Black Church Studies

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

COVID & Community: One Year Later
March 2, 2021

In this virtual session, panelists will reflect on how minoritized and marginalized identity impacts one’s purview and relationship to the emergence, presence, and subsequent effects of COVID-19. In spaces like Brite Divinity School, home to a host of communities and experiences, learning about and from various people’s relationships to the pandemic presents a unique opportunity for religious and cultural communities to hear from, connect with, and practically engage one another. Ultimately in furthering a conversation about the pandemic’s effects, the Brite community as a whole can better understand the continual issues and concerns experienced within its own body.

This conversation will be recorded and shared on this page.


 2020 Black Church Studies Distinguished Lectureship

2015 Parks-King Power of Black Preaching

Sermon delivered by Rev. Dr. Irie L. Session
Listen to Sermon Audio   |   Download the Community Conversation Audio

Turning Tables Teach-In

A Christian response to Racialized Violence
Download Turning Tables Resources

Program Leadership

Oluwatomisin Oredein | 817-257-5809
Assistant Professor in Black Religious Traditions, Constructive Theology and Ethics
Director of the Black Church Studies Program