Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Bridging the Word and the World

12/29 2011

PTS Welcomes New Prof of Homiletics


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The Board of Directors has named the Rev. Dr. Angela Dienhart Hancock as assistant professor of homiletics and worship. Dr. Hancock connected immediately with both students and faculty as a person of deep faith, considerable academic and parish experience, and substantial knowledge of how to model and teach both preaching and worship. She will be a wonderful addition to our already stellar faculty.

Angela will begin March 1, 2012. She has taught at Princeton Theological Seminary, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg.  An ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), she has served as pastor to Presbyterian congregations in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Tennessee. 

Hancock earned her bachelor’s degree in music from Indiana University, Bloomington and her M.Div. and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where she won prizes in preaching and church music. Her dissertation, to be published by Eerdmans, is a contextual interpretation of Swiss theologian Karl Barth’s “emergency” venture into the field of practical theology at the University of Bonn in the early 1930s, based on unpublished archival material. As such, it is an interdisciplinary study involving the fields of history and rhetoric in addition to systematic and practical theology. Hancock’s next project extends her work on Karl Barth and rhetoric to the North American context, tentatively titled, “Preaching in Tongues: Postliberalism and the Rhetoric of the North American Pulpit.” Her scholarly interests include systematic theology, homiletics, liturgical theology, rhetoric, performance theory, history, and philosophical hermeneutics.

Angela continues to preach, teach, and lead worship in a variety of ecclesiastical settings. Her professional affiliations include the Academy of Homiletics, the Karl Barth Society of North America, and Society of Biblical Literature.

Born in Ohio, Angela grew up in Southern California. She converted to Christianity while in college. She met her husband, Trent, while in seminary, where they sang in the touring choir together. After their first pastorate (they were co-pastors), Trent served as an Army chaplain with the 101st Airborne Division. He was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and is currently an associate pastor in Morrisville, Pa. During her first year in the Ph.D. program at Princeton, Angela was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) and spent most of the next year in and out of the hospital undergoing five rounds of intensive chemotherapy. During the course of her treatment, she received more than 1,000 transfusions of blood and platelets from hundreds of different donors. She has been in remission since 2004. From time to time Angela speaks on behalf of the Red Cross (once on television!), especially encouraging people to donate platelets, a more involved process than simple blood donation, but a critical need for many cancer patients. 

In her free time, Angela enjoys playing bridge, The New York Times crossword puzzle, hiking, film criticism, a cappella singing, photographing very small things, and arranging music for her family (all string players).

 The Rev. Dr. William J. Carl III, President