Former NAACP President To Teach Theolgy, Activism as Head of New Yale Divinity Center
Diversity, Equality, Inclusion

Rev. William Barber II To Head Yale Divinity School Center For Public Theology And Public Policy

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II (Screenshot: LinkedIn)

Rev. William Barber II will lead the Yale Divinity School’s Center for Public Theology and Public Policy, according to Religious News Service. The reverend will teach his first class at Yale in January.

Barber made the announcement Monday along with the news that he was retiring from Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina. The 59-year-old reverend has been with the church for 30 years. Barber posted the news on Twitter with a caption.



Barber also noted that the Center for Public Theology and Public Policy at Yale has the goal of preparing a new generation to become moral leaders. He added that the new Yale center would incorporate history and activism into the program as well as partner with HBCUs to “build pathways for students to engage in our work.”

“The goal of this center will be to prepare a new generation — what we call moral fusion leaders — that are going to be active in creating a just society both in the academy and in the streets,” he wrote.

“Every movement toward a more perfect union in US history has needed organizations that built power for people & research centers that have helped shape a new narrative,” he wrote. “We will teach this history & engage divinity students, law students, & undergrads in moral fusion analysis, articulation, & activism in the tradition of Frederick Douglass & Sojourner Truth, Walter Rauschenbusch & Howard Thurman, Ida B. Wells, Dorothy Day, MLK & Ella Baker.”

Barber delivered the sermon at the inaugural prayer service for President Joe Biden in 2021. He is also an activist who served as the former president of the NAACP. The pastor was arrested after protesting at the North Carolina Legislative Building in 2017 to call for a Medicaid expansion after staffers inside called the police to complain about the noise.

He previously taught at Union Theological Seminary and Duke University.