Contemplative | Activist | Writer | Theologian
Barbara A. Holmes is a spiritual teacher, activist, and scholar focused on African American spirituality, mysticism, cosmology and culture. She is President Emerita of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities (2012-2016), and also served as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Memphis Theological Seminary (2005-2010). Before the call to ministry, Holmes worked as an early childhood educator, a professional actor (Equity, SAG, AFTRA), and a corporate lawyer in Georgia, Florida and Texas. She was ordained in the Latter Rain Apostolic Holiness Church in Dallas, Texas. Today, she has privilege of call in the United Church of Christ and recognition of ministerial standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). In addition, Dr. Holmes has worked with homeless missions, HIV/AIDS support groups and international ministries in Kenya (the Presbyterian Church of East Africa) and Japan.
Dr. Holmes has earned the following degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Theatre Arts from the University of Connecticut; a Master of Science in Education from Southern Connecticut University; a Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Religion (Ethics) from Vanderbilt. Also, she earned a law degree from Walter F. George School of Law, at Mercer University.
Among her publications are: Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church (Fortress Press, 2017 & 2004), Liberation and the Cosmos (Fortress Press, 2008), Race and the Cosmos: An Invitation to View the World Differently (Trinity Press Inter- national, 2002), and A Private Woman in Public Spaces: Barbara Jordan’s Speeches on Ethics, Public Religion, and Law (Trinity Press Inter-national, 2000). In addition to her books, Dr. Holmes has published numerous articles and is a nationally sought after speaker and lecturer.
She says, "My life is committed to the struggle for justice, the healing of the human spirit, and the art of relevant and radical creativity."