What Sets Us Apart

At the River: The Theology & Arts Institute of Memphis Theological Seminary is unique because:

We are the only active Theology & Arts program at a seminary in the Mid-South/Delta

We reflect and translate the best of our Southern ethos because we are situated at the crossroads that produced Elvis, B.B. King, Faulkner, Dirty South Hip Hop, and so much more

We are justice-based and community-focused; we train artists committed to social activism and seminarians preparing to lead the 21st century church

We are receptive to and engaged with global concerns

We value local art and artists, as well as local theology and theologians

We do practical, grassroots, activist art – not merely philosophical aesthetics; we incorporate themes and issues concerning ordinary people

We are collaborative, dialogic, and interfaith

Our art-making is community-building, interacting with people from all walks of life; the interaction of these populations in one place makes for powerful transformative work and strategizing

We are committed to creating a just world through theologically reflective art-making

We work toward and long for the Beloved Community

While the classical artistic expressions are welcome, we also include subjects such as

  • Sacred photography
  • Hip Hop Mime
  • Antiphonal Blues Chants
  • Street Theater
  • Body Prayer
  • Drumming
  • Spiritual Listening

Our workshops are designed to invigorate and renew worship

We draw on the skills of an already artistic faculty, staff, and alumni base into our work, which includes:

  • Dr. Steve Parrish (Hebrew Bible), musician and songwriter
  • Dr. Lee Ramsey (Pastoral Care), recent book based on preachers in literature
  • Dr. Mary Lin Hudson (Homiletics & Liturgics), songwriter and musician
  • Dr. Matt Mathews (Theology), fine art photographer