Dean Elaine Heath has announced the appointment of Edgardo Colón-Emeric as the faculty director of the Center for Reconciliation (CFR), effective July 1, 2018.
Colón-Emeric, assistant professor of Christian theology at Duke Divinity School, is originally from Puerto Rico and was the first Latino to be ordained as an elder in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. He was the founding pastor of Cristo Vive UMC in Durham, N.C., and frequently speaks at Latino/a pastoral retreats to support the development of Hispanic ministries in the North Carolina Conference.
Colón-Emeric's research and ministry cross ethnic and denominational boundaries. His research and teaching engages the theologies of Wesley, Aquinas, and Bartolomé de las Casas in questions emerging from the Hispanic context. He has been co-chair of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)-United Methodist Church (UMC) joint committee and also serves in national and international dialogues between Methodists and Roman Catholics (see "Professor Colón-Emeric to Meet with Pope Francis"). His work explores the ways that the Christian theological tradition informs and challenges the church on issues such as poverty, justice, and inclusion of those previously considered “other.” He has also directed international programs at the Divinity School, including a Certificate in Methodist Pastoral Ministry program in Guatemala and the Methodist Course of Study in El Salvador, which trains pastors in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Panama. In addition, he has played numerous leadership roles at the CFR, including as a co-facilitator of the annual Summer Institute for Reconciliation. (Read a profile of Colón-Emeric.)
"Professor Colón-Emeric has worked for many years in ecumenical dialogue, especially between the Roman Catholic Church and Methodism," said Dean Heath. "He also has extensive experience in developing and leading initiatives in theological education in Central and South America, and has worked with the Center for Reconciliation in the past. All of these experiences make him the perfect faculty director to lead the CFR into a strong future."
"I am surrounded by a great cloud of students, staff, and faculty whom I believe are willing to walk by my side as ambassadors for Christ’s liberating reconciliation," said Colón-Emeric. "I particularly look forward to laboring with and learning from the new director of the Office of Black Church Studies, David Goatley."
Founded in 2005, the CFR aims to cultivate seeds of reconciliation locally and globally. The CFR focuses its efforts around three primary activities: connecting existing scholars and practitioners through collaborative partnerships, cultivating new leaders in the work of reconciliation, and communicating truth and hope.