Courtesy of Yolanda Pierce
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Dr. Yolanda Pierce will step into her role this summer, making her the first woman to do so in the historically Black college’s 150-year history. 

Mariya Moseley
Jun, 07, 2017

For the first time in Howard University's history, a woman will become their School of Divinity dean. 

According to a recent press release from the University, President Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick announced the appointment of Dr. Yolanda Pierce as the new dean of Howard University School of Divinity. 

Dr. Pierce is expected to assume the position this July, where she’ll oversee graduate and professional programs within the School of Divinity. She will enter the Washington, D.C.-based historically Black college from Princeton Theological Seminary, where she served in variety of roles, including the Director of the Black Church Studies Program.

Her research expertise includes African-American religious history, womanist theology, African-American literature, race and religion. 

"Howard University Divinity School has a rich heritage and a promising future. An outstanding faculty, skilled staff, excellent students and a very distinguished body of alumni all contribute to a school poised and ready to enter a new stage in its development as a leader in theological education,” Dr. Pierce said. 

"I am looking forward to my new role ... with deep gratitude for all the shoulders upon which I stand," she wrote on social media.

Pierce, who earned her undergraduate degrees from Princeton University, also has two Master’s Degrees from Cornell University. In addition to being a professor, she's also an author, preacher, columnist and MSNBC contributor. Her recent book is titled Hell Without Fires: Slavery, Christianity, and the Antebellum Spiritual Narrative (History of African-American Religions).

"Dr. Pierce brings extraordinary experience to this position, and we are extremely fortunate to have attracted a person of such distinction," said President Frederick. 

"She is an outstanding scholar as well as an energetic administrator. She comes to the Divinity School at a crucial time in its history, when the school is amid exciting growth,” he continued.