Lisa L. Thompson

Assistant Professor of Homiletics


3041 Broadway, BT 603
New York, NY 10027


B.A., University of North Carolina at Charlotte
M.Div., Fuller Theological Seminary
M.A., Vanderbilt University
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University


Lisa L. Thompson, a native of Cedar Grove, NC, is the Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. She previously held posts as the Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and as a Lilly Faculty Fellow at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. 

Dr. Thompson holds a Doctor of Philosophy and a Master of Arts in Religion from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. She majored in both psychology and communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and worked in case management, before pursuing the study of theology and religion full time. 

Dr. Thompson’s publications include articles and chapters in select books and journalsHer most recent book is Ingenuity: Preaching as an Outsider, and her forthcoming book is Preaching the Headlines. Ingenuity explores the ways in which black women navigate matters of voice in preaching, while often in the presence of cultural histories and contexts that deny their abilities to construct meaning on behalf of a community; the volume mines the preaching practices of black women for the sake of re-thinking theologies and methods of preaching as a whole. Preaching the Headlines engages the intersection between social and religious discourses for the purposes of helping communities engage everyday issues in life as matters of faith.

Dr. Thompson’s research and teaching are connected— as they consider the roles of rhetoric, culture, ethics, and ritual in theological communication. Some of her courses include “Bodies, Power and the Pulpit,” “Preaching the Headlines,” “Voice Imagination and Sacred Utterances,” “Womanist Proclamation Theology and the Arts,” and “Proclamation and Black Experiences. She has received grants and fellowships from the Louisville Institute, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology, the Fund for Theological Education, and the Lilly Endowment, Inc. funded Program of Theology and Practice at Vanderbilt University. She is the immediate past president of the Black Caucus of the Academy of Homiletics.

Dr. Thompson is an ordained Baptist minister and has served in university and parish ministry settings. Her primary interests in scholarship, teaching, and ministry are the ways in which religious practices have the ability to influence daily lives. As history has proven, these influences can be for the uplift or destruction of life together. She espouses holding concerns for the just flourishing of God’s entire creation alongside intellectual rigor and respect for sacred traditions and texts.


Introduction to Preaching and Worship (Fall 2017)
Voice, Imagination, and Sacred Utterances (Fall 2017)
Womanist Proclamation, Theology, and the Arts (Spring 2018)