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Center for Black Church Studies

Certificate Program

The Center for Black Church Studies offers a graduate certificate program enabling students at Princeton Theological Seminary to develop a focused academic program centered on African and African American religious traditions. This certificate prepares students for vocational ministry or scholarly pursuits that value the unique contributions of Black religious experiences to the totality of Christian faith, life, and witness.     

It assists seminarians interested in shaping their ministerial preparation for a wider knowledge and deeper appreciation of Black life within American or global Christianity. It is also designed for those who have a scholarly interest in the shape and depth of Black religious life throughout the African Diaspora. Among the requirements for receiving the certificate are earning 12 credits from approved courses and a 1-credit colloquium. Two courses (or a maximum of 6 credits) can be taken at Princeton University in order to fulfill the certificate requirements.

View the Seminary Catalogue (Inside PTS)


Courses which can fulfill the certificate requirements include:

  • Reinhold Niebuhr and Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • The Theology and Ethics of James Cone
  • African American Religious History
  • African Religions in the Achebe Trilogy
  • Race, Racism, Religion
  • Women in African Christianity
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Ethiopian Church History
  • Sermons from the Civil Rights Movement
  • Preaching in the African American Tradition
  • African American Pauline Hermeneutics
  • A Womanist Reading of Mark
  • African American Political Theologies
  • African Indigenous Churches and Globalization
  • Incarnation and Incarcerated Bodies
  • Global Economics as Theological Question
  • Womanist and Black Liberationist Theologies on Christology
  • Theories of Justice: A Decolonial Investigation
  • The New African Christian Diaspora
  • Vitality of Indigenous Religions of sub-Saharan Africa

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Pastor at Franklin Lakes United Methodist Church, New Jersey

Alison VanBuskirk, Class of 2015

“My call as a pastor centers on shaping a community where people can connect and be real with each other and God.”