Black Church Studies Program

Registration is now OPEN for the 2024 Black Church Consultation: “The Future of the Black Church: Trends, Threats, and Promising Paths” to be held in person and online February 21 & 22, 2024. For a full schedule of events, panelist bios, and to register, CLICK HERE!

ABOUT THE BLACK CHURCH STUDIES (BCS) PROGRAM

The Black Church Studies (BCS) Program cultivates liberatory and prophetic leaders informed by historical and contemporary understandings of Black Christianity, Black religious life, and Black life more generally. We work to accomplish this goal through the combination of BCS courses, a concentration in BCS, the annual BCS Consultation, the Edwards Peacemaking Lectureship, and the Nehemiah Project.

BLACK CHURCH STUDIES COURSES

BCS courses offer the opportunity for in-depth, academic study that can expand one’s knowledge and appreciation of diverse examples of Black Christianity, Black religions, and Black life. The Academic Committee designates a course as a BCS course based on two criteria: (1) a central focus of the course must include an aspect of Black Christianity, Black religious life, or Black life more generally; (2) two thirds or more of the required learning resources (readings, videos, immersive experiences, etc.) for the course must be from people who identify as Black.

Every master's level student must complete one BCS course during their tenure at Louisville Seminary.

BCS COURSE PROJECTIONS

* Courses that are repeated in this projection have been color coated.

** Courses with a full description in the Academic Catalog contain a course number.

*** Course projections are based on current commitments from instructors. However, courses taught may change, and this table will be updated periodically to reflect those changes.

Click on the (+) below to expand the table below to view BCS course projections organized by academic year.

COURSE PROJECTIONS

Summer Fall J-Term Spring

2023 - 2024

TH 2433 Introduction to Black Church Studies (Kilen Gray) OT 3263 Womanist Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible (Justin Reed) African American Biblical Hermeneutics (Justin Reed; Susan Garrett)
PC 405-3; DM 405-3 Grief and Bereavment for Historically Marginalized People (Nancy Olman) Youth and Intergenerational Ministries: Reimagining Ministry to African American Young People

2024 - 2025

Critical Race Theory and Biblical Interpretation (Justin Reed; Marcus Hong) Justice, Restoration, and Mental Health (Lesley Ann Earles; Trina Armstrong) TH 3223 Feminist and Womanist Ethics (Amy Plantinga Pauw)
Black Church Theologies (Jamesetta Ferguson) Black Church Polities (Kilen Gray)
PX 4253 Mobilizing for Justice (Dianne Reistroffer)

2025 - 2026

Black Worship Traditions (Marcus Hong; Amariah McIntosh) The Black Church and Social Justice (Amariah McIntosh)
The Black Church and Pastoral Care (Kilen Gray) OT 3253 God of Our Weary Years: Black Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible (Justin Reed)
DM 3313 Preaching, Black Lives Matter, and Pastoral Leadership (Debra Mumford)

2026 - 2027

Community Outreach (Scott Williamson; Bussey) TH 2433 Introduction to Black Church Studies (Kilen Gray) OT 3243 Africans and the Hebrew Bible (Justin Reed)

2027 - 2028

OT 3263 Womanist Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible (Justin Reed) African American Biblical Hermeneutics (Justin Reed; Sue Garrett)

2028 - 2029

TH 2743 Frederick Douglass (Scott Williamson) Critical Race Theory and Biblical Interpretation (Justin Reed; Marcus Hong)

2029 - 2030

TH 2433 Introduction to Black Church Studies (Kilen Gray) OT 3253 God of Our Weary Years: Black Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible (Justin Reed)

* Courses that are repeated in this projection have been color coated.

** Courses with a full description in the Academic Catalog contain a course number.

*** Course projections are based on current commitments from instructors. However, courses taught may change, and this table will be updated periodically to reflect those changes.

CONCENTRATION IN BLACK CHURCH STUDIES

BCS Graduates

Master’s level students can choose to concentrate in Black Church Studies by completing four BCS courses. Upon graduation, students will receive both a mater’s diploma and a Certificate in Black Church Studies.

Students in the Doctor of Ministry Program can choose a concentration in BCS by taking three Advanced Practice of Ministry or Independent Study Courses in Black Church Studies.

BLACK CHURCH STUDIES CONSULTATION

Every February Louisville Seminary hosts the Black Church Studies Consultation, a three-day event that draws together people inside and outside the seminary community for worship and learning tied to a central theme.

EDWARDS PEACEMAKING LECTURESHIP

Dr. George Edwards George Edwards and his wife Jean

The Edwards Peacemaking Lectureship honors Dr. George Edwards and his wife, Jean. Dr. Edwards, an alum of Louisville Seminary (BD ’51), also served the Seminary for 27 years as Professor of New Testament. Dr. Edwards died June 2, 2010. Together, Dr. and Mrs. Edwards shared a ministry that was active in Christian efforts for peace and social justice. Established in 1986, the Edwards Peacemaking Lectureship endowment supports a visiting lecturer to teach a special course or programs in continuing or lay education.

Traditionally, the Edwards Peacemaking Lectureship has been coupled in time and theme with the BCS Consultation because of a shared focus on peace and social justice. Some of the Edwards Lectures are available online.

Nehemiah Project

Nehemiah Lectures

The Nehemiah Project: Strengthening Historical African American Congregations is funded by the Lilly Endowment and operated in a partnership between Louisville Seminary and the leaders of participating congregations. The goal is to support a dozen primarily rural, historically Black churches in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio in their relationships with God, strategic goals for their churches, connections with each other, and contribution to the flourishing of their communities.

Presentations in the 2021, 2022, and 2023 BCS Consultation witness to the specific issues and work that has been done through the Nehemiah Project.

BCS Faculty and Leadership

Justin Reed

Interim Black Church Studies Director and Assistant Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible

Trina Armstrong

Director and Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy and Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology

Kilen Gray

Dean of Community Life and Adjunct Professor for the Doctor of Ministry Program and Black Church Studies

Brian Harrington

Adjunct Professor & Coordinator of Special Programs (Black Church Studies, Doctor of Ministry Program, and the Grawemeyer Award in Religion)

Debra Mumford

Seminary Dean; Frank H. Caldwell Professor of Homiletics

Dianne Reistroffer

Interim Director for the Doctor of Ministry programs and Special Projects Coordinator to the Dean

Scott Williamson

Robert H. Walkup Professor of Theological Ethics

Contact LPTS

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
800-264-1839 ext. 291

Justin Reed
Interim Black Church Studies Director and Assistant Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible
jreed@lpts.edu

Contact the Office of Admissions

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