Looking Back at the Beginnings

By: Jonathan Radford, MDiv1

Believe it or not, this blog you’re reading right now has been a source for information, enlightenment, and engagement at the Vanderbilt Divinity School and communities around the world for a little more than a year. So, we thought it would be fitting to look back at some of the posts published over this past year.

Feature: 2013 Cole Lectures Reflection

The 2013 Cole Lectures were delivered on October 3-4 by renowned scholar Elaine Pagels, author of Revelations: Visions, Prophecy and Politics in the Book of Revelation.


VDS Feature: International Interfaith Delegation to El Salvador Part 1 – Andrea Folds, MTS’14

In March four students took part in the first ever International Interfaith Delegation to El Salvador in support of LGBTQI activist and people of faith, and attended the inaugural Festival de Fe in San Salvador (this trip/event coincided with the annual recognition of the martyrdom of Monsignor Oscar Romero.  The work happening in El Salvador is groundbreaking, as is the development of this partnership, and we are part of it.


VDS Feature: Considering Chaplaincy – Jill Schock, MTS’11

After graduating from VDS in 2011, I pursued a ministry in clinical chaplaincy, or what has also started to be known as spiritual counseling. I’m writing to those of you considering the field and even to those of you who aren’t.



VDS Feature: “Who Am I?”  –  Lauren McDuffie

For the second year in a row, I spent the final week of my winter break at the National Festival of Young Preachers.  This is an annual gathering sponsored by the Academy of Preachers, whose mission is to “identify, network, support, and inspire young people in their call to Gospel preaching.”

This a three part series of sermons delivered during the Academy of Preachers by academy members: Lauren McDuffie, James Dennis and Shantell Hinton.


Lauren McDuffie



James W. Dennis



Shantell Hinton


VDS Feature: Jailbird – Brian Darnell, MDiv3

Although I am a published songwriter and music publisher with an SESAC affiliation, eventually the business of music on “Music Row” offered more than I could endure. While I realize that my journey to Vanderbilt from 16th to 21st Avenue is one measured in a lifetime rather than any perceptions or illusions of success or failure, “the Row” is now just a place where I park my vehicle.




Thank you for your continued support and willingness to listen and interact with VDS Voices. We hope you return for many years to come.