Dean Townes

  • Vanderbilt University

    Call Folks by Their Names

    West Southern Pines School A reflection from our dean, Emilie M. Townes, for November 2022: When I was a little Black kid growing up in a very traditional Black transclass community in Durham, NC, and in my grandmother’s working class, Black community in West Southern Pines, NC, about 75 miles… Read More

    Nov. 1, 2022

  • Vanderbilt University

    A Benchmark for Our Actions

    A reflection from our dean, Emilie M. Townes, for October 2022: Lately, I’ve been finding myself talking about integrity in the various talks I’ve been giving. I do so because I think having integrity and living our lives by modeling it gives us a benchmark for our actions.  In this… Read More

    Oct. 16, 2022

  • Vanderbilt University

    Fall 2022 Convocation Remarks from Dean emilie m. townes

    Dean Emilie M. Townes’ Fall Convocation remarks, as delivered on August 26, 2022 each opening convocation, we have begun by remembering those who have died since we were last together in May and to celebrate the new births during this time as well today, we remember those killed… Read More

    Aug. 28, 2022

  • Vanderbilt University

    2022 Charge to the Graduates: Imagine Again

    well, for those of you who began your time here in the fall of 2019, you have been through it—not just in the classroom—but in the events that surrounded our lives that academic year began with a dispute between the subcontractors that built the new wing of our building… Read More

    May. 20, 2022

  • Vanderbilt University

    The nature and necessity of bone-deep love

    Bone-deep love calls us to live our lives out of the possibilities found in wholeness, self-reflection, justice, peace, a new heaven and a new earth, hope and not our shortcomings—that rest on greed, self-centeredness, avarice, coveting, despair. Amazing love moves us to grow in compassion, understanding, and acceptance of each other. A far better place to be morning by morning and day by day. Read More

    May. 3, 2022

  • Vanderbilt University

    No matter what the world hands us we give back love

    Somehow, no matter what the world hands us we give back love, we stand for goodness, we live our faith, we live with integrity. we live God’s grace large, we stand with the least of these, we build bridges of salvation, liberation, justice, joy, and deep spirit that can carry the depth and breadth of humanity over them. Read More

    Apr. 4, 2022

  • Vanderbilt University

    Lament is not about helplessness or hopelessness

    Lament is not about helplessness or hopelessness. When done in community, we name that which is causing us to be tempted by despair with as much precision as possible and then begin to take steps to address—if not eradicate—that which keeps us from a more just world. Read More

    Mar. 11, 2022

  • Vanderbilt University

    Public theology fellow leaves legacy of community building and support

    The Rev. Teresa L. Smallwood, who helped launch Vanderbilt’s Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative as associate director in 2017, is moving to Pennsylvania’s United Lutheran Seminary in January. Over Smallwood’s four years at Vanderbilt Divinity School, the Collaborative has hosted nearly 30 workshops and more than 20… Read More

    Dec. 20, 2021

  • Vanderbilt University

    Charge to the Class of 2021

    Delivered by Vanderbilt Divinity School dean, emilie m. townes on May 16, 2021 whether we are talking calendar year or academic year, this has been some year we have lived and it’s good to see so many of you in the flesh rather than in zoom boxes those boxes had… Read More

    May. 17, 2021

  • Vanderbilt University

    2020 Charge to the Graduates

    Delivered by Emilie M. Towes on May 2, 2021 You are the only graduating class to get two charges from the dean. I’m not sure if this will help or hurt but here we are. In this unusual moment, let me begin by reminding you that last year I… Read More

    May. 2, 2021