Hood Theological Seminary welcomes new faculty, staff

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hood Theological Seminary welcomed new and returning students as classes began on Aug. 26 for the fall term. Among the new faces on campus are those of faculty members the Rev. Dr. Ken J. Walden, associate professor of pastoral care and counseling, and director of supervised ministry; Dr. Daran H. Mitchell, adjunct assistant professor of church administration and preaching; Dr. Kim Porter, adjunct professor in biblical studies; Dr. Staccato Powell, adjunct professor of ministry revisioning; and new staff member Stephanie Teasley, writing center coordinator and Learning Commons librarian.
“We are quite proud to have these scholars and accomplished individuals as the newest members of our distinguished faculty and staff. The combination and connection of their generational perspectives, new energy, wisdom and years of experience strengthens our on-going 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 diverse and complex world,” Hood President Dr. Vergel Lattimore said in a news release.
Here’s background on the
• Walden is a 1999 graduate of The Citadel. He received his master of divinity from Duke University Divinity School, a doctor of ministry in ecumenical ministries from Graduate Theological Foundation in South Bend, Indiana, and a doctor of philosophy in practical theology: pastoral care and counseling from Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California. He also completed Officer Squadron School at the U.S. Air Force Air University at Montgomery, Alabama and is a chaplain major in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. In this service, he teaches and preaches as well as provides pastoral care and counseling and assists military families in preparation for pre-deployment, deployment and post-deployment. Walden was chaplain and professor of philosophy and religion at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and most recently worked in the Wounded Warriors Program in Washington, D.C., where he provided counseling, led retreats and helped create workshops on marriage and family enrichment as well as spiritual growth. He is the author of 2 books: “A Pastor’s Poetry” and “Challenges Faced by Iraq War Reservists and their Families: A Soul Care Approach for Chaplains and Pastors.” Walden is an elder in the United Methodist Church and has served as pastor at churches in North Carolina, Michigan and California. He and his wife, Michelle, reside in Salisbury and have been married for 13 years after meeting while both graduate students at Duke University where Michelle was pursuing her M.B.A. from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. The public is welcome to meet Ken on Saturday, Oct. 25 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. during his book signing at the Literary Book Post at 110 S. Main St. in Salisbury.
• Teasley is the new writing coordinator for Hood Theological Seminary. She will be overseeing the new Learning Commons and tutoring students on their writing skills. Teasley has English degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has taught English for community colleges, universities and private institutions. Her specialty is one-on-one instruction. Teasley is also a wife, mother of two, and a hobby novelist.
• Mitchell received a bachelor of arts in religion and philosophy from Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida. He received an master of divinity from Hood Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry from the Samuel D. Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia. He is an ordained elder in the A.M.E. Zion Church and has been pastor at churches in Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, New York and North Carolina. He is currently pastor of Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church in Greensboro, and president of the Greensboro Chapter of Hood’s Alumni Association. Mitchell has served the A.M.E. Zion Church on numerous committees and boards and is currently co-dean of the Piedmont Episcopal District Leadership Training Institute and chairman/dean of the Board of Conference Examiners for the West Central N.C. Annual Conference. He has taught at New Brunswick Theological Seminary (St. John’s University Campus) and several colleges in North Carolina. Among the many organizations he has served are the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc., as its president, and the National Action Network (Brooklyn Branch) as its religious affairs director. He is the chairman of the Religious Affairs Committee of the Greensboro Branch of the NAACP. This year, he was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He is the recipient of many other ecumenical and religious leadership and service awards and honors. Mitchell is married to the Rev. Lynn Mitchell and is father to 18-year-old Caylen.
• Porter received a bachelor of science in social work from Florida State University and master of divinity from Emory University. He earned his doctorate in biblical studies at University of Glasgow. He has been pastor of United Methodist Churches in Georgia and Florida and is adjunct professor at Duke University Divinity School in pastoral care and Christian education. Porter has also lectured on liberation theology and the New Testament. As adjunct professor at Winthrop University, he teaches in the honors program, the Philosophy/Religion Department and in the core liberal arts curriculum, and is a consultant in the Research Department of the University for Peace, developing a religion-focused curriculum for peace education. He has worked with the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center as director of development and with a team to create the Philosophy and Religion Department at Florida International University. Porter was founder and instructor of the Miami Lay School of Theology and was campus minister and instructor at Miami-Dade Community College and Florida International University. He has led student delegations to Nicaragua and participated as an international election observer in Haiti and Honduras. After serving in various positions within the Florida community college system, including dean and provost, he gained extensive experience with community college administration, human resource development, educational policy and curriculum development. Porter has presented numerous papers during his career including “Sociology of Religion” at the Conference on Church and Society in Miami and “Impact of Cults on the Western Faith System,” also in Miami. He and his wife, Andria Cantrell, live in Salisbury.
• Powell received a bachelor of arts from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a master of divinity from Duke University Divinity School and a juris doctor degree from North Carolina Central University. He is pastor of Grace A.M.E. Zion Church in Raleigh and is the CEO of Grace in the City Community Development Corp., an entity dedicated to the redevelopment of the College Park neighborhood. Powell founded and is president of SP4 and Associates, a consulting firm which focuses on achieving clear, cogent and concrete objectives for its clients such as The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the British Methodist Church, Lincoln University and the Board of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. He serves in a number of ecumenical capacities: on the board of directors for the U.S. Conference of the World Council of Churches; as vice chair of the General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical Relations for the Presbyterian Church (USA); and as the chair and coordinator of the Great Gathering of the historic African American Methodist communions: the African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, and Christian Methodist Episcopal Churches. He also has served pastorates in the A.M.E. Zion Church and has served on the boards of several interdenominational organizations. He was assigned to Grace A.M.E. Zion Church in December 2003 where the congregation has grown from 45 to 1,200. Born in Hallsboro, Powell now resides in Wake Forest. He is the father of two children, Staccato K. Powell and Susan Nicole Powell.
Hood Theological Seminary is located at 1810 Lutheran Synod Drive.