Saint Paul School at OCU hires Cherokee professor


Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University has announced Justine Smith will join its faculty at the start of the 2010-11 academic year.

She will teach Biblical and Native American studies.

Smith, a member of the Cherokee Nation, will become the first full-time American Indian professor on the faculty. It is believed that she also will be the first full-time Native American woman to serve in any full-time faculty position in theological education in North America.

"The addition of Justine Smith, a Harvard Ph.D. candidate and New Testament scholar, will help the school position itself as the premiere school for American Indian ministry and study," said Bishop Robert Hayes Jr.

A $240,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation is supporting the faculty post and the development of a program in Native American Studies in Church and Society.

"Her expertise and vision will be crucial for us to take the next steps in developing our program in Native American ministries," said Elaine Robinson, academic dean for Saint Paul School at OCU.

Smith received the Master of Divinity from Garrett Evangelical Seminary, Illinois.

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