Mai-Anh Le Tran
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean, Associate Professor of Religious Education and Practical Theology
- B.S., Texas Wesleyan University
- M.R.E., Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology
- Ph.D., Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
Education—and religious education—is vital for the cultivation of peaceable, equitable, participatory, democratic society. We must believe this to persist in what we do!
As a scholar of Christian religious education, I submit to the close study of people and how they form local communities and are sustained by local cultures and theologies, but whose localities are very much situated within complex, crisscrossing global realities, cultures, and religious diversity. I frame religious education as a practical theological discipline that orients and prepares individuals and communities to:
- Learn and interact across cultures and traditions;
- Engage in consciousness-raising and anti-oppressive teaching and learning;
- Explore local and marginalized sources of cultural and theological wisdom that vitalize religious beliefs and practices;
- Critique mainstream (including Mainline) educational structures that privilege the values and interests of the few at the expense of the many and the vulnerable; and
- Imagine faith praxis that enable us toward visions and commitments of common life in pluralistic society.
Vocationally, I see myself as a scholar for the academia and the church; a teacher who aspires to be “leading learner”; an academic who understands that her embodied self is a palimpsest of multiple and contradictory worlds; a person of faith whose Christian commitments are buttressed by lessons from ecumenism, religious pluralism, and intercultural realities. I understand teaching as leadership, guided by an ethic of care, respect, and curiosity for self, other, and the world. I consider learning a risk-taking (and inevitably painful) adventure in which we pursue knowledge (information), ground self in foundations of integrity (formation), and commit to live and act in ways that ensures essential well-being for all and for this planet (transformation).