of poor mental health, based on social conditions.
The Center focuses on EDUCATION, RESEARCH, ADVOCACY, AND OUTREACH by training faith and community leaders in healthcare knowledge and policy with a focus on mental health. Faith and community leaders are often the first point of contact in times of crisis. Many will turn to trusted leaders in their communities before they turn to mental health professionals. When those leaders know how to respond, they become significant assets to the overall mental health system. For this purpose, the Center creates a network of faith leaders from different religious traditions who are trained in the clinical, social, technological, and financial strategies available to reduce disparities in mental healthcare.
We are highly committed change agents. We are working for the highest possible mental health for all people and give special attention to the needs of those at greatest risk of poor mental health, based on social, economic, and political conditions.
The Center houses a team of faith leaders, psychotherapists, psychologists, medical doctors, legal experts, political scientists, and practitioners from various fields, all working collaboratively to bring about holistic faith communities. We work to make the community more engaged, mental health
policies and practices more effective, and mental healthcare institutions more equitable so as to eliminate disparities in mental healthcare in New York and the United States.
Learn more: www.nytscmhe.org
Center for Justice and Restoration
Rev. Dr. Willie D. Francois III, Director
The Center for Justice and Restoration produces research and develops resources for faith practitioners and religious leaders working at the intersections of race, economic justice, and criminal justice. Harvesting the vast relevance of theological education, the center promotes restorative justice in the criminal legal system and reparative justice related to racialized systems of social dispossession and marginalization in the US through public debate, virtual programming, scholarly publications, and faith-rooted advocacy training. The center aims to serve as a hub for civic, community, religious, and thought leaders to think critically and theologically about the hyper-incarceration of nonwhite peoples in the US and manifest direct actions to reimagine prisons, courts, policing, criminalization, and policies.
Center for Pentecostal Leadership
Rev. Dr. Humberto Alfaro, Director
Our mission is to prepare Pentecostal leaders to be imaginative, synergistic, and relevant in their ministry context. In accomplishing this, we strive to foster linkages and partnerships among Pentecostal and Charismatic communities and NYTS. The Center supports education and research related to Pentecostal leadership by sponsoring conferences, intensive seminars, public lectures, and theological forums.