WILBERFORCE, OHIO—The Reverend Leah Gaskin Fitchue, Ed.D., President of Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio, will be honored by Princeton Theological Seminary at its annual alumni reunion program on October 25, 2010.
Princeton Seminary President Iain Torrance announced that Dr. Fitchue had been named a 2010 Distinguished Alumna of Princeton Theological Seminary by the Alumni/ae Association Executive Council. “This award is presented each year to one or more outstanding alumni/ae whose lives and faith in Jesus Christ have promoted goodness, mercy, truth, and justice, and who have distinguished themselves in their life and calling,” Torrance said.
“We especially honor you for your leadership in theological education at Payne Seminary and as the first female African-American to hold a seminary presidency,” President Torrance continued.
The award will be conferred at the Reunion 2010 Presidential Dinner on Oct. 25,
6 p.m. at the Mackay Campus Center on the Princeton, New Jersey, campus. Tickets for the dinner are $30 and may be purchased at 609-497-7756.
Another Princeton alumna, Anna May Say Pa, class of 1989, also will be honored at the dinner.
On October 27, Dr. Fitchue also will present a lecture at Princeton.
Dr. Fitchue earned her Master of Divinity degree from Princeton in 1983. “I am elated to receive this recognition from such an outstanding institution,” she said.
“In order to be an ordained elder in the AME church, you must have a master’s degree, which also helped me to prepare myself to serve as President of Payne Theological Seminary. So my studies at Princeton were a very important institutional milestone for me,” Dr. Fitchue said. She also earned a Master of Science in Speech Pathology degree from the University of Michigan and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree from Harvard University.
In 2003, Dr. Fitchue became the sixteenth and first woman president of Payne Theological Seminary. Under her auspices, Dr. Fitchue has guided the seminary through significant growth: enrollment went from less than 70 students to a current enrollment of 178 students. In 2005, she instituted the first online Master of Divinity program at a historically black theological seminary.
Payne Theological Seminary is located in the pastoral community of Wilberforce, Ohio. It is within walking distance of the historically African American institutions – Central State University and Wilberforce University. Payne is one of the oldest African American seminaries primarily concerned with the training of men and women for the ministry.
For more information, contact Payne Theological Seminary, 937-376-2946 ext 209.