Speakers and Panelists

Henry ``Hank`` Allen

Dr. Henry Allen

Dr. Henry Lee (Hank) Allen—retired—has been active as a sociologist within postsecondary education for nearly four decades, having taught at Bethel College (University), Calvin College (University), the University of Rochester (NY), the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Wheaton College (IL).  He has taught courses in sociology [sociology of education, sociology of science, urban sociology, mathematical sociology, etc.] and criminology [Violence in Minority Communities, Violence against Women, Sociology of Hate] across those years.  Beyond these topics, Allen has pursued ongoing research regarding police shootings, race and ethnic relations, and the sociology of higher education.   In 2018, he received the Albert Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who’s Who.


Henry has been a consultant across many venues, such as the National Education Association (1993-2018), the American Bible Society, FBI Academy (2003-2011), the African American Leadership Roundtable, and so forth.  He has engaged scholarly presentations or venues such as the University of Oxford, Carnegie Mellon University, Wolfram Research, New England Complex Systems Institute, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Athens Institute for Education and Research.  Via publications, Dr. Allen has probed the sociology of science in Canada, Israel, and Scandinavia.  Professor Allen has been active as a member of the International Sociological Association, with presentations in Japan, Vienna, Athens, and Toronto. His latest publications examine the sociology of science in the United States as well as the lack of scientific literacy in current public policies.  At the end of 2019, the Russian Academy of Sciences published his article about new frontiers in the sociology of science for the twenty-first century.  He currently researches the interconnections between astrophysics, cybersecurity, biotechnology, and quantum computing—as a prelude to establishing the African American Institute for Advanced Scientific Research.  Altogether, Professor Allen has published nearly 40 scholarly articles across many research venues, including strategic domains across three continents.  Recently, he attended the global 2021 Nobel Prize Summit on April 26-28.

Michael Barram

Michael Barram

Michael Barram, Ph.D., teaches biblical studies at Saint Mary’s College of California, where he has been a professor in the Department of Theology & Religious Studies since 2001. In addition to courses on biblical interpretation, Barram often teaches classes that engage themes of social and economic justice, in both on-campus and in international travel course formats. His recent book, Missional Economics: Biblical Justice and Christian Formation (Eerdmans, 2018), explores how the Bible functions to shape and form its readers for transformed economic and moral reasoning. Barram is currently working on two other collaborative book projects—one on biblical interpretation and another on the need for serious Christian engagement with the question of reparations. He is a member and regular teacher at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley. Barram and his wife, Kelli, live in Richmond and have two daughters, one a recent graduate of California College of the Arts, and one a rising sophomore at Manhattan College in NY.

Danielle Bridgeforth

Danielle Bridgeforth

Reverend Danielle L. Bridgeforth is an ordained preacher, writer, and encourager.  She serves as the Senior Pastor of the Church at Clarendon located in Arlington, Virginia. Reverend Bridgeforth accepted the Lord’s call on her life and was licensed to preach in 2007 and ordained in 2012. Both occurred at Shiloh Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA, under the leadership of the late Rev. Dr. Lee A. Earl. She later graduated magna cum laude from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University with a Master of Divinity.

Before entering ministry full-time, Reverend Bridgeforth practiced law, specializing in Plaintiff’s personal injury law, medical malpractice, and pharmaceutical litigation.  She earned her Juris Doctorate cum laude from the Howard University School of Law in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Reverend Bridgeforth is a member of the NAACP, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and serves as a Community Chaplain in Fairfax County.

In 2013, Reverend Bridgeforth founded Joy4Life Ministries, LLC. This emerging ministry empowers believers to live the abundant life Jesus spoke of when He declared in John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” Joy4Life Ministries educates believers on God’s perspective for living, advocating a practical application of faith to our daily lives. To this end, in 2018 Reverend Bridgeforth published her first book, a devotional entitled, Vantage Point. It is available at https://redemption-press.com/shop/vantage-point/

With a visible joy for life and a genuine love for God’s people, Reverend Bridgeforth truly lives what she preaches. She is enjoying her journey one season at a time, using her ministry and her life example to encourage others to do the same.

