Associate Professor of Ethics and Black Church Studies and Dean of Academic Programs
Articles about Dr. Sims’ research on lynching:
PhD, Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education
MDiv, Howard University School of Divinity
BA, Trinity University
As lead faculty for the Doctor of Ministry degree program in Children and Poverty in a Globalized Economy which commences June 2010, my research examines characteristics, effects, and implications of poverty on systemic, global, national and local levels.
National Baptist, Minister of Word and Sacrament
Discipline or Specialty
My research on the ethical complications of lynching suggests that we must be intentional about the manner in which we educate leaders to participate actively in renewing the church. This is especially true in a post 9/11 world where there is a tendency to ignore government sanctioned acts of terror. One of the reasons lynching was so effective following the legal demise of chattel slavery was the ability of its architects to use fear as a tool to control human behavior. I find that fear is still used as a tool to shape human response which in turn can hinder our ability at both an individual and corporate level to act as agents of justice.
Of particular concern for me is the manner in which this reaction to tactics of fear can adversely affect the church’s ability to make disciples for Jesus Christ. I, however, remain encouraged. I attribute my attitude in part to an aspect of my research that offers some insight into how to develop strategies of resistance that can be used to facilitate collaborations on local, state, regional, national and international levels to “address the causes of human suffering that result from poverty” and a distorted or displaced understanding of privilege.
I am also heartened by the fact that in every generation there are individuals whose life-experiences remind me that God continues to call us to live in a manner that point to the Divine’s ability to use us as agents to renew the church and transform the world.
Representative Courses Taught
Advanced Praxis Seminar: Ethics of Biblical Interpretation
Engaging Local Ministries
The Black Church in the United States
Introduction to Christian Ethics
Religio-Political Narratives in America From Martin Luther King, Jr. through Jeremiah Wright co-author with F. Douglas Powe, Jr. and Johnny Bernard Hill (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming October 2013).
Womanist Theological Ethics: A Reader, with Katie Geneva Cannon and Emilie M. Townes (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011).
“James M. Gustafson on Virtue,” in Beyond the Pale: Reading Ethics from the Margins, Stacey M. Floyd-Thomas and Miguel A. De La Torre (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011).
Ethical Complications of Lynching: Ida B. Wells’s Interogation of American Terror (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).
“Nooses in Public Spaces: A Womanist Critique of Lynching–A 21st Century Ethical Dilemma,” The Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics (Fall-Winter, 2009).
Six biographical entries in The Westminster Handbook to Women in American Religious History, Susan Hill Lindley and Eleanor J. Stebner, eds. (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008).
“Academic Re-Colorization: Christian Ethics and Black Church Ministries,” African American Pulpit 11:4 (Fall 2008).