Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary 2006
Assistant Professor of Formation, Youth, and Culture, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois; Pastor, Arnett Chapel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Chicago, Illinois
Across his many roles—which he considers all one ministry—Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount serves as a catalyst for hope, transformation, and vocation. He defines hope as “believing with divine anticipation that God will come through,” and faithfulness in ministry, first and foremost, as faith in Jesus Christ. With a biblical understanding of hope, Dr. Blount encourages and nurtures transformation—the process of becoming all that God intends for us to be—through a vocation of living into the divine purpose for our lives.
Serving as both pastor in the AME Church and professor at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Dr. Blount has many opportunities to live out his understanding of hope, transformation, and vocation. His congregation hosts numerous events centered on these ideas, events in which Dr. Blount and his colleagues in ministry and education empower members of the community to explore and embrace their own vocations. In addition to his pastoral role, Dr. Blount also serves as Director of Christian Education for the Fourth Episcopal District of the AME Church, equipping and encouraging others to live out their ministry wherever they serve in Christian education throughout the AME Church.
Most recently, in his role as Assistant Professor of Formation, Youth, and Culture, Dr. Blount, along with his colleague Dr. Virginia Lee, has become the co-executive director of the Garrett-Evanston Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School, which will offer a six-week free summer literacy and education program to children in underserved communities of Evanston, IL. The Freedom Schools helps the children being served, but it also nurtures the leadership abilities of college students and young-adult mentors who lead the programs.
Dr. Blount’s inspiration comes primarily from Jesus, but also from the people he serves: “For me, it’s seeing changed lives and lives that are spiritually flourishing—that really motivates me to keep going forward and inspires me to keep doing what I do.” Regardless of the setting—local church work, community engagement, or teaching in the classroom—Dr. Blount fosters this flourishing and encourages others to do the same.
Attracted to Garrett-Evangelical for its Ph.D. program, Dr. Blount describes the seminary as an enriching environment, a place where students learn both inside and outside the classroom. For him, Garrett-Evangelical offered many opportunities for dialogue partners and a space to explore his unique gifts and call; in particular, the flexibility and openness of the Ph.D. program allowed him to shape his own work and discover his passions. While at Garrett-Evangelical, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience (CBE) provided Dr. Blount many opportunities to engage in dialogue related to the contexts in which he was serving. As he grew in his passion and ministry, he found CBE especially helpful in providing opportunities for deeper conversations and experiences relevant to Black culture and life. In his ongoing work at Garrett-Evangelical, Dr. Blount continues to appreciate the opportunities afforded by CBE and the experience of participating in them alongside students and colleagues.