Commencement: Baccalaureate Speaker

Baccalaureate Speaker

weemsRenita J. Weems, Ph.D., a bible scholar and ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, will serve as the baccalaureate speaker for the Class of 2015. Dr. Weems, a former visiting professor at Spelman College, is the author of several acclaimed books on women's spirituality and wholeness.  She has been celebrated by Ebony magazine as one of American's top 15 preachers and is currently the academic dean and professor of biblical studies at American Baptist College in Nashville, Tenn. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College, and her master’s degree and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Dr. Weems is the author of several widely-acclaimed books on women's spirituality and wholeness: Just A Sister Away (1987 & 2005), I Asked for Intimacy (1993), Showing Mary: How Women Can Share Prayers, Wisdom, and the Blessings of God (2003), and, What Matters Most: Ten Passionate Lessons from the Song of Solomon (2004). A guest speaker for numerous national gatherings of religious, civic, and sorority organizations, local churches, community-wide events, and radio and television programs.

Her 1999 book, Listening for God: A Minister's Journey through Silence and Doubt (Simon & Schuster), won the Religious Communicators' Council's prestigious 1999 Wilbur Award for “excellence in communicating spiritual values to the secular media.” As a scholar she has numerous books, commentaries and articles on the Bible and prophetic religion to her credit.

In 2008, Yale University invited Dr. Weems to give the prestigious Lyman Beecher Lecturer, making her the first African-American woman to do so.