About This Site

The idea for this webpage came out of two formative experiences at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. First, the Pastoral Leadership for Public Life program, which brings a small cohort of pastors together to develop their leadership at the intersection of the Good News and the common good. Each cohort begins with a visit to a local demographer who tells the story of how the 1928 City Plan created a segregated Austin. For some pastors, it is their first time hearing this history, and they are both shocked and broken-hearted. They often comment that they would like to share learning from this program with their congregations. This webpage is an attempt to make that information readily accessible to them for use in a small group setting. Second, the 2017 Thomas White Currie Lectures, by The Reverend Dr. Willie James Jennings, which explore the way in which race is inextricably tied to a particular orientation to space. As Jennings says, “The story of race is also the story of place.” A distorted Christian theology has funded racism and the destruction of place-based identity. This webpage springs from a deep desire to see the gospel of Jesus Christ freed from distortion and to see our communal lives re-imagined. It is a very small beginning, but it is a beginning.

YouAreHereATX.org was developed with a grant from Foundations of Christian Leadership at Duke Divinity School.

Rev. Erica Knisley

Rev. Erica Knisely

Director of Educational Design

Education Beyond the Walls
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

This webpage was produced by Erica Knisely, an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She serves as Director of Educational Design for Education Beyond the Walls at Austin Seminary. Erica first began to understand racism as a systemic and structural issue while in graduate school at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. She continued her education on the impacts of racism working with federally qualified health centers in Texas, where she learned about the deep health disparities experienced by people of color across the state. She believes that anti-racism work is a lifelong endeavor and that it takes a community of committed people to dream God’s dream of a just world on earth as it is in heaven.

Gaila Sims

Doctoral Candidate, University of Texas at Austin

The research and writing on this webpage were conducted by Gaila Sims, doctoral student in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Sims has worked with the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center, the Asian American Resource Center, the Bullock Texas State History Museum, and the Harry Ransom Center.

photo of Gaila Sims

The webpage and logo for You Are Here ATX was designed by Todd Porter,  Founder, Kairos Collaborative and Chief Operating Officer of the United States Christian Leadership Organization, an organization dedicated to achieving racial equity through Christian proclamation and coordinated advocacy.

Education Beyond the Walls (EBW), our lifelong learning program, creates transformative theological learning experiences for ministers, teachers, healers, and community members who want to nourish their minds, hearts, and spirits.

Our unwavering commitment is to the preparation of women and men for pastoral ministry. Austin Seminary has a strong reputation in theology and biblical studies, as well as in preaching, worship, and practical experience for pastoral ministry. While a large percentage of our graduates serve in the parish, we recognize that God calls people to a variety of ministries and we are dedicated to educating the people of God for the church of God. Whatever your call, there’s no better place to acquire a solid foundation for Christian ministry than at Austin Seminary. In a recent survey of graduating students, the top three areas in which they felt stronger because of their Austin Seminary education were: trust in God, self-knowledge, and respect for their religious tradition.

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