Kelly Figueroa-Ray guides Hamline University’s spiritual and religious life and leads our engagement with Saint Paul and the wider community. She is experienced in community organizing, project management, and teaching and is strongly committed to the "do all the good" mission of the Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service and Social Justice.
Kelly comes to Hamline from St. Olaf College where she taught as a visiting assistant professor in the Religion Department. She also served as the communications and operations director at the Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia, where she also earned her Ph.D. in the Scripture, Interpretation and Practice program in the Department of Religious Studies. Her academic focus is the relationship between scripture and theology as it is lived out in contemporary communities with a particular interest in multicultural Christian ministries. Kelly earned her B.A. at the University of California at Berkeley in international & area studies and completed her M.Div. at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. magna cum laude. Her essay “‘Lady, Give Me A Drink': Reading Scripture, Shaping Community Development” is part of the book Mobilizing for the Common Good: The Lived Theology of John Perkins by University Press of Mississippi, 2013. Her work, "Learning How to Read: How Rabbinics Aids in the Study of Contemporary Christian Practices," is found in Religious Studies and Rabbinics, (Eds. Dr. Elizabeth Shanks Alexander and Dr. Beth Berkowitz, Routledge, 2018). Her most recent publication "'I Love You and There is Nothing You Can Do About It': Pastor Miguel's Love Disruption of White Hegemonic Culture" was published in Practical Matters, issue 13 on "Love" (November, 2020).