Black Church Studies (BCS) at Yale Divinity School (YDS) supports inquiry into and engagement with the practices of African American churches and other Christian communities throughout the African Diaspora. To promote and cultivate such inquiry and engagement, BCS at YDS offers opportunities for critical reflection and practice among emerging and existing leaders in the Black Church and in the broader community.
BCS at YDS offers a Certificate in Black Church Studies for YDS students who wish to respond to the evolving needs of the Black Church and marginalized communities and who intend to serve in historically Black congregations, and/or are inspired by the rich and ecumenical traditions of the Black Church.
Last December, BCSCP Participants partnered with Yale Black Seminarians in providing gift cards to three families that were entering New Haven’s Christian Community Action’s transitional family shelter. We expect that this partnership will support an annual community outreach.
This year COVID was unable to postpone the first BCSCP Winter Wellness Retreat. Held for one day in January, at Mercy By the Sea, in Madison, CT, the retreat theme invited participants to, “make space for sacred rest and healing!’’ The participant feedback confirms that the retreat facilitators, Rev. Dr. Jamie Eaddy Chism, Dr. Kathleen Turner (M.Div 2008, STM 2009), and Mr. Julian Reid were able to curate a healing space through story, music and dance. One participant said, “I didn’t know how much I needed this until I got here”. There is already anticipation for another Retreat.
YDS Alums continue to support the development of future leaders of color at YDS: In November 2022, an alum initiated opportunity opened for a student to participate in an Ad Council sponsored conversation with other national faith leaders, that examined mental health initiatives in multicultural communities.
A YDS Alum introduced the BCSCP to Ms. Roslyn Weems of wealthconsortia.com. In March 2023, Ms. Weems facilitated a timely, and well received, Colloquium entitled, “Wealth Accumulation, Management and Ministry with BCSCP students.
–Updated March 23, 2023