Jul 222021

Rabbi Dr. Rachel Mikva Appointed Interim Academic Dean

CHICAGO – July 22, 2021 – Chicago Theological Seminary gratefully announces the appointment of Rabbi Dr. Rachel Mikva as the Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs & Academic Dean at CTS, effective July 1, 2021. The Board of Trustees and the entire institution recognizes that a Jewish dean of a historically Protestant school embodies our commitment to inclusivity and interreligious collaboration in pursuing the common good and shaping the public square.

“CTS is blessed in this moment of transformation in theological education to have Rabbi Mikva step into the role of Interim Vice-President for Academics and Academic Dean,” said seminary President, Dr. Stephen G. Ray, Jr. “Her administrative gifts and interreligious vision will truly further the seminary as it explores new ways to deliver a world class program in our changing world.”

Rabbi Dr. Rachel S. Mikva serves as the Herman E. Schaalman Professor in Jewish Studies and Senior Faculty Fellow of the InterReligious Institute at Chicago Theological Seminary.  The Institute and the Seminary work at the cutting edge of theological education, training religious leaders who can build bridges across cultural and religious difference for the critical work of social transformation.

“I’m excited about the new horizons we are forging amidst the rapidly changing landscape of theological education. I want to support our amazingly gifted faculty and academic staff in this sacred work,” said Dr. Mikva. “The commitments of the institution–seeking to advance justice and mercy with special attention to the intersections around race, gender, sexuality, class, sustainability, and religious diversity–capture my spirit and imagination. I am honored to be asked to take a leading role in these efforts.”

With a passion for justice and academic expertise in the history of scriptural interpretation, Rabbi Mikva’s courses and publications address a range of Jewish and comparative studies, with a special interest in the intersections of sacred texts, culture and ethics. Her most recent book is Dangerous Religious Ideas: The Deep Roots of Self-Critical Faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Beacon, 2020), and she is working on a textbook for graduate and undergraduate students, Interreligious Studies: An Introduction, to be published by Cambridge University Press.

Professor Mikva served as a congregational rabbi for thirteen years before returning to academia.  Her research and teaching focus on interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in various times and places, exploring how the ideas both shape and reflect the societies in which they unfold. She is especially interested in the intersections of exegesis, culture and ethics.


Based on Chicago’s Southside, Chicago Theological Seminary is committed to creating leaders for the next generation of religious leadership. A leader in social justice, CTS is committed to LGBTQ and gender issues, interreligious engagement, and racial justice. CTS is an affiliated seminary of the United Church of Christ. Since its founding in 1855, CTS has pushed at the boundaries of the church in order to make faith more relevant and transform society towards greater justice and mercy. The student body now represents more than 40 different faith traditions, perspectives, and denominations.