Kelly Figueroa-Ray is a university chaplain and director of the Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service, and Social Justice at Hamline Univeristy. Her academic focus is the relationship between scripture and theology as it is lived out in contemporary communities, with a particular interest in multicultural Christian ministries. Her most recent publication, “‘I Love You and There Is Nothing You Can Do About It’: Pastor Miguel Baldera’s Love Disruption of White Hegemonic Church Culture,” was published in Practical Matters, issue 13, on “Love” (November 2020). Through close text study, fieldwork, small group work, and other formats, Figueroa-Ray’s pedagogical strategies encourage students to awaken to the extent that religious beliefs, expressions, and practices saturate and shape the world they inhabit. She has found the interdisciplinary and intersectional approaches that come with the lived theology framework to be inviting to students of diverse backgrounds and identities, religious and nonreligious, by offering all students a space both to examine faith traditions critically and also to reflect on their own faith and values that shape how they view the world, how they choose to live in it, and the vocations they decide to pursue.
Figueroa-Ray was the communications and operations director of the Project on Lived Theology and has worked in various positions at the Project from 2009-2016, including managing the Civil Rights as Theological Movement digital archive. She gave a “History is Lunch” lecture on John M. Perkins. For a listing of all our Occasional Lectures, click here. She also contributed to the Project publication Mobilizing for the Common Good: The Lived Theology of John M. Perkins (2013).
She is the co-organizer of Lift Every Voice and Teach, a workgroup exploring teaching of race, memory, justice, and reconciliation.