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STH appoints Dale P. Andrews to Martin Luther King, Jr., Professorship

The Rev. Dale P. Andrews joins the faculty of STH this fall as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Homiletics and Pastoral Theology.

In 1955, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., graduated from Boston University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Half a century later, the School of Theology is commemorating the occasion with the appointment of the Rev. Dale P. Andrews as the Martin Luther King, Jr., Professor of Homiletics — the art of writing and delivering sermons — and Pastoral Theology.

The King professorship, a post within the University Professors Program assigned to the School of Theology, can be held by a distinguished African-American scholar in any theological discipline, says STH Dean Ray Hart. “King’s own scholarly field was Christian social ethics, but he was an equally distinguished preacher,” says Hart. “So when we had a senior appointment to make in homiletics and pastoral theology we determined that if the search produced a superior African-American candidate we would assign that person to the Martin Luther King, Jr., chair.”

Andrews, an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, comes to the University this fall from the Louisville Seminary, where he served as the Frank H. Caldwell Associate Professor of Homiletics. He holds a master of divinity degree from the Princeton Theological Seminary and a doctorate from Vanderbilt University. He has conducted research in historical studies on Methodism and preaching in the early church as a Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University and is the author of Practical Theology for Black Churches: Bridging Black Theology and African American Folk Religion and the coauthor of Listening to Listeners: Homiletical Case Studies.

He was drawn to BU, he told the Chronicle of Higher Education, by “the prospect of teaching in a major metropolitan university featuring a highly diverse student body, thereby creating a more eclectic classroom encounter crossing social, cultural, and theological perspectives in a greater exchange of ideas and beliefs.”

This is STH’s first appointment in homiletics in many years, Hart says, and will allow the school to plan degree programs in the field. Andrews will teach Preaching and Worship in the African-American Traditions this semester.