Dr. Cassie Trentaz understands herself and her role as a theologian and ethicist. Her journey to become Warner Pacific’s new assistant professor of theology, ethics, and church history has been itinerant and purposeful.
Born and raised in Kansas, Trentaz studied at Anderson University and its School of Theology, as well as Chicago Theological Seminary. An ordained minister of the Church of God, Trentaz mentored emerging leaders with Church of God Ministries for eight years and also gained experience as a cross-cultural pastor and teacher.
The number of men and women who accord her “Mama” status — the African honorific that is both affectionate and official — and the stories of those relationships would fill a book. She has served in Uganda with the Tumaini AIDS Prevention Program and worked with people affected and infected with HIV/AIDS in Chicago.
Trentaz came to WPC because of the convergence of a call and commitment to create a space that allows her to grow, to care for the people of God, and to mentor new leaders in their gifts, passions, and faith. And given the rich diversity of background her students bring, Trentaz uses texts from lesser known authors and theologians who represent ethnic, racial, and gender minorities in such classes as Christian Social Concern and the History of Christianity and Christian Thought.
“We cannot assume that a Warner Pacific student looks a certain way … [or] has a certain set of experiences.,” Trentaz said. “My authors are going to be diverse because we are.”
Overall, Trentaz hopes she can encourage students to examine what it means to be faithful and responsible people in the complex, gritty, globalized world of the 21st Century.
“Part of this welcoming, this inclusiveness, involves recognizing that the world is made up of lots of people with lots of experience,” she said. “Every class I have this year represents that diversity.”