North Park Theological Seminary announces two new members will join its faculty this fall: Dr. Jules Martínez-Olivieri and Rev. Michelle Dodson.
Martínez-Olivieri accepted the call to serve as Milton B. Engebretson Chair in Evangelism and Justice. He is a theologian, practitioner, and author working at the intersection of social, pastoral, and systematic theology. He has taught in seminaries and universities in Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Perú, and the United States.
Regarding theological education, Martínez-Olivieri says, “As a professor, I primarily seek the formation of students who can serve society, the church, and academia virtuously. I strongly believe that through reflective theological education, collaboration, and mentorship, bonds of mission and scholarship are cultivated. My teaching, writing, and experiences in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Latin America, coupled with my fluency in English and Spanish, will serve the graduate students and the mission of North Park Theological Seminary. I look forward to working with the next generation of Christian leaders with such a distinguished faculty!”
Martínez-Olivieri’s ecclesial experiences include pastoral ministry, church planting, and community development. He is author of Un Testimonio Visible: Cristología, Liberación y Participación and the English version, A Visible Witness: Christology, Liberation and Participation. He has two forthcoming books: Contemporary Theologies and Social Justice and Deep Hope: An Introduction to Christian Theology. He holds a BA in anthropology from the University of Puerto Rico and earned his MDiv and PhD from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
He will teach in the areas of evangelism and disciple-making, especially as they connect with the holistic gospel in the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts programs, including the School of Restorative Arts. The position also includes directing the seminary’s DMin in Urban Ministry Leadership program. “The seminary is delighted to welcome a teacher and scholar of Dr. Martínez-Olivieri’s caliber!” Michelle Clifton-Soderstrom, dean of the seminary faculty, said.
The seminary also announces that Rev. Michelle Dodson has accepted the invitation to serve as a teaching fellow in the Ministry Field. Dodson is the associate pastor of New Community Covenant Church Bronzeville, Chicago. She is also a doctoral candidate at Loyola University where she is working on a PhD in the sociology of religion with an emphasis on multiracial congregations. She has been dedicated to the work of racial reconciliation for more than two decades, helping to plant two intentionally multiracial churches in Chicago—New Community Covenant Church-Logan Square and New Community Covenant Church-Bronzeville. Dodson received her MDiv from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary and her MA in sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the co-editor of Challenging the Status Quo: Diversity, Democracy, and Equality in the 21st Century.
Dodson, who has taught in the Seminary’s School of Restorative Arts over the past year, says, “Being able to teach in the SRA program has been a tremendous joy. The interactions I have had with students and faculty through this program, as well as the seminary’s demonstrated commitment to producing religious leaders and thinkers who are deeply committed to the whole gospel, have further cemented North Park Theological Seminary as an academic community I am keenly interested in joining and contributing to.”
Karen Figueroa, dean at Centro Hispano de Estudios Teológicos and the student representative on the search committee, reflects the excitement of the student body. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on the search committee, and I’m also in awe of what the Holy Spirit has done in foreseeing the future. The gift of adding two new faculty members to NPTS is amazing, and students are excited to welcome them. To have two distinguished members of the Latino and the African American (and a woman!) communities is amazing and remarkable. I am in anticipation of the Lord’s plans for the NPTS community but also in the Covenant and beyond!”
Clifton-Soderstrom said, “Rev. Dodson’s 20 years of urban ministry and church planting experience, commitment to justice in the city of Chicago, and research specialty are critical for the seminary’s expansions in conference cohorts and programming in prison. The ministry field welcomes her sociological expertise, and she will be a great addition to the faculty as a whole.”