Protestant Educators

Picture of Letty Russell

For almost 60 years, Letty Mandeville Russell (1929 - 2007) had been teaching, leading and challenging the Church. One of the first women ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA), her influence is found in local congregations, in seminary classrooms, in the World Council of Churches, and in theological discussions around the world. Although Letty spent most of her academic career as a professor of theology, she began her ministry and teaching as a church educator. Her work has influenced women and men seeking theological, educational, and biblical frameworks that liberate and empower. She went to be with the Lord on July 12, 2007 in Guilford, CT.

Biography

Letty Mandeville Russell was born in Westfield, New Jersey in 1929, where she was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Westfield. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1951, with a major in biblical history. During her years in college, she was very active in the Student Volunteer Movement and the Student Christian Movement of New England. She taught third grade in Middletown, Connecticut for one year, while also directing the Christian education program of a small Methodist church in Higganum, Connecticut.

In 1952 she began her work with the East Harlem Protestant Parish as Director of Religious Education at the Church of the Ascension, and as a home missionary of the United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. When asked how a white, well-educated, young woman from an affluent area of New Jersey came to work in the East Harlem Protestant Parish, she reflected on her college-age involvement with the Student Christian Movement and her understanding of the Gospel as a source of transformation (Keely, 1990). Her "most important theological shift in college was that of ecumenical theology. As an officer in the Student Christian Movement of New England I planned and attended conferences and became deeply involved in the importance of connecting the work of the church to a worldwide movement for peace and social justice" (Russell, 1997, p. 307).

Letty was one of the first women to attend Harvard Divinity School and, upon graduation in 1958, was one of the first women ordained to the Ministry of the Word and Sacrament in the United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. She returned to the Church of the Ascension, where she served as Pastor for ten years. Those were tumultuous years in Harlem, and her ministry among the oppressed shaped Letty's feminist theology and educational theory.

She earned her S.T.M. from Union Theological Seminary (New York) in 1967 in the area of Christian Education and Theology, and in 1968 she left the East Harlem Parish to continue her theological studies. Letty completed her Th.D. in Mission Theology and Ecumenics from Union Theological Seminary (New York) in 1969, and taught at Manhattan College from 1969 to 1974. In 1970 she married Johannes Christiaan Hoekendijk, Professor of World Christianity at Union Theological Seminary, who did in 1975. In 1974 she joined the faculty of Yale University Divinity School, from which she retired in 2001 as Professor of Theology. Active in professional organizations, she chaired the international connections committee of the American Academy of Religion from 1993-1996.

Russell has received an honorary doctorate from Dickinson College and Coe College and an honorary masters degree from Yale She was the first Wellesley alumna to receive the Emmavail Luce Severinghaus Award for her work in the field of religion. She received the distinguished alumna Rabbi Martin Katzentein Award from Harvard Divinity School in 1998 and the Woman of Faith Award from the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1999.

She is nationally and internationally respected as one who encourages theological dialogue that respects diversity and works for inclusively. In her commitment to partnership and empowerment of others, she help to organize several groups, including the Asian and Asian American Women in Theology and Ministry, the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians, and the Women's Theological Center (Boston). Letty co-founded and currently serves as Advisor and Co-Coordinator of the International Feminist Doctor of Ministry Program at San Francisco Theological She continues to be involved in the National Council of Churches, the World Council of Churches and the YMCA. Letty is currently working with the Yale Divinity School Women's Initiative on Gender, Faith and Responses to HIV/AIDS in Africa and travels extensively for such international and ecumenical projects. Letty lives in Guilford, Connecticut with her partner, Shannon Clarkson.

The Formation of Letty's Ministries

Letty Russell has published over 20 books and 110 articles. In the introduction to Christian Education in Mission, Letty wrote that her work grew out of two directions, "that of my experience and that of my theology. My experience is that of life in a Christian community set in the midst of poverty, failure, and despair that has nevertheless learned to give thanks (Eph. 5:15-20). My theology is based on the conviction that the resurrection and victory of Christ is the starting and ending point of Christian life and nurture (I Cor. 15:51-58)" (1967, p. 9).

Her experience in ministry influenced her changing understanding of theology. Her experience of being in ministry with the poor and oppressed required her to rework both what "ministry with" looks like (partnership) and what a theology valid to that experience is (liberation). In her 1997 'theological autobiography,' she reflects:

My intellectual, social, personal, and political biography is full of margins and centers, and I am constantly on the move to find the margin and to claim it as the site of my theology of resistance…Margins are places of connection for those who are willing to move from center to margin. They are sites of struggle for those who choose the margin and move to the center in order to gain the ability to talk back. The margins are also the sign that God's New Creation is breaking in, when the distinctions of margin and center begin to blur as all share in God's hospitality. (1997, p. 305)

From the early days of her ministry, Russell understood Christian education as "the work of the church by which the life of a child or adult is made open to the call of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit" (Russell, 1960, p. 35). Another way of describing this is as a process of freeing persons to be in partnership. Freedom is a journey with others and for others towards God's future (Russell, 1974, p. 25). The journey begins from the other end, with an understanding of New Creation and a commitment to move towards that. Education is a journey of liberation towards New Creation; as educators we invite and empower others to move with us.

It is helpful to note two aspects of Russell's understanding of Christian education. The first is that Christian education is Christian. In reflecting on how her understanding of Christian education has changed over the years, Russell wrote:

One thing … that has not changed is my use of the term Christian Education rather than Religious Education. This is simply because as a Christian theologian and educator from the Reformed tradition, my particular starting point is biblical and Christological. I have constantly returned to the biblical foundations of my faith to discover the way we learn as participants in God's saving and liberating action. (Russell, 1984, pp. 5-6)

The second aspect is that it is done within the context of the life of a community of faith. The educational ministry of the church should be part of the whole life of the church, and not compartmentalized apart from the rest of the life of the congregation (Russell, 1967, pp. 21-22). "A program of Christian Education can never be separated from the rest of the life and witness of a congregation except for the purpose of planning and evaluation" (1966b, p. 270).

My discussion of Christian education begins with this assumption that in fact education is involved in the whole of church life, and ceases to be education when it is taken out of the context of the witnessing community. Everything that happens in the witnessing community, be it faithful or unfaithful, is part of the educational process of Christian nurture of its members…. It is assumed that everything that happens in a Christian community should be viewed in an educational perspective if we are to understand how it is that Christ nurtures his people through their life together (1967, p. 13).

