Lisa Kimball will lead Virginia Seminary's Center for the Ministry of Teaching

January 23, 2009

Elisabeth M. (Lisa) Kimball will join the faculty of Virginia Theological Seminary as director of the Center for the Ministry of Teaching (CMT) and professor of Christian formation and educational leadership, according to an announcement by the Very Rev. Ian Markham, dean and president, on January 22.


Kimball, a research scientist for Search Institute's center for spiritual development in childhood and adolescence, also currently serves as a faculty member in the College of Education at the University of Minnesota and has had 20 years of experience working as a lay professional educator, youth minister and leadership trainer in the Episcopal Church.

In her work at Search Institute, Kimball recently completed an international study of young people's spirituality. According to the Rev. Dr. Roger Ferlo, director of the Institute for Christian Formation and Leadership, under which the CMT is housed, "Dr. Kimball's long experience in Christian education, coupled with her groundbreaking introduction of spiritual values in youth studies curriculum, uniquely equip her to seize the initiative in responding to the challenges of 21st century Christian formation and leadership through the work of the CMT."

Established in 1985, the CMT serves as an ecumenical resource and research center in support of Christian formation and education both locally and nationally, offering advanced degrees in Christian Education (MACE), Christian Education with an emphasis in youth ministry, (MACE/YM) and Educational Leadership. (D.Min)

As Director of the CMT, Kimball will have oversight of the Center, and will teach courses at the master's and doctoral level in Christian education, faith development, and other aspects of practical theology related to education and formation in parish school and ecumenical settings.

Describing herself as a "bridge person," Kimball emphasizes the importance of knowing how to build collaborations and community partnerships across lines of religion, language, race and class. "To do that," Kimball says, "lay and clergy leaders must know their own stories of faith well enough to welcome challenging dialogue."

Kimball earned a Ph.D. in work, community and family education and a M.Ed. in youth development leadership, both from the University of Minnesota, and a B.A. in human biology from Stanford University. She has served as adjunct faculty at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and has taught courses at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and Luther Seminary. In 2007, Kimball spent two weeks at Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, as a visiting fellow.