March 6, 2023

Photo of Barbara McClurePast accomplishments and future promise on the part of two Brite Divinity School professors are being recognized in their selection for part-time involvement beyond the Fort Worth graduate school.

Beginning this summer, Dr. Barbara J. McClure, associate professor of pastoral care and practice, will join an international group of scholars as a fellow of Princeton’s Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI), exploring “Psychology for Theologies of Thriving.” Over the next two years, McClure will participate in a summer session and semester-long workshop in Princeton, NJ. Additional work will be conducted by means of weekly online webinars. Following conclusion of her research in 2024, Dr. McClure will present her findings in a colloquy at Princeton.

In addition to her teaching and scholarship, McClure also directs Brite’s lifelong learning program. A reimbursement grant from CTI will enable Brite to contract with adjunct faculty and staff to ensure continuity in all areas while the professor is involved in the Princeton project.

Also expanding her work beyond Brite during the coming year will be Dr. Natalya Cherry, assistant professor in Methodist studies and theology. Cherry will teach short-term intensive courses as the Russell E. Richey and Merle Umstead Richey Visiting Professor in Methodist and Wesleyan Studies at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Cherry is only the second scholar to be tapped for the prestigious post established “to bring to campus the most outstanding scholars, teachers, and researchers in the field.”

Cherry’s courses at the Atlanta school will be offered in two short-term courses that will not interfere with her full-time professorship at Brite.  She expressed appreciation for Candler’s leaders who “were willing to work around and respect my existing Brite teaching schedule.”

Addressing the selection of these two Brite scholars for significant roles beyond their regular responsibilities, Brite Dean and Executive Vice President Michael Miller said, “Brite’s illustrious faculty regularly elevate our institutional esteem across the academy and in the wider public by their stellar pursuits as teacher-scholars. This time, it is through the recognition of Drs Cherry and McClure by Emory University and Princeton’s Center of Theological Inquiry respectively. I assure our colleagues that they have the enthusiastic support of the Brite community as they embark on these ventures. We look forward to the new wisdom they will have to impart as a result of their endeavors.”