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.