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New grants to promote social justice research

Dr. Gregory Cuéllar, associate professor of Old Testament, is the author of a successful grant application to The Wabash Center of Crawfordsville, Indiana. He and his working group—composed of tenured Latinx faculty in theological education—learned in May that their Race Critical Consciousness grant proposal, "Expanding the Latinx Vision of Borderlands at ATS Member Schools," earned $85,000 to fund their research. The impetus for the research arose from a concern that little is being offered at the Association of Theological Schools (ATS)-member schools to expand students’ vision of the U.S. southern borderlands. Says Cuéllar, "This pedagogical and epistemological gap can inadvertently perpetuate abiding racial prejudices against the many Latinx people who migrate through or who are settled in the U.S. borderlands."

The Texas Methodist Foundation awarded a $100,000 grant to Austin Seminary alumnus Steve Miller (MDiv/MSSW’15) through his non-profit, United States Christian Leadership Organization, to support work on a book encouraging the church to be more involved in biblically based social justice and advocacy. Dr. Carolyn Helsel, associate professor of homiletics, is collaborating with Miller on the book, and they have already begun research. "I have been steeped in reading the Minor Prophets, among other books, and interviewing people" says Miller, "We have been given twenty-four months to write the book and are two months in.”