Courtney Pace, Freedom Faith: The Womanist Vision of Prathia Hall Hardcover – June 15, 2019
(Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2019). ISBN: 9780820355061.
Announcing, Freedom Faith: The Womanist Vision of Prathia Hall, a forthcoming book by NABPR member and 2013 dissertation scholarship awardee, Dr. Courtney Pace, of Memphis Theological Seminary. The book is now available for pre-order.
I stood in the authenticity of my being: Black, preacher, Baptist, woman. For the same God who made me a preacher made me a woman, and I am convinced that God was not confused on either account.
~ Rev. Dr. Prathia Hall
Rev. Dr. Prathia Hall was a Baptist pastor, professor, activist, Womanist theologian, & more. She held the Martin Luther, King Jr. Chair in Social Ethics at Boston University School of Theology and she later became the dean of United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio and director of the Harriet Miller Women’s Center. According to Pace, “In 1997, Ebony magazine named Hall first in its list of 15 Greatest Black Women Preachers, and she was the only woman considered for its list of 10 Greatest Black Preachers, ultimately placing 11th.”
Rev. Dr. Prathia Hall’s theology revolved around freedom faith, the belief that God wants all people to be free and equips those who work for freedom. This dissertation offers a thematic biography of Hall, paying particular attention to her activism in the Civil Rights Movement and her womanist preaching ministry, through the lens of freedom faith. Hall first learned of freedom faith from her father, growing up in North Philadelphia. Through her training in Fellowship House and her activism with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Southwest Georgia and Selma, Alabama, Hall’s freedom faith matured. After the Movement, Hall returned North and pursued theological education at Princeton Theological Seminary, where her freedom faith culminated in womanist liberation theology.
One measure of how women are doing is to consider the statistical status of their entry into ministry and leadership in congregations and other ministry settings. A statistical analysis is one dimension of clergywomen’s faring that we have not been able to gauge in a broad way for two decades – when the last comprehensive reports on clergywomen were published.
Here are a few of the insights of the report:
- In 1960 women were 2.3% of U.S. clergy. In 2016 women are 20.7% of U.S. clergy.
- Since 2015 Roman Catholic lay ministers outnumber priests in the U.S., and 80% of them are women.
- In 2017 women remain fewer than 25% of seminary faculty and deans, and just 11% of the presidents.
- In most Mainline denominations, the percentage of clergywomen has doubled or tripled since 1994.
- Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ clergywomen have reached numerical equity with clergymen.
- More women of color and fewer white women are going to seminary to earn MDivs since 2008.
Wake Forest University
School of Divinity
James and Marilyn Dunn Chair of Baptist Studies
Job Description Summary
The Wake Forest University School of Divinity invites applications for the James and Marilyn Dunn Chair
of Baptist Studies. Teaching responsibilities will include courses in the area of Baptist studies with
particular emphasis on the role of ethics in the public sector. Related research and teaching interests in
the areas of theology or the history of Christianity are especially welcome.
This is a full-time, open rank, tenure-track/tenured position beginning July 1, 2019. Qualifications
include completed PhD or equivalent, a strong commitment to teaching excellence, and demonstrated
promise for creative research and publication. Applications must include a cover letter (with description
of teaching and research), transcript of highest completed degree, and a CV. Candidates must also
supply three confidential letters of reference to be sent separately by their authors to Janice Huesman
at (pdf preferred, Word documents accepted).
Wake Forest University seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce to maintain the excellence of the
University, and to offer students richly varied disciplines, perspectives, and ways of knowing and
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but the committee will begin reviewing
applications on December 1, 2018. Only online applications will be accepted (www.wfu.careers).
Specific questions about the position may be addressed to the search committee through Janice
Huesman at Technical questions regarding the application process may be
The College Theology Society holds its Sixty-Fifth Annual Convention from Thursday evening, May 30 through Sunday noon, June 2, 2019, at Holy Cross College at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.
NABPR Region at Large Call for Papers:
Can Christians Practices Deform Christians?
Can Christian practices damage Christian faith and life? Can Christian practices extend harm and violence rather than promoting healing? In her recent book, The Dangers of Christian Practice: On Wayward Gifts, Characteristic Damage, and Sin (Yale University Press, 2018), historian Lauren Winner challenges the assumption that the church possesses a set of immaculate practices that will train Christians in virtue. This session invites papers from various methodological or disciplinary perspectives that address Winner’s argument that, while being gifts from God, practices are also blighted by sin.
Engagements with Pope Francis’ Theological and Moral Vision
This session invites papers that engage Pope Frances’ theological and moral vision from a baptist/free church perspective. Particular attention will be given to papers that consider (1) Pope Francis’ call for a church of and for the poor, (2) his vision of a dialogical church, (3) his particular vision of social justice, and (4) his encyclical Laudato Si’.
After Charlottesville: Christian Theology and White Supremacy
White supremacy is an enduring problem in America and its churches and theology. The alt-right Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, in 2017, once again, horrifically exposed the persistence of this racialized evil. This session invites papers that: (1) discuss and engage the voices in black and womanist theologies as well as African American religious studies that are contributing to prophetic advocacy and movement building and to a political, moral, and spiritual revolution after Charlottesville; and (2) what does it mean historically, theologically, and morally for white Christians to witness against white supremacy in light of the rise of the alt-right?
Hidden Figures and Missing Voices in Baptist/Free Church Life
The rise of “global Christianity” has not only seen the emergence of international figures – such as the late Billy Graham – but also the opening of space for theological personalities and perspectives from outside traditional enclaves. This session invites proposals that engage such hidden, missing, forgotten, or little-known theological personalities and perspectives from among the baptist/free church traditions. Papers focused on figures from outside of Europe and North America are especially encouraged.
Proposals should be 250-500 words in length and must include name, current email address, and current institutional affiliation. Please submit proposals of Jason Hentschel () and Mark Medley () by December 31, 2018. Scholars will be notified of the status of their proposal by January 28, 2019.
Dear NABPR and AAR/SBL Attendees,
Please save the date for the NABPR annual meeting in Denver. Tentative Schedule thus far:
National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion
2018 Annual Meeting at AAR/SBL in Denver, Colorado
17 November 2018, 9:00-11:30 AM Hilton Denver City Center, Penrose 2
- 9:40 President’s Address Steve Harmon, Gardner-Webb University NABPR President
- Dr. Harmon is Associate Professor of Historical Theology in the School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University.
“Engaging James Wm. McClendon, Jr.’s Ecumenical Theology: Fifty Years after ‘What Is a Southern Baptist Ecumenism?’”
- 10:25 Keynote Address Paul Harvey, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
- Dr. Harvey is Professor and Presidential Teaching Scholar in the Department of history at UCCS.
“Howard Thurman, the Baptist Tradition, and Humanist Cosmopolitanism”
AAR Program Book Information:
“Howard Thurman, the Baptist Tradition, and Humanist Cosmopolitanism”
Hilton Denver City Center, Penrose 2
17 Nov 9:00am