This spring, The Seattle School added a new faculty position catered toward the Master of Arts in Theology & Culture degree program, selecting Dr. Ron Ruthruff to fill this role. The decision to hire an Associate Professor of Theology & Culture coincides with a time of focused building and expansion for the Theology & Culture degree.
“It’s a huge gift to participate in a community that is honestly trying to think through the intersections of text, soul, and culture,” Ron said when asked about his excitement for the position.
In the past 3 years, Theology & Culture enrollment has increased by 33% percent, and it is often speculated that the future of religious education is dependent on the integration of theology and culture. As Associate Professor of Theology & Culture, Dr. Ruthruff will serve as a strong mentor to the growing number of participants in the Theology & Culture program. With emphases in both scholarship and praxis, Dr. Ruthruff will function as an anchor in the continued expansion of The Seattle School’s innovative and compelling Social & Global Partnership track for our Master of Arts in Theology & Culture degree.
On hiring Dr. Ruthruff, Academic Dean Dr. J. Derek McNeil released the following statement to The Seattle School community:
“I’m very pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Ron Ruthruff as a core faculty member and Associate Professor of Theology and Culture. Ron joins us after being an adjunct faculty member here since 2010 and a Visiting Professor of Theology & Culture for the last two years.
“As one person stated, ‘Ron possesses that rare mix of academic training and rigorous field experience that makes his classroom presence and pedagogical method truly engaging and transformative.’ I agree with this assessment, and I believe that he will also bring a collaborative presence, interdisciplinary curiosity and an integrative impulse.”
Dr. Ron Ruthruff has served homeless and street-involved youth and their families for the past thirty years. He has provided case management services, designed programs, and educated the community on the issues that impact this vulnerable population. Ron’s career goals are to empower persons to live lives of significance, to equip the church to love and serve their neighbors, and to engage communities in cross cultural and global conversations.
Ron’s education is an eclectic blend of social work, counseling, and theological studies. He holds a B.A. from Western Washington University, an M.S. from Pepperdine University, and a Doctorate of Ministry in Complex Urban Settings from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston. His dissertation title, Welcoming Kids to the Table of Community: New Horizons Ministries as a Model of Service to Homeless Runaway Adolescents, addresses the psycho-social and spiritual issues surrounding homeless adolescents and describes a relationally based and theologically supported service delivery strategy to serve these marginalized young people.
Ron is an associate with The Center for Transforming Mission providing training and support for grassroots urban leaders serving youth and families in hard places around the world. Closer to home, Ron is on a regular preaching schedule at several local churches. Ron lives in the Rainier Valley, a multicultural neighborhood in the south end of Seattle, with his wife, Linda, whom he has served with for the last 26 years. His two adult sons Ben and Clayton live close by.