2010 Joseph Q. Jackson Scholarship Recipients


Felicia Phillips, Dean J. Paul Rajashekar, Gregory Ross
2010 J. Q. Jackson Scholarship Recipients Felicia Phillips (l)
and Gregory Ross (r) with Dean J. Paul Rajashekar


LTSP Urban Theological Institute MDiv students Felicia Phillips and the Rev. Gregory Ross are the 2010 recipients of the Joseph Q. Jackson scholarship, presented by LTSP Dean the Rev. Dr. J. Paul Rajashekar during the seminary's spring semester.

Established by the seminary's Board of Trustees, the Jackson Award honors Dr. Joseph Quinton Jackson, who in 1949 became one of the first two African Americans to receive an advanced degree from LTSP. The Scholarship was established with proceeds received during the seminary's annual Preaching with Power event, established nearly 30 years ago as a program of the seminary's Urban Theological Institute. The Institute supports the seminary to prepare African American scholars for service as pastors, educators and outreach coordinators for a wide variety of denominations.

Here are stories about each of the recipients:

Felicia Phillips

Felicia Phillips - Paul RajashekarFelicia R. Phillips, a communications professional from Morton, Delaware County, PA, recently was awarded The Rev. Dr. Joseph Q. Jackson Endowed Scholarship at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), where she is a candidate for the Master of Divinity degree. The award is presented annually to the Urban Theological Institute (UTI) scholar(s) attaining the highest cumulative grade point average (GPA) during their matriculation at the seminary.
Phillips grew up on Allens Lane in Philadelphia's East Mt. Airy section, never imagining that the seminary campus she saw almost daily would some day be an academic home for her. The 33-year-old Phillips found her faith greatly maturing during 10 years as a member of Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, where Bishop Ernest C. Morris served as her pastor. She says she received her call to ministry at that church but is now a member of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Northwest Philadelphia under the leadership of the Rev. Alyn E. Waller, senior pastor.
Phillips maintains a demanding schedule. She and husband, Robert, are parents of two daughters, Kyra, 11, and Kaitlyn, 6. She juggles part-time seminary study with her professional responsibilities as supervisor of communications and public affairs at Health Partners, a local health plan serving more than 156,000 Medicaid and CHIP members in the Greater Philadelphia region. In this position, she is responsible for media relations, crisis communications, corporate positioning, executive communications, internal communications, advertising and special event planning. She began at Health Partners as a senior communications specialist in 2006. Prior to joining Health Partners, Phillips worked as a marketing specialist at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, as a public affairs officer at Pennsylvania Hospital, and in her first job served as a special projects coordinator for The Philadelphia Tribune.
Phillips earned her undergraduate degree in Speech Communications with a minor in Spanish from Clark Atlanta University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She began doing public speaking at age 11, participating in the School District of Philadelphia's annual Black History Month Oratorical Contest. She has plans after her eventual graduation for a teaching and preaching ministry, but as a part-time scholar says, "I still have at least four more years of study to figure out exactly what God's plan for me is. The J.Q. Jackson Award came to me at just the right time, when I needed some encouragement and confirmation that I was exactly where God wanted me to be." 

Gregory Ross

The Rev. Gregory Ross of Cheltenham, PA, recently was awarded the Rev. Dr. Joseph Q. Jackson Endowed Scholarship Award by The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). The award recognizes scholars annually who have attained the highest cumulative average in their studies at the school. At LTSP Ross is a candidate for the Master of Divinity Degree and studies part time in the seminary’s Urban Theological Institute program.
Ross is associate minister at Second Macedonia Baptist Church in Philadelphia, where he has responsibilities for leading morning worship as assigned and preaches at the Tuesday evening prayer service. Ross also serves as treasurer of the congregation, teaches Sunday school to high school age youth and is a song leader who has been music ministry choir director for the congregation since 1987. His congregation ordained him as a deacon in 1982 and licensed him to preach in 1999. From 2004 to 2009 he served as the administrative assistant to the congregation’s former pastor, the late Rev. Dr. Thomas J. Ritter.
Ross has more than 20 years of experience in the world of finance. He is currently senior manager for financial planning and analysis for The Signal, Finance, in Wayne, PA. He’s formerly held financial posts with Pinnacle Foods Corp, Cherry Hill, NJ; Vlasic Foods International in Cherry Hill; Campbell Soup Company, Camden, NJ; Mrs. Paul’s Kitchens, Philadelphia, and CSC Corp. in Camden, NJ.
Ross is a 1980 graduate of Philadelphia’s Central High School, earned his B.S. degree in Accounting from Drexel University in 1985 and an MBA in Finance from La Salle University in 1998.
Since 1985 he has directed the Drexel University Gospel Choir, which has toured the U.S. and overseas. He composed three songs on the Choir’s CD recording released in November, 2003, entitled “Not to Us.”
In 1986 Ross was married to his high school sweetheart, the former Beatrice Elaine Baldwin, who is also a preacher. The couple has two sons, Eugene Gregory, a sophomore at Drexel University, and Evan Gregory, a sixth grader. Both are musicians.