2013 DHCR Preacher-Scholar Award Announced
L. CUTTINO ALEXANDER
OF THE LUTHERAN SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY AT CHICAGO
WINS THE 2013 DAVID H.C. READ
Update: The Rev. L. Cuttino Alexander, winner of the 2013 David H.C. Read Preacher/Scholar Award is set to preach at MAPC on Sunday morning, September 29, at 9 and 11:15 am. Since winning the award, Mr. Alexander has been called, ordained and installed as the Pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, in Mt. Holly, NC (near Charlotte). A luncheon for Mr. Alexander, family, friends and some proud parishioners will be hosted by the members of the David H.C. Read Preacher/Scholar Committee at 1 pm in the Parish Hall.
The 2013 winner of the $20,000 David H.C. Read Preacher/Scholar Award is L. Cuttino Alexander, received a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in May.
In addition to the $20,000 award to Mr. Alexander, three finalist prizes of $1,000 each were given to Karen Salmon Witt, from Union Richmond Theological Seminary; Nicholas Dougherty of the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary; and Alison Leigh Campbell-Taylor of Columbia Theological Seminary.
This annual award was created by the congregation of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church (MAPC) to honor the Rev. Dr. David H.C. Read (1910-2001), an internationally renowned preacher, scholar, author and ecumenist, upon his retirement in 1989 after 34 years as the church’s Senior Minister. It is awarded to a student in the final year of a Master of Divinity program at a Protestant theological school in the United States or Canada who demonstrates exceptional distinction in both preaching and biblical scholarship and is committed to parish ministry.
Cuttino Alexander will preach at MAPC on September 29, 2013.
“An outstanding theologian, full of theological and biblical insights”
L. Cuttino Alexander grew up in a small town in North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina, where he began to discern a call to ministry. At UNC he studied history and Russian language, and conducted research in Russia and Mongolia. Upon graduation from UNC, “Cuttno” felt drawn to international service and joined the U.S. Peace Corps. Given his linguistic abilities, he was sent to the country of Georgia as an advisor to a non-profit educational program for street children in the town of Gori. Though the work was successful, it came to an abrupt halt with the outbreak of the war with Russia in 2008. Returning to the U.S., he enrolled at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 2008, and during his internship year in 2011-2012 he returned to Georgia, where, as a vicar at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tbilisi, Georgia, he learned to preach in Russian and helped to design multilingual worship services.
He has been approved for ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and is seeking a full-time call in a parish setting.
In a letter recommending him for the David H.C. Read Award, a seminary professor wrote: “Cuttino is an outstanding theologian, full of theological and biblical insights relevant to diverse contexts. As a preacher, he has shown great creativity and imagination. He tailors his sermons for each context, showing great sensitivity and thought to the needs and expectations of his audience.”
How the award winner is chosen
Candidates nominated by their theological schools for the David H.C. Read Preacher/Scholar Award are judged on the basis of their seminary records, biographical statements, recommendations by two professors, two written and recorded sermons (one based on an Old Testament text and the other on a New Testament text) preached before live audiences and brief exegetical papers in support of each sermon. A seminary can nominate no more than two candidates each year.
All of the materials submitted are first reviewed by a lay committee of MAPC members that selects up to four finalists for evaluation by a panel of distinguished New York City preacher/scholars. In addition to the Rev. Dr. Fred R. Anderson, MAPC, the finalist judges for the 2013 award were: the Rev. Dr. Stephen Bauman, Christ Methodist Church; the Rev. Dr. Brenda Husson, St. James’ Church; the Rev. Laura Jervis, West Side Housing Federation; the Rev. Michael Lindvall, Brick Presbyterian Church; and the Rev. Dr. Jon M. Walton, The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York.