About Me

My photo
Mike hopes to see the world turned upside down through local communities banding together for social change, especially churches which have recognized the radical calling to be good news to the poor, to set free the prisoners and oppressed, and to become the social embodiment of the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven. He lives with the blessed memory of his wife, in Durham, NC, and has three adult children living in three different states. He also shares his life with the Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, the faculty and students of Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC, and the faithful fans of Duke and Baylor Basketball in his neighborhood.

Popular Posts

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Congratulations Dr. Willie Jennings


I wanted to note that my good friend and colleague, Dr. Willie Jennings, theologian at Duke Divinity School, received notice yesterday evening that the university has awarded him tenure. Willie stepped out of the tenure process for nine years to serve as Academic Dean of Duke Divinity School. Under his leadership, Duke Divinity made many important strides in building a strong faculty and instituting important programs. His invaluable assistance to Dean Greg Jones has helped to make Dr. Jones's years a period of growth and accomplishments in many ways.

Three years ago, Dr. Jennings stepped down from his appointment as Dean to return to the teaching faculty. Now three or four people divide up the work he was doing. The university started the tenure clock again, right where he had left off. With only half the time remaining, Willie had to restart the writing and research requirements. The Divinity School gave him long-awaited leave time to complete the task. Last June he turned in the materials for tenure review, including the manuscript of a book that had been accepted by Yale University Press for publication.

Ten months later, the tenure committee announced its decision. Dr. Jennings received his well-deserved reward for hard work, creative scholarship, and service to the university. We look forward to the forthcoming book.

Willie has been a good friend to me for many years. When my youngest daughter and his oldest daughter were very tiny, we enrolled them in the same Saturday morning dance class. Willie and I began to build up a deep friendship during that time, as both of us were new teachers. It was during this period that I faced one of the great crises of my life, dealing with the ugly racist side of the churches who had brought me to know Jesus. Willie talked and prayed me through this hard time. When we began the process of moving our family to a new church, Willie urged us to come to Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church. The headwaters of much of our lives can be found in those months. By being available as a vessel for the Holy Spirit, Willie has been a gift from God to me and to my family.

1 comment:

Isaac V said...

that is good news indeed! Jennings is one of the best professors I've had. I'm still drawing from what he taught me.

Baptist Bloggers
Powered By Ringsurf
Christian Peace Bloggers
Powered By Ringsurf