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Dr. Ann K. Riggs

Dr. Ann K. Riggs, a Quaker who for five years served the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops in their ecumenical work, is Associate General Secretary of the National Council of Churches USA for Faith and Order.

Since 1997, Dr. Riggs has represented her communion, the Friends General Conference of the Religious Society of Friends, on the NCC Faith and Order Commission, co-chairing its 2000-2003 study on "Authority in the Church."

As Assistant to the Director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs since 1996, she served a key role in administration, budgeting and planning and provided background expertise for bishops, secretariat staff and others to under gird their participation in the ecumenical movement.

She carried particular responsibility for nurturing U.S. Catholic Church relations with the historically Black Protestant churches, the Peace Churches and the World Council of Churches’ U.S. Conference.

Dr. Riggs is a recognized expert in the role of visual art and architecture within the ecumenical movement – a melding of her interests in art and theology. She earned her B.A. in art (1972) from Smith College, Northampton, Mass., going on to earn an M.A. in art history (1982) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C. From 1980-81, she was intern and guest curator at the Worcester (Mass.) Art Museum and, from 1981-84, research associate and curator at the Worcester Historical Museum.

Increasingly, she found herself intrigued by theological concerns, which led her to earn an M.Div. (1992) and Th.M. (1995) at Duke Divinity School. There, she studied baptism and Eucharist with Geoffrey Wainwright.

Dr. Riggs earned her Ph.D. in 2001 from the School of Religious Studies, Catholic University of America. Focusing on hermeneutics, theology and spirituality, her dissertation was "Visual Arts and Architecture in Ecumenical Statements of the Holy See and the World Council of Churches, 1982-1997: Issues of Theological Anthropology."

The NCC’s new Associate General Secretary for Faith and Order is a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America, American Academy of Religion and North American Academy of Ecumenists, and is a founder and associate editor of the journal "Quaker Theology."

Dr. Riggs is co-author (with Jeffrey Gros and Eamon McManus) of "Introduction to Ecumenism" (1998, Paulist Press), a textbook used in both Roman Catholic and Protestant seminaries. She is co-editor (with Fernando Enns and Scott Holland) of "Peace-Theology and Culture in a Globalized World from the Perspective of the Historic Peace Churches," forthcoming in 2003. The volume comprises papers from a June 2001 consultation, in Switzerland, of international historic peace churches at the beginning of the World Council of Churches’ Decade to Overcome Violence.

Dr. Riggs in January 2002 served as an adjunct professor in the Wesley Theological Seminary’s D.Min. in Ecumenism Program, and has held several teaching assistantships at Wesley, Duke and Catholic universities.


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