Hood starts new year with new personnel

  • Posted: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 11:59 p.m.
    UPDATED: Thursday, September 5, 2013 12:00 a.m.
Dr. Stephanie Crumpton
Dr. Stephanie Crumpton

SALISBURY — There is much excitement in the air on the campus of Hood Theological Seminary as returning and new students arrive for the fall semester. New leadership, new professors and new construction add to the usual first-week energy being felt throughout the seminary.

Dr. Vergel Lattimore, president-elect of the seminary, is among the familiar faces greeting students around campus although he has assumed a major new leadership role this year. Last year, Lattimore served as vice president of academic affairs at Hood, the first person ever to serve as a vice president at the seminary. In May, he was elected by the Board of Trustees to the position of president-elect, effective July 1, when Dr. Albert Aymer began a well-deserved year’s sabbatical after serving 19 years as seminary president.


Among the new faces on campus are those of faculty members Dr. Stephanie Crumpton, assistant professor of pastoral care and counseling; Jess Bellemer, director of library services; Dr. Henry J. Young, visiting professor of theology and ethics; and Dr. Herman E. Thomas, director of supervised ministry and adjunct professor of pastoral theology.

In announcing the appointments of these new faculty members, Lattimore said, “We are quite proud to have these four scholars and accomplished individuals as the newest members of our distinguished faculty. The combination and connection of their generational perspectives, new energy, wisdom and years of experience strengthens our ongoing commitment to excellence. Their primary disciplines will provide important dimensions in the education and preparation of our students as the future leaders of faith communities in today’s complex world.”

Crumpton has more than 10 years of experience as a leader in the church, community and the religious academy. She has pastored and provided specialized care and counseling to teens and adults in local congregations, trained faith leaders from multiple traditions on violence response protocols, and served as a chaplain to low-income families displaced by urban revitalization efforts. Her congregational involvement includes ministerial leadership in three United Church of Christ (UCC) congregations since moving to Atlanta in 2002. She has taught pastoral care courses at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, Interdenominational Theological Center and Chicago Theological Seminary. In addition to working in the church and community, Crumpton has been actively involved in research and on-the-ground work as a court appointed advocate supporting women, men and children who have experienced family violence.

She brings all of these experiences to the classroom at Hood Theological Seminary as assistant professor of pastoral care and counseling. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in broadcast journalism from Langston University, master of divinity degree with a concentration in pastoral care from Interdenominational Theological Center, and a doctorate of Theology degree in pastoral counseling from Columbia Theological Seminary.

Bellemer received her B.A. in religion with minors in English literature and ancient Greek from McMurry University, master of arts in Biblical studies with a focus on New Testament and early Christianity from Yale University, and master of science degree in library science from the University of North Carolina. Prior to assuming the position of director of library services at the seminary, Bellemer served as the head librarian and archivist at Ullman Classics Library on the campus of the University of North Carolina and as the director of children and youth ministries at Fairmont United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill.

Young, visiting professor of theology and ethics, received his B.A. in philosophy and religion from Tougaloo College, a master of theology degree from Boston University, and his Ph.D. in systematic theology from The Hartford Seminary. His areas of expertise and research interest are: process philosophy and theology, systematic theology, nineteenth century European theology, philosophy of religion and Western culture, and New Testament theology. Young is well published and has lectured at colleges, universities and theological seminaries throughout the United States. He is professor emeritus of systematic theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and was a faculty member of the philosophy and religion department at UNC Wilmington before coming to Hood. He also serves as pastor of Johnson Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Leland.

Thomas, emeritus professor at University of North Carolina at Charlotte and former vice president of academic affairs and provost of Shaw University, brings 40 years of experience in teaching and leadership in the field of theological education to his role as director of supervised ministry and adjunct professor of pastoral theology at Hood. Thomas has presented papers and lectured at colleges and theological seminaries throughout the country. His areas of expertise include religion and philosophy, black religion in 19th century America, African traditional religion, religion in American culture and religious studies. Thomas received his B.S. from North Carolina A&T University, B.D. from Duke University Divinity School, master of theology from Duke University Divinity School, and Ph.D. from Hartford Seminary Foundation.

Hood, 1810 Lutheran Synod Drive, is a graduate and professional school where intellectual discourse and ministerial preparation occur in tandem within the framework of a community of faith. Its student body comprises persons from many different denominations. Accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, the seminary is sponsored by the AME Zion Church and approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church. As a theological seminary, it provides for the church an educational community in which Christian maturity and ministerial preparation take place together.

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