Southwest announces 2021-22 Crump Visiting Professor and Black Religious Scholars Group Scholar-in-Residence


The Reverend Dr. Brandon Thomas Crowley with serve in position created by partnership between Seminary of the Southwest and Black Religious Scholars Group

Seminary of the Southwest (Southwest), and the Black Religious Scholars Group, Inc. (BRSG) announce that the Reverend Dr. Brandon Thomas Crowley will be the Crump Visiting Professor and Black Religious Scholars Group Scholar-in-Residence for the 2021-2022 academic year at Seminary of the Southwest. Crowley will be the fourth visiting scholar as part of the partnership between Southwest and BRSG that began in the 2018-19 academic year.

The Reverend Dr. Brandon Crowley

The Reverend Dr. Brandon Thomas Crowley (pronounced Crow-lee) is an African American scholar in religion, theology, ecclesiology, and queer theory. Since 2009, he has served as the Senior Pastor of the Historic Myrtle Baptist Church in West Newton, Massachusetts, one of America’s oldest congregations founded by freed slaves at the end of Reconstruction and one of the only open and affirming historically Black churches in North America. Reverend Crowley earned a Ph.D. in Church and Society and a Master of Sacred Theology with a certificate in social justice from Boston University. He also earned a Master of Divinity from Harvard University, where he was a presidential scholar, and a Bachelor of Arts in Religion with a certificate in cosmopolitan religious leadership from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Reverend Crowley is writing a book entitled Queering Congregations: Contextual Approaches for Dismantling Heteronormativity in Black Churches. He is also presently serving as an instructor in Ministry Studies at Harvard University’s Divinity School and the incoming 2021 Crump Visiting Professor of Theology and Black Religious Scholars Group’s Scholar-in-Residence at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest.

“I look forward to the Rev. Brandon Crowley’s presence with us next year. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will enhance our course offerings and enrich our faculty conversations,” said Dr. Scott Bader-Saye, Academic Dean, Seminary of the Southwest.

As the Crump Visiting Professor Reverend Crowley anticipates helping the seminary, “engage cross-cultural contexts; grow in the areas of equity, diversity, and multicultural hospitality; and teach students how to engage in racial reconciliation, vocationally.”

“The BRSG executive board is thrilled to have Rev. Dr. Brandon Crowley to serve as our next Crump Visiting Professor/ BRSG Scholar-in-Residence. As our partnership with Southwest evolves, it also deepens in a shared commitment to and celebration of the genius, gravitas, and generativity that has been characteristic of Black theological education and Black church ecclesiology,” said Dr. Stacey Floyd-Thomas, Executive Director, BRSG. “We are overjoyed that Dr. Crowley has graced us with these amazing gifts and is fully committed to this joint enterprise. In particular, Dr. Crowley’s research interests, executive ministerial experience, and administrative leadership seek provocative and pragmatic ways to construct liberationist methodologies and discourses that intentionally disrupt oppressive forms of ecclesial and theological normalcy within Christian traditions while promoting the radical love and true spirit of the Christian gospel. His lifework has been wedded to this vision and the viability of re-thinking the nature, mission, and practices of the Christian church towards linking divine justice and social justice in truly meaningful ways. We are incredibly excited to see the prodigious manifestation of his theological preparation as he takes residence at Southwest in the upcoming year.”

Each year this program identifies, prepares, and supports a Black religious scholar to serve a one-year term as Crump Visiting Professor and Black Religious Scholars Group Scholar-in-Residence. Teaching required courses and electives and contributing to community life and worship, this scholar will join with the faculty in formation of leaders to lead conversations across boundaries of race and ethnicity.

The previous three Crump Visiting Professor and Black Religious Scholars Group Scholar-in-Residence were the Rev. Melanie Jones (2018-19) and the Rev. Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, Ph.D. (2019-20), and currently, the Rev. Yolanda Norton (2020-21).