Black Church Studies is an academic field that espouses linking divine justice and social justice in the development of excellence and leadership in the academy, church and community. Towards this end, it is the mission of the Black Church Studies program (BCS) at Brite Divinity School to provide an excellent teaching-learning context for shaping ministerial preparation and theological reflection for seminarians of all races and backgrounds.
Our vision is for future church leaders and scholars to gain wider knowledge about, deeper appreciation of, and increased sensitivity for the Black Church within American society by emphasizing its teachings of freedom, justice, and equality.
Certificate in Black Church Studies
Brite Divinity School offers six distinctive certificates available within the structure of its masters programs, including the certificate in Black Church Studies.
Students completing the Certificate in Black Church Studies will complete “Introduction to Black Church Traditions & Cultures” in addition to four three-hour courses in Black Church Studies chosen with reference to vocational goals and in consultation with the Black Church Studies Interim Director.
Past Course Offerings
- Womanist Literature as a Resource for Ethics
Rev. Melanie Jones – Summer 2018
- Womanist Theology and Ethics
Rev. Melanie Jones – Spring 2018
- African American Experiences and Perspectives in Social Ethics
Rev. Melanie Jones – Fall 2017
- Pan-African Christian Resistance in Retrospect: From Early Church Martyrdom to Black Lives Matter
Dr. Tamara Lewis – Summer 2017
- The Bible in the Public Square: Interpreting the Bible in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter
Dr. Wil Gafney – Spring 2017
- Introduction to Black Church Studies and Traditions
Dr. Keri Day – Fall 2016
- Proclamation in the Black Experience
Dr. Lisa Thompson – Summer 2016
2015 Parks-King Power of Black Preaching
Turning Tables Teach-In
A Christian response to Racialized Violence
Download Turning Tables Resources
Serving as the Interim Director of Black Church Studies at Brite Divinity School, the Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the author of Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to Women of the Torah and of the Throne, a commentary on Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah, Daughters of Miriam: Women Prophets in Ancient Israel and co-editor of The Peoples’ Bible and The Peoples’ Companion to the Bible. She is an Episcopal priest canonically resident in the Diocese of Pennsylvania and licensed in the Diocese of Fort Worth, and a former Army Chaplain. Read more about Rev. Dr. Gafney on her website!
firstname.lastname@example.org | 817.257.7588
Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible
Interim Director of the Black Church Studies Program
“Privileging the crossroads between our Afro-diasporic identity (embodiment and experience) and our gender (performance and identity), we [Womanists] ask questions about power, authority, voice, agency, hierarchy, inclusion, and exclusion… The questions we ask enrich our own understanding and the understandings of those with whom we are in conversation.” (Womanist Midrash, Gafney 7)