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Divinity prof will be new Vanderbilt dean

Vanderbilt University announced today that Emilie Townes, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology at the Yale Divinity School (YDS), will become the new dean of Vanderbilt's divinity school in July. Townes, a leading scholar of feminist theology and Christian ethics, is also an ordained American Baptist minister. One of YDS's marquee names, she also serves as associate dean of academic affairs, and she is reported to have been on the short list of the search committee for the YDS deanship last year, before Gregory Sterling was chosen for the post.

“In every aspect of her profile, Emilie Townes epitomizes the Vanderbilt Divinity School’s dedication to renowned scholarship, ecumenical leadership and commitment to social justice,” said Vanderbilt's Carolyn Dever, who chaired Vanderbilt's search committee, in the university's press release. “We warmly welcome her to a community that is passionate about the scholarship and teaching of religion, and about empowering students to change themselves, and the world, for the better.”

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