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The Stanley Grenz Lecture Series with Dr. Brian Bantum

The Stanley Grenz Lecture Series is offered in honor of former Professor Stanley Grenz, a prolific Christian scholar with a pastoral heart and deep intellectual presence. In his memory, each year The Seattle School hosts theological leaders and thinkers to advance theological discourse.

The title of Dr. Bantum’s talk is Dare We Hope for a Tomorrow? Conversations on Theology, Hope, and Action.

We live in a moment that is both a reckoning and seemingly new. For some the realities of racial violence and ignorant, bold-faced violence is shocking. For others, the veil is simply being thrown back. On the eve of a historic election, Dr. Brian Bantum welcomes three colleagues—Dr. Pamela Lightsey, Dr. Patrick B. Reyes, and Dr. Christine Hong—to ponder and scheme about tomorrow. Where is the place for hope, for action, for theology in the face of violence that runs so deep in our society? Join us as we begin to imagine a different world together.


About Dr. Brian Bantum
Dr. Bantum is the Neil F. And Ila A. Fisher Chair of Theology at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He is the author of Redeeming Mulatto: A Theology of Race and Christian Hybridity and The Death of Race: Building a New Christianity in a Racial World. Dr. Bantum speaks throughout the country on issues of Christian life and identity and the realities of race and gender. He is a contributing editor of Christian Century and Theologian-in-Residence at Quest Church in Seattle, WA.


About Dr. Pamela Lightsey

Dr. Pamela Lightsey is a womanist theologian and activist. She currently serves as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Meadville Lombard Theological School and Associate Professor of Constructive Theology. As an activist, Dr. Lightsey has worked within the LGBTQ community to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell military policy, and to ensure marriage equality. She continues to critique churches for homophobic polity, liturgy, and homiletics. Dr. Lightsey has consistently collaborated with activist-colleagues in the movement for the liberation of Black lives, those addressing violence against Black transwomen, and institutional racism on college campuses. She currently serves as a member of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Advisory Council on LGBTQ+ issues. Dr. Lightsey is also an accomplished author, publishing such works as Transforming Service: Reflections of Student Services Professionals in Theological Education and “Blinking Red: The Escalation of a Militarized Police Force and Its Challenges to Black Communities.”


About Dr. Patrick Reyes
Dr. Patrick B. Reyes is the author of the forthcoming book The Purpose Gap: Empowering Communities of Color to Find Meaning and Thrive, and of the award-winning book Nobody Cries When We Die: God, Community, and Surviving to Adulthood. A Chicano educator, administrator, and institutional strategist, he currently serves as Senior Director of Learning Design at the Forum for Theological Exploration, where his portfolio includes oversight of organizational thought leadership, resource development, and annual grant funding. Children’s Defense Fund selected Nobody Cries as the first book for its inaugural book club in 2019, as well as recognized him in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 as a “Great Teacher and Preacher.” He is president-elect of the Religious Education Association and serves on several boards supporting the next generation of religious leaders and educators of color. You can learn more about Patrick at


About Dr. Christine Hong
Dr. Christine J. Hong is Assistant Professor of Educational Ministry at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. Her interests include anti-colonial and decolonial approaches to religious and interreligious education and life. Hong’s interests also include Asian American spiritualties, and the spiritual and theological formation of children and adolescents among BIPOC communities. Hong is a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and has spent time as both as a religious educator and youth and young adult minister in New York and Southern California. She is the author of numerous articles, chapters in books, and two monographs, the first is, Youth, Identity, and Gender in the Korean American Church, published by Palgrave, and the second is, Decolonial Futures: Intercultural and Interreligious Intelligence for Theological Education forthcoming from Lexington Press.

About the Stanley Grenz Lecture Series

The Stanley Grenz Lecture Series is offered in honor of former Professor Stanley Grenz, a prolific Christian scholar with a pastoral heart and deep intellectual presence. Stan engaged the challenging theological questions of his generation with a profound sensitivity to the complexities of a Christian community embedded within a cultural context. In honor of him, this series is designed to invite scholarly theological discourse into the public forum, as an expression of Christian faith and service.