Iliffians that went on the 2013 Africa Immersion trip.September 17, 2013

by M. Celeste Jackson

Social and human issues have been championed at the Iliff School of Theology throughout the school’s more than 120-year history.

“Iliff and its programs represent many things for people. For me, it represents a kind of authenticity,” said Bradley J. Klein, Ph.D. “When I started at Iliff, I recall looking at framed pictures, which were fairly prominently displayed, depicting our students and faculty joined in an activist protest. I figured I wanted to be a part of any institution that so honored this basic tenet of community engagement.”

“Justice and Peace Studies at Iliff are unsurpassed; I chose to attend the school because of its long-standing excellence in the area,” added Klein, who earned his Ph.D. in Religious and Theological Studies (2012) through Iliff’s joint program with the University of Denver, and serves as an adjunct faculty member and coordinator of the school’s Justice and Peace Studies program.

Klein’s enthusiasm and creativity support his preference for experiential and theoretical teaching. It was in his work that a new approach to Iliff’s Justice and Peace Studies — which emphasizes eating and food, the environment and globalism — was envisioned and deployed. The program continues to honor its roots in praxis course offerings and community activities related to topics as diverse as restorative justice, nuclear disarmament, community organizing and LGBTQ equality.

As part of the new focus in Justice and Peace, Klein and Edward Antonio, Ph.D., associate dean, Diversities, Harvey H. Potthoff Associate Professor of Theology and Social Theory, will lead a tour group this fall on a two-week immersion trip to Zimbabwe and South Africa through a program of the school’s Justice and Peace offerings.

“Fall quarter will be enriching for the Iliff community,” Klein commented. “Our touring group will have a dynamic first-account experience and through sharing and relationship-building, this international work should provide rich opportunities for anyone affiliated with Iliff, for years to come.”

A community activist, Klein believes the best results are yielded when people listen, learn and work in common purpose. “I believe it’s what supports and fosters people’s innate needs.”

[2017 Update: See photos here of the 2015 edition of the Africa Immersion Trip.]

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