We are pleased to confirm these faculty presenters for the 2024 VA Five-Day.
Rev. Dr. William Loyd Allen
Rev. Dr. Loyd Allen recently retired from his position as the Sylvan Hills Professor of Church History and Spiritual Formation at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta. He stays active as a spiritual director and retreat leader. Loyd has been faculty for the Academy since 2002. He delights in the varieties of Christian spirituality that emerge in different times and places through the span of Christian history. Though most of his adult life has been spent ministering among Baptists in the South, he was baptized in a small Methodist church, which shared facilities with a Presbyterian congregation. Married to Libby, whose family is devoutly Roman Catholic, he has continued to broaden his knowledge and experience of Christian spiritual traditions throughout his life. After spending a sabbatical studying and experiencing the Celtic spirituality heritage of Wales, he has led numerous pilgrimages to Scotland, England, and Ireland, as well as Israel. Dr. Allen teaches Christian spirituality like a traveler telling stories about the places he has been or wants to go. In retirement, he enjoys tennis, hiking, and cruising back roads with the top down in his Fiat Spider roadster.
Rev. Grace Imathiu
Rev. Grace Imathiu is Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church Evanston, IL. She has also served churches in Kenya as a church planter; a superintendent minister overseeing 68 rural churches in Nkubu; and an urban minister to an ecumenical congregation in Nairobi with strong outreach to the neighboring slums of Kawangware. Pastor Grace is intimately familiar with the Church in its many theological expressions and social locations.
Grace loves people and has a passion and gift for inspiring and nurturing communities of faith to live out loud the prophetic story of Jesus. For Grace, the quintessential expression of the resurrected Lord’s presence is a community whose very DNA is a radical hospitality which births a loving and a healthy tension that is ideological, theological, racial, ethnic and cultural.
For Rev. Imathiu “the world is her parish”. As an African who is married to a European and is raising an American son, Grace is committed to advocating for the inclusion of all people. She has preached in Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Togo, Liberia, Denmark, Australia, Malaysia, Brazil, and all throughout the United States.
Faculty Recommended Reading
These are recommended reading prior to the Academy.
Rev. Dr. Loyd Allen
- The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why Paperback – Illustrated, September 1, 2012, by Phyllis Tickle (Author)
- A History of Christian Spirituality: An Analytical Introduction (The Library of Episcopalian Classics) Paperback – February 1, 2002, by Urban Tigner Holmes (Author)
Rev. Grace Imathiu
- This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us Paperback – January 31, 2023, by Cole Arthur Riley (Author)
- Trauma and Grace, 2nd Edition: Theology in a Ruptured World Paperback – March 12, 2019, by Serene Jones (Author), Kelly Brown Douglas (Foreword)