PhD
Program

The Mission of the PhD Program

The PhD program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric aims to develop scholars with a critical awareness of the history of African American preaching and other forms of sacred rhetoric in the United States. PhD canditates study the theologies informing this history and practice, as well as the signature skills involved in the practice of African American preaching and sacred rhetoric. Though shaped by African American cultural values, the program works in concert with patterns of scholarship that bring African American traditions into dialogue with European American and other approaches.

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Values

Core Values of the PhD Program

  • Unparalleled culture of generosity
  • Commitment to exceed expectations
  • Highest levels of academic rigor
  • Working to the glory of God
  • Desire to generate a preaching renaissance
  • Scholarship to meet the needs of the community
  • Innovative study in African American preaching
  • Avoidance of life-altering debt
Philosophy

The Key Concept: The Practitioner-Scholar

The concept of the “practitioner-scholar” is key to the PhD program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric. That is, this program is not geared exclusively or even primarily toward producing tenure-track, full-time professors. Rather, it is geared toward producing practitioner-scholars deeply connected to the church and also to the academy. Practitioner-scholars engage in scholarship from the perspective of their location in ministry. For them, practice often suggests issues and possibilities that deserve PhD-level research and analysis.

"For years and years African American preaching was stereotypically considered ignorance, buffoonery and emotionalism. I believe the history, beauty, depth, power, and sheer genius of black preaching can generate a preaching renaissance to revive American Christianity in the 21st century."

- Rev. Dr. Frank A. Thomas

Upcoming Events

MAY 2-5, 2022

Mixed Methods Preaching Conference

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AFFILIATE FACULTY

PhD in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric

Rev. Dr. Teresa L. Fry Brown
Bandy Professor of Preaching
Rev. Dr. Charlie Edward Dates
Senior Pastor
Rev. Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes, III
Senior pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.
Theologian, pastor and civic leader
Rev. Dr. Brianna K. Parker
Curator and founder of the Black Millennial Café
Frank A. Thomas
Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics, Director of the PhD in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric Program

Transformative Grant 2021

CTS has been selected as a Transformation Grant recipient in a new phase of funding from the Gilead COMPASS Initiative®. The $100,000 grant will support the Mixed Methods Preaching Conference, presented by the Seminary’s PhD in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric program. Planned for Spring 2022, the conference will address how densely-layered topics, such as HIV-AIDS, can be understood through preaching and scholarship integrating narrative, traditions of hospitality and community connectivity.

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PhD Program News

In the NewsPhD ProgramPress ReleaseStudent News
October 20, 2022

Third Cohort of Historic PhD Program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric Announced

On October 20, 2022, the PhD Program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric at Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) announced…
FacultyPhD ProgramStudent News
October 5, 2022

Pulpit Supply by Student Preaching

CTS Assistant Professor of Homiletics Rev. Dr. Courtney Buggs has found a new way to partner with regional churches to…
PhD ProgramStrategic PlanStudent News
July 12, 2022

Generating a Preaching Renaissance: Recap of the 2022 Mixed Methods Preaching Conference

On May 2-5, Christian Theological Seminary’s PhD Program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric held the second annual Mixed…

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