Tomorrow, more than twenty dedicated leaders from several predominantly African American denominations and institutions will meet on the campus of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary for a Black Church Studies Consultation. The day-long event, which is being hosted by President Dean K. Thompson and the faculty and administration of the Seminary’s new Black Church Studies Program aims to renew and cultivate partnerships between the Seminary and leading African American churches and institutions across the region.
The event is being held in conjunction with the launch of our new Black Church Studies Program, which commenced with its inaugural cohort of students this past fall. A program that includes conversation, worship, presentation, and a banquet has been planned. Participants will explore the topics of “The State of the Black Church” and “The Role of Seminary in the Black Church” in an effort to help Louisville Seminary better prepare men and women for the leadership demands of the future church.
“Louisville Seminary has had an ongoing vision for bringing diverse disciples of Jesus Christ to the table of dialogue, unity, learning, social justice, and work for the common good. Our crucial conversations regarding the black church and the role of seminary promise to be deeply enriching,” said President Thompson.
Rev. Lewis Brogdon, director of the Black Church Studies Program and an alum of Louisville Seminary (MDiv ’05) is facilitating the consultation.
“By convening this conversation, it is our hope that we will explore how issues such as continuing disparities in healthcare, education, economic growth, and incarceration, pose formidable challenges for leaders in the African American communities and churches, how black churches in different traditions address these issues, and how institutions and churches can work together,” he said.
“This historic consultation between ecclesial leaders in this region and the members of the Black Church Studies Program (BCS) is part of the Seminary’s ongoing efforts to honor the traditions of the Black Church by providing an academic program that welcomes the heritage, studies the diverse traditions, engages in critical theological reflection regarding core beliefs, and prepares thoughtful, passionate, and capable leaders for ministry.
“Engaging the wisdom and experience of leaders in African American churches who are on the cutting edge of ministry, will help us carry out our task,” Brogdon continued.
The consultation will begin at 9 a.m. on the Seminary campus and conclude with a dinner at 5:30 p.m. in the historic Gardencourt. Academic and clergy leaders from the region, including the contiguous states of Ohio and Tennessee and as far away as Virginia, North Carolina, and Michigan, will be present for discussions that will also include conversations with members of the Black Church Studies Program faculty, an intimate conversation with Seminary Assistant Professor Johnny B. Hill on his newly released book, The First Black President: Barack Obama, Race, Politics, and the American Dream (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), and interaction with African American students currently studying at Louisville Seminary, who currently represent 24% of the total student body.
The following leaders will participate in the Black Church Studies Consultation, February 26, 2010:
Rev. Darvin Adams (MDiv ’09), Paducah, KY
Dr. Estreslda Alexander, Virginia Beach, VA
Rev. Anthony Bass, Virginia Beach, VA
Bishop Fred Brown, Charlotte, NC
Dr. Claudio Carvalhaes, LPTS
Dr. Kevin Cosby, Louisville, KY
Rev. Steve Crymes, Louisville, KY
Rev. Anthony Everett, Lexington, KY
Rev. Nigel Felder, Louisville, KY
Rev. Jamesetta Ferguson (MDiv ’07), Louisville, KY
Dr. Doug Gragg, LPTS
Rev. Kilen Gray (MDiv ’02), LPTS
Rev. Cheri Harper (MDiv ’05), LPTS
Dr. David C. Hester, LPTS
Dr. Johnny B. Hill, LPTS
Dr. Billy Hollins, Louisville, KY
Dr. Eric Johnson, Louisville, KY
Dr. Derrick Miles, Louisville, KY
Dr. Irvin Moxley (MDiv ’59), LPTS Trustee, Columbus, OH
Dr. Debra J. Mumford, LPTS
Rev. Willis Polk, Lexington, KY
Dr. Lutrelle D. Rainey, Dayton, OH
Ms. Toya Richards, Louisville, KY
Rev. Frank Smith, Louisville, KY
Dr. Brian C. Wells, Louisville, KY
Dr. Eric Williams, Holland, MI
Dr. F. Bruce Williams, Louisville, KY
Dr. T. Vaughn Walker, Louisville, KY
Dr. Scott C. Williamson, LPTS