The Wake Forest University School of Divinity, opening in fall 1999, has received a $200,000 grant to establish a professorship in homiletics, the art of preaching.
Provided over three years by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, the grant will support the divinity school’s appointment of an African-American professor to teach preaching courses, recruit students and develop relations with African-American churches. The grant covers salary, benefits, professional travel and other expenses.
“We are grateful for the investment and encouragement of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund in our efforts to attract diverse faculty who will prepare students for ministry in a new century,” said Bill J. Leonard, dean of the Wake Forest divinity school.
“The great tradition of the African-American pulpit provides an important resource for shaping all Christian preaching,” Leonard added. “All of our students, and the entire Wake Forest University community, will benefit from such an appointment.”
Leonard anticipates appointing the professor of homiletics in spring 1999. The new professor will begin work in August 2000.
The Wake Forest divinity school has appointed five members of its core faculty, already. They include Phyllis Trible, associate dean and professor of biblical studies; Frank Tupper, professor of theology; Samuel Weber, associate professor of early Christianity and spiritual formation; Alexandra R. Brown, visiting associate professor of biblical studies; and James M. Dunn, visiting professor of Christianity and public policy.
Trible joined the divinity school this year; Tupper is on campus teaching in the university’s religion department during the 1998-99 academic year. Weber is expected in the spring semester, while Brown and Dunn will arrive next summer.
The Wake Forest divinity school will open in fall 1999 with students from a variety of denominational traditions and is expected to grow to 135-150 students within three years. The school’s curriculum will blend instruction in traditional seminary subjects with courses taught by faculty of the university’s undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. The school will offer the master of divinity degree.
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