Jennifer M. McBride

Jennifer M. McBrideVirginia Seminar Project: Reducing Distance: Radical Discipleship through an Open Door

Jennifer M. McBride is the associate dean of doctor of ministry programs and continuing education and an assistant professor of theology and ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. Central to her teaching and research is the interaction of scholars and practitioners, a methodology she will implement in her Virginia Seminar project. As a writing fellow, McBride spent the 2010/2011 academic year as a full time participant-observer at the Open Door Community, an intentionally interracial residential Christian activist and worshipping community in Atlanta, that has been engaged in mercy and justice work on behalf of the homeless and prison populations for thirty years. Please read Open Door Community’s Newspaper Hospitality to find a number of McBride’s contributions that will be used in her forthcoming book based on this research. 

Radical Discipleship: A Liturgical Politics of the Gospel
(Fortress Press, 2017)

The Church for the World: A Theology of Public Witness
Nominated for the 2013 Grawemeyer Award in Religion

 The Church for the World

Bonhoeffer and King: Their Legacies and Import for Christian Social Thought
Co-edited with Willis Jenkins

Bonhoeffer and King: Their Legacies and Import for Christian Social Thought

Reviews of The Church for the World

Carla Simmons, “Existing in this World, Living for Others” in Hospitality, Vol.32, No.5, May 2013. Written by one of Jenny’s students in the prison.

Glen Stassen, Review of The Church for the World in The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics, Vol. 33, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2013.

Martin Marty, Review of The Church for the World, International Bonhoeffer Society Newsletter, No. 105, Spring 2013.

McBride’s Response to Jacob Goodson, Review of The Church for the World in Christian Scholars Review, Vol. XLII, No. 2, Winter 2013.

Philip G. Ziegler, Review of The Church for the World in Theology, Vol. 116, No. 3, March 2013.

Mark Mattes, Review of The Church for the World in Lutheran Quarterly, Vol. XXVI, No 4, Winter 2012.

Clint A. Schnekloth, Review of The Church for the World in Word and World, Vol. 32, No 4, Fall 2012.

Reviews of Bonhoeffer and King

D.M. Yeager, Review of Bonhoeffer and King in Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 80, Issue 2, pp. 575-579, June 2012.

Myles Werntz, Review of Bonhoeffer and King in Reviews in Religion & Theology, Vol. 19, Issue 1, pp. 97–99, January 2012.

“Repentance as Political Witness” in Christian Political Witness, Ed. Gregory Lee, InterVarsity Press, forthcoming.

“Christ Existing as Concrete Community Today,” Theology Today, April 2014.

“The Witness of Sinners,” Christian Century, November 27, 2013.

Theological entries “I Thessalonians 4:13-18,” “I Thessalonians 5:1-11,” “Ephesians 1:15-23” in Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, Year A, Vol. IV. Eds. Barbara Brown Taylor and David L. Bartlett (Westminster John Knox, 2011).

“Bestowing Meaning: A Reflection on Ethnography and Philosophical Theology,” Practical Matters: A Transdisciplinary Multimedia Journal of Religious Practices and Practical Theology, Issue 3, May 2010.

“Thinking within the Movement of Bonhoeffer’s Theology: Towards a Christological Reinterpretation of Repentance” in Religion, Religionlessness and Contemporary Western Culture: Explorations in Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Theologyed. Stephen Plant (Peter Lang, 2008).

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

The Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Department of Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen, “Who is Dietrich Bonhoeffer for Us Today?” March 28, 2014.

Aberdeen Poster 2.

Mercer University’s Center for Theology and Public Life, “Bonhoeffer and Contemporary Social Ethics,” April 14, 2014.

Keynotes for the ELCA Montana Synod Annual Meeting, Billings, Montana, “A Bold But Non-Triumphal Witness,” and “Re-Imagining Faith as Concrete Discipleship,” May 30-June 1, 2014.

Keynote or Plenary Addresses

Keynote address in Wartburg’s chapel during Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Read Jenny’s keynote address.

Wheaton Theology Conference: Christian Political Witness, “Repentance as Political Witness,” April 4-6, 2013.

Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Lecture, “Bonhoeffer and Repentance: A Constructive Proposal for Christian Public Witness,” Gustavus Adolphus College, St Peter, Minnesota, November 14, 2011

Recent Community Engagement and Public Theology

“Prison Discipleship,” Canterbury Forum, St Luke’s Episcopal Church, Cedar Falls, Iowa, September 23, 2013

Keynote Speaker, ELCA Women’s Regional Meeting, “orybodying Faith Seeking Understanding,” Waverly, Iowa, April 13, 2013

McCormick Theological Seminary

For Jenny’s academic page at McCormick Theological Seminary, click here.

“Academic and Activist,” a feature story on Jenny in the Wartburg College Summer 2012 magazine.

International Bonhoeffer Society, English Language Section

Member of the board of directors of the International Bonhoeffer Society, English Language Section

Chair of the American Academy of Religion’s “Bonhoeffer: Theology and Social Analysis Group”

Jennifer M. McBride is the associate dean of doctor of ministry programs and continuing education and an assistant professor of theology and ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. She received her master’s degree and doctorate in theology, ethics, and culture from the religious studies department at the University of Virginia and her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

After receiving her doctorate in 2008, Jenny became a 2008/2009 postdoctoral fellow in the Initiative in Religious Practices and Practical Theology at Emory University. From 2009-2011, she remained at Emory’s Candler School of Theology as a visiting lecturer and as program director for the certificate in theological studies at Metro State Prison for Women, a program sponsored by the Atlanta Theological Association and housed at Emory. From 2011-2016 she served as the Board of Regents Chair of Ethics, assistant professor of religion, and director of peace and justice studies at Wartburg College, a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Waverly, Iowa.

McBride serves on the board of directors of the International Bonhoeffer Society— English Language Section. She is co-editor of Bonhoeffer and King: Their Legacies and Import for Christian Social Thought (Fortress Press, 2010) and author of The Church for the World: A Theology of Public Witness (Oxford University Press, 2011).

Central to her teaching and research is the interaction of scholars and practitioners, a methodology that she will implement in her Virginia Seminar project, tentatively titled Reducing Distance: Radical Discipleship through an Open Door. As a writing fellow, McBride spent the 2010/2011 academic year as a full time participant-observer at the Open Door Community, an intentionally interracial residential Christian activist and worshipping community in Atlanta that has been engaged in mercy and justice work on behalf of the homeless and prison populations for thirty years.

Favorite quotes on the art of writing:
1) “A well-known writer got collared by a university student who asked, ‘Do you think I could be a writer?’
‘Well,’ the writer said, ‘I don’t know. Do you like sentences?’
The writer could see the student’s amazement. Sentences? Do I like sentences? I am twenty years old and do I like sentences? If he had liked sentences, of course, he could begin, like a joyful painter I knew. I asked him how he came to be a painter. He said, ‘I liked the smell of paint.'”
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
 
2) “Everything is gestation and the bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one’s own intelligence, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist’s life: in understanding as in creating.
There is here no measuring of time, no years matter, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient, who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide. I learn it daily, learn it with pain to which I am grateful: patience is everything!”
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet