Union Theological Seminary President Serene Jones today announced the appointment of The Very Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, PhD. to the Bill and Judith Moyers Chair in Theology. The Union Board of Trustees voted to name Douglas, currently the Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union and Professor of Theology, to the chair that was previously held by Rev. Dr. James H. Cone.
“As a former student of Dr. Cone, and a renowned Womanist theologian in her own right, Dean Douglas is well poised to fill the Moyers chair. I am elated the Union Board, Dean and Faculty all agreed on this appointment,” said Jones. “Her voice stands tall whether she is preaching from a pulpit or from the pages of her groundbreaking books, and I know she will honor the Moyers legacy of advocacy, integrity and leadership.”
Douglas, who will continue to serve as Dean of EDS at Union, will assume the chair July 1, 2020. She joined the faculty of Union in 2017. It was not her first time at Union, however, having earned a Master of Divinity and a Doctoral Degree in Systematic Theology from the Seminary.
Her widely published books, including Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God (2015) and Sexuality and the Black Church: A Womanist Perspective (1999), have shaped theological education and addressed pressing issues of the church. Prior to coming to Union, Douglas was the Susan D. Morgan Professor of Religion at Goucher College in Baltimore.
The Bill and Judith Moyers chair was established in 2016 with a generous gift from former Union Board member Chang K. Park. Bill Moyers’ life as a journalist is well-documented, while Judith Davidson Moyers’ work was largely behind the scenes. She is also a former Union Board member who served until 2016. It was their unwavering commitment to truth-telling and lifting the voices of the silenced, along with their belief in and support of the mission of Union, that led Park to establish the chair in their honor.