Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Dean Elaine A. Heath has announced the appointment of the Rev. Dr.  David Emmanuel Goatley as a research professor of theology and Black Church Studies and as faculty director of the Office of Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School effective July 1, 2018.

Goatley currently serves as the executive secretary-treasurer of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Society in Washington, D.C. As chief executive officer of the global Christian missions agency, he is responsible for vision, administration, and development with mission partnerships in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America. He also is an adjunct professor of global leadership at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va., in the Doctor of Ministry in Global Leadership program.

“Dr. Goatley brings the wisdom of a senior leader who is both scholar and practitioner, who works extensively with the Black Church across the nation and around the world,” said Dean Heath. “His vision for the future of the Black Church and for theological education will be a marvelous asset to the Divinity School and to Durham. We are delighted to welcome him to our community.”

Goatley holds a Ph.D. in theology and a M.Div., both from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and a B.S. in guidance and counseling from the University of Louisville. He previously was an assistant professor of theology and African-American Studies at Memphis Theological Seminary in Tennessee, and an assistant professor of humanities and Pan African Studies at the University of Louisville. He also served as the pastor of First Baptist Church in Campbellsville, Ky.

A member of the Baptist World Alliance General Council, Goatley is the chair of the Theological Reflection, Freedom, and Justice Commissions.

Goatley said he has had the privilege of contributing primarily to the institutional life of the Black Church for more than three decades, and that leadership as denominational staff, congregational pastor, and global missions executive have provided diverse opportunities to serve and learn locally, nationally, and internationally. 

“Directing the Office of Black Church Studies at Duke University School of Divinity will enable me to contribute more substantially to the intellectual life of the Black Church,” he said. “It will further allow me to leverage networks and relationships to invest more broadly in the formation of leaders for the church and academy. I look forward to collaborating with Edgardo Colón-Emeric, the new director of the Center for Reconciliation, to explore the intersection of liberation and reconciliation to help the church to bear a more faithful Christian witness throughout the world.”