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Meet Lynnette Li, New DSF Student at Iliff School of Theology/University of Denver

My name is Lynnette Li 李香玲 (she/they pronouns), and I’m excited to start my studies as a first-year doctoral student at the University of Denver/Iliff School of Theology’s joint Ph.D. program in the study of religion.

I have always known that pursuing a Ph.D. is something I’d like to do. However, due to a lack of funding, I placed this desire on the back burner. After six years working for an ecumenical missionary organization, I realize that doing a Ph.D. is something my soul must do (a paraphrase from Katie G. Cannon’s famous quote). This led me toward a period of prayerful discernment and conversations with former professors, ministry mentors, and ecumenical colleagues. With lots of encouragement, I took up courage, applied for programs, and accepted the offer to study at the joint Ph.D. program at University of Denver/Iliff School of Theology.

I’m passionate about social ethics, postcolonial political theology, and environmental social vulnerability. Of late, I think a lot of the immigration journey of my forebears and the many sacrifices they’ve made to leave their country of origin to a future that was uncertain and unknown. In going forward with my doctoral program, I continue to hold fast their memories – with the hopes of doing transformative, restorative, and liberative work. It is my sincere hope and prayer that my scholarship and research would be an extension of my ministry to build bridges of reconciliation and hope for a more just and compassionate world.

I have been fortunate to have several congregations that have contributed to my ministerial and vocational formation, such as Brentwood Christian Church (Springfield, MO), Bethany Christian Church (Tulsa, OK), Carmel Christian Church (Carmel, Indiana), and Westview Christian Church (Indianapolis, IN). My home congregation is Central Christian Church in Indianapolis, IN.


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