An inclusive, justice-seeking church

McClendon Scholar-in-Residence Program

“Where Faith, Intellect and Justice Meet”
Our Next Event –
Saturday & Sunday, October 28-29: Dr. Walter Brueggemann. Our next event, hosting Dr. Walter Brueggemann, coincides with the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Walter Brueggemann, one of the most influential Bible interpreters of our time, has authored over one hundred books. He was also our first scholar, back in 2006. Specifics about the program coming soon.

About the McClendon Scholar-in-Residence Program
The McClendon Scholar-in-Residence Program brings scholars to Washington to speak on their most recent research and to share their learning and their vision. Established through the insight and generosity of the late Rev. Dr. Jack E. McClendon, associate minister from 1957 to 1991, the program is one fruit of Dr. McClendon’s vision that justice, service, and action can only be sustained when a community of faith grapples with profound issues and is equipped to engage in a deepening of faith. To this end, he wished to bring to the church and the larger Washington community noted scholars whose unique gifts, knowledge, and lives would inspire both ongoing reflection and action.


Previous Programs
During the past ten years, The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church has been honored to host the following McClendon Scholars-in-Residence.  For several of these programs, recordings are available on YouTube and you can view them by clicking on the links that are provided.

  • Dr. Allis Ogden Bellis, professor of Hebrew Bible at Howard University School of Divinity. “Exploring Race and Gender with a Biblical Scholar,” Sept. 9-10, 2017
  • An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story.  Film screening and panel discussion with filmmaker Martin Doblmeier, Interfaith Voices host Maureen Fiedler, and Dr. Carolyn Davis of the Public Religion Research Institute. July 18, 2017
  • Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, author of Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God, “Being Church in Times Like These,” June 24-25, 2017
  • Spirit and Action: Learning from Howard Thurman, a four-part series featuring Washington DC pastors: Rev. Lionel Edmunds, Mt Lebanon Baptist; Rev. Karen Brau, Luther Place; Rev. Bill Lamar, Metropolitan AME; and Rev. Joe Daniels, Emory Fellowship (UMC), Spring 2017.
  • E.J. Dionne, Washington Post columnist, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, A Country Divided: What Do We Do Now?“, Nov. 14, 2016.
  • Miroslav Volf, Professor of Theology, Yale Divinity School, “A Public Faith in Action: Working for the Common Good,” Oct. 15-16, 2016,
  • Ron White, author of Lincoln: A Biography and American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant, “ Lincoln and Grant: Models for Presidential Leadership and Reconciliation,” October 5, 2016
  • Willie Jennings, Professor of Theology, Yale University Divinity School, “Building Life Together: Conversations on Race and Faith in Washington, DC,” Co-sponsored with Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, April 30-May 1, 2016
  • Douglas Ottati, Professor of Theology, Davidson College, “ Following Jesus in a Violent and Disrupted World,” March 19-20, 2016
  • Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of Equal Justice Initiative, “A Citywide Call for Justice and Mercy,” Nov. 4, 2015
  • Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty, Professor of Theology at Bellarmine University; “Lessons from Dorothy Day for 21st Century Christians,” Sept. 19-20, 2015
  • Norman Wirzba, Professor of Theology and Ecology, Duke Divinity School; “Food, Eating and the Life of Faith,” Feb. 7-8, 2015
  • Harold Dean Trulear, Professor, Howard University Divinity School; Director, Healing Communities USA, “The Church and Mass Incarceration: The Challenge of Re-entry and Reconciliation,” Dec. 10, 2014
  • Taylor Branch, Author and Public Speaker, Baltimore, Maryland, “The Next Years: The Civil Rights Movement for Today and Tomorrow,” May 16-17, 2014
  • James Cone, Professor, Union Theological Seminary (New York), “The Cross and the Lynching Tree,” May 24-26, 2013
  • Brian Blount, President of Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, Virginia, “An Encounter with the Apocalypse: Studying the Book of Revelation,” March 9–11, 2012
  • Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, Professor of Theology, Chicago Theological Seminary, and Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress, “Toward a Just Peace in a Wired World,” September 16–18, 2011
  • Ronald C. White, Jr., Huntington Library Fellow and Biographer, “Abraham Lincoln 2009: Wisdom for Today,” Sept. 18–20, 2009
  • Charles Swezey, Professor of Christian Ethics Emeritus, Union Presbyterian Seminary, “Recovering Politics for Mainline Christians: Retrieving the Legacy of Reinhold Niebuhr,” Sept. 2008–May 2009
  • Larry Rasmussen, Professor Social Ethics Emeritus, Union Seminary (New York), “And the Fullness Thereof: Christian Discipleship at an Ecological Crossroads,” Oct. 26–28, 2007
  • Frances Taylor Gench, Professor of New Testament, Union Presbyterian Seminary, “Discerning the Shape of Discipleship: Gospel Perspectives,” February–April, 2007
  • Walter Brueggemann, Professor of Old Testament Emeritus, Columbia Theological Seminary, “The Congregational Practice of Prophetic Imagination,” Dec. 1-3, 2006