Rebecca Davis named APCE Educator of the Year

RICHMOND, VA. (October 30, 2017) –  Rev. Dr. Rebecca Davis (M.A.C.E.’90; M.Div.’91), visiting associate professor of Christian education at Union Presbyterian Seminary’s Charlotte campus and associate professor of religion and Christian education at Presbyterian College, has received the 2018 ENRICH Educator of the Year Award from the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE).

“Each professor from whom I learned and every student I’ve had the privilege to teach shares in this award,” said Davis. “I am who I am because of the journey we share and Union’s enduring commitment to excellence in Christian education.”

While pursuing her undergraduate degree at Marshall University in classics, philosophy, and religion, Davis served as the director of Christian education at Enslow Park Presbyterian Church in Huntington, West Virginia. She continued her education, earning a Master of Arts in Christian Education from the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary (now Union Presbyterian Seminary), and a Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Education with an emphasis in ethics from Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Her first ordained call was associate pastor with responsibilities for educational ministries at Central Presbyterian Church in Mobile, Alabama. Davis next served as solo pastor and executive director of the early childhood development center at First Presbyterian Church in Monahans, Texas, before being called to Peace River Presbytery in North Port, Florida, as the associate presbyter for congregational programming and leader development. While at Peace River Presbytery, she became a Certified Christian Educator holding herself to the highest standard of excellence in educational ministry the denomination offers.

“Rebecca Davis continues a legacy of Union alumni and faculty members whose significant impact on the ministry of Christian education has been acknowledged by the wonderful recognition of APCE Educator of the Year,” said Union President Brian K. Blount. “She is a gifted teacher, wise mentor, and exemplary colleague who enriches every context in which she serves and equips to the fullest every student with whom she works. Her joy for the work of Christian education is infectious. To be in Dr. Davis’ company is to feel excitement about learning, to feel passion about sharing—teaching—what one has learned with others. In both the church and the academy, she has maintained a standard of teaching excellence worthy of celebration and appreciation.”

Davis has a passion for child advocacy. She was the founding chairperson of the Presbyterian Child Advocacy Network for the PC (U.S.A.) and a member of the General Assembly’s Year of the Child Leadership Team. She served on the staff of the Children’s Defense Fund and the National Council of Churches Committee on Justice for Children and their Families. Currently, she serves on the General Assembly’s Educate a Child, Transform the World Advisory Council.

Criteria for the award includes being a full-time professional, five or more years of membership in APCE or its partner denomination’s educational organizations, active in Christian education leadership for a minimum of 10 years, a leader into new frontiers,  a formative influence on educational ministry, and an advocate for church educators.