Daniel Carro

Daniel Carro is a professor of divinity at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies in Arlington, Virginia, the Latino ambassador for the Virginia Baptist Mission Board, and board member of the Baptist Center for Ethics.

Daniel Dapaah

Dr. Dapaah serves as Professor of Divinity at Leland Seminary in Arlington and Associate Pastor at Parkwood Baptist Church where he coordinates the Discipleship ministry and leads the Wednesday night Bible study. Dr. Dapaah was born in Ghana but did his ministerial training and postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom. He and his wife, Linda, first came to Parkwood in 2001 and have since been blessed with two children, Chloe and Daniel Jr. Pastor Daniel loves visiting members and praying with them. He also enjoys cycling, jogging, and gardening. Daniel Dapaah holds a PhD and is currently a Professor of Divinity, John Leland Center for Theological Studies.

Samuel Feemster

Samuel Feemster

Rev. Feemster is the Director of Leland’s Institute for Justice Formation and teaches courses relating to biblical justice as part of the Graduate Certificate in Justice Formation program. He brings to his teaching a background in both ministry and law enforcement. He serves as the pastor of Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Arlington, VA. He also served as a Special Agent with the FBI for 28 years and thus has a unique and informed perspective on the intersection of spirituality and law enforcement.

While serving in the FBI, Rev. Feemster conducted a research project at the FBI Academy focused on officer wellness known as Project BeSTOW (Beyond Survival Toward Officer Wellness). Under his leadership, Mount Vernon provides a respite and renewal center for the first responder community known as R.E.S.T. Stop East (Restoring Essential Servants Together).

As Director of IJF, he leads efforts to promote the transformation character of biblical Justice for leaders and communities. Employing the multi-pronged investigative approach of worship, education, advocacy, and evaluation (plus systemic feedback) pursuant to its vision and mission, IJF will accomplish relevant and evolving goals and objectives through the synthesis or convergence of these approaches.

Paul Flowers

Rev. Paul Flowers

Dr. Flowers, or “Pastor Paul,” as he is affectionately known, is the elder son of Rev. Dr. Gloria and Deacon Alvin Flowers, Jr., husband to the former Monique Meekins, and father to Paul Jr., Andre Malik, and Erica. He is a native of Virginia and a product of the Henrico County Public School System. He is a 1985 graduate of Henrico High School, a veteran of the United States Air Force, and a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies.

Understanding the importance of life-long learning, Pastor Paul earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond in May 2006 and was conferred the Doctor of Ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio on June 2, 2012. His research emphasis explored the creation of A Model for Fostering Faith Maturity Using Multi-Dimensional Faith Formation Interventions. 

On March 29, 2009, Rev. Flowers was installed as the twelfth pastor of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, a church growing by the word of God. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Pastor Paul serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 491 in Richmond, VA. He served as Moderator for the Chickahominy Baptist Association and is currently the Vice-President of the Division of Clergy. Dr. Flowers is adjunctive faculty at Infinity Bible Seminary in Richmond. His specializations are Old and New Testament Survey as well as world religions. He is also the co-founder and Chief Servant Leader of Next Level Youth and Family Services, Inc., an organization committed to being change agents in the lives of youth and families throughout the Commonwealth. Their mission is to support the child, strengthen the family, and serve vulnerable communities.

In January 2016, Rev. Flowers self-published his first book; You Must Decide: 7 Principles for Achieving the Life you Envisioned. In February 2016, he released two books, a 40-day devotional for Lent, entitled Praying Through Lent: 40 Days of Reflection, Renewal, Regeneration, and Revival and a monograph on faith, entitled It Happens by Faith.

Dr. Flowers is the Director for the Doctor of Ministry Program at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University and recently accepted an appointment to serve as the Department of Contextual Theology Chair.

Larry Goleman

Larry Goleman

Rev. Larry Golemon, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Washington Theological Consortium. The Executive Director is charged by the Board of Trustees with the implementation of the mission of the Consortium.

Larry has served the wider church in a variety of capacities: youth minister, local pastor, college and seminary professor, missionary, and researcher.  He received a B.A. in History from Stanford University, a Master of Divinity and a Master of Sacred Theology from the Yale Divinity School, a ThM from Columbia Theological Seminary, and a PhD in contemporary theology from Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion. He is an ordained Presbyterian minister (PCUSA).

