Brad R. Braxton

Brad R. Braxton portait

Brad R. Braxton

President and Professor of Public Theology

[email protected]

Dr. Brad R. Braxton is President and Professor of Public Theology at Chicago Theological Seminary. He is a seasoned biblical scholar and homiletician (i.e., an expert in the arts of sermon creation, delivery, and evaluation). He has held professorships at Southern Methodist University, Vanderbilt University, and Wake Forest University, as well as lectureships at Georgetown University, Harvard Divinity School, and McCormick Theological Seminary. In addition to his work in biblical studies and homiletics, his scholarship and teaching are conversant with other disciplines, including African American studies, interreligious studies, womanist, feminist, and LGBTQ+ studies, and postcolonial studies.

Dr. Braxton is the author of five books exploring the intersection of religion, cultural identity, and social justice, including two books appearing in 2023: A Master Class on Being Human: A Black Christian and A Black Secular Humanist on Religion, Race, and Justice (co-authored with the noted secular humanist Dr. Anthony Pinn) and Open: Unorthodox Thoughts on God and Community. Dr. Braxton’s books No Longer Slaves: Galatians and African American Experience and Preaching Paul are frequently used in divinity school and seminary courses.

As a testament to Dr. Braxton’s expertise in interreligious engagement, the Smithsonian Institution selected him in 2020 as the Senior Program Advisor for the 2023 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The Smithsonian Institution hosted in the summer of 2023 a multifaceted program on the National Mall in Washington, DC, which examined the diverse tapestry of religious communities and experiences in the United States. The two-week event drew substantial crowds to the National Mall and to the online resources affiliated with the festival. Dr. Braxton conceptualized major themes for the program and wrote a successful grant proposal to the Lilly Endowment, which received $1.5 million to support the festival.

Dr. Braxton is an ordained Baptist minister and a highly sought-after lecturer and preacher. In 2007, he preached at Westminster Abbey in London, England. His Westminster Abbey sermon on justice and non-violence was part of the bicentennial commemoration of the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire. He has also preached and lectured in Benin, Canada, Ghana, and South Africa. Furthermore, he is the Founding Senior Pastor of The Open Church, an inclusive congregation in Baltimore, Maryland committed to social activism, LGBTQ+ equality, and interfaith collaboration.

  • BA, University of Virginia, 1991
  • MPhil, University of Oxford (Rhodes Scholar), 1993
  • PhD, Emory University, 1999
  • The Bible and Contemporary Cultures
  • The New Testament and Politics: Ethical Considerations
  • African American Religious Rhetoric
  • Preaching, Healing, and Justice