Renowned Hispanic theologian speaking at Pfeiffer convocation

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pfeiffer University News Service
MISENHEIMER ó Next month, Pfeiffer University will celebrate its annual opening academic convocation with an internationally renowned United Methodist historian, theologian and author of more than 100 books and publications.
Dr. Justo Gonzalez will deliver Pfeiffer’s convocation address at 10 a.m. Sept. 5, a Friday. A public lecture will follow at 1:30 p.m.
During his 10 a.m. address, Gonzalez will speak about “When the Spirit Leads to Trouble” in the Merner Gymnasium on Pfeiffer’s campus. A book signing and community lunch at noon will follow in the Stokes Student Center.
At 1:30 p.m., Gonzalez will speak on “Hispanic Ministries: Opportunities, Challenges and Pitfalls” in the Henry Pfeiffer Chapel. Lunch costs $10.
A leading voice in the growing field of Hispanic theology, González is one of the few first-generation Latino theologians to come from a Protestant background. He helped found the first academic journal related to Latino theology, “Apuntes,” published by the Mexican American Program of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University.
He also helped found the Hispanic Theological Initiative and the Hispanic Theological Education Association, on whose executive council he has twice served as chairman.
“The university has benefited over the years from many outstanding voices who have played a part in the opening of our academic year,” Pfeiffer President Dr. Chuck Ambrose said. “This year, the voice of Justo Gonzalez represents a global faith-based perspective that will help introduce our new students to the mission of Pfeiffer and will challenge the entire university community to be faithful to our mission and those we serve.”
Born in Havana, Cuba, Gonzalez attended United Seminary in Cuba and received his graduate degree and Ph.D. at Yale University, where he was the youngest person to be awarded the historical theology doctorate.
Gonzalez taught at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta for eight years followed by eight years at United Seminary. He also served as adjunct professor of history at Columbia Theological Seminary, also in the Atlanta area, and is now retired from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. He was also a member of the Rio Grande Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Gonzalez is the author of more than 100 books and publications and serves as the main narrator for the video lessons of the Christian Believer study course from Cokesbury publishing.
His visit is part of a series sponsored by Pfeiffer and the Hispanic Leadership Academy, which is supported by a grant from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. As part of the series, Gonzalez will also deliver an address in Spanish at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 6 at Memorial United Methodist Church, 4012 Central Ave., Charlotte.
To register for lunch and the afternoon lecture at Pfeiffer, or for additional information, contact Dr. Phil Wingeier-Rayo at 704-463-3100 or