Brite Divinity School educates and inspires people to serve God's diverse world as leaders in churches, the academy, and public life.
Rev. Dr. Natalya Cherry joined Brite Divinity School in 2018 as Assistant Professor in Methodist Studies and Theology. Dr. Cherry received her BA from Georgetown University, an MDiv from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC and a PhD from Southern Methodist University. She is an ordained Elder in the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church, where she pastored local churches from 2001-2013 and previously served on the ministry staffs of Bethesda UMC in Bethesda, MD and Metropolitan Memorial UMC in Washington, DC.
After serving in these ministry capacities for over 14 years, Dr. Cherry returned to the academy in order to encourage and equip theology students with an awareness of God’s grace, so that they may hear and respond boldly to God’s call to make a difference in this world with that same grace. Her dissertation, Believing Into Christ: Restoring the Relational Sense of Belief as Constitutive of the Christian Faith, traced the grammatically unique creedal phrase credere in Deum, literally “believing into Christ,” through a little-known formula established in Augustine and its later systematization, sanitization, and eventual loss in translation. What has been lost in translation of this admittedly awkward construction is the relational sense of active and living belief, fit for the flourishing of human agents who relate to a living and active God. The twofold aim of the dissertation and of her overall research trajectory, therefore, is to restore the relational sense of “believing into God” as constitutive of Christian theology, catechesis, and public discourse, and to connect Christian belief with action to undergird a compelling Christian epistemology and more graceful interfaith dialogue. Dr. Cherry is the author of several articles and is also working on multiple projects in Methodist Studies.
DegreesPh.D., Southern Methodist University
M.Div., Wesley Theological Seminary
B.A., Georgetown University
National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity
American Academy of Religion
Southwest Commission on Religious Studies
Wesleyan Theological Society
Full Clergy Member, Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church (Ordained Elder 2005)