News & Announcements

Dr. Melanie L. Harris to Deliver 2019 Convocation Address at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Dr. Melanie L. Harris

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary will welcome Dr. Melanie L. Harris as its keynote speaker for the 2019 Academic Convocation on September 4, 2019. Harris is the visiting professor of global ethical leadership and environmental studies at the University of Denver and founding director of African American and Africana Studies and full professor of religion and ethics at Texas Christian University. She will deliver her convocation address at 4:00 p.m. in the seminary’s Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful. All are welcome to attend.

A former American Council of Education Fellow and graduate of the Harvard Leadership Program, her research focuses on Inclusive Excellence, access and equity in higher education and ethical leadership. Her scholarship critically examines intersections between race, religion, gender and environmental ethics. She is the author of many scholarly articles and books including Gifts of Virtue: Alice Walker and Womanist Ethics (Palgrave 2010), Ecowomanism: Earth Honoring Faiths (Orbis 2017) and co-editor of Faith, Feminism, and Scholarship: The Next Generation (Palgrave 2011).

“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Harris to our campus as our convocation speaker this year,” said President Lallene J. Rector. “Her scholarship has deep resonance with Garrett-Evangelical’s historic institutional values regarding the intersection of race, gender, and environmental concerns. And, our students and faculty are especially eager to learn more about Dr. Harris’ perspectives on the relationship between eco-justice and theologically informed leadership.”

Harris is also a former broadcast journalist who worked as a news producer for ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates. A community leader whose passion for education is linked to a commitment to social justice, she has also served as an educational consultant with the Ford Foundation, the Forum for Theological Exploration, and the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, Lilly Endowment Inc. She is on the executive board of the Society for the Study of Black Religion and has served on the Board of Directors of KERA-TV/Radio, the American Academy of Religion, and the Society of Christian Ethics.

Harris has been awarded several prestigious awards and academic fellowships including the AddRan College of Liberal Arts Administration Fellowship and GreenFaith Fellowship. She earned her PhD and MA degrees from Union Theological Seminary in The City of New York, an MDiv from Iliff School of Theology, and a BA from Spelman College.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church, was founded in 1853. Located on the campus of Northwestern University, the seminary serves more than 450 students from various denominations and cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.