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Hood Theological Seminary faculty accepted to Oxford Institute of Methodist Studies


Dr. Ashley Dreff

Thomas Grinter

Hood Theological Seminary

Professors Ashley Dreff and Thomas Grinter of Hood Theological Seminary have been accepted to the 14th Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies.

The institute will be Aug. 12-19 at Pembroke College of Oxford University in England.

The gathering of top professionals in the field is held once every five years and is sponsored by the British Methodist Church and World Methodist Council. Dreff is assigned to the working group on Methodist history, and Grinter, to the biblical studies working group.

Dreff is director of United Methodist studies and student recruitment at Hood. As the focal faculty person in United Methodist studies, she is responsible for teaching courses for the master of divinity degree, as well as advanced courses in Methodist history, American religious history or women and gender studies.

In her administrative role, Dreff fosters networking with United Methodist districts and conferences, expands bridge-building with colleges and organizations, serves as a strategic team member with the Office of Recruitment to cultivate relationships that enhance enrollment, and enriches opportunities for student professional development.

Dreff has a Ph.D. in American religious history from Drew Theological School with a concentration in Wesleyan/Methodist studies and women and gender studies. Her doctoral dissertation topic was “Methodist and the New Morality: A History of Twentieth-Century Methodist Sexual Ethics.” She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history cum laude from the University of Arkansas and a master’s degree in religious studies (history of Christianity) from the University of Chicago Divinity School.

As a lifelong United Methodist, she has devoted attention to historical writing and archival preservation. She was an assistant archivist for the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church from 2012 to 2014. She was also a general conference legislative researcher and analyst for the Connectional Table of the United Methodist Church in 2015-16.

She has a certificate in online teaching and learning from the Association of Theological Schools. While at Drew University, she received the Florence Ellen Bell Scholarship (2012-14).

Grinter is adjunct professor of biblical studies and AME Zion studies. He is an ordained elder and member in full connection of the Kentucky Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

Grinter is a Ph.D. candidate in Bible, culture and hermeneutics at Chicago Theological Seminary. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Western Kentucky University and a master’s of divinity degree from Hood Theological Seminary, summa cum laude. He also holds a master of theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary with a concentration in Old Testament.

At Hood, Grinter has taught Old Testament, Hebrew and AME Zion history courses. He also taught Hebrew Bible introduction at Catawba College in 2012.

Grinter is an associate minister at New Hope AME Zion Church in Salisbury and Walters-Clement AME Zion Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Previously, he served Martin Temple AME Zion Church in Chicago and Stoner Memorial AME Zion Church in Louisville. He has also served as a curriculum writer for the department of church school literature of the AME Zion Church.

Grinter received a number of honors and awards including the 2008 President’s Award from Hood Seminary. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and American Academy of Religion and is a 2013 presidential doctoral fellow at Chicago Theological Seminary.

Hood Theological Seminary, at 1810 Lutheran Synod Drive, is a graduate and professional school sponsored by the AME Zion Church and approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church. Its students are from many denominations. As a theological seminary, it provides an educational community in which Christian maturity and ministerial preparation take place together.



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