Reverend John Jaspers (1812-1901)

Pres. McMickle gave a sermon at today's All School Worship, where he explored the theology of Rev. John Jaspers, a 19th century preacher who grew up in slavery (1812-1901). He is best known for his historic sermon "De Sun Do Move.

The service today was presented by the Black Student Caucus at CRCDS. A focus of the event was sankofa, which means: "We must go back and reclaim out past so we can move forward; so we understand why and how we came to be who are today." The term is used among the Asante people of Ghana.

Pres. McMickle Seeks CRCDS Role in Subduing Violence Within Black Community

On July 9, a letter to the editor by President Marvin A. McMickle was published entitled "Black community must rally to subdue violence." (Read it here.) Pres. McMickle sent this to the CRCDS community, inviting them to share their views and ideas on how the School might address this pressing issue. Below are excerpts from some of the responses he received.

  • "The American Baptist Home Mission Society partnered with the Hyde Park Union Church to help create the Urban Dolorosa. This is the end result of a vision by the Rev. Susan B. W. Johnson, pastor of that church in Chicago. I believe that the Hill could become the venue for a similar seminary / church partnership." –Rev. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III, D.Min, Board of Trustees Member, CRCDS
  • "God bless you in your prophetic ministry in Rochester. I would be pleased to collaborate with you in any way, and a sister-city response to violence would be an incredible blessing to everyone. With humility, I find that for every step I take into the violence in Chicago I am blessed a thousand times by the goodness of people who are all but buried beneath it. For me, this work is about reaching survivors, and it is also about the very integrity of the church." –Rev. Susan B. W. Johnson, Pastor of Hyde Park Union Church, Chicago, IL / Founder of Urban Dolorosa
  • "Might the Hill be a safe and neutral place to bring clergy, city police and elected officials, school board and community leaders to discuss actions that can be taken? [...] The issue of violence and guns has been called a public health issue, might that be an approach and then the focus could change to hospitals, emergency rooms, community health centers, clinics, etc.?"–Barbara Moore (CRDS, '89), RSM, Director of the Program for the Study of Women & Gender in Church and Society
  • "An idea would be to establish some sort of community outreach program that is run by CRCDS students offering counseling, prayer, street ministry, etc. Not only will it help to curb violent activity, but it will also establish a relationship between CRCDS and the community. This endeavor would require a lot of time, work, and a sustained commitment by the School, but it would prove beneficial in the long run."–Krystal Cunningham, Staff Member, CRCDS

What do you think? Let us know.We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences on how CRCDS could take an active role in addressing the critical issue of violence within communities local to us, and to join networks to support initiatives in other places.

Please email us.

Dr. James H. Evans Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Landmark Work

"How can the dialogue between professional black theologians and other members of the African American churches be strengthened so that it becomes clear that Black Theology is rooted in the faith of the church and that the faith of the church is given intellectual clarity and expression in Black Theology?"

It is with this question twenty years ago that We Have Been Believers ignited fresh, energetic inquiry into the theology of the African American Christian tradition, its history, practice and its theology. This work by Dr. James H. Evans,Professor of Systematic Theology, has become a seminal text; James H. Cone of Union Theological Seminary wrote that it is "useful for both the church and the academy. I recommend it highly."

Last month, the 20th Anniversary Edition was published by Fortress Press.

Edited and introduced by Stephen G. Ray Jr., it includes three new essays that identify the value of the book for womanist, evangelical and Black Church audiences. The new edition also concludes with an afterword by the author himself.

"[...] Evans resists the dominant narrative of American religious life that the African American Christian faith was wholly a creature of slavery and therefore only derivative of Euro­American Christian practice."
- Prof. Stephen G. Ray, "Forward to the Second Edition," We Have Been Believers
Dr. Evans is currently preparing to take a sabbatical next term, where he will be preparing a work concerning a theological approach to forgiveness. He is also the author of We Shall All Be Changed (1997),Modern Christian Thought: The Twentieth Century (2nd edition, 2006) and Playing: Christian Explorations of Daily Living (2010), all available from Fortress Press. You can purchase a copy of We Have Been Believers (20th Anniversary Edition) here.

Breakfast with the President Next Week

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle will host a community breakfast next week at 7:30 am on Tuesday, March 27 on the CRCDS campus.
The event will provide local leaders, neighborhood and community groups and other members of the public the opportunity to hear and to respond to President McMickle's vision for CRCDS as it becomes a visibly more active organization within Rochester.
The breakfast meeting is free and open to the public. A complimentary continental breakfast will be provided by award-winning Special Events Catering.

DATE:      Tuesday, March 27, 2012

TIME:            7:30–9:00 am

PLACE:         Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRCDS)
For further information, please contact Chris White, Director of Communications at (585) 290 0498 or by email