Assistant Dean for Student Life
Amy E. Steele began serving as the assistant dean for student life at Vanderbilt Divinity School in the summer of 2011. She is an ordained Baptist minister who earned two degrees from Vanderbilt University (2012 and 2000 respectively), the Doctor of Philosophy in Religion (Ethics and Society) and the Master of Divinity with a certificate in Black Church Studies. Dean Steele’s doctoral dissertation is titled, "The Mystical Aesthetic: Howard Thurman and the Art of Meaning." She has scholarly interests in the areas of social ethics, spirituality, philosophical hermeneutics, homiletics, aesthetics, and pragmatic theology. Prior to her employment at the Divinity School, she served as the project director for the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence, a Lilly Endowment, Inc. grant, at American Baptist College where she had charge of a $3.9 million dollar budget.
As assistant dean for student life she is responsible for community care, worship and spiritual formation, and advising student government. She is also challenged to provide individualized care by offering confidential space for students to converse about vocation, lifecycle changes, and the sphere of their educational experience. In these meetings Dean Steele assists students in identifying resources to assist their varying transitions. She is also the point person for student emergencies. Students are invited to make use of the programming and professional development opportunities that the assistant dean's office provides.