Interested in Garrett's PhD program? Join Dr. Charles Cosgrove, director of the PhD program, on October 30th for a virtual "Lunch & Learn" to learn more about our PhD program and ask questions.
Meet Some of Our PhD Students
Meet a Graduate
Dr. Leah Gunning Francis
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis
Dr. Leah Gunning Francis received a Ph.D. in Christian Education and Congregational Studies from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 2009. From 2008 to 2015 she served on the faculty at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis as Assistant Professor of Christian Education and Associate Dean of Contextual Education. In 2016 she was appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. Dr. Gunning Francis’s vocational passion is to live and teach God’s vision of love and justice for society’s most vulnerable communities. In 2012 she won the prestigious Engaged Scholars Fellowship, which enabled her to conduct a study of the perspective of mothers of middle-class African-American young men—how they understand the risks posed to their children and what can be done to foster the wholeness and well-being of African-American young men. When the Michael Brown shooting occurred in Ferguson, Missouri, Dr. Gunning Francis engaged her students in discussion and public witness, then wrote a searching analysis of the event in Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership & Awakening Community (Chalice Press, 2015). While a student at Garrett-Evangelical, she was impressed with faculty who were “highly respected scholar-practitioners.” These teachers “became invaluable mentors and friends who have deeply informed my own scholarly pursuits and pedagogical practices.” She also found “a community ethos at Garrett-Evangelical that supported relationality and growth,” an approach to life and learning that “has served me well throughout my career.” Dr. Gunning Francis has long made the tenets of social activism for racial justice the guiding threads of her teaching and scholarship. In her new role as dean, she is eager to lead conversations with colleagues, students, and constituents about new possibilities for enlivening the church’s witness for wholeness and social justice.
- Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Fontbonne University
- PhD, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
- MDiv, Candler School of Theology, Emory University
- BS in Marketing, Hampton University
A Few of Gunning Francis' Publications
Transformative Mentoring as Redemptive Community in Educating for Redemptive Community, edited by Denise Janssen (Wipf & Stock Publishers, forthcoming).
Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership & Awakening Community (Chalice Press, 2015).
Contributions to Feasting on the Gospels, ed. Cynthia Jarvis and E. Elizabeth Johnson (Westminster John Knox Press, 2015).