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Black History Month 2024 at Southwest

Most services and lectures will be live-streamed, please click here to view the live-streams. 

Black History Month Opening Worship

Thursday, February 1, 2024 I 5:30pm Communion in Christ Chapel

Preacher: Rev. Dr. Dominique A. Robinson, John E. Hines Assistant Professor of Preaching

Presider: Rev. Dr. Pamela Rivera, Presiding Elder of the Austin Capital District, AME

The community is being invited to wear red on this day.

Black History Month Jubilee Celebration

Friday, February 2, 2024

5pm: Worship in Christ Chapel, featuring Rev. Dr. James Wesley Dennis, III, preaching, and a guest gospel choir, Praise Team from Grant AME Worship Center 

6:30pm: Reception in the Weeks Center

The Rev. Dr. James Wesley Dennis III serves as an Associate Program Director at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School, where he works with Foundations of Christian Leadership and Reflective Leadership Grants and directs the Innovation Grants program. An ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, James has served congregations in South Carolina and Tennessee, as well as the connectional church. He graduated from Morehouse College, Vanderbilt Divinity School and Candler School of Theology (Emory University). He enjoys good food, fine cigars and dating his wife, Mrs. Joslyn White Dennis. You can find out more here.

Click here to learn more and register

Persons of African ancestry are invited to wear kente and others are welcome to wear any combination of red, yellow, and green in solidarity with the Black community. 

Payne Lecture featuring Dr. Donyelle McCray

Tuesday, February 6, 2024 I 6pm Lecture in Knapp Auditorium

7pm Reception in the Weeks Center 

This year’s Payne lecturer is Dr. Donyelle McCray, Associate Professor of Homiletics at Yale Divinity School. Her scholarship focuses on African American preaching, sermon genre, and medieval women’s spirituality. She is the author of The Censored Pulpit: Julian of Norwich as Preacher. The lecture will be presented in person at Seminary of the Southwest and live-streamed at the website and the Southwest Facebook page.

Hosted by Seminary of the Southwest’s Board of Trustees, the Payne Lecture is an annual event that focuses on mission and honors the Rt. Rev. Claude E. Payne, former chair of the seminary’s board and bishop of the Diocese of Texas, retired.

Click here to learn more and register

The community is being invited to wear yellow on this day.

Absalom Jones Celebration

Monday, February 12, 2024 I 11:45am in Christ Chapel

Preacher: The Reverend Canon Simón Bautista, Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, TX

The Rev. Absalom Jones (1746-1818) was America’s first black priest. He was an African-American abolitionist and founded the Free African Society with Richard Allen in 1787, a mutual aid society for African Americans in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. You can find out more about Jones here.

The community is being invited to wear green on this day.

Chapel Talk: Gospel Sing-a-long

Thursday, February 15, 2024 I Immediately following 11:45am midday prayer in Christ Chapel

The national theme for Black History Month is “African Americans and the Arts.” Music, sound, and movement have played pivotal roles in the lives of people from the African diaspora. Gospel music, in particular, has been foundational for the Black Christian experience in America. With this in mind, we have invited Dr. Gloria Quinlan, retired Director and Professor of Music from HT, to join one of our Chapel Talk sessions to lead us in an info-session on Gospel music and to teach the Southwest community a short song we can incorporate into our rota.

Gloria Harrison Quinlan, a native of Houston, Texas, received the Bachelor of Music Education degree in Voice from Texas Southern University, the Master of Music in Voice from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Voice from The University of Texas at Austin.

Celebrate Black Austin – East Austin Walking Tour presented by Counselors for Social Justice

Saturday, February 24, 2024 I 12:00pm-3:30pm

Join us in celebrating Austin’s rich Black History. The event will kickoff with a walking tour of East Austin. This tour will highlight landmarks of historic significance and amplify the voices and stories of those from the community. Following the tour will be opportunities to shop with local Black-owned businesses at the Black Makers Market at the African-American Cultural Heritage Center.

Click here to learn more and register

Black History Month Keynote Address by Dr. Renita Weems

Monday, February 26, 2024 I 6:45pm in Knapp Auditorium

Please join us for the BHM Keynote Address facilitated by Dr. Renita Weems.

The lecture will begin at 6:45pm and will be live-streamed below, at the website, and the Southwest Facebook page.

In addition to being a former professor at Vanderbilt Divinity School (1987-2004), Dr. Renita Weems has taught at Spelman College, Howard University Divinity School and Memphis Theological Seminary. She grew up in Atlanta, GA where she attended Atlanta public schools.

Dr. Weems earned a Ph.D. degree at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1989 making her the first African American woman to earn a doctorate in Old Testament Studies.

Click here to learn more and register

Black History Month Closing Worship – Feast of Anna Julia Cooper

Thursday, February 29, 2024 I 5:30pm in Christ Chapel

Preacher: Rev. Dr. Dominique A. Robinson

Presider: The Rev. Ben King, Ph.D.

Anna Julia Haywood Cooper (1858-1964) was an Episcopal educator and author from Raleigh, North Carolina. She was one of the most prominent African-American scholars in U.S. history and is often referred to as the “Mother of Black Feminism”. You can read more about Cooper here

The community is being invited to wear black on this day.

Pauli Murray Scholarship Reception

Thursday, February 29, 2024 I 6:00pm-8:00pm at Christ Church Cathedral in Houston, TX

On February 29, 2024, the Pauli Murray Scholarship Committee will host the Pauli Murray Scholarship Reception at Christ Church Cathedral in Houston, TX. This important fundraising event will not only raise critical funds to support Pauli Murray scholars at Seminary of the Southwest, but it will also honor the Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, dean and president, for the work she has done to increase diversity in theological education in The Episcopal Church.

Find out more about the scholarship reception honoring the Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge and the Pauli Murray Scholarship Committee here.

Theological Degrees

Learn more about a Master of Divinity, a Diploma of Anglican Studies, or other programs that lead to ordination.

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Learn about a CACREP accredited Master of Mental Health Counseling Degree.

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