Black Church Traditions and African American Faith-Life

Phillips Theological Seminary offers a concentration in Black Church Traditions for students interested in enhancing their degree or certificate program. Students will study issues directly concerning Black clergy, clergy serving in majority Black faith contexts, as well as those working with or alongside communities concerned with the effects of race, justice, and faith in people of African descent in the context of the U.S.

This concentration is available through the Black Church Traditions and African American Faith-Life program (BCTAF) program at Phillips and complements a student’s coursework at the seminary.

Black Church Traditions Concentration Goals

Upon completing the program emphasis in Black Church Traditions students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an appreciation for the histories and diversities of Black Church Traditions
  • Identify and reflect on key issues in the development and practice of African American religiosity and faith-life
  • Identify substantive roles of Black Church traditions and African American faith across both religious and political contexts
  • Articulate how the study of Black Church traditions and African American faith-life can enhance their own ministerial, vocational, and/or intellectual formation
  • Use central themes, history, practices, and/or traditions to contextualize, integrate, and translate general and/or broad topics of study within the intellectual, theological, and or discursive practices of study of Black Church Traditions and African American Faith-Life.

Regular Faculty for BCTAF


The program consists of three phases: Declaration, Courses, and Integrations.


The Declaration phase is when the student officially declares their intention to pursue a concentration in Black Church Traditions as part of their academic program. This phase can be completed at any point during a student’s time at Phillips.

During the Courses phase, students successfully complete the course work portion of the program concentration. The BCTAF at Phillips Theological Seminary offers its foundations course, FDC 800, while also designating several courses across the curriculum as in-program electives. Currently, 12 hours are needed to complete the Courses phase.


The Integration phase of the concentration helps students articulate and demonstrate how their courses relate to broader theological, intellectual and degree/diploma program goals. Students complete the Integrations phase in consultation with Phillips’ committee on BCTAF.