Announcing Dr. Rode Molla

Date: May 27, 2022

It is with very great pleasure that I announce that the Board of Trustees voted at their May meeting to appoint Dr. Rode Molla as Assistant Professor, Berryman Family Chair in Children’s Spirituality and Nurture.

Dr. Molla recently earned her Ph.D. at Iliff and the University of Denver, and in her dissertation developed a new pastoral care model focusing on creating in-between spaces and intercultural consciousness is the context of neoliberalism. Born in Ethiopia, she brings new questions and expertise to the field, especially in relation to post-colonial perspectives on children and spirituality as well as a global perspective. Her work with children in under-resourced contexts and in context of trauma is particularly compelling for the church in the 21st century. With her deep educational background, she can also teach courses in pastoral care and chaplaincy, incorporate intercultural perspectives into more of our work, and make links with other fields.

Dr. Molla is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and in the ordination process. When speaking with her, one is soon struck by her lively faith and love of God.

As the very first person in the Berryman Family Chair, Rode is set to lead VTS and the church in studying and nurturing children’s spirituality on the national and international level. With this hire, I’m proud to say that VTS now has three scholars in the area of Christian Formation: Rode Molla, Liz DeGaynor, and Lisa Kimball.

Dr. Molla arrives on campus with her husband and young daughter this summer, and officially begins on July 1. Welcome Rode!

The Rev. Melody Knowles, Ph.D.Vice President of Academic Affairs
and Associate Professor of Old Testament

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