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Assistant Dean for Student Life


   Reverend Amy E. Steele, PhD
   Assistant Dean for Student Life  



Amy Elizabeth Steele began serving as the assistant dean for student life at Vanderbilt Divinity School In the fall of 2011.  She is an ordained Baptist minister who was graduated from VDS in 2000 with the master of divinity degree and a certificate in Black Church studies.  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.  She has served as a prison ministry intern, children and youth pastor, field education seminar leader, and senior pastor of a rural house church.  Dean Steele recently defended her doctoral dissertation from Vanderbilt University (Graduate Department of Religion) 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. 

As assistant dean for student life she is responsible for community care and programming (Monday Forum, Weekly Worship, Friday Coffee Hour, as well as, serving as a point person for all student organizations and advisors).  She is also challenged to provide individualized care by offering confidential space for students to converse about vocation and lifecycle changes, including interest in graduate school.  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 assistance that the assistant dean's office provides.  To make an appointment, you may email her directly, or call 615-343-5749.