SCUPE is pleased to welcome Rev. Zach Mills as the new director of the Center for African American Theological Studies. A native of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Mills earned his B.A. in Print Journalism and a minor in Religious Studies from Western Kentucky University in 2003. In May 2008, Mills earned his Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt, where he received the Saint James Academy Award for excellence in preaching. He is currently earning his Master of Arts degree in Homiletics and Liturgics at Vanderbilt.
His thesis, “Excuse Me While I Act A Fool,” analyzes the implications of the Afro-American trickster for prophetic preaching and ministry in the twenty first century.
Mills’ work has been published in two national journals. His sermon, “Beyond the Gates of Gilead” was published in the spring 2008 issue of The African American Pulpit, a national journal for black clergy. His sermon, “Our New Earth and God’s New Heaven” was published in the fall 2008 issue of the Journal of Religion and Abuse. In 2010, he composed a commentary on the subject of youth and health that was published in The African American Lectionary, a national online liturgical resource for black clergy and laity. He currently serves as adjunct faculty for homiletics at the University of Chicago Divinity School.
Mills is the author of two books, The Wellspring of Life (Pneuma Publishing International Inc., 2008) and Ghetto of Eden: the Poetic Battle between Humanity and Hip Hop (Pneuma Publishing, 2004). The Wellspring of Life is a book about the power of the voice. Ghetto of Eden is a book of poetry critiquing the affects of popular music on society.
“SCUPE is excited to welcome Rev. Mills,” said Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, president of SCUPE. “He brings a dynamism and energy that has the potential for CAATS to become one of the most prolific centers of African American theological education in the country. CAATS has always been a program by and for the African American church. Building on that tradition, and continuing its rootedness in the African American tradition, Zach will give it wings to reach a much wider audience.”
SCUPE is a consortium of eleven theological seminaries. CAATS, its Center for African American Theological Studies reaches pastors, as well as church and community leaders who seek to pursue Africentric urban theological education leading to an Master of Divinity degree accredited by the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.