The Very Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas to receive McDonald Teaching Award from Seminary of the Southwest

Seminary of the Southwest
Posted Feb 14, 2023

Seminary of the Southwest announces that the 2023 McDonald Teaching Award will be presented to the Very Reverend Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary. Douglas will receive the award from the Faculty of Seminary of the Southwest on March 6, 2023, at its midday Eucharist service and assembly in Christ Chapel on the campus of Seminary of the Southwest.

“Kelly Brown-Douglas is a valued colleague, and even more a beloved sister in the Council of Deans,” said the Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Dean and President. “We have had great conversations over these years, and I learn from her always as a scholar and friend. I am thrilled that the faculty has named her for this award.”

The service will be livestreamed at the website and the Southwest Facebook page.

Established upon the retirement of Dean Emeritus the Very Rev. Durstan R McDonald in 2002, the McDonald Teaching Award is given each year by the Faculty of Seminary of the Southwest in recognition of exceptional teaching in the spirit of the award’s namesake.

“Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas teaches at the intersections of church and academy, classroom and public square, research and advocacy. She models for us what a public theological voice can look like, which is to say, she enacts teaching as a common good,” said Dr. Scott Bader-Saye, Academic Dean. “Her research has consistently drawn attention to those whose voices, interests, and needs have been excluded or ignored. She shows us how to be politically active while maintaining a theological center. For all these reasons, the faculty of the seminary have chosen Dr. Douglas to be our Durstan R. McDonald Teaching Awardee for 2023.”

Douglas’ last ‘appearance’ at Southwest was her widely viewed Blandy Lecture address in January of 2021.

Douglas, who recently announced her retirement at the end of the ’22-’23 academic year, was named Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Theology at Union in September 2017.  She was named the Bill and Judith Moyers Chair in Theology in November 2019.  She also serves as the Canon Theologian at the Washington National Cathedral and Theologian in Residence at Trinity Church Wall Street.

Dean Douglas’ academic work has focused on womanist theology, Black theology, sexuality and the Black church, and racial and social justice. Prior to EDS at Union, she served as Professor of Religion at Goucher College where she held the Susan D. Morgan Professorship of Religion and is now Professor Emeritus.  Before Goucher, she was Associate Professor of Theology at Howard University School of Divinity (1987-2001) and Assistant Professor of Religion at Edward Waters College (1986-1987).