Over the years Russell has described Christian education in many ways. In reviewing her own development, she categorized her educational emphases into biblical foundations (mission, tradition, and building up); liberating dimensions (liberation, partnership, and diakonia), and human community (exodus, nurture, and empowerment) (Russell, 1984). She still talks about mission and tradition in educational ministry, but does so now from a liberating understanding of partnership, lived in the context of an empowering community.

The overall emphasis in her hermeneutics is eschatological. She points towards New Creation and what it will look like: an inclusive understanding of the household of God, in which all are liberated and living together in partnership and service. As we move to Russell's descriptions of Christian education, exodus is a primary biblical image used to describe the process. The theological focus is eschatological; the educational emphasis is the journey. It grows out of her liberation perspective: "The metaphor I have chosen here is that of exodus, for education is a journey towards freedom: a journey with others, for others, towards God's future" (Russell, 1980, p. 3).

Education can be a process of liberation or exodus when it is seen as a partnership with others in the journey towards God's intended wholeness. Such education as exodus could contribute to the goal of educational ministry as a process of coming to critical and committed awareness of ourselves and the world in the light of God's intended purpose for New Creation (Russell, 1981b, p. 73).

Russell's ongoing concern is for the process of moving towards God's intended future, and so she approaches education "as a liberating and dynamic process of participation in God's freedom movement" (Russell, 1980, p. 3). This movement includes both theology and education, for Christian education must begin with theology. But often "the formation of an uneasy synthesis between theology and education for religion and education is made by relating them as theory and practice. Theology is the abstract theory and education is what you do to get people to learn" (Russell, 1980, p. 4). Russell's image of the relationship between theology and education, however, is a praxis of action-reflection-action.

Looked at in this way, both theology and education would be a dynamic and open-ended process of continuing action and reflection. The biblical metaphor for this journey of faith is that of exodus. The Exodus story in the Old Testament is a story of God's liberation. The people are set free and bidden to become God's people, learning to live out God's covenant as they journey through the wilderness toward the promised land. Here there is no dichotomy between education and theology, but rather a total configuration in which education happens by God's grace (Russell, 1980, p. 4. Also, Russell, 1981b, p. 71).

It is this understanding of education as "a journey towards freedom and wholeness"(Russell, 1981b, p. 70) that describes Russell's understanding of the holistic process of education that begins with theology. The journey that we are on is one that is leading toward New Creation. Like the Exodus journey, it is long and desert-like at times, but always done in relationship with God. "When theology begins with our own experiences of the biblical story of slavery, wandering, and hope, we are all invited to 'show and tell' what God has done, and thus become partners in theology" (Russell, 1981b, p. 73).

As one now primarily involved in theological education, she continues to point out the diverse ways women are oppressed--socially, economically, racially, and ecclesiastically. Russell is committed to the belief that no opportunity should be denied a person because of that person's gender, or any other aspect of that person that others might try to use to see a person as not equal. Her most remarkable work has been in partnering with women from all over the world who are not of racial and economic privilege. Her work in these contexts has changed the Church, Christian education, and theology.

She has described the team ministry that was developed in the 1960's in the East Harlem Protestant Parish as "coming home" for someone who had always understood herself as a "misfit." "It was home because I discovered among a marginalized community that in God's sight no one is a misfit, and that it is our call to join God in practicing hospitality for all persons" (Russell, 1997, p. 307). Central to her concept of team ministry was "the development of indigenous lay leadership …and the desire to include all the staff in a particular unit as part of a group or team ministry" (Russell, undated, late 1960's, p. 1). The team included the secretary/education assistant and the custodian. Over the years the secretary did more and more educational work, and the custodian became a lay evangelist, preaching and teaching in Spanish. The church staff operated as partners, as the minister, education assistant, and custodian all shared in responsibilities ranging from typing bulletins and sweeping floors to preaching and leading Bible studies.

Russell developed two resources during this time; they were (and still are) terrific examples of creative contextual Christian education. The first is Daily Bible Readings, written by Russell from 1960 to 1968, and published by the East Harlem Protestant Parish. The second is Christian Education Handbook, a "do-it-yourself guide" to developing indigenous curriculum resources in the Parish.

Daily Bible Readings

Part of the educational ministry of the East Harlem Protestant Parish was the opportunity to meet in weekly Bible study groups. These groups would study the scripture passage that was to be the text for the following Sunday's sermon. For nine years Russell wrote the materials for these study groups.

But the material extended beyond the weekly group study; there were Bible readings for each day of the week. This was designed to encourage daily Bible study among the participants. The holistic structure designed by Russell was this: "the same text is studied by staff and Bible study leaders on Monday, by all the House Bible Study groups on Wednesday, by the children and youth on Sunday, and is the basis for the sermon" (Russell, 1966a, p. 7).

The study books illustrate Russell's basic pattern of Christian education. First, Christians are to study the Bible. God calls us into community together, and we partially model the Christian life by being in community. The weekly study groups are illustrative of the life in Christian community. The studies are also contextual in their orientation. For example, the weekly study for August 31 to September 6 was on the call of Moses, Exodus 3:1-22. This theme and scripture were "brought home" to the mostly Black and Hispanic study group members through a drawing of Rosa Parks in the front of the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The call of Moses came alive for the persons in the study groups through a connection with the call of Rosa Parks, who was part of another exodus (Russell, 1964).

Second, these Bible studies proclaim God's mighty acts of salvation. The title of the Trinity study reminds us that Exodus is a "gospel of freedom" telling of "the salvation events which shaped the faith of Israel." One of the study questions listed for the call of Moses study is "In what sense are Israelites (Negroes) called to freedom through no virtue of their own" (Russell, 1964, p. 35)? The study groups were encouraged to relate God's acts of salvation of the Israelites to the salvation they knew in their own lives. Years later, writing about this image of exodus as part of the educational ministry of the church, Russell said:

It is difficult to spell out what exodus as education might look like in any one setting, be it in a community of resistance and struggle, a church community, or an educational institution. We need to live out such a journey together with others in order to celebrate the successes and defeats by sharing our stories and the biblical stories (Russell, 1981b, p. 74).

These study questions moved the group toward considering their own lives of witness and service. The focus of the studies was the study of scripture, so that each person's faith might be strengthened and deepened. Out of the context of that faith, they were encouraged to move out in service to each other and the world, as witnesses to Jesus Christ in their lives.

There are three other observations regarding these study books that are relevant. The first is they were written and illustrated by members of the community, so are illustrative of indigenous curriculum. (The illustrations were done by Joseph Papin.) Second, any study group member used them at three different levels of depth. For the person unable to read, the picture illustrated the application and drew that person into the study. For the person who wanted to read the Bible, but not lead the group, the listing of the daily Bible readings gave that person a pattern to follow. For the leader, or others wishing more in-depth preparation, the exegetical materials were available in the back of the study book.

The third observation is the integration of the life of the worshipping community of faith with their Bible study. The focus of each week's study was then the basis for the sermon the following Sunday. By having all the study groups doing the same study, there was an intentional focus for conversation and life applications among friends and neighbors in East Harlem.

Christian Education Handbook

In 1966, Russell wrote the Christian Education Handbook to enable churches to develop their own curriculum. It was designed as a supplement to the Daily Bible Readings, although the use of one with the other was not required. But it helped emphasize that "the dialogue of education takes place in the whole church family" and "Christian education of children is not possible without being continually related to serious Bible study" (Russell, 1966a, p. 4).

In describing it as a "do-it-yourself kit," Russell outlined the following: "Its purpose is to encourage its users to plan their own curriculum…. The shape of Christian Education emerges out of the process of dialogue between our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and our understanding of the world in which we live" (Russell, 1966a, pp. 4-5). Being faithful to this understanding of the development of curriculum, she states the Handbook itself is not a complete curriculum. It assumes the use of other materials and adaptations to the context by the staff professionals and volunteer teachers. Finally, she described the Handbook as "an experiment in Christian Education":

Rather than giving answers, it tries to point the way to new and flexible forms of curriculum development. Christian education in the 20th Century can be open to the dynamic changes in the life of human communities continually seeking new forms of expression and relevance, and at the same time find its continual source of life in the proclamation of God's action as Lord and Redeemer of History (Russell, 1966a, p. 5).

In Part 1 of the Handbook, Russell outlines four principles of programming which reiterate her understanding of educational ministry. First, church life includes everyone of all ages, so children and youth must be intentionally incorporated into not only educational opportunities, but worship and service. Second, those of different ages and groups in the church should be studying the same Biblical passages. This encourages conversations and applications of what each person is learning, as well as potentially impacting the life of the whole community of faith.

The third and fourth principles emerge from educational ministry being part of the whole life of the church. Third, "the minister or pastor of the church must be centrally involved in the planning and execution of educational programs and of the working out of a consistent theology and plan of Christian education in the church family" (Russell, 1966a, p. 8).

Fourth, "Christian education is the work of the total church and should involve the total budget." Beyond the programmatic education programs, everything that involves equipping people to serve God should be seen in the light of educational ministry (Russell, 1966a, p. 9).

The Handbook suggests that teachers see themselves as learners, and the pupils as teachers. Moreover, team teaching is encouraged, especially as a way of equipping the untrained teacher. It takes seriously the equipping of the laity for ministry.

Part 2 of the Handbook provides curriculum planning suggestions, including worship outlines, ways to recognize seasons in the church's life, music, craft ideas, and additional resources to be drawn upon. One assumption in this Handbook was that a professionally trained person (minister, church educator, experienced teacher) was part of the team; a second assumption was that teachers who actually worked with the children would be part of the planning so that they might plan student-appropriate lessons. Part 3 consists of curriculum outline suggestions, providing "aids for the development of curriculum based on the 'mighty acts of God' (Russell, 1966a, p. 43). Russell suggests previous years' Daily Bible Readings books as additional resource material for each section of the outlines.

Although the Handbook and the Daily Bible Readings were written in the 1960's, their approach and content illustrate patterns of educating that are still central to Russell's work. Her commitment to liberating education is clear. Her parishioners felt oppressed by society; Russell's intent was to equip them for a journey of liberation that was both spiritual and socially empowering. Education was contextual, beginning from the underside, and its objective was subversive. Persons were encouraged to see the Bible as spiritually liberating, so they might have a foundation from which to move toward claiming social liberation and wholeness.

The educational methodology was dialogical, where all were potentially both learners and teachers. Questions were encouraged, especially questions that helped individuals and the community to relate their Bible study to their lives. This pattern of action-reflection is clearer in the youth and adult materials, but the involvement and suggestions for personal application are also evident in the Handbook material for children.

The educational process engaged the whole community of faith. The Daily Bible Readings were designed for youth and adults; the Handbook was intended to equip adults to design curriculum for the children. The educational process was a clear commitment to life-long learning; every member of the church had a place in which to learn. It is clear in these early days of her ministry that she was embodying a theory and theology of feminist work that would later be described as community-based, oriented toward liberation, and grounded in a feminist understanding of power.

When asked to review the development of her understanding of religious education Letty wrote, "A constant factor in my understanding of religious education over the years is that it has changed as my life has changed." She goes on to acknowledge aspects that had been particularly influential:

One is that my changing ideas in religious education reveal an emerging feminist consciousness and critique. The other is that, like other liberation theologians, I would maintain that there are no objective descriptions of education. Each person's description is shaped by life experience and social location.

Another constant factor in education itself is that it is never completely described or defined. It is a process of actualizing and modifying the development of the total person through dialogical relationships. We never stand completely outside of this process for, in our own interaction, we are participants in naming what is going on in the learning-teaching situation. My own experience is that every time my learning-teaching situation changed, the way I named that process changed as well (Russell, 1984, p. 5).

From her early work, in which education was seen as ministry, to later writings that describe education as empowerment, each "description of Christian education has affirmed my continuing conviction that Christian education has to do with God's initiative and our partnership together with others in an ongoing process of growth" Russell, 1984, p. 10).


Contributions to Christian Education

Impact on Religious Education

Letty is unique in this collection of educators, as she understands her primary work to be that of a theologian. When being reviewed for tenure at Yale's School of Divinity, she made it clear that she would not accept a tenured position in education (Keely, 1990). She knew she was called to the cutting edge, but she had to stand on the edge of theology. Aware of the power dynamics surrounding the theological enterprise, she understood that her impact on theological education could be much greater coming from the stance of one tenured in theology than religious education.

Although her scholarship and professional work over recent decades have been primarily in feminist theology and biblical interpretation, her impact on religious education is clear. Thomas Groome, a leader in religious education, has written, "I believe that Russell's entire corpus of writings is among the most significant literature available to religious educators today. Her current work on partnership has an urgent message that we need to hear" (Groome, 1982, p. 350). Letty's work, which is a powerful combination of feminist theory and practice of educational ministry, needs to be heard by those attending to feminist religious education. She brings extensive experience in parish ministry and academic teaching to her scholarship, and embodies the development of a praxis of education that provides us with clues to transform the Church.

