Luis Pedraja, PhD

Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs
Academic Affairs
(310) 578-1080 ext. 408

PhD in Philosophy and Religious Studies, University of Virginia
BA in Religion, Stetson University

As Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Luis Pedraja responsibilities include; providing leadership for the administration of all academic policies, monitoring the quality of student learning by overseeing programs, and overseeing academic and budgetary planning and priorities. In addition, he serves in the University’s Council of Chief Academic Officers and University Academic Council.

Driven by a strong desire to make a difference and live a life of integrity, Pedraja’s life vocation is in perfect alignment with AULA’s mission of social justice, diversity and socially engaged citizenship. He is the Co-Founder and Board Chair of two non-profit organizations; the Crystal Dove Foundation which assists cancer patients with basic living expenses, and WellPetUSA, a volunteer-based pet welfare organization. Other community service includes having served as: translator for Amnesty International, American Red Cross Disaster volunteer, Habitat for Humanity volunteer, local emergency planning committee for Dallas County, and a volunteer reserve for the Memphis-Shleby County Emergency Management Agency.

From 2004 until 2011, Pedraja served as Vice President for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. While there he had oversight of more than 90 institutions of higher education in the region and abroad, developed higher education policy, trained evaluators, and led international quality assurance and accreditation efforts. From 2000 to 2004, he was the VPAA, Dean and Professor of Theology at Memphis Theological Seminary where he increased faculty and staff size by over 10% and significantly increased diversity. He served as Theology and Ethics Division Chair and Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University (SMU) from 1994 to 2000. Prior he held the position of Assistant Professor of Christian Thought at the University of Puget Sound.

Pedraja was the editor of Apuntes the oldest US scholarly journal of Hispanic theology which is published by SMU. He has received the Faculty Development Award from SMU, the Scholarly Outreach Award from Perkins School of Theology, the Hispanic Theological Initiative’s Post Doctoral Award,and the Fund for Theological Education Hispanic Dissertation Year Scholar and Doctoral Scholar.  He has had numerous publications including; books, contributions to edited books, journal articles and higher education publications.  He has also been asked to present scholarly papers, lectures and keynotes for a number of Universities, Seminaries, and societies.  He is a member of the American Academy of Religion and La Comunidad of Hispanic American Scholars of Religion, where he served as President from 1999-2003. He is also a team chair and reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.

His scholarship is in Postmodernism, Process Philosophy, Culture and Latino Theology. He is fluent in Spanish and English, and has studied French, German, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.

 

Books:
•    Teología: An Introduction to Hispanic Theology. Abingdon Press, 2003.
•    Jesus is My Uncle: Christology from a Hispanic Perspective. Abingdon Press, 1999.
•    Más Voces: Reflexiones teológicas de la Iglesia Hispana. Editor. Abingdon Press, 2001.
•    Associate Editor and Contributor of over forty-five entries, Diccionario Ilustrado de Interpretes de la Fe, Justo González, General Editor. Barcelona: Editorial CLIE, 2004.
    English translation: Westminster Dictionary of Theologians, Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2006.
    Portuguese translation:, Dicionário Ilustrado dos Intérpretes de Fé. São Paulo: Academia Cristã, 2005.

Chapters and Contributions to Edited Books:

•    “Alfred North Whitehead,” in Beyond the Pale: Reading Theology from the Margins, Stacey M. Floyd-Thomas and Miguel A. De La Torre, Editors.  Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011.
•    Entries on Apuntes, Christology, and Testimony, in The Encyclopedia of Hispanic Religious Culture, Miguel De La Torre, Editor. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO’s American Religious Cultures Series, 2009.
•    “Eschatology,” chapter in Handbook of Latino/a Theologies, Edwin Aponte and Miguel de la Torre, Eds. St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2006.
•    “Doing Theology in Spanish: Hispanic Theological Methodology, Dialogue, and Rationality,” chapter in Hispanic Christian Thought at the Dawn of the 21st Century: Apuntes in Honor of Justo L. Gonzalez, Alvin Padilla, Roberto Goizueta, Eldin Villafañe, Editors. Abingdon Press, 2005.
•    “Trinity,” chapter in U.S. Theologies of Liberation, Miguel de la Torre, Editor. Chalice Press, 2004.
•     “Latino/a Theology,” entry in A New Handbook of Theology, (revised and expanded edition) Donald Musser and Joseph Price, Editors. Abingdon, 2003.
•    “Whitehead, Deconstruction, and Postmodernism,” chapter in Hermeneutics and Difference. Edited by Catherine Keller and Anne Daniell, State University of New York Press, constructive postmodernism series, 2002.
•    “In the Face of Evil: Understanding Evil in the Aftermath of Terror,” chapter in Strike Terror No More: Theology, Ethics, and the New War. Jon L. Berquist, Editor, Chalice Press, 2002.
•    “Building Bridges between Communities of Struggle,” chapter in The Ties That Bind: African-American and Hispanic-American/Latino Theology in the United States.  Anthony Pinn and Benjamin Valentin, Editors. New York: Continuum Press, 2001.
•    “Guideposts Along the Journey: Mapping North American Hispanic Theology,” chapter in Protestantes/Protestants: Hispanic Christianity within Mainline Traditions. David Maldonado, Jr. Editor.  Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1999.

Selected Journal Articles:

•    “And the Truth Will Set You Free,” Apuntes, 25/3 (Summer) 2008.
•    “Dreams and Dreamers,” Apuntes, 24/1 (Winter), 2004.
•    “Peacemakers,” Memphis Theological Seminary Journal, 2003.
•    “Suffering God: Theodicy for the 21st Century,” Quarterly Review, (Summer) 2002.
•    “Fronteras Teológicas para un Nuevo Milenio,” Apuntes, 21/4 (Winter) 2001.
•    “Apuntes for the New Millennium,” Apuntes, 20/4 (Winter) 2000.
•    “Whitehead, Deconstruction, and Postmodernism,” Process Studies, 28/1-2 (1999).
•    “Tillich’s Theology of Culture and Hispanic American Theology,” North American Paul Tillich Society Newsletter, (1999).
•    “Doing Theology as Dialogue in the Hispanic Community,” Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology, (February 1998).
•    “Doing Christology in Spanish,” Theology Today, 54/4 (January 1998)
•    “The Infinity of God in A. N. Whitehead and E. Jüngel,” Encounter, 58/2 (Spring 1997).
•    “In Harm’s Way: Theological Reflections on Disasters,” Quarterly Review, (Spring 1997).
•    “A New Vision: Ministry Through Hispanic Eyes,” Apuntes, 16/2 (Summer 1996).

Higher Education Publications:

•    “The Value of Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education,” Santillana Foundation, 2007.
•     Editor. Team Visits: Conducting and Hosting an Evaluation Visit, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 2005.

Other Published Articles:
•    “Even In This Crisis, We Must Emulate The Love Of God, Not The Evil Of Man,” Guest column on the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attack, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee, October 4, 2001.

Topic: “Evaluation From the Perspective of External Authorities–Assuring Quality by Using Objective Standards”
October 28, 2014