Published on November 6th, 2017 | by Inspirations with Liz Black
Rev. Dr. Yolanda Pierce To be Installed As the First Woman Dean of Divinity School at Howard University
In 1870, three years after Howard University was founded, an academic unit for theological education was established. Since that time, all of the Deans of the Divinity School have been men, until now. Dr. Yolanda Pierce will be the first woman installed as Dean of the Divinity School at Howard University On Thursday November 9th at 11am. Dr. Pierce assumed the position earlier this past July. Before this landmark position, Ms. Pierce previously held positions of leadership as the Elmer G. Homrighausen Associate Professor of African American Religion and Literature and the director of the Black Church Studies Program at Princeton Theological Seminary and director of the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The speaker for the installation service is author and political commentator Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry, the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair, executive director of the Pro Humanitate Institute and founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University.
As a self-proclaimed Afro-Christian Scholar, her research specialties include African-American religious history, womanist theology, African-American literature, race and religion. Her most recent book is titled Hell Without Fires: Slavery, Christianity, and the Antebellum Spiritual Narrative (History of African-American Religions) and her forthcoming book (Religious Ecstasy & African American Cultural Expression) will focus on the historical and contemporary significance of the African American religious tradition. Dr. Pierce is also an ordained Christian minister, dedicated mentor, community activist, board member of a foster care agency, and an MSNBC commentator.
“With fervent expectation and deep gratitude in the sesquicentennial year of Howard University, we welcome the installation of Dr. Yolanda Pierce . . .” said Cheryl J. Sanders Ph.D., professor of Christian Ethics. “Her commitment to social justice advocacy and visionary theological education streams significantly from the contributions of the 15 deans who preceded her. Dr. Pierce is embracing this new leadership challenge at Howard with tremendous energy, vision and visibility. Her installation is a landmark celebration and a noteworthy milestone for the future of theological education in the United States and beyond.”