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RNS Press ReleasesThe Gift of Black Theological Education & Black Church Collaborative kicks offThe Gift Collaborative (

The Gift of Black Theological Education & Black Church Collaborative enhances the Historically Black Theological Institutions (HBTI) and the Black Church. The Black Church has been at the center of Black culture for more than 200 years, as well as one of the ways to combat systemic racism and other social ills. The HBTIs are founded to address the Black Church.

The Collaborative will bring together denominational leaders, scholars, and congregants to not only address racism and social issues but also build leadership capacity in congregations.

The Church has long been a source of leadership in the Black community and provides the pathway for enrollment of students in the HBTIs. By strengthening the work between the HBTIs with the Church, the Church will address the theological education of leaders for the Church. It is the intention of the Collaborative to inform a new generation of leaders engaged in building new pathways forward in America.

The Gift Collaborative will be officially announced at its first event at 7 p.m. EST Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. The free Zoom event will feature Princeton scholar Dr. Eddie S. Glaude’s presentation, “Awakening the Church: A Call to Respond to Systemic Racism.” Glaude is an expert on race in America and is a frequent commentator on the nation’s ongoing racial injustice issues.

The Gift Collaborative is a result of relationship development and collegiality among the six HBTIs: Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, North Carolina, the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio, Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia, Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C.

The denominations participating in the collaborative include: The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AMEZ), Baptist General Convention of Virginia, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME), Church of God in Christ (COGIC), General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Baptist, and the United Methodist Church.

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