2022-2023 Pathways Online Courses
Dr. Rubén Arjona
Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care

Dr. Rubén Arjona is an ordained minister in the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico. Before being appointed to the faculty of Union Presbyterian Seminary he served as Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Care at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO.

Dr. Arjona’s research interests include the pastoral care of men, the intersections of pastoral care and liberation theologies, the care of couples and families, the care of LGBTQ+ individuals, and Erik H. Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. One of his deepest passions is the care of theological students, which for him includes accompanying some of his former students in Mexico as well as mentoring international students pursuing theological studies in the United States.

Dr. Arjona has published several works in Spanish, including his undergraduate thesis on John Calvin’s missions to France, published by the Centro Basilea de Investigación y Apoyo under the auspices of the Fondation pour l’Aide au Protestantimse Réformé (FAP). More recently, Dr. Arjona has published several peer-reviewed articles in Pastoral Psychology and the Journal of Pastoral Theology.


Dr. Rachel Baard
Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics
Rachel Baard is Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics at Union Presbyterian Seminary. 

A graduate of the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and of Princeton Theological Seminary, she is grounded in the Reformed Tradition, with a strong interest in its contemporary expressions, in particular with regard to human dignity and social justice. Her first book, Sexism and Sin-Talk, was published by Westminster John Knox Press in 2019.


Dr. Adrian Bird
Adjunct Instructor
Dr. Adrian Bird has been an Affiliate Professor of Church History, leading courses in History (Ancient and Modern), Christian Mission and Evangelism, and Interfaith Encounters for Union Presbyterian Seminary.

With his wife, Rev. Julie Walkup Bird, Adrian served as PC(USA) Mission Partner in Residence, working in Kerala with the Church of South India. This enriching experience led to the completion of his doctoral studies at the University of Edinburgh, and the publication of his doctoral thesis entitled, "M.M. Thomas and Dalit Theology."

Dr. Bird also served with Voluntary Service Overseas in Zimbabwe, working in the realm of HIV/Aids peer education within communities of displaced children and youth. These experiences led him to Brite Divinity School in order to process the many questions generated on the streets of Zimbabwe. 

Dr. John Carroll
Professor of New Testament
John Carroll is Professor of New Testament at Union Presbyterian Seminary and author of several books, including The Gospel of Luke: A Commentary for the Westminster John Knox New Testament Library (2012), Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction (Westminster John Knox, 2016), and The Holy Spirit in the New Testament (Abingdon, 2018).
Dr. Paul Galbreath
Professor of Theology

Paul Galbreath is a professor of theology at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte. He came to the seminary in 2005 from the Office of Theology and Worship, where he served as a member of the General Assembly staff for the PC(USA).

One of his primary research interests has focused on sacramental ethics, or ways to explore connections between worship and daily life. This work led to the publication of a trilogy of books: Leading from the Table (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008), Leading through the Water (Rowman & Littlefield), and Leading into the World (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), which respectively examine the eucharist and baptismal liturgies and a Christian commitment to earth care in order to discern sacramental patterns and practices that are a part of our daily lives. He published Doxology and Theology (Peter Lang, 2008), and is co-author of the lectionary commentary New Proclamation: Year B, 2011-2012, Advent Through Holy Week (Fortress, 2011). His latest monograph, Re-Forming the Liturgy (Cascade Books, 2019), explores liturgical renewal and eco-liturgical concerns.



Dr. Cindy Kissel-Ito
Associate Professor of Christian Education and Director of the Master of Arts in Christian Education Program
Dr. Cindy Kissel-Ito is Associate Professor of Christian Education at Union Presbyterian Seminary. She also directs the Master of Arts in Christian Education Program at the seminary. Her ministry has consistently embodied the importance of intentional engagement in the Christian Life that is invigorated by teaching/learning the Bible. Dr. Kissel-Ito is a Presbyterian minister in the PC(USA) and lives in New Kent, Virginia, with her husband, son, and three Scottish Terriers. 
Dr. Christine Luckritz Marquis
Associate Professor of Church History
Christine Luckritz Marquis is Associate Professor of Church History at Union Presbyterian Seminary. After her M.A.R. from Yale Divinity School, Luckritz Marquis earned her Ph.D. in Early Christian Studies from Duke University. She has been teaching at Union since 2013. Her teaching and research explore early Christian communities and their practices, especially in Egypt and Syria. Her interests include memory and spatial practices, the role of violence in identity formation, material culture, and Christian interactions with neighboring Christians as well as non-Christians, especially early Muslims. Her first book, Death of the Desert, explores how memory and spatial practices were transformed by acts of violence among Egyptian ascetics (UPenn Press, 2022).


Rev. Carson Rhyne
Adjunct Instructor of Practical Theology
H. Carson Rhyne, Jr. is a graduate of Presbyterian College, Clinton, South Carolina, as well as Union Presbyterian Seminary of Richmond, Virginia. He has held various positions in the Presbyterian Church, including Pastor, Organizing Pastor, and General Presbyter and Stated Clerk. He has also been an instructor in Presbyterian Polity for Union Presbyterian Seminary since 2000.
Dr. Rich Voelz
Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship
Richard W. Voelz is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship at Union Presbyterian Seminary. He also serves as the Director of UPSem's Doctor of Ministry program. He formerly served as senior minister of the Johns Creek Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), an open and affirming congregation in metro Atlanta, Georgia. He has over a decade of ministry experience in various contexts.

Dr. Voelz is a graduate of Vanderbilt University’s Graduate Department of Religion with a doctorate in homiletics and liturgics. His interests are in contemporary homiletic theory, particularly how preaching relates to the areas of critical pedagogy, adolescent youth, reproductive loss and adoption, and public proclamation.

He has authored four books, including Youthful Sermons (Working Preacher, 2022), Preaching to Teach: Inspire People to Think and Act (Abingdon Press, 2019), Tending the Tree of Life: Preaching and Worship Through Reproductive Loss and Adoption (Energion Publications, 2018), and Youthful Preaching: Strengthening the Relationship Between Youth, Adults, and Preaching (Cascade Books, 2016). In addition, he has contributed to Preaching as Resistance: Voices of Hope, Justice, and Solidarity (Chalice Press, 2018), The Living Pulpit: Sermons that Illustrate Preaching in the Stone-Campbell Movement 1968-2018 (Chalice Press, 2018),  and Young Preachers Compilation (Shook Foil Books, 2012). He also serves as Associate Editor for the “Between Text and Sermon” section of Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology.