Campus in the evening

The Rev. Joseph Thompson, Ph.D. ’18

Director of Multicultural Ministries and Assistant Professor of Race and Ethnicity Studies

The Rev. Joseph Thompson, Ph.D., is the Director of Multicultural Ministries and Assistant Professor of Race and Ethnicity Studies. He joined the VTS faculty in 2016.

Dr. Thompson’s particular area of expertise is African American Studies. He works to ensure that seminarians engage with issues of race and ethnicity, justice, and intercultural awareness as part of their theological education. Prior to coming to VTS, Dr. Thompson taught for ten years at Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Thompson holds an H.B.A. from the University of Delaware and an M.A. from Virginia Theological Seminary. He earned Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Philosophy, and Master of Arts degrees in African American Studies and English at Yale University.

Dr. Thompson was formerly archivist for the African American Episcopal Historical Collection at VTS. He has served higher education institutions in various roles throughout the past 20 years, including senior lecturer and educational archivist, academic coordinator of African and African American Studies, faculty fellow, and assistant professor.

“I was drawn to get a degree in African American Studies and English because I loved African American history and literature. It allowed me to study society, past and present, through a lens that valued African American perspectives. At the same time, I was deeply motivated to understand racial formation in the United States of America. Just how was it that this country came to have such hardened systems of racialized and racist thought, policy, and behavior?
My interdisciplinary field has allowed me to wrestle with this and similar questions by exploring the stories of the African American ancestors. I now have the privilege to examine how Christian theology and spirituality are interwoven with race.”
The Rev. Joseph Thompson, Ph.D. ’18