Deepen your understanding of the connection

between the Church and Community

HIS 499 - The Color of Compromise: A History of Race and the Church

Have you ever wondered how eleven o'clock on Sunday morning became "the most segregated hour in America?" It didn't happen all at once or just from one individual's decision. Racial segregation occurred over the course of many years by the action or inaction of Christians who compromised with racism instead of courageously confronting it.


Dr. Jemar Tisby will guide you in this survey of the history of race and the church in the United States. The basis of the course is Dr. Tisby's New York Times bestselling book, The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church's Complicity in Racism. In this college level class, you explore primary sources, lesser-known events in religious history, and trace the pattern of racism in the church from the colonial era to the present. The Color of Compromise course will equip you not only with information about the past but the motivation to continue the struggle for racial justice today.

Course begins on March 18th

Meet Dr. Jemar Tisby

Jemar Tisby is the New York Times, bestselling author of “The Color of Compromise” and the award-winning book, “How to Fight Racism.” His forthcoming book is "The Spirit of Justice: Stories of Faith, Race, and Resistance." 

Tisby is a professor of history at Simmons College of Kentucky, a faith-based historically Black university (HBCU) founded in 1879. He has been a co-host of the "Pass the Mic" podcast since its inception 10 years ago. His writing has been featured in CNN, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and the New York Times among others.

In 2021, he was named one of Twenty-One Faith Leaders to Watch by the Center for American Progress. Jemar Tisby earned his PhD in history studying race, religion, and social movements in the 20th century.

You can follow his latest work at JemarTisby.Substack.com and on social media at @JemarTisby.

MLK 200 – ML King’s Lived Theology

This course focuses on MLK’s “lived theology” because his belief system drew not only from the Bible and contemporary theologians but from the lived experience of the Black freedom movement he led. His evolving theology reflected the profoundly transformative era he helped to shape as it shaped him. We will ground our study in the two major theological traditions that he furthered: the Black social gospel and the philosophy of personalism. Most of the course

reading will comprise King’s own sermons, while addressing major influences such as Howard Thurman, Benjamin Mays, Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, and the Boston personalists.

Course begins on January 9th

Meet Dr. Stewart Burns

Dr. Burns is a distinguished historian of the Civil Rights Movement and other U.S. social movements, and a leadership scholar. He wrote the Wilbur Award-winning biography of Martin Luther King Jr., To the Mountaintop (2004). A former editor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers at Stanford University, he produced the Montgomery bus boycott volume, Birth of a New Age. He published the first history of the bus boycott, Daybreak of Freedom, which was later made into the HBO feature film Boycott (on which he consulted). In 2002 Boycott won the NAACP Image Award. His recent book We Will Stand Here Till We Die: Freedom Movement Shakes America, Shapes Martin Luther King Jr. (2013) tells the epic story of the American freedom struggle of 1963 from Birmingham to the March on Washington. He is currently writing a book on Kingian Leadership.

Dr. Burns has worked for many years in movements for peace and social justice—protesting the Vietnam War, organizing for the United Farm Workers, opposing nuclear power and nuclear weapons, fighting racism and modern slavery, and confronting poverty. His mission is to share lessons from the democratic struggles of the past to empower citizenship today and tomorrow. Dr. Burns earned his Ph.D. in history and political philosophy at the University of California Santa Cruz and has taught at the University of California, Stanford, Antioch University, and Williams College.

REL 499 - Preaching About Communities In Crises

Celebrated Preacher Dr. James Perkins is elated to join the faculty of Simmons College of Kentucky to teach "Preaching About Communities in Crises". This course will focus on developing sermons on social justice and other critical issues that impact the lives of our people. Students will be expected to develop a sermon that focuses on an aspect of social justice and participate in critiquing the sermons of other students.

Students will broaden their preaching by relating the scriptures to the critical issues of our time. 

Course begins on January 9th

Meet Dr. James Perkins

The Reverend Dr. James C. Perkins was ordained to Gospel Ministry in 1974. He has served as pastor of Greater Christ Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan for thirty-six years. He received his Doctor of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio (1990, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Fellow). In August 2014, he was elected 20th President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention.

An internationally recognized minister, Dr. Perkins fulfills speaking engagements at churches, seminaries, and conferences across the United States and abroad.

He is the author of Building Up Zion's Walls: Ministry for Empowering the African American Family, Playbook for Christian Manhood: 12 Key Plays for Black Teen Boys, (published by Judson Press (Valley Forge, Pennsylvania), and Midnight Religion: Messages of Victory in the Midst of Adversity. 

His other writings, as well as profiles of his ministry and details of his community activism, have been included in both secular and Christian publications such as Black Enterprise, USA Today, Ebony, American Baptist, The African-American Pulpit, several edited works published by Judson Press, and the best-selling Success Runs in Our Race by George Fraser.

These courses satisfy the graduation requirement for Biblical Ethical Studies.

Courses cost $300 for non-degree seeking students.

For information and questions:

Contact Pam Burks via 502.776.1443 ext. 5310

or email registrar@simmonscollegeky.edu

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