We are delighted to announce that the Rev. Dr. Christy Newton will serve as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Practice of Ministry and Interim Director of Community Engaged Learning at PSR during the 2017-2018 academic year.
A 2000 MDiv graduate of PSR, Dr. Newton has been a close partner with us. She has served as a field mentor, adjunct faculty, taught in our Certificate of Theological Education for Leadership, and worked with students in discernment as a member of the Training and Care Committee for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Northern California-Nevada. During her time at PSR and the GTU, Dr. Newton was an active member of the Disciples Seminary Foundation community, and she subsequently served as a member of DSF’s board, including a year as vice-chair.
Dr. Newton’s educational background and practical experience reflect the commitments of PSR’s office for Community Engaged Learning—which encompasses the work of Field Education, Contextual Education, and CTEL. Her teaching, research, and writing develop the interdisciplinary intersections among constructive and practical theologies, the sociology of globalization, and material culture studies. She focuses on ways consumer culture reflects and reifies people’s deepest beliefs and values and how economic structures incarnate the ethical commitments of ordinary people through the material objects we consume. In other words, her work tests the hypothesis that what we buy is what we believe. She is currently finishing revisions on her book manuscript, Saving at Wal-Mart: A Theological Analysis of Relationships in Consumer Culture, which reflects her sincere passion for connecting the world of ideas with everyday actions and everyday spirituality.
Upon accepting the position, Dr. Newton said, “I am excited to be at PSR for this coming year, and to contribute to the work of Community Engaged Learning that has so shaped my ministry. I bring to this work a focus on the gritty and tangible work of justice and the work of dynamically translating a prophetic gospel message into language that people from all walks of life can understand. Whether preaching, teaching, or leading, I seek to use the arts in opening up the deep and beautiful possibilities of the spirit.”
Dr. Newton is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who has served Disciples and United Church of Christ congregations in Arkansas and California and has worked in campus ministry/church relations at Chapman University. She will divide her time with her current call as the Senior Minister of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Vallejo, California. In addition to her studies at PSR, Dr. Newton is also an alumna of Texas Christian University, Nanzan University (Nagoya, Japan), Monash University (Melbourne, Australia), and the Graduate Theological Union.