Letty describes Christian education as emerging "out of the process of dialogue between our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and our understanding of the world in which we live" (Russell, 1966a, p. 5).

In searching for a verbal description of what we are about as Christian educators committed to partnership in learning, I have chosen to use the broader task description of educational ministry. Educational ministry is any form of serving in the name of Jesus Christ that involves us in mutual growth, and fuller self-actualization of God's intended humanity. Its goal is the development of critical and committed awareness among persons as they serve in Christ's name and seek to be a sign of God's New Creation. It is possible that educational ministry might have a style that brings people together in a partnership of learning (Russell, 1966a, pp. 143-144).

She describes this 'possibility' through clues, which I outlined in a recent essay (Keely, 1997). The following is an abbreviated presentation of that discussion.

Integration of Life and Experience

Letty understands the educational process as a way of doing theology that is committed to God's work in the world, and to a community of people who are marginal. With these as foundational, one can enter the spiral at any place. Consistent with her liberation/feminist methodology, Letty's process begins with one's own experiences and with the engagement of the community's experiences of struggle. In the process of sharing and understanding our experiences, we are driven to analyze our lives as women and men. As we consider those experiences, we begin to question biblical interpretations and church traditions, to see how they have influenced our reality. As we raise the questions, we begin to develop different ways of shaping reality, which leads to creating alternatives for social reality.

Takes Place in Community

Feminist education is done within the context of the life of a community of faith. The educational ministry of the church should be part of the whole life of the church, and not compartmentalized apart from the rest of the life of the congregation. It is assumed that everything that happens in a Christian community should be viewed in an educational perspective if we are to understand how it is that Christ nurtures his people through their life together (Russell, 1967).

Context beyond Immediate Community

Letty is clear that education is contextual, with specific people in specific contexts. It is not generic. The contextual style of liberation theologies is an important emphasis for education. There is no single way to teach and learn for we need content as well as experience to grow in the knowledge and actions of faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, if we are to begin where people are, we must seek to express the gospel message in their own context (Russell, 1978, p. 4).

But it must also go beyond the community of faith, especially if it is white, middle class, or otherwise a group of societal privilege. "To be contextual one needs to enter deeply into solidarity with constituency groups. And in order to be committed to social change one must be willing to work collectively and to participate in communities of faith and struggle as they develop their theology" (Russell, 1977/1978, pp. 39-40).

Language

Like other feminist educators, Letty recognizes that language shapes our understanding of persons and God. Her work has often addressed both the power of naming humans in inclusive terms as well as the importance of naming God in ways other than 'father' (Russell, 1987, pp. 43-57).

Teacher/learner partnership

In Letty's praxis of education, one is not giver and the other passive receiver. It would invite both teachers and students to take part in a collective style in which the community learns as it goes forward on the exodus journey together, learning from one another along the way. The experience of God's liberation would shape the commitment of those who have been through the waters of the baptism and themselves struggle to "not be conformed …but transformed" (Rom. 12:2) (Russell, 1981b, pp. 73-74).

Integration of Theory and Practice

Letty has spent a lifetime integrating her experience with theology and theory of practice. As one of the first women ordained in the United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., she claimed a new place in ministry. But she claimed it in a context of ministry surrounded by others who had known marginalization and oppression, and her years in Harlem shaped her theology and theory of education as profoundly as any life experience might. In recent years, she has focused on women who are struggling for both a place in their culture and a theology of liberation. Her work with women in Third World countries seems a natural, global extension for one who began a lifetime of ministry in East Harlem.

Leads to Liberation

Liberating education carries the same emphases as liberation theologies, including being committed to the oppressed, collective, contextual, and critical. Letty has written, "Just as God chose to be a partner with us, we must encourage others in the free choice of partnership through a process of mutual growth and service which sets us free for others" (Russell, 1979, p. 144).

Attends to power

Letty is clear to point out that within a community of faith there is equality of every person but diversity of gifts. Liberating education includes differences of callings, responsibilities, maturity, knowledge, experience, but none of these are permanent. Her way of handling the unity in diversity is to suggest the functional understanding of "temporary inequality." This is manifest in one's willingness to empty oneself to serve another, yet doing it both within the context of freedom and with the understanding that the situation in temporary (Russell, 19881b, p. 79).

Works Cited

(Late 1960's). Team ministry in the East Harlem Protestant Parish: An adventure in lay ministry. Speech undated.

(1960, November). The family and Christian education in modern urban society. Union Seminary Quarterly Review, 16, 33-43.

(1960-1968). Daily Bible readings Trinity 1964. New York: East Harlem Protestant Parish.

(1966a). Christian education handbook. New York: East Harlem Protestant Parish.

(1966b). Christian education and the inner city. In M. J. Taylor (Eds.), An introduction to Christian education (pp. 267-777). Nashville: Abingdon Press.

(1967). Christian education in mission. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

(1970, December). Education in action. Manhattan College Magazine, 1-5.

(1974). Human liberation in a feminist perspective - A theology. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

(1975, January-February). Women: Education through participation. Religious Education, 70, 45-53.

(1978, February). Doing liberation theology with all ages. Church Educator, 1-4.

(1979, March-April). Partnership in educational ministry. Religious Education, 74, 143-146.

(1980, January). Education as exodus. Mid-stream, 19, 3-9.

(1981a, Spring). Education for partnership. Reflection, Yale Divinity School, 78, 13-16.

(1981b). Growth in partnership. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

(1982, November). The power of partnership: Confronting racism, sexism and classism in the church. Speech manuscript.

(1984, Winter). Changing my mind about religious education. Religious Education, 79, 5-10.

(Ed.). (1985). Changing contexts of our faith. Philadelphia: Fortress Press.

(1987/1988, Fall/Spring). How do we educate and for what? Reflections on U.S.graduate theological education. The journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center, 15, 35-42.

(1987). Household of freedom: Authority in feminist theology. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

(1993). The church in the round: Feminist interpretation of the church. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press.

(1997, Fall). Moving to the margin. Dialog, 36, 305-310.

Freire, P. (1984). Pedagogy of the oppressed, trans. Myra Berman Ramos. New York: Continuum.

Groome, T. (1982, May-June) Letty Russell: Keeping the rumor alive. Religious Education, 77, 350-353.