As a researcher, Dr. Golemon was an associate for the national study of theological education by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and co-authored their findings in Educating Clergy (2006). He taught at Dominican University of California and the GTU, and directed their research project entitled “Sacred Visions and the Social Good,” which explored religion in public life among Buddhists, Sufis, Native Americans, and faith-based Catholic and Protestant parishes. While at the Alban Institute in Virginia, he directed the Narrative Leadership project, which explored story-based transformation of congregational life. He also coordinated the “Ecumenical Project” at Virginia Theological Seminary, which identified capacities and new possibilities for ecumenical teaching and learning. He continues to write in theological education, with a new book entitled “Clergy Education in America: Religious Leadership and American Public Life, 1785-1935” (Oxford Press, 2021). The book analyzes how Protestants, Catholics, and Jews have educated clergy for American society, specifically as culture-builders in religious and public life. Later schools for woman, African Americans, and the white working class followed suit in their own distinctive ways.

Drew Hill

Drew Hill was called as the sixth pastor of Memorial Baptist Church on April 15, 2012. Drew holds a Doctor of Ministry and a Master of Divinity from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and also studied Old Testament archaeology at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Drew has taught at two Baptist seminaries in Ukraine and has been involved in mission work in Canada, South Africa, Belarus, and India. Additionally, he has led various Bible study field trips to Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, and Israel. Before coming to Memorial, Drew served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Sedalia, Missouri for fourteen years.

Carl Jensen III

Carl Jensen III

Carl Jensen is an Emeritus Professor of Intelligence and Security Studies at The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina. After graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978, he served in the Navy, first aboard the nuclear fleet ballistic missile submarine USS George Washington Carver and then as an aide to the Commander of Submarine Group Five.  He subsequently enjoyed a 22-year career in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he served as a field agent in the Atlanta, San Francisco, and Cleveland field offices; a Forensic Examiner/Cryptanalyst in the FBI Laboratory; and a Supervisory Special Agent in the Behavioral Science Unit (BSU). While in the FBI, Dr. Jensen founded the Futures Working Group (FWG), a collaboration between the FBI and the Society of Police Futurists International; the goal of this collaboration was to create ethical and community-based strategies for the future of policing.

Upon his retirement from the FBI in 2006, Dr. Jensen joined the RAND Corporation as a Senior Behavioral Scientist.  In 2007, he joined the Legal Studies faculty at the University of Mississippi while retaining adjunct status at RAND.  In 2008, he founded the University’s Center for Intelligence and Security Studies, writing its entire curriculum and teaching in every course. Under his leadership as Director, the CISS was designated as an Intelligence Community (IC) Center for Academic Excellence and in 2014, its Intelligence and Security Studies minor became the first program in the world to receive certification from the International Association for Intelligence Education.

In 2015, Dr. Jensen accepted an appointment as Professor and Director of the Intelligence and Security Studies program at The Citadel. In that capacity, he oversaw the approval of a Master of Arts degree in Intelligence and Security Studies, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Intelligence and Security Studies, and the establishment of The Center for Cyber, Intelligence, and Security Studies, which promotes research, education, and collaboration across many academic disciplines. In 2016, The Citadel was designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Dr. Jensen’s current research interests include the history of policing, community policing, social justice, and program evaluation. In addition to his undergraduate degree, Dr. Jensen holds a Master of Arts degree from Kent State University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Maryland. He is the recipient of many national awards and has authored and co-authored over 70 books, articles, book chapters and reviews.

Dr. Jensen and his family reside on Johns Island, South Carolina.

John Lee

Pastor John serves as the Lead Pastor at The Rock PC. He is married to his amazing wife Suezan, and father of 2 daughters. He is also the Academic Dean at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies in Arlington VA and a member of the Company of Teachers for the Reformed Institute. John earned a B.A. from Wheaton College, a M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a S.T.M. from Yale, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion and Theology from Claremont Graduate University in California. On top of his love for academia, he is an undisciplined runner and a distracted reader of things few would care about.

