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BIOS FOR REACHgathering PLENARY SPEAKERS - 2017
Rev. Dr. Felicia Howell LaBoy
Associate Dean, Black Church Studies and Advanced Learning (2015- present)
As scholar, pastor, community activist, entrepreneur and workshop leader, Dr. LaBoy works with churches, businesses and community organizations. Her passion is reconciling and restoring churches and communities by educating and equipping persons, and building teams. She is often described as one who moves from the “seminary to the street, from the pulpit to the pavement.” She specializes in helping others to understand and utilize complex theological and business concepts to create solutions for communities and organizations. While Dr. LaBoy is most recognized in Academic Circles she has a strong history of Pastoral Ministry including leading an urban Chicago church in which she initiated a Sports Outreach Ministry.
Academic credentials include a B.S. in Marketing from Lehigh University, an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Duke University, an M.A. in Christian Ministries from Indiana Christian University, and an M. Div. with a concentration in Evangelism from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Dr. LaBoy recently completed her Ph.D. at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in theology, history and ethics.
Her dissertation, Personal and Social Holiness: The Sacraments and the Mandate of Christian Community Development for the Black Church, analyzes the disconnect between mainline middleclass, Black congregations in the midst of poor communities and their historical counterparts. Her work questions their faithfulness to the Christian heritage and provides a practical solution using sacramental theology and faith-based community and economic development strategies.
An Elder in Full Connection with the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church, Dr. LaBoy has 14 years of urban and multicultural pastoral ministry with 10 of those as the Senior Pastor. Dr. LaBoy served as the Metro Seminar Instructor for Community Development for Chicago Semester, an urban intensive, experiential-based program of several Reformed colleges that seeks to integrate faith and practice utilizing the city of Chicago as a living laboratory.
Most recently, Dr. LaBoy served as the Assistant Professor of Evangelization in the Heisel Chair at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH. On July 1, 2015, Dr. LaBoy became the Associate Dean of Black Church Studies and Advanced Learning, which includes both the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree and Non-degree areas at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Dr. LaBoy teaches in the areas of evangelism, church renewal, and black and urban church studies. Her special interests are in the connections between evangelism and social justice, urban ministry, racial reconciliation, faith-based community and economic development, and Black Church religious history and leadership.
As an author her forthcoming book Table Matters: The Sacraments, Evangelism and Social Justice, published by Wipf and Stock, will be released in 2016.
Her favorite passage of Scripture is Philippians 3: 12 – 14: “I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward--to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.”
Dr. LaBoy is married to Adrian LaBoy. They are the proud parents three children and grandparents of eleven grandchildren. They currently reside in Blue Island, IL.