Faculty Stories

Dr. Yara González-Justiniano Named Visiting Assistant Professor of Practical Theology and Community

Dr. Yara González Justiniano

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary is honored to welcome Dr. Yara González-Justiniano as visiting assistant professor of practical theology and community engagement, effective July 1, 2020. This two-year appointment was made possible through the Louisville Institute’s Postdoctoral Fellowship González-Justiniano was awarded earlier this month. Her research interests include Latinx theologies, cultural identity and memory studies, postcolonial theory, popular culture, and popular religion.

“I am incredibly happy to be joining the Garrett-Evangelical community,” said González-Justiniano. “Although I am enthusiastic about my research and honing in concepts, my passion has always been teaching. I teach because I believe that education (institutionalized or noninstitutionalized) shapes our society. It has the potential to transform it as it insists in liberative and integral practices. I am looking forward to teaching and learning with you this fall.”

The Louisville Institute’s Postdoctoral Fellowship provides fellowships to support two-year, visiting professorship at a North American theological school, college or a university. As part of the Institute’s Vocation of the Theological Educator Initiative, Louisville postdoctoral fellows are accompanied by an academic mentor and pastoral mentor. Fellows also participate in a peer cohort that meets six times over two years.

“Our congratulations to Yara González-Justiniano for her postdoctoral fellowship placement at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary as Visiting Assistant Professor of Practical Theology and Community Engagement,” said Dr. Edwin David Aponte, executive director of the Louisville Institute. “The Institute is excited to partner with Garrett-Evangelical for her placement.”

González-Justiniano, originally from Puerto Rico, completed her doctor of philosophy in practical theology at the School of Theology of Boston University with concentration in church and society this year. In addition, she holds a master of divinity with concentration in community and global engagement, a bachelor of arts in communications, a minor in modern languages, and a minor in theater.

González-Justiniano is Under Care with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is in the process of ordination. She also works with different church communities in hopes of maintaining an open dialogue between academic endeavors and the church.

Reflecting upon the appointment of González-Justiniano, Dr. Mai-Anh Le Tran, academic dean for Garrett-Evangelical, said, “The Louisville Institute’s Postdoctoral Fellowship program has made a tremendous impact upon theological education by modeling for us what it means to invest in the formation of top-notched, well-rounded scholars for an integrative life of teaching, research, and service. Garrett-Evangelical is fortunate to be a partner in this endeavor, and we are especially privileged to have Dr. Yara González-Justiniano as a faculty colleague. A crisp and fresh voice in practical theological conversations, she will enhance our curriculum with expertise in qualitative research, pedagogies for immersive learning, and frameworks for contextual theological engagement. We are excited to welcome Dr. González-Justiniano!”

Louisville Institute is funded by the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment Inc. and based at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Louisville, Kentucky). The Louisville Institute’s mission is to bridge Church and academy through awarding grants and fellowships to those who study North American religious institutions, practices, and movements, and thereby promoting scholarship that strengthens Church, academy, society, and contributes to the flourishing of the Church.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church, was founded in 1853. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 450 students from various denominations and cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.