Tara Murray

Tara Murray

Tara Murrayis a justice defender and civil and human rights lawyer with her own practice based in Washington, DC. Her firm’s mission is to bring accountability in the justice system through litigation and public advocacy on behalf of communities most vulnerable to unfair treatment. Tara is the former Deputy Director of London-based human rights non-profit, Reprieve, where she represented over 30 Guantanamo detainees in federal district court proceedings and led the organization’s first investigations into civilian casualties in drone strikes in Pakistan — an investigation that has expanded to include Yemen and the horn of Africa.

Tara’s work on behalf of Muslims targeted as a result of the ‘War on Terror’, and her conversations with her clients and their traumatized family members, bears striking similarities to her own experiences growing up in Los Angeles, California where law enforcement’s heavy-handed and abusive tactics served to terrify her surveilled community and sent a message much like the one sent by drones: that the state intends to police the community with force, and the lives of those impacted do not matter. Tara is committed to dismantling structural racism and xenophobia that has both domestic and global implications.

Tara received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University, a Juris Doctorate degree from Harvard Law School, and a Masters of Laws degree from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was an E. Barrett Prettyman fellow, taught a weekly seminar in the Criminal Justice Clinic, and represented indigent clients in Washington, D.C. who were charged with misdemeanors and felonies. Tara was a law clerk to retired Judge Richard W. Roberts, who served as the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Tara’s work as a lawyer and advocate has been featured in several publications and news outlets worldwide.

Angela Parker

Angela Parker

Dr. Angela N. Parker is assistant professor of New Testament and Greek at McAfee. She received her B.A. in religion and philosophy from Shaw University (2008), her M.T.S. from Duke Divinity School (2008-2010) and her Ph.D. in Bible, culture, and hermeneutics (New Testament focus) from Chicago Theological Seminary (2015). Before this position, Dr. Parker was assistant professor of Biblical Studies at The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology for four years. While at The Seattle School, Dr. Parker received the Journal for Feminist Studies in Religion’s ESF New Scholar Award (2nd Place) for her article “One Womanist’s View of Racial Reconciliation in Galatians.” She teaches courses in New Testament, Greek Exegesis, the Gospel of Mark, the Corinthians Correspondence, the Gospel of John, and Womanist and Feminist Hermeneutics unto preaching.

In her research, Dr. Parker merges Womanist thought and postcolonial theory while reading biblical texts. Dr. Parker has two forthcoming books. First, Eerdmans Publishing will release If God Still Breathes, Why Can’t I: Black Lives Matter and Biblical Authority in September, 2021. (Amazon and Eerdmans) In this book, Dr. Parker draws from her experience as a Womanist New Testament scholar in order deconstruct one of White Christianity’s most pernicious lies: the conflation of biblical authority with the doctrines of inerrancy and infallibility. In her second book entitled Bodies, Violence, & Emotions: A Womanist Study of the Gospel of Mark, Dr. Parker thinks through the issue of imperial violence and its effects on the bodies of Jesus, John the Baptizer, and the woman suffering in a flow of blood in Mark 5. This study allows Dr. Parker to engage real lived experiences of violence and emotions in contemporary society.

While not engaging in scholarship, teaching, and preaching, Dr. Parker can be found relaxing with her husband, Victor, while researching puppies to adopt.

For a glimpse of at Dr. Parker’s love for the New Testament, please see the following articles for The Christian Century:

“Living by the Word” (Mark) for Christian Century. Mark

“Living by the Word” (John) for Christian Century. John

Cheryl Sanders

Cheryl Sanders

Dr. Cheryl J. Sanders is Professor of Christian Ethics at the Howard University School of Divinity and Senior Pastor of the Third Street Church of God in Washington, D.C. Her many publications include several books: Ministry at the Margins; Saints in Exile; Empowerment Ethics for a Liberated People; and an edited volume, Living the Intersection.

She is a member of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Christian Ethics, and former President of the American Theological Society. She is a former board member of the Association of Theological Schools, and currently serves on the ATS Council on Theological Scholarship and Research. She recently joined the Editorial Board of Studies in the Holiness and Pentecostal Movements, a book series published by Penn State University Press.

