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CTS was founded on and continues to be defined by strong commitments to equal human dignity and justice for all. This February, we celebrate Black history at CTS by honoring some important members of our community and their contributions to our life in common.

Robert H. Peoples (1903-1983) – pastor of Second Christian Church in Indianapolis who served as president of the National Christian Missionary Convention of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)—now the National Convocation—and established the Taylor Co-Op House to support Black students at the Butler School of Religion (which later became Christian Theological Seminary).
Emmett Dickson (1909-1995) – graduate of the Butler School of Religion in 1931 and executive secretary of the National Christian Missionary Convention.
Charles Webb Sr. (-1984) – graduate of the Butler School of Religion in 1949, National Convocation leader and pastor of Park Manor Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Chicago.
John Compton (1925-2003) – first Black regional minister of the Disciples (Indiana Region) and affiliate faculty member at CTS.
Ernest (1927-2019) and Janice Newborn (1928-2020) – leading Black Disciples, Ernest is a graduate of and Janice received an honorary doctorate from CTS. Both served on the CTS Board of Trustees.
Billye Bridges (1945-2012) – graduate of CTS (MDiv and DMin) and prominent leader in Christian Education for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
T. Garrott Benjamin Jr. – graduate of CTS (MDiv and DMin), community leader, and pastor emeritus of Light of the World Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), who also served on the CTS Board of Trustees.
Edward Wheeler – the first Black president of CTS who served from 1997-2011.
Rufus Burrow Jr. (1951-2021) – Indiana Professor of Christian Thought at CTS from 1983-2014 and the first Black faculty member at CTS to earn tenure and be appointed to a named chair.
Wilma Bailey Wilma Bailey – Minnie Vautrin Professor (Hebrew Bible) at CTS from 2000-2014 and the first Black woman to receive tenure at CTS and be appointed a named chair on the faculty.