In May 2011, during its 158th Commencement, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary awarded Certificates in Black Church Studies to the first graduating cohort of students, alongside graduates in the Seminary’s degree programs.
As the Black Church Studies program moves into its third year, a new line up of seminars is being unveiled for the 2011-2013 class. Some of the new offerings, which emphasize practical components to ministry and leadership in the Black church, include African American Prophetic Preaching, Introduction to African American Biblical Interpretation, The Black Church and Social Ethics, and Leadership and Administration.
“We believe the new schedule and courses give students a thorough introduction to Black Church Studies,” said Dr. Lewis O. Brogdon, Director of the Black Church Studies Program and Assistant Professor of New Testament and Black Church Studies.
The Black Church Studies Program, launched in 2008, offers three tracks of study: a concentration in the Master of Divinity degree program or in the Master of Arts (Religion) degree program, a concentration in the Doctor of Ministry degree program, and a certificate program for students not enrolled in a degree program. The program is comprised of courses that are held on weekends, four times each year, allowing busy pastors, professionals, lay leaders, and former seminary students to complete the program with minimal disruption in a student’s family and work schedule. A team of Seminary faculty and administrators lead instruction and offer personal academic guidance to students. To earn a Certificate in Black Church Studies, participants must complete seven seminars over two years.
“These seminars promise an integrated learning environment that benefits all students. Master of Divinity and Master of Arts (Religion) students take the seminars alongside men and women in the certificate studies program. Our hope is that the classes be racially integrated as well. Black and non-black students can benefit from a course of study like this,” explained Brogdon. “Everyone is welcome at the table of theological discourse.”
Brogdon said the Black Church Studies Program represents an institutional commitment to cultivate leaders for the challenges of ministry in the African American context. “It is our hope that students will be inspired and empowered by courses that reflect their commitments and enhance their understanding of the traditions that comprise the Black Church.”
The new weekend seminars begin September 16 with the following lineup. Registration forms are available on the Louisville Seminary website (www.lpts.edu) or by calling 502.895.3411.
Calendar and Seminar schedule for 2011-2013
Seminar 1: September 16-17, 2011
Introduction to Black Church Studies
Instructor: Dr. Scott C. Williamson, Robert H. Walkup Professor of Theological Ethics
Seminar 2: October 14-15, 2011
African American Prophetic Preaching
Instructor: Dr. Debra J. Mumford, Frank H. Caldwell Associate Professor of Homiletics, Associate Dean for Student Academic Affairs
Seminar 3: February 17-18, 2012
Introduction to African American Biblical Interpretation
Instructor: Dr. Lewis Brogdon, Director of Black Church Studies, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Black Church Studies
Seminar 4: April 13-14, 2012
African American Worship
Instructor: Dr. Cláudio Carvalhaes, Associate Professor of Worship and Preaching
Seminar 5: September 14-15, 2012
Clergy and Professional Ethics
Instructor: Dr. Elizabeth Johnson Walker, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling
Seminar 6: October 12-13, 2012
Child Advocacy and Education in Black Church
Instructor: Dr. Dianne Reistroffer, Professor of Ministry and Director of Field Education and Methodist Studies
Seminar 7: February 15-16, 2013
The Black Church and Social Ethics
Instructor: Dr. Scott Williamson, Robert H. Walkup Professor of Theological Ethics
Seminar 8: April 12-13, 2013
Leadership and Administration
Instructor: Dr. David R. Sawyer, Director of Lifelong Learning and Advanced Degrees, Professor of Ministry