R. Drew Smith is professor of urban ministry and director of the Metro-Urban Institute. The Rev. Dr. Smith earned his undergraduate degree from Indiana University, and earned his master of divinity, master of arts, and Ph.D. from Yale University. Both a political scientist and a clergyman, he has initiated and directed a number of projects related to religion and public life which have collected research data on political involvements, community development activities, and outreach ministries of churches, especially African-American churches. He has served since 2010 as co-convener of the Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race, an initiative that convenes scholars, religious leaders, and community activists from across the transatlantic region for purposes of advancing progressive approaches to persistent racial problems in various contexts. In addition, as a Baptist clergyman, he has ministered in a number of parish, prison, and campus ministry contexts. He has published widely on religion and public life, having written numerous articles and chapters, and edited or co-edited nine books. Smith has received many honors and awards for his academic leadership, including selection in 2002 as an Emerging Leaders Fellow by a Duke University/University of Cape Town program on leadership and public values and selection in 2008 for an Indiana Governor’s Black Expo Leadership award. Read his full bio.

Ruth Boykin serves as associate director of MUI. Her experience working in an urban setting with ethnic, multi-cultural, and learning communities spans several decades. During this time, she served as a faculty member teaching a variety of courses focused on communication and rhetorical studies and culture and community at various colleges and universities. Boykin has mentored and provided academic success guidance to students of various backgrounds. As an educational administrator, she served as regional tech prep coordinator at Community College of Allegheny County. Additionally, she worked as registrar/assistant to the academic dean for the Semester-at-Sea International Institute at the University of Pittsburgh at which time she toured regions of South America, Africa, and Asia. Her research and presentations address areas of communication and rhetoric, intercultural communication, civil discourse, and diversity and inclusion. In addition, she has worked as a project director and fiscal administrative officer for family-based organizations where she handled strategic development, staffing, and compliance. Boykin is a graduate of Duquesne University (M.A.) and University of Pittsburgh (M.Ed. and B.S.).


Lisa Bunting is the Metro-Urban Institute administrative and program assistant. She previously served at PTS was welcome center and events director. Lisa is passionate about social justice and women’s leadership both nationally and internationally. She loves to travel on leisure and religious intercultural trips and views them as necessary, as she aspires to become a "responsible global citizen." Previously, she served as vice president of the Business & Professional Women’s Club of Greater Pittsburgh, a community organizer for Ntosake of the Gamaliel National Network, and a board member for the Voter Empowerment Education & Enrichment Movement, Pittsburgh (VEEEM). Lisa holds a bachelor's in marketing from West Chester University and has experience in community engagement, marketing, event management, and community organizing.


Metro-Urban Institute
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
616 N. Highland Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206