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Dr. João Chaves called as assistant professor of evangelism and mission

May 31, 2022 | The Austin Seminary Board of Trustees has called Dr. João Chaves as Assistant Professor of Evangelism and Mission, effective July 1. He is currently Associate Director for Programming at the Hispanic Theological Initiative (HTI) at Princeton Theological Seminary.

“Dr. Chaves comes to Austin Seminary ready for the next moment in mission and evangelism because of his unique conversation with global Christianity,” said Professor Phil Helsel, chair of the search committee that called Chaves. “His breadth as a scholar—remarkable at this stage in his career—is matched by his passionate imagination and his meaningful kindness. Through exploring how key assumptions underlie our beliefs about the church, he made us feel realistically hopeful about its future.”

A native of Recife, Brazil, he earned a PhD from Baylor University in 2017; the title of his dissertation was “Disrespecting Borders for Jesus, Power, and Cash: Southern Baptist Missions, the New Immigration, and the Churches of the Brazilian Diaspora.” Chaves is an active lay member of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) and he serves in the Commission on Racial, Gender, and Economic Justice of the Baptist World Alliance.

Dr. Chaves is the author of four books including The Global Mission of the Jim Crow South: Southern Baptist Missions and the Shaping of Latin American Evangelicalism (Mercer University Press, forthcoming). His newest book, co-written with Mikeal Parsons, is tentatively titled Remembering Antônia Teixeira: Missions, Memory, and Violence Across Borders (Eerdmans, forthcoming). He contributed to numerous book reviews, peer-reviewed articles, and chapters in larger works. One of his ongoing projects includes editing Christianity, Race, and Ethnicity: Latinx Critical Conversations on Identity Construction and Religious Participation.

Chaves serves on the editorial board of Perspectives in Religious Studies, is co-director of the Baptist Scholars International Roundtable, co-editor of Perspectivas— the Journal of the Hispanic Theological Initiative, and chairs Latinx Religions at the American Academy of Religion Southwest.

Among many distinctions, he was a Baylor University BCU Scholar, University Ministerial Scholar, CBF Leadership Scholar, and received an HTI / Lilly Dissertation Fellowship. He was part of the writing team for the $7.3 million grant recently awarded to the HTI by the Lilly Endowment, titled “En conjunto! Strengthening the Recruitment, Retention, and Graduation of Latinx Masters and PhD Students.”

Dr. Chaves is married to Dr. Clare Duffy, and they are the parents of two. His interests include woodworking, playing soccer, and cooking Brazilian churrasco (what he calls “the real barbecuing”).