Keely, B. A. (1990, April). Personal conversation with Letty M. Russell, Guilford, CT.

Keely, B. A. (1997). Letty M Russell: Educating for partnership. In faith of our foremothers, 166-179. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press. Sections of this publication have been used throughout this essay.


Bibliography

Books and Monographs

  • Russell, L.M., Allison, C., & Little D. C. (1960). The city - God's gift to the church. R. B. Cunningham (Ed.). New York: United Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Board of National Missions, Division of Evangelism and Department of the Urban Church.
  • (1960-1968). Daily Bible readings. New York: East Harlem Protestant Parish.
  • (1966). Christian education handbook . New York: East Harlem Protestant Parish.
  • (1967). Christian education in mission. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.
  • (1969). Tradition as mission: Study of a new current in theology and its implications for theological education. Th.D. dissertation, Union Theological Seminary in New York.
  • (1971). Women's liberation in a biblical perspective. New York: Young Women's Christian Association, National Board.
  • (1972). Ferment of freedom. New York: Young Women's Christian Organization, National Board.
  • (1973). Unfinished dimensions in the YWCA. A Resource Guide for Program on: The Liberating Dimensions of our Purpose and the One Imperative. New York: Young Women's Christian Association, National Board.
  • (1974). Human liberation in a feminist perspective - A theology. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.
  • (Ed.). (1976). The liberating word: A guide to nonsexist interpretation of the Bible. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.
  • (1979). The future of partnership. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.
  • (1981). Growth in partnership. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.
  • (1982). Becoming human. Library of Living Faith. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.
  • (1984). Imitators of God. New York: United Methodist Church, Women's Division.
  • (Ed.). (1985). Changing contexts of our faith. Philadelphia: Fortress Press.
  • (Ed.). (1985). Feminist interpretation of the Bible. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.
  • (1987). Household of freedom: Authority in feminist theology. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.
  • Russell, L.M. & Clarkson, S.J. (Eds.). (1987). Speaking of God. New York: Church Women United, Wellspring VIII.
  • Russell, L. M., Pui-lan, K., Isasi-Diaz, A. M., & Cannon, K. G. (Eds.). (1988). Inheriting our mothers' gardens: Feminist theology in third world perspective. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.
  • (Ed.) (1990). The church with AIDS: Renewal in the midst of crisis. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press.
  • (1993). The church in the round: Feminist interpretation of the church. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press.
  • Russell, L.M. & Clarkson, S.J. (Eds.). (1996). Dictionary of feminist theologies. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press.
  • Russell, L.M., Mananzan, M.J., Oduyoye, M., Tamez, E., Clarkson, S.J. & Grey, M. (Eds.). (1996). Women resisting violence: Spirituality for life. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.
  • Trible, P. & Russell, L. (2006). Hagar, Sarah, and their children: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim perspectives. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.

