Tennessee’s Vanderbilt Divinity School has appointed an openly lesbian clergywoman as the school’s new dean, reports faith-based outlet Christian News.

Described as “a pioneering scholar in the field of womanist theology,” Emilie Townes, an ordained American Baptist, sounds pretty badass if you ask us. (Can we say that?)

“I am excited about becoming part of this slice of God’s cloud of witnesses as we shape ourselves into being responsive to holding traditions and the future together,” Townes said during her convocation address. “Not out of a sense that traditions are static but with an appreciation for the fact that they are dynamic and actually morph and change, though slowly at times. And also not out of a sense that the future is some magic potion that allows us to neglect the work we must do today.

Townes’ partner, Laurel Schneider, also joined the Vanderbilt Divinity School faculty this year.

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