People Notes


“Steve is a man of great integrity. His life is one lived for God and God’s people. His heart and soul are given to Christ daily . . . Whenever I have heard him preach God’s word, he does so with passion and clarity. He is exceptionally intelligent and yet I believe his greatest gift is presence with people.” A comment about Stephen H. Phelps ’73 B.A., ’86 M.Div., in a Dec. 15, 2010 announcement from Riverside Church in New York about Phelps’s appointment as interim senior minister, effective Jan. 3.


Luke Timothy Johnson ’76 Ph.D., who taught New Testament at YDS from 1976 to 1982, has won the 2011 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his 2009 book, Among the Gentiles: Greco-Roman Religion and Christianity, published by Yale University Press as part of its Anchor Yale Bible series. The $100,000 prize is given jointly by Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the University of Louisville.  Award director Susan Garrett called Johnson's approach "powerfully illuminating, not only for historical study but also for interfaith relations today." Johnson holds the Robert W. Woodruff chair in New Testament and Christian Origins in the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.


“We are too dogmatic about our feminism.  The tendency to be dogmatic about our beliefs is not so much a religious tendency as a human one. But our feminist dogma—even if inspired by the best of intentions—won’t fuel change. What will fuel change is diligently studying the complexities of the systems in which we live, and then practicing a spirit of partnership, dialogue, listening, and curiosity.”  Kimberly George ’11 M.A.R., Dec. 10, 2010, in the column “Faith & Feminism: A message to secular sisters,” in


“A lot of Latin American theology focuses on the idea of the border, the idea that we have multiple identities that are sometimes in conflict with each other and sometimes complement each other. So we ourselves are walking borderlands, and we live in that tension every day. In my case, I’m Latino, queer, have immigrant parents, and was a divinity school student. Some of these identities are in harmony and sometimes not. It’s a place of theological development.”  Delfin Bautista ’10 M.Div., December 20, 2010,, in the article “New LGBT coordinator will emphasize trans issues.”

“I was barefoot and my husband, Phil, is a cook and it felt like he had scattered flour on the ground.  It was so fine and wonderful. I instantly felt the wonderfulness of creation.” Dee Ann de Montmollin ’01 M.Div., Dec. 25, 2010,, in an article about her being named priest at the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation in Holmes Beach, FL.

“At the age of nine, I fell into a into a life of preteen crime by stealing Tiger Beats to feed my David Cassidy fix. After outgrowing The Partridge Family, I vowed that never again would I succumb to the lures of fandom. I’ve mocked those who follow the trend du jour, whether it is prepubescent girls coming down with the latest case of Beiber Fever, or Lady Gaga’s Little Monsters adopting the same freakish anarchist pose, or post-evangelical dudes getting all ziggy for Žižek.  But despite my noblest efforts, I see that I’ve now become what could best be described as a Dead Sea Scrolls groupie.”  Becky Garrison ’92 M.Div., Dec. 1, 2010, in the column “Confessions of a Dead Sea Scrolls Groupie,” Killing the Buddha blog.

“The God of the Bible prefers to work off the grid, in the dark, forgotten corners of human existence, in precisely those places that we try to pretend don’t exist or would rather keep in our rearview mirrors.” Trevor Eppehimer ’99 M.Div., Dec. 18, 2010, writing in the Salisbury (NC) Post, I the article “Liturgical time vs. newspaper time: Christians need both.”


William C. Mielke ’67 B.D., 72, of Susquehanna Township, PA, and Shawano, WI, died on Thursday, Dec. 16 at the Hershey (PA) Medical Center. He was a retired Presbyterian pastor, having served churches in Harrisburg, many other towns in Pennsylvania, and in Iowa.

“I looked through the Christian tradition and found that talk on happiness was never loud. It fell silent about 300 years ago because things like possessions and wealth became defined with happiness. And happiness now is understood to be an emotional state of being that comes and goes. I wanted some understanding of happiness that could be more enduring than that.” Ellen Charry, a Luce post-doctoral fellow at YDS in 1989-91, Dec. 19, 2010, Trenton (NJ) Times, in the article “Princeton author takes on spiritual path from grief to happiness.”


“To oppose anti-Semitism and to provide unconditional support for Israel are two disconnected actions and concepts, and it is the dangerous equation of the two, especially prevalent in America, that provides the impetus for Israel’s unchecked aggression, including what the U.N. has branded war crimes in the course of the 2008 Gaza War during which 1,300 Palestinian civilians were massacred.”  Nora Jacobsen ’10 B.A., ’12 M.A.R., Dec. 2, 2010, Yale Daily News, in the column “When does education become propaganda?”

“George’s wealth of leadership experience, keen insight to spiritual and ministry formation and familiarity with St. Francis’ staff, community and day-to-day operations make him ideal for this expanded role,” Bob Erickson, President and CEO, St. Francis Health Center, Topeka, Kan., Dec. 6, 2010, Kansas City Kansan, commenting on the appointment of George Noonan ’79 M.Div. as head of mission integration efforts at the center.


Susan Pinkerton ’08 M.Div. has been appointed associate rector at First Presbyterian Church in Lake Forest, IL, effective in mid-January.  Previously, she was associate rector at St. Mark's, Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. After graduation from YDS, she did research development at Trinity Wall Street before being called to St. Mark's.,lake-forest-briefs-121610-s1.article


Bob Jon ’08 S.T.M. has been appointed chaplain of the Portsmouth, NH Police Department after a six-month search process. He is senior pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Portsmouth and is pursuing a doctorate at Boston University. He served in the South Korean army for two years and briefly as a municipal police chaplain before coming to the United States. Dec. 16, 2010, Foster’s (NH) Daily Democrat.