SMU Announces Appointment of Brad R. Braxton to Endowed Chair in Preaching

Braxton Appointed Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics at Perkins School of Theology

Rev. Dr. Brad R. Braxton has accepted an invitation from Southern Methodist University to serve as Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics at Perkins School of Theology, effective June 1, 2012.

 Professor Brad R. Braxton
 Rev. Dr. Brad R. Braxton

Braxton earned the Ph.D. in 1999 from Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, where he was a George W. Woodruff Fellow concentrating on New Testament Studies and Homiletics. He earned the Master of Philosophy from the University of Oxford in 1991, as a Rhodes Scholar. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Magna Cum Laude from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, where he majored in Religious Studies as a Jefferson Scholar. He is author of three books, Preaching Paul (2004); No Longer Slaves: Galatians and African American Experience (2002); and The Tyranny of Resolution: I Corinthians 7:17-24 (2000); as well as numerous articles, published sermons and lectures. 

Braxton’s previous service includes: Distinguished Visiting Scholar at McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois; Senior Minister at The Riverside Church in New York, New York, an interdenominational and interracial congregation with 2,400 members and affiliates from more than 40 different denominational, national, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds; Associate Professor of Homiletics and New Testament, with tenure, at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Nashville, Tennessee; Jessie Ball duPont Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Biblical Studies at Wake Forest University Divinity School, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and Senior Pastor at Douglas Memorial Community Church, Baltimore Maryland, an urban interdenominational congregation. Braxton was ordained in 1991 at First Baptist Church, Salem, Virginia.

In announcing the appointment, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Ludden said, “Naming a new faculty member to an endowed position at SMU is recognition that the professor has achieved the highest levels of accomplishment in academic life. Dr. Brad Braxton’s work and leadership exemplify the excellence of the University, and he is a most worthy recipient of this distinctive appointment.”

The Dean of Perkins School of Theology, William B. Lawrence, expressed gratitude to Provost Ludden for the appointment of Professor Braxton to the Lois Craddock Perkins Chair of Homiletics, adding, “Brad Braxton epitomizes everything that we affirm in our mission statement as a school to prepare women and men for faithful leadership in Christian ministry. He is an exceptional scholar, renowned teacher, and nationally respected preacher and leader.”

Braxton’s responsibilities will include teaching at Perkins School of Theology and the Graduate Program in Religious Studies at SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Braxton expresses enthusiasm for his new appointment. “Perkins School of Theology promotes the creative tension between rigorous reflection and faithful action. It will be an exciting context to explore the role of preaching in personal and social transformation in an increasingly globalized world.”

Braxton becomes the first African American to come to SMU with an appointment to an endowed chair. The Lois Craddock Perkins Chair of Homiletics was established in 1985 through the generosity of The Joe and Lois Perkins Foundation, Perkins-Prothro Foundation, and Charles N. and Elizabeth Prothro. Braxton becomes the third appointee to the Lois Craddock Perkins Professorship of Homiletics, following James Wharton (1985-1997) and John C. Holbert (1997-2012).