Campus in the evening

Rode Molla, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, the Berryman Family Chair for Children’s Spirituality and Nurture

Rode Molla, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor, the Berryman Family Chair for Children’s Spirituality and Nurture.

Rode Molla is a native of Ethiopia who has made her home in the United States for the last ten years. In Ethiopia, Rode worked first as a children’s program director and then at the denominational level of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY), where she collaborated with diverse ethnic groups and religious leaders and national and international organizations that work for social justice, peace, and reconciliation work of children. Rode saw at-risk children exposed to human trafficking, traumatizing cultural and social practices, political and social instability, poverty, and economic crises. And her practical work with pastors, children and youth ministers, and theologians focused on empowering them to resist the social, cultural, and economic injustice that exposes children to risk. Her published article, “Pastoral Care in the Living Web for At-Risk Children in Ethiopia” (Published in The Journal of Pastoral Theology Volume 28, Issue 3 (2018):189-102), analyzes the risks and unjust social and political practices that Ethiopian children face. In the article, Rode recommends a pastoral care practice of resistance, empowering, liberating, and nurturing to encourage holistic development and socially just ministerial and political practices for at-risk children.

Rode received B.Th. from the Mekane Yesus Seminary, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2005, M.A in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry from Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, MN, 2013, Master of Theology from Western Theological Seminary, Holland, MI in 2015, and Ph.D. in Religion from the University of Denver and Iliff School of Theology, Denver, CO in 2021.

Rode has an intercultural, interdenominational, intercontinental, and interdisciplinary ministerial, academic, and teaching expertise and experiences. Rode received the Outstanding Th.M. Thesis Award at Western Theological Seminary in 2015, Inclusive Excellence Scholarship at the University of Denver in 2016 and 2017 and 2017 and 2018 academic years, Outstanding Research and Writing Award at the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology Joint Doctoral Program in 2018, and Larry Kent Graham Pastoral Care Award in 2019 from Iliff School of Theology in 2019.

Rode’s research and writing interests employ an interdisciplinary approach at the intersection of lived religion, postcolonial studies, political, intercultural, and postcolonial pastoral and practical theological methods, and critique of neoliberalism.