The African American Church isn’t a formal denomination, but the term is used to describe churches that either are predominantly African American right now or have been in the past. These churches, because of their members’ similar experiences, have much in common.
The following historically African-American seminaries don’t only train African Americans, but the seminaries have historically focused on serving African-American denominations and churches. Many continue to have student bodies that are largely composed of African-American students.
African Methodist Episcopal Church Seminaries
The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME Church) was founded in 1816 by several black methodist congregations. The church has historically served the black community and today has an estimated 7,000 congregations throughout the United States, Caribbean, and Africa.
Two seminaries work with the AME Church:
- Central Baptist Theological Seminary, a seminary school that works with the AME
- Payne Theological Seminary, an official AME Church seminary school
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church Seminaries
The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AME Zion Church or AMEZ) also came out of the methodist tradition. The denomination is similar to the AME Church and has historically served the African-American community, but it remains separate from the AME Church.
The AME Zion Church’s has one seminary:
- Hood Theological School, an independent theology school founded by the AME Zion Church
Other Historically African American Seminary, Theology and Divinity Schools
Several other seminary, theology, and divinity schools earned as closely tied with specifically African-American denominations but still have historically had many African-American students:
- Howard University School of Divinity, a divinity school that had historic ties with the United Churches of Christ
- Interdenomination Theological Center, a theology school that had historic ties with the United Churches of Christ
- Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union University, a theology school of American Baptist Churches USA
- Shaw University Divinity School, a baptist divinity school
(Although some of these schools have formal relationships with specific denominations, many will gladly accept students from other traditions and denominations. Also, some of the schools that have or had relationships with specific denominations may technically be independent institutions now.