Northeastern Seminary

Located in Rochester, New York, Northeastern Seminary is at Roberts Wesleyan College. Their current vice president/dean is Doug Cullum, and their president is Deana Porterfield.


Rooted in biblical and historic Christian faith, Northeastern Seminary prepares Christ-centered men and women for faithful, effective ministry to the church and the world.

SSA Liaisons:

letterman_websiteRebecca Letterman grew up as the daughter of a Pentecostal minister and was herself ordained in that tradition in 2005 at Covenant Church of Pittsburgh, where she was serving as a staff member. There, she was tasked with strategizing how to bring traditional Christian liturgy to an urban, predominantly African-American congregation. While in Pittsburgh, Rebecca began her formal Christian spiritual formation studies with Dr. Adrian van Kaam, founder of the field of Formative Spirituality, and his colleague Dr. Susan Muto. (It was during that study that her research interest in the early church mothers and fathers began.) After completing an Advanced Certification Program in Formative Spirituality, Rebecca served at the academy as an adjunct teacher in the program. Her husband’s work situation brought her family to Rochester in 2006, and thus began her relationship with Northeastern Seminary, where she currently teaches Formative Spirituality courses and a course in early church history, theology and practice. She is a founding member and volunteer clergy person at Community of the Savior (a Free Methodist congregation), where she regularly preaches, celebrates Eucharist, plans and leads liturgies, cantors, serves in healing prayer ministry, and serves on various committees. Rebecca’s ministry vocation focuses on bridging formative faith traditions – whether across time or across cultures – in order to foster respect for diversity while at the same time nurturing unity among Judeo-Christian faith communities that are seeking to live in vital relationship with God, one another, and the wider world.

Dr. Elizabeth Gerhardt’s earned degrees include: Th.D., Boston University School of Theology, 2000; Masters of Sacred Theology (STM), Boston University School of Theology, 1995; M.S.W., Rhode Island College, 1986; M.A., Religious Studies, Providence College, 1983; B.A., State University of New York at Geneseo, 1977.

Dr. Gerhardt has extensive background in the areas of theology, church history, and social ethics. Dr. Gerhardt’s research interests focus on the application of the theology of the cross to contemporary global justice issues and church response.  Other topics of interest include:  Martin Luther’s theology of the cross, Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s ethics and theology, women in church history, spirituality and social justice, and global violence against women.  Dr. Gerhardt’s most recent publication is titled, The Cross and Gendercide:  A Theological Response to Global Violence against Women and Children (InterVarsity Press, 2014).