Tinker Visiting 


Tinker Visiting Professorship and Student Mentoring

The Tinker Visiting Professorship was established in 2018 in honor of Professor Emeritus Tink Tinker (wazhazhe/Osage Nation) who taught for 32 years at Iliff School of Theology. Supported by the Tink Tinker Program Endowment Fund, the Professorship is committed to continuing his work and honor his legacy. In addition to teaching two courses over the course of an academic year and participating in public presentations, the Tinker Visiting Professor will also mentor Native students during Gathering Days.

Dr. Lisa Dellinger (Chickasaw Nation) is the Tinker Visiting Professor for AY 2021-22.

A recent Ph.D. graduate of the Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Dr. Dellinger is currently the Visiting Assistant Professor of Constructive Theologies and Louisville Postdoctoral Fellow at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

At Garrett, she worked with Professor Emeritus Tink Tinker who was on her doctoral committee. Dr. Dellinger has also worked with Rev. Dr. Boyung Lee, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, through the United Methodist Women of Color Scholar’s Program and the Forum for Theological Exploration. Both Professor Tinker and Rev. Dr. Lee have been highly impressed with Dr. Dellinger and her work as a Native American and a Christian scholar.

With regards to her research, Dr. Dellinger shared the following: “I take seriously the intersections and the irreconcilabilities between Native American Indian Theory and Christian Theology as they are embodied through a Native context/hermeneutic. I aspire to enrich the academy by offering scholarship that reflects the complexity of contemporary Native Peoples lives within and outside of the Christian faith.”

Dr. Dellinger’s critical work in these areas will be part of the two online courses she will be teaching, one in the winter term of 2021 and the other in the summer term of 2022. Along with teaching these two courses, Dr. Dellinger will provide public lectures during the 2021-2022 academic year as well as mentor Iliff’s students of Native American heritage. More information about public events will be available soon.

During this academic year, Dr. Dellinger will engage the Iliff community in several different ways:

– She will speak at the Renewal Series as a guest speaker this fall.

– She will teach two online courses (one in winter 2022 and the other in summer 2022).

– In winter 2022, Dr. Dellinger will teach an online class, Native American Cosmologies. Here is the course description:

“This course is a survey of Native American cosmologies/spiritualities as compared with the US culturally christian worldview. Native American Studies resources, giving special emphasis to Indigenous women’s writings, are placed in conversation with texts regarding Euro-American Christian history and theologies. The human being’s relationship with nature is interrogated by analyzing concepts like theological anthropology, interdependence, creation, reciprocity, commodification, exploitation, and salvation. Within these divergent worldviews, the students will reflect on and interrogate the question: How does intellectual theory impact our embodied reality?”

– During the Winter Gathering Days, we hope to bring Dr. Dellinger to campus for public engagement and mentoring our students of Native American heritage.

Dr. Mark Freeland, (Sault St. Marie Anishinabek) Assistant Professor of American Indian Studies/American Indian Studies Program Coordinator at the South Dakota State University, is the first Tinker Visiting Professor for AY 2019-20.

offering online courses during the summer, and will be at Iliff during the fall and winter gathering days for student mentoring and public education programs.

For summer 2019, Dr. Freeland will be teaching the course – American Indian Culture and Ceremonies. This course will provide a framework of knowledge to better understand American Indian culture and ceremonies. Starting from a theory of worldview, students will engage concepts to comprehend indigenous peoples relationships to land, time, and the rest of life. They will investigate the role of ceremony in indigenous communities to be able to understand the contemporary role of on an annual cycle and in the everyday. This course will provide a foundation to understanding colonization, decolonization, and indigenization in our contemporary world.