CFTs 50th Anniversary Gathering
Confirmed presenters are listed below. Check back to learn about presenters as they are added to the lineup.
Rev. Dr. Leslie Harrison
Rev. Dr. Leslie Harrison is a listener, a friend, and a voice for the voiceless (until they find their voice!). She is the pastor of St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lindenwold, NJ, and has worked as an addictions counselor, death doula, hospice spiritual care counselor, and bereavement program coordinator.
Leslie is passionate about helping people live into their dreams and purpose. She realizes life is not about the quantity of our days but the quality of each one. She deems herself an influencer – helping members of communities come together to listen to the stories of the hopeless, discouraged, and privileged. Rev. Harrison is a world traveller interested in cultural norms, not only those we experience in the western world, but those we see internationally, particularly Africa. Her writings and sermon transcripts, often reflecting on the intersectional view of self, God, and community, have been highlighted/published in various denominational magazines and publications. In 2018, Rev. Harrison received her doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Eastern University.
Dr. Mary E. Hunt
Dr. Mary E. Hunt is a feminist theologian who is cofounder and codirector of the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (WATER) in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. A Catholic active in the women-church movement and on LGBTQI+ matters, she lectures and writes on theology and ethics with particular attention to liberation issues. Ms. Hunt is an editor of A Guide for Women in Religion: Making Your Way from A to Z and coeditor with Diann L. Neu of New Feminist Christianity: Many Voices, Many Views. She writes for ReligionDispatches.org, among other outlets.
Dr. Diann Neu
Diann L. Neu is co-founder and co-director of WATER, the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual, in Silver Spring, Maryland. A feminist liturgist and licensed psychotherapist, Diann lectures, teaches, and conducts workshops in many places. She has published numerous articles on feminist approaches to liturgy, spirituality, and therapy as well as books of rituals. Diann holds a Doctor of Ministry in International Feminist Theology from the San Francisco Theological Seminary; a Master of Divinity and a Master of Sacred Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley; and a Master of Clinical Social Work from The Catholic University of America.
Janene Cates Putman
Janene Cates Putman grew up the daughter of a Southern Baptist pastor. She says, “After 20 years of raising kids and failing miserably to measure up to the ideal woman of Proverbs 31, I stepped out of the conservative box and into the person God created me to be.” She enrolled in Bible college in her forties and began to rewrite her life. She enthusiastically describes how life has changed: “I now live my dream, writing about faith and feminism on a little slice of heaven in the east Tennessee mountains I share with my ‘Hot’ Husband.”
Rev. Gail Ricciuti
The Rev. Gail Ricciuti is Professor Emerita at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, where she taught preaching and practical theology for 23 years. During the 25 years preceding her teaching career, she served churches in Massillon and Hanoverton, Ohio; and with her husband Anthony, pioneered the field of egalitarian co-pastoring in Byron, New York and at the Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester. A native of the Pacific Northwest, she earned degrees from the University of Puget Sound and Princeton Theological Seminary and holds an honorary Doctorate of Divinity conferred by Keuka College. She is a past moderator of Genesee Valley Presbytery and was Vice Moderator of the General Assembly (UPCUSA, 1977), the first clergywoman and youngest person ever to hold the post.
Alena Ruggerio, Ph.D.
Alena Ruggerio, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Communication, Media, and Cinema at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. For her work teaching courses such as persuasion, argumentation, advanced public speaking, gender and communication, and feminist rhetorical theory, Alena received the distinguished teaching award from SOU and was recently nominated for the Western States Communication Association distinguished teaching award. She has also been recognized with SOU’s distinguished service award for her leadership on the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Council; the Ethnic and Racial Studies curriculum initiative; and the Feminist and Women’s Studies Division of the National Communication Association. The editor of Media Depictions of Brides, Wives, and Mothers (Lexington Press), Alena’s most recent book is Feminism in Practice: Communication Strategies for Making Change, coauthored with Karen A. and Sonja K. Foss (Waveland Press). As a longtime member of Christian Feminism Today, Alena served for eleven years in various positions on Council, including one year as CFT Coordinator, and she currently sits on the Nancy A. Hardesty Scholarship committee.
Dr. Paula Trimble-Familetti
Dr. Paula Trimble-Familetti is a passionate advocate for women’s rights, inclusive language, and biblical literacy. She spent thirty years as an elementary school teacher, afraid to follow her call to write the stories of biblical women, to advocate for women, and to further biblical literacy. She holds a B.A. in Religion from Chapman University, an M.A. in Religion from Liberty University, and a Doctor of Ministry in International Feminist Theology from San Francisco Theological Seminary. She taught Women and Religion and Women’s History classes for Chapman University and is past co-convener of the Women’s Caucus of the American Academy of Religion. She is the president of The Desert Interfaith Council and the 2024 coordinator of Christian Feminism Today. Her book, Prostitutes, Virgins, and Mothers: Questioning Teachings About Biblical Women, won a gold medal in Bible study from Illumination Book Awards.