She serves the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) as a member of the Board of Elders of the Chesapeake Delaware Potomac District of the Church of God, and as Historian of the National Association of the Church of God based in West Middlesex, PA. She mentors pastors and candidates for ministry for her denomination, and is an advocate for women in ministry.

She is married to Dr. Alan Carswell, and together they are parents of two adult children, Allison and Garrett.

Andre Towner

The Reverend Andre Towner’s life mission is to help create a world where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential. He frequently does this as a consultant who helps faith communities and nonprofits discover, enhance, and focus their passions and capabilities to address the most pressing needs of their communities.

He currently serves on the pastoral staff of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ in Washington, DC, and Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Arlington, VA, and the Board of Directors for several local and national nonprofits.

Prior to serving in his current positions, Reverend Towner worked in various congregational and denominational settings throughout the country. He is also a 24-year military veteran who spent much of his time as a search and rescue pilot with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Reverend Towner earned his bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University and master’s degrees from Wesley Theological Seminary, George Washington University, and Wayland Baptist University. He is also a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated and the NAACP.

He and his wife Shondelyn have three adult children, one delightful grandchild, and Dustin, a former Guide Dog.

Inez Tuck

Inez Tuck

Dr. Inez Tuck, is Professor Emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University and a national and international consultant.  She has over 40 years of experience in higher education as a university professor, administrator and researcher. She retired from academia following her most recent positions as the dean of two Schools of Nursing at A&T State University (NC)  and MGH Institute of Health Professions (Boston, MA). Over her career, she was faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC A&T State University, NC Central University, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Virginia Commonwealth University. She was inducted as a Fellow in the Academy of Nursing, the highest recognition in the nursing discipline.

Dr. Tuck’s research included the experience of family survivors following the death of a family member by homicide, and the impact of spiritualty at the end-of-live and with sufferers of stigmatized illnesses. Her work focuses on healing  individuals, organizations, families, and communities. She has consulted on leadership development for over a decade with the National League for Nursing, a national nursing organization, and served as an educational consultant with the country of Moldova since 2013. She co-chairs global ministries for the Episcopal Church Women in the Diocese of Virginia.

Dr. Tuck has a diverse educational background with an undergraduate degree (BSN) from NC  A&T State University, master’s degrees in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing (MN) from the University of Florida and Business Administration  (MBA) from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her doctoral degree in Child Development and Family Relations with a minor in Sociology was earned at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.  In 2008, Dr. Tuck completed the Master of Divinity degree at Samuel Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. She was a participant in a research institute at Oxford University and in immersions in Ecuador, Jordan, Palestine West Bank, and Oman. She was a faculty member for Project BeSTOW at the FBI Academy.

She has made national and international presentations in Canada, Ireland, England, Egypt, Denmark, Austria, China and Thailand, She is the author of two self-published books on forgiveness and has over 50 publications in nursing and interprofessional journals. She has a forthcoming book on leadership incorporating critical race theory and intersectionality.

Jeffrey Willetts

Jeffrey Willets head shot

Rev. Dr. Jeffrey G. Willetts, PhD is professor for the Philosophy of Religion and former Dean of Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology, in Atlanta, GA. From 1998 -2016, Dr. Willetts served as the founding Dean, Vice-President, and Professor of Divinity at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies, in Arlington, VA.

Dr. Willetts academic interests include the philosophy of religious language, philosophical theology, ethics, and philosophy and culture.  Dr. Willetts is also a Baptist minister with more than 25 years of experience, as a church planter and senior pastor.

Dr. Willetts earned his BA in Religion and Philosophy at Campbell University, his Master of Arts in Religion at Yale University Divinity School, and his PhD in Philosophy at Swansea University, Wales, UK.

He currently serves on a number committees, commissions, or advisories of several different ecclesial or academic organizations, including: the Baptist World Alliance, the Society for Philosophy of Religion, and the Institute for Justice Formation.

He is the former Book Review editor for the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, and is President of the Network for Theological Education, a non-profit organization which focuses on the accessibility of theological education for the local church.