Dr. Courtney V. Buggs joined the CTS faculty in 2019, as a Louisville Postdoctoral Fellow. In 2021 she was appointed to the CTS regular faculty as Assistant Director of the PhD program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric, and Assistant Professor of Homiletics. She was appointed Director of the PhD program in 2023.
Buggs’ interest in the study of preaching began as she served faith communities in the United States and abroad, across Pentecostal, Methodist, and Baptist traditions and in multi-faith military chapel settings. Her research interests include ecumenical preaching practices, women and preaching, womanism, and critical pedagogy. Buggs has published journal articles and a book chapter, all related to preaching. She has also published denominational resources and writes theological reflections for local churches.
Buggs’ interest in theological education and preaching grew in local churches as she raised questions about equity for women, ordination for women, and religious authority, inside and outside the pulpit. Her questions, not always welcomed, led her to pursue theological studies, in search of better understanding of the church and historical practices that shape contemporary religious life. Exposure to womanism provided much needed language for her experiences and gave her a lens through which to do theological reflection in ways that spoke to her lived experiences. Buggs has served churches in a range of ministerial capacities and is ordained in the American Baptist Churches, USA.
She is passionate about preaching, teaching and working with students, particularly first-time preachers. Buggs enjoys the exploration of texts with others, and watching words come to life in the preaching moment. She considers her ministry of coaching and coaxing masters and doctoral students as holy work. Aside from teaching preaching, Buggs is a regular guest preacher in various congregations, and provides pulpit supply. Additionally, she does workshops and training for pastors and clergy, on topics such as preaching, theological thinking, and teaching teachers.
Prior to entering formal theological education, Buggs served in the United States Air Force for almost 22 years as a commissioned officer. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University’s ROTC program, she earned a BS in Electrical Engineering Technology. Buggs went on to earn an MPA from University of Oklahoma; a Masters in Military Operational Art and Science from Air University; an MDiv from Candler School of Theology; and a PhD in Religion-Homiletics from Emory University.