Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Emily Askew

At a glance: Dr. Emily Askew, Associate Professor of Theology

  • AB, Smith College (Philosophy) 1983
  • MA, University of Northern Iowa, (Mental Health Counseling) 1991
  • Ph.D. Vanderbilt University, 2004

Dr. Askew is a compassionate teacher who is wholly dedicated to her students and to the causes of justice she espouses. She began at Lexington Theological Seminary in 2007 when she was appointed as its systematic theologian, though she is trained and writes as a constructive theologian. Since arriving at LTS, Dr. Askew has been active in the Kentucky and Tennessee regions of the Disciples of Christ.

Dr. Askew’s personal and professional passions include the environment, LGBTQI issues in the church, theology and domestic violence, immigration, and theology and disability. She is part of the seminary’s Green Task Force, working to help create a more sustainable and environmentally conscious seminary, through courses and institutional practices. Every three years she takes students to the US/Mexico border at Tucson, AZ/Nogales, Sonora to study the complexities of immigration apart from the heated US rhetoric. When not teaching, she works with domestic violence survivors as they navigate the court system. Before she was a professional theologian, she worked as a mental health counselor with blind and visually impaired students, women with eating disorders, and high school students facing incarceration. She has also worked as a pastry chef in a Nashville bakery.

Best known for: homemade cinnamon rolls, her community of friends, love of teaching and social activism. Dr. Askew’s book, co-written with homiletician O. Wesley Allen, Beyond Heterosexism in the Pulpit, was published in 2015. An article that weaves photos of the border, postcolonial theology, migrant stories, and student experiences, “Notes on a Theology of Cross/ing,” will appear in the journal Interpretation in 2018.

Why do I teach at LTS: “I want to empower students to love God with their minds as well as their hearts. Theology is an ongoing historical conversation about who God is and what God does. I want my students to have the tools to enter that conversation and use what they learn and create to make life better for others and for the planet.”