Graduate Theological Union

Black Church/Africana Religious Studies

The Black Church is but one expression of the broader phenomenon of African American Religion. Spatially, the phenomenon of African American Religion encompasses West Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America and North America. Temporally, the phenomenon emerges in the sixteenth century and continues into the present.

The nature of African Americans’ religious experience can be better understood when the Black Church is situated within this broader spatial/temporal framework.

The Black Church/Africana Religious Studies program consciously provides that framework for authentic and critical examination by:

  1. Enhancing the academic offerings in Black Church/Africana Religious Studies (BC/ARS) available to students throughout the GTU through the coordination of existing intellectual resources among the existing GTU African American faculty and lectures offered by visiting scholars.
  2. Hosting colloquium series, workshops, symposia, or conferences (as permitted by personnel and resources) to support research and exchanges in BC/ARS.
  3. Strengthening the GTU’s links with the African American Studies Department at the University of California, Berkeley.

James Noel (SFTS), Program Director