Ames United Church of Christ
Friday, December 19, 2014
217 Sixth Street, Ames, Iowa

Theologian in Residence

The annual weekend visit by a theologian stimulates and challenges thinking about issues of faith as they are informed by the Bible, religious traditions, and contemporary theological discussion.

The Ames United Church of Christ-Congregational is pleased to announce that its Theologians in Residence for 2015 are Rev. Ruth C. Duck and Rev. Cynthia A. Wilson. The dates have been set for February 28 and March 1 of 2015.


Rev. Ruth Duck Biography
Ruth Duck is professor of worship at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, where she has been on the faculty since 1989. She has been president of the North American Academy of Liturgy, an organization of liturgical scholars. Her many books and articles about Christian worship include Finding Words for Worship, (Westminster John Knox Press, 1995) and Praising God: The Trinity in Christian Worship (with Patricia Wilson-Kastner, Westminster John Knox Press, 1999). She has edited or co-edited three books of worship resources, including Touch Holiness (with Maren Tirabassi, 1990; expanded and revised edition 2012). Her most recent publication is Worship for the Whole People of God: Vital Worship for the 21st Century (Westminster John Knox Press, 2013), meant not only to be a textbook for seminarians, but also as a guide to local churches that wish to renew their worship.
Hymnals in several countries and many denominations include texts by Ruth Duck. The 1995 New Century Hymnal of the United Church of Christ, the 1996 Voices United of the United Church of Canada, and Glory to God, the 2013 hymnal of the Presbyterian Church U.S. each include ten or more of her texts. She also has published three single author collections of her texts, Dancing in the Universe, (G.I.A. Publications, 1992), Circles of Care (Pilgrim Press, 1998), and Welcome God’s Tomorrow (G.I.A. Publications, 2005). In 2013 she was named a Fellow of the Hymn Society in recognition of her contributions to congregational song.
Duck, an ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ, has served churches in Wisconsin and Massachusetts. She received the doctor of theology degree in worship and theology from Boston University School of Theology in 1989. She was born in Washington, D.C. and currently lives in Wilmette, Illinois, with her husband Ovaldo Buntin, a retired teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. They enjoy watching birds migrating by Lake Michigan.


Rev. Cynthia A. Wilson Biography
Rev. Cynthia A. Wilson is a popular lecturer, preacher, teacher, conductor, and concert artist and an Ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church and has received degrees from Dillard University and Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology.
Rev. Wilson provided leadership for the National Task Force that produced the historic liturgical resource, Songs of Zion (1981). In 2007, along with Professor William B. McClain (retired Professor of Homiletics Wesley Theological Seminary), Rev. Wilson Co-Chaired the National Task Force that produced Zion Still Sings! For Every Generation, the sequel to Songs of Zion. This United Methodist Publishing House project fitly represents the ethos and pathos of indigenous Black Church music and promises to enrich 21st century worship for all generations, cultures and denominations. It can be found in bookstores across the country.
As an extraordinary vocalist and Grammy nominee, Rev. Wilson has numerous recording credits including her 1993 breakthrough "New Songs of Zion" (Warner Alliance label) which was nominated for several awards, “Spirituals: Songs from the American Experience” with Dr. S.T. Kimbrough (Global Praise CD series sponsored by the United Methodist Church Board of Global Ministries), and “GOSPEL KONCERT”: Live I Radiohusets koncertsal” (Copenhagen), one of her most cherished Choral projects.
Presently, Rev. Wilson is the Assistant Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.


Schedule of Theologians in Residence

Year Theologian Theme
2015 Ruth C. Duck and
Cynthia A. Wilson
"Spirit-filled Worship and Spirit-filled Congregational Singing"
2014 Phyllis Tickle "Being Christian and Church in 21st Century America"
2013 Gary Dorrien "The Crisis and Necessity of Progressive Theology"
2012 Marva J. Dawn "Worship When God Seems to Be Absent"
2011 Ingrid Mattson "Islam: Rumor and Reality"
2010 Peter Sawtell "Biblical Faith and Ecological Hope: Rethinking Theology for the Health of Creation"
2009 Walter Brueggemann "The Good News of Alternative"
2008 Diana Butler Bass "The Practicing Congregation: Imagining A New Old Church"
2007 Randall Balmer "Perspectives on American Evangelicalism"
2006 Christine M. Smith "Resurrection: Fidelity to This Life"
2005 Amy Jill Levine "Jesus, Gender, and Judaism"
2004 Norman Jackson "Is God’s Justice Irrelevant or Central to Our Faith?"
2003 Dale Bishop "Building Bridges"
2002 Doug Adams "Bringing to Life the Humor in the Bible"
2001 John Shelby Spong "A New Christianity for a New World"
2000 John Dominic Crossan "The Historical Jesus and the Birth of Christianity"
1999 Karen Jo Torjesen "Rethinking Gender: Masculinity and Femininity in Early Christianity"
1998 Tex Sample "Christian Faith and Cultural Diversity: Doing Ministry in Oral, Literate, and Electronic Cultures"
1997 George A. Drake "Puritanism"
1996 Rita Nakashima Brock "Who Do You Say That I Am?"
1995 Robin Scroggs "Exploring the Theology of Paul"
1994 Marcus Borg "Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time"
1993 Donald White "The Church and the Environment"
1992 Marty McMane and Alan Johnson "Good News"
1991 Brian Wren "The Language of Worship"
1990 Charles Hambrick-Stowe "Spiritual Roots and Spiritual Growth"
1989 John Bolen "Ethics in the Bible" and
"Faith Development and the Church"
1988 Keith G. Schrag "Creating a Just Peace in Home and Church"
1987 André LaCocque "The Church and the Environment"
1985 Wilson Yates "Art and the Journey of Faith"
1984 Henry Gustafson "A New Vision of the New Testament"