Articles and Chapters

  • (1960, November). The family and Christian education in modern urban society. Union Seminary Quarterly Review, 16, 33-43.
  • (1962, May). Equipping the little saints. World Christian Education 124-126. Reprinted in (1963). The Adult Teacher, Fourth Quarter 15.
  • (1966, March). Changing structures in the East Harlem Protestant Parish. Union Seminary Quarterly Review, 21, 333-338.
  • (1966). Christian education and the inner city. In M. J. Taylor (Ed.), An introduction to Christian education (pp. 267-277). Nashville: Abingdon Press.
  • (1966). The cost of missionary action. In Planning for mission: Working papers on the new quest for missionary communities (pp. 215-218). New York: United State Conference for the World Council of Churches.
  • (1967, July). A case study from East Harlem. Ecumenical Review, 19, 297-301. Also see unpublished handwritten manuscript titled "Conversion in East Harlem."
  • (1968). The church for the world: Report of the North American working group of the department on studies in evangelism. In The church for others: Two reports on the missionary structure of the congregation (pp. 55-133). Geneva: The World Council of Churches.
  • (1969). Renewal, rapidation and future. Risk, 5, 60-69.
  • (1970, December). Education in action. Manhattan College Magazine, 1-5.
  • (1970, December). Shalom in postmodern society. Colloquy, 21-25. Reprinted in J. H. Westerhoff III (Ed.), A colloquy on Christian education 1972 (pp. 97-105). New York: The Pilgrim Press.
  • (1970). Tradition as mission. Study Encounter, 6, 87-96. Published under Letty Russell Hoekendijk.
  • (1972, June). Celebrating world community. The YWCA Magazine, 22-26.
  • (1972). Christianity. In S. Samartha (Ed), According to the scriptures: The image of women portrayed in the sacred writings of the world's major religions (pp. 10-14). Geneva: World Young Women's Christian Association.
  • (1972, October). The church and future: An educational perspective. Colloquy, 32-34.
  • (1972). Human liberation in a feminine perspective. Study Encounter, 20, 8, 1-12.
  • (1974). Women and Ministry. In A. L. Hageman (Ed.), Sexist religion and women in the church: No more silence! In collaboration with the Women's Caucus of Harvard Divinity School (pp. 47-62). New York: Association Press.
  • (1975, September - November). The freedom of God. Enquiry, 8, 27-48.
  • (1975, May). Letting down the clergy line: Ministry isn't just for ministers. United Methodist Today, 16-19.
  • (1975). Liberation theology in a feminist perspective. In T. M. McFadden (Ed.), Liberation, revolution and freedom: theological perspectives (pp. 88-107). New York: The Seabury Press. Edited from J. W. McClendon, Jr. (Ed.), Philosophy of religion and theology: 1974 proceedings, 18-30. Chambersburg: American Academy of Religion.
  • (1975, July). Symposium on the Hartford declaration. Theology Today, 32, 186-87.
  • (1975). Women and freedom. Lutheran World, 22, 7-13. Also in G. H. Anderson and T. F. Stransky (Eds.), Mission trends no. 4: liberation theologies in North America and Europe, 234-346. New York: Paulist Press, 1979.
  • (1975, January-February). Women: Education through participation. Religious Education, 70, 45-53. Reprinted in The future of the missionary enterprise 15/16 (1975-1976).
  • (1975, January). Women in the WCC: Participating in a symphony of groaning. Midstream, 111-122.
  • (1976, November). Feminist and Black theologies. Reflection, Yale Divinity School, 14-16.
  • (1976, March). Theological aspects of the partnership of women and men in Christian communities. Pro Mundi Vita, 59, 4-10.
  • (1978). A feminist looks at Black theology. In C. E. Bruce & W. R. Jones (Eds.), Black theology II: Essays on the formation and outreach of contemporary Black theology, 247-266. Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press
  • (1978, October). Called to account. Ecumenical Review, 30, 369-375.
  • (1978, February). Doing liberation theology with all ages. Church Educator, 1-4.
  • (1978). Impossible-possibility. Duke Divinity School Review 39 (Spring 1974): 73-78. Reprinted in H. G. Crotwell (Ed.), Woman and the word-sermons (pp. 86-91). Philadelphia: Fortress Press
  • (1978, October). Liberation and evangelization - A feminist perspective. Occasional Bulletin of Missionary Research, 2, 128-130.
  • (1979, January-June). Clerical ministry as a female profession. The Christian Century 96, 125-126.
  • (1979). Handing on traditions and changing the world. In Padraic O'Hare (Ed.), Tradition and transformation in religious education (pp. 73-86). Birmingham: Religious Education Press.
  • (1979-1980, Fall-Winter). Partnership and the future: God's utopia. Bangor Alumni Bulletin, 19-27.
  • (1979, March-April). Partnership in educational ministry. Religious Education, 74, 143-146.
  • (1979, January). Universality and contextuality. Ecumenical Review, 31, 23-26.
  • (1980). Beginning from the other end. Duke Divinity School Review, 45, 98-106.
  • (1980, January-June). Bread instead of stone. The Christian Century, 97. 665-669. Reprinted in J. M. Wall (Ed.), Theologians in transition (pp. 177-184). New York: Crossroad, 1981.
  • (1980, January). Education as exodus. Mid-stream, 19, 3-9.
  • (1981, Spring). Education for partnership. Reflection, Yale Divinity School, 78, 13-16.
  • (1981, Summer). The role of Lutheran colleges in human liberation: Education as exodus. Academy, 120-36.
  • (1981, October). Women and unity: Problem or possibility. The unity of the church and the renewal of human community. Faith and Order Document 81:11, World Council of Churches. Reprinted in Mid-stream, 21, July 1982, 298-304.
  • (1982, October). Ecumenical implications of feminist theologies. Ecumenical Trends, Graymoor Ecumenical Institute, 136-139.
  • (1982). Feminist critique: Opportunity for cooperation. Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 22, 67-71.
  • (1982). A hard word about adultery. In J. Gonzalez (Ed.), Proclaiming the acceptable year: Sermons from the perspective of liberation theology (pp. 105-111). Valley Forge: Judson Press.
  • (1982, November). Refusal to be radically helped. Reflection, Yale Divinity School, 7-8.
  • (1983, Spring). Forms of a confessing church today. Journal of Presbyterian History, 61, 99-109.
  • (1984, Winter). Changing my mind about religious education. Religious Education, 79, 5-10.
  • (1984, June). Partnership in new creation. American Baptist Quarterly, 3, 161-171.
  • (1984). Women and ministry: Problem or possibility? In J. L. Weidman (Ed.), Christian feminism: Visions of a new humanity (pp. 75-92). San Francisco: Harper and Row.
  • (1985). The church and feminist theologies. In I. S. Lee (Ed.), Korean American women: Toward self-realization (pp. 98-104). Mansfield, Ohio: The Association of Korean Christian Scholars in North America, Inc.
  • (1985). A first world perspective. In V. Fabella & S. Torres (Eds.), Doing theology in a divided world, 206-211. Maryknoll: Orbis Books.
  • (1985, Fall). Inclusive language and power. Religious Education, 80, 582-602.
  • (1985). Partnership in stewardship: Creation and redemption. In N. C. Murphy (Ed.), Teaching and preaching stewardship: An anthology (pp. 2-8). New York: National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America, Commission on Stewardship.
  • (1986, Spring). Authority in mutual ministry. Quarterly Review, 6, 10-23.
  • (1986). Authority of the future in feminist theology. In Deuser, H. von H., Martin, G.M., Stock, K., & Walker, M. (Eds.), Gottes zukunft - zukunft der Welt: festschrift fur Jurgen Moltman zum 60 geburtstyag (pp. 313-322). Munchen: wChr. Kaiser Verlag. Also published as "Authority and Hope in Feminist Theology," in Burnham, F. B., McCoy, C. S., and Meeks M. D. (Eds.), The foundation of hope, 1988. (pp. 77-93). San Francisco: Harper and Row.
  • (1986, Winter). Issues in liberation theology: A review essay. Reflections, 83,11-15.
  • (1986). Ordination of women. In J. G. Davies (Ed.), Dictionary of liturgy and worship, 417-419. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox.
  • (1986, Winter). The power of partnership in language. Theological markings: a United Theological Seminary journa,l 14, 1-8.
  • (1987/1988, Fall/Spring). How do we educate and for what? reflections on U.S. graduate theological education. The journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center, 15, 35-42.
  • (1987). Partnership in new models of renewed community. In T. F. Best (Ed.), The search for new community, 32-46. Geneva: World Council of Churches, for the Consultation on Models of Renewed Community. Reprinted in (1988 January) Ecumenical Review, 40, 16-26.
  • (1987). People and the powers. Princeton Seminary Bulletin, n.s. 8, 6-18.
  • (1987, January-February). Thirst for justice. LUNCHA, 11, 30-33.
  • (1987, December). Unity and renewal in feminist perspective. Ecumenical Forum, 16, 189-192. Expanded text in (1988January) Mid-stream, 27, 55-66.
  • (1988). Crossing bridges of no return. Introduction in C. W. Soon, Let the weak be strong, 1-10. Bloomington: Meyer-Stone Books.
  • (1988). Minjung theology in women's perspective. In J. Y. Lee (Ed.), An emerging theology in world perspective: commentary on Korean minjung theology (pp.75-95). Mystic, Conn.: Twenty-Third Publications.
  • (1988). Which congregations? A mission focus for theological education. In J. C. Hough, Jr. and B. G. Wheeler (Eds.), Beyond clericalism: the congregation as a focus for theological education (pp. 31-35). Atlanta: Scholar's Press.
  • (1990). Good housekeeping. In A. Loades (Ed.), Feminist theology: A reader, 225-238. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press.
  • (1991, November 6). Advent shock. Christian Century, 108, 1027.
  • (1991, October). Feminism and the church : A quest for new styles of ministry. Ministerial Formation, 55, 28-37.
  • (1991, December 4). God with us. Christian Century, 108, 1131.
  • (1991, November 20-27). God's great reversal. Christian Century, 108, 1089.
  • (1991, December 11). God's welcome table. Christian Century, 108, 1163.
  • (1991, November 13). Going out of business. Christian Century, 108, 1059.
  • (1991, December 18-25). Partnership of the Holy Spirit. Christian Century, 108, 1193.
  • (1991). Searching for a round table in church and world. In May, M. A. (Ed.), Women and church: The challenge of solidarity in times of turmoil (pp. 163-178). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
  • (1992, April). Affirming cross-cultural diversity: A missiological issue in feminist perspective. International Review of Mission, 81, 253-258.
  • (1992, January 29). Bought with a price. Christian Century, 109, 91.
  • (1992, Michaelmas). The feminist touch in theological education. Sewanee Theologica Review, 35, 355-364.
  • (1992, January 15). Making connections. Christian Century, 109, 40.
  • (1992, January 1-8). Prophet without welcome. Christian Century, 109, 10.
  • (1992, Michaelmas). A quest for new styles of ministry. Sewanee Theological Review, 35, 344-354.
  • (1992, Michaelmas). Two become one. Sewanee Theological Review, 35, 335-343
  • (1992, January 22). Worrying with God. Christian Century, 109, p 65.
  • (1993, January-March). Justice and the double sin of the church. Living Pulpit 2 (1), 18-19.
  • (1994). Searching for a church in the round. In Lummis, A. T., Stokes, A., Winter, M.T. (Eds.), Defecting in place (pp. 253-258, 292). New York: Crossroad.
  • (1995). Reflections on white feminist theology in the United States. In Ortega, O. (Ed.), Women's Visions; 102-111. Geneva : WCC Publications.
  • (1995). Searching for identity: Around the Pacific rim. Journal of Women and Religion, 13, 5-14.
  • (1996, July). Education as transformation: Feminist perspectives on "the viability of ministerial formation today." Ministerial Formation, 74, 23-30.
  • (1996). Faith, feminism, and the church. Pacific Journal of Theology, 15, 17-25.
  • (1996, January). Practicing hospitality in a time of backlash. Theology Today, 52, 476-484.
  • (1997, Fall). Moving to the margin. Dialog, 36, 305-310.
  • (1998). Education as transformation: Women in theological education. In Podmore, C. (Ed.), Community-unity-communion: Essays in honor of Mary Tanner (pp.59-70). London: Church House Publishing.
  • (1998). Helpmate, harlot and hero. In Njoroge, N.J. & Askola, I. (Eds.), There were also women looking on from afar. Geneva: World Alliance of Reformed Churches.
  • (1999, October). Ecumenical theological education and God's Pentecostal. Ministerial Formation 87, 14-23.
  • (1999, April-June). Toward a Trinitarian language of hospitality. Living Pulpit 8 (2), 26-27.
  • (2000). The church and God's Pentecostal gift. In Campbell, C. (Ed.), Renewing the vision (pp. 51-65). Louisville: Geneva Press.
  • (2000, Spring). Publishing and the feminist touch. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 16, 95-125.
  • (2001, January). Hot-house ecclesiology: A feminist interpretation of the church. Ecumenical Review, 53 (1), 48-56.
  • (2003). Practicing hospitality in a world of difference and danger. Princeton Seminary Bulletin, n.s. 24 (2), 207-215.
  • (2003). Wise woman bearing gifts. Cross Currents, 53 (1), 116-120.
  • (2003). Why bother with church? The church and its worship. In Placher, W.C. (Ed.), Essentials of Christian theology. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.
  • (2004). Cultural hermeneutics: A postcolonial look at mission. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, 20 (1), 23-40.
  • (2004). God, gold, glory and gender: a postcolonial view of mission. International Review of Mission, 93 (368), 39-49.
  • (2006). Encountering the "other" in a world of difference and danger. Harvard Theological Review, 99 (4), 457-468.
  • (2006). Mercy Amba Ewudziwa Oduyoye: Wise woman bearing gifts. In Phiri, I. A., Nadar, S., & Oduyoye, M. A., African women, religion, and health. Maryknoll, NY : Orbis Books, (pp. 43-58.)

Unpublished Papers

  • (Late 1960's). Studies in the church for others: Christian education in mission. Speech undated.
  • (Late 1960's). Team ministry in the East Harlem Protestant Parish: an adventure in lay ministry. Speech undated.
  • (1965, October 1). Turning the parish upside down. Sermon given in the East Harlem Protestant Parish.
  • (1966, May 20). Christian style of life in a post-religious age. Final paper for ST370 and CC497, Union Theological Seminary, New York.
  • (1976, February). Our liberating and fulfilling story. JED national event for church educators, St. Louis.
  • (1976). Women, ministry and the year 2000: A scenario. Speech manuscript.
  • (1979, March). Art of anticipation: Eschatological hermeneutics. Notes on hermeneutical method for the Liberation Theology Working Group, American Academy of Religion.
  • (1980, November 17-22). Flight from ministry: Women and ordination. Asian conference of theologically trained women, entitled "Women's full participation for a renewed community." Singapore.
  • (1980, April). Seminaries and liberation theologies in the 1970's: A case study. Working group on liberation theology, American Academy of Religion. Given again (with handwritten modifications) at the Faculty Study Day, Weston School of Theology,. September 10, 1980.
  • (1982, November). The power of partnership: Confronting racism, sexism and classism in the church. Speech manuscript.
  • (1982, Spring). The role of scriptures in my theology. American Theological Society.
  • (1983, April). In search of a critical feminist paradigm for biblical interpretation. Feminist Hermeneutic Project, Liberation Theology Working Group, American Academy of Religion.
  • (1983, April). Ms, mother, misfit. Speech manuscript.
  • (1983, September 10). Theological study in the church. Faculty Conference, Yale Divinity School.
  • (1988, April 15). The bridging power of stories: Liberation and partnership in church and city. Congress on Urban Ministries, Chicago.
  • (1988). Theologizing in mission. Course handout provided by Dr. Russell.
  • (1989, October 19). Living the deepening contradictions: White women as both oppressed and oppressors. Theological Opportunities Program, Harvard Divinity School, entitled Walking in overlapping worlds: The challenge to women's integrity.

Reviews

  • (1977, January). New birth of freedom, by Peter Hodgson. Theology Today, 33, 428-30.
  • (1989, April). Against machismo: Rubem Alves, Leonardo Boff, Gustavo Gutierrez, Jose Miquez Bonino Juan Luis Segundo …and others talk about the struggle of women. Interviews by Elsa Tamez. Eagleson, J. (Trans. and Ed.). International Bulletin of Missionary Research, 13, 90-91.
  • (1988, Fall). New eyes for reading: Biblical and theological reflections by women from the Third World, Pobee, J. and von Wartenberg-Potter, B. (Eds.) Horizons ,15, 418.
  • (1991, Fall). We dare to dream: Doing theology as Asian women, Fabella, V. and Park, S. A. L. (Eds.). Horizons, 18, 338-339.

Books and articles

  • Ackermann, D. (1993, March). Liberating the word: Some thoughts on feminist hermeneutics. Scriptura, 44, 1-18.
  • Berry, W. W. (1978, January). Images of sin and salvation in feminist theology. Anglican Theological Review, 60, 25-54.
  • Bucher, G. R. (1976). Theological method in liberation theologies: Cone, Russell, and Gutiérrez. American Academy of Religion Philosophy of Religion and Theology Proceedings 1976, 118-121.
  • Ling, C. (1980, December). Doing feminist theology: A report on the visit of Letty Russell. St Mark's Review, 104, 12-15.
  • Freeman, A. (1985, September). Letty Russell's changing contexts of faith. Ecumenical Trends 14 (8), 122-123.
  • Keely, B. A. (1991). Partnership and Christian education in the work of Letty M. Russell. Ed. D. dissertation, Presbyterian School of Christian Education., Richmond, VA.
  • McGee, E. L. (1992, Michaelmas). Foreword: Letty M Russell: A theologian of the church. Sewanee Theological Review, 35, p 333-334.
  • Henson, N. C. (1997, Winter). Letty Russell: Contributions toward a holistic ecclesial vision. Religious Education, 92, 107-118.
  • Keely, B. A. (1997). Letty M Russell: Educating for partnership. In faith of our foremothers (pp. 166-179). Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press.
  • Farley, M. A. & Jones, S. (1999). Liberating eschatology: Essays in honor of Letty M. Russell. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press
  • Keely, B. A. (2002). Letty Russell's hermeneutics of new creation: The context for partnership" in Penyusun, T., Redaksi, B., & Mulia, G. (Eds.), Memperlengkapi bagi pelayanan dan pertumbuhan (Equipping for Ministry and Growth) (pp. 91-100). Jakarta: Gunung Mulia.

Excerpts from Publications

Although Russell has several works that can be defined as influential, this essay focuses on her work in religious education. Therefore, this section will also be limited to this area of her work. As an educator, she stands within the Christian tradition. Westminster Press.

One thing …that has not changed is my use of the term Christian Education rather than Religious Education. This is simply because as a Christian theologian and educator from the Reformed tradition, my particular starting point is biblical and Christological. I have constantly returned to the biblical foundations of my faith to discover the way we learn as participants in God's saving and liberating action (Russell, 1984 Winter, pp. 5-6. Changing my mind about religious education. Religious Education, 79, 5-10.

But Russell is clear throughout in her work in Christian education that she attends not to the privileged, but those on the margins, those whom the Church has not always welcomed.

My intellectual, social, personal, and political biography is full of margins and centers, and I am constantly on the move to find the margin and to claim it as the site of my theology of resistance…Margins are places of connection for those who are willing to move from center to margin. They are sites of struggle for those who choose the margin and move to the center in order to gain the ability to talk back. The margins are also the sign that God's New Creation is breaking in, when the distinctions of margin and center begin to blur as all share in God's hospitality (1997 Fall, p. 305). Moving to the margin. Dialog, 36, 305-310.

Russell's image of the relationship between theology and education is a praxis of action-reflection-action.

Looked at in this way, both theology and education would be a dynamic and open-ended process of continuing action and reflection. The biblical metaphor for this journey of faith is that of exodus. The Exodus story in the Old Testament is a story of God's liberation. The people are set free and bidden to become God's people, learning to live out God's covenant as they journey through the wilderness toward the promised land. Here there is no dichotomy between education and theology, but rather a total configuration in which education happens by God's grace (Russell, 1980 January, p. 4. Also, 1981b, p. 71). Education as exodus. Mid-stream, 19, 3-9 (1981b). Growth in partnership. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press..

Letty describes Christian education as emerging "out of the process of dialogue between our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and our understanding of the world in which we live" (Russell, 1966a, p. 5).

In searching for a verbal description of what we are about as Christian educators committed to partnership in learning, I have chosen to use the broader task description of educational ministry. Educational ministry is any form of serving in the name of Jesus Christ that involves us in mutual growth, and fuller self-actualization of God's intended humanity. Its goal is the development of critical and committed awareness among persons as they serve in Christ's name and seek to be a sign of God's New Creation. It is possible that educational ministry might have a style that brings people together in a partnership of learning (Russell, 1966a, pp. 143-144). Christian Education Handbook. New York: East Harlem Protestant Parish.


Recommended Readings

Books and articles by Letty M. Russell

1974). Human liberation in a feminist perspective- a theology. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.
(1981). Growth in partnership. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.
(1984, Winter). Changing my mind about religious education. Religious Education, 79, 5-10.
(1985, Fall). Inclusive language and power. Religious Education ,80, 582-602.
(1993). The church in the round: Feminist interpretation of the church. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press.
(1996, July). Education as transformation: Feminist perspectives on "the viability of ministerial formation today." Ministerial Formation, 74, 23-30.
(1997, Fall). Moving to the margin. Dialog, 36, 305-310.
(2003). Practicing hospitality in a world of difference and danger. Princeton Seminary Bulletin, n.s. 24, (2), 207-215.

Articles/essays about Letty M. Russell

Henson, N. Christine (1997, Winter). Letty Russell: Contributions toward a holistic ecclesial vision. Religious Education, 92, 107-118.
Keely, Barbara Anne (1997). Letty M Russell: Educating for partnership. In Faith of our foremothers, 166-179. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press.
Farley, Margaret A. & Jones, Serene (Eds.). (1999). Liberating eschatology: Essays in honor of Letty M. Russell. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press

Author Information

Barbara Anne Keely

Dr. Barbara Anne Keely is associate professor of Christian education and congregational spirituality at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, where she has been on faculty since 1991. She earned her Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and her Doctorate in Christian Education from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education. Her dissertation focused on the work of Letty M. Russell and its value for the educational ministry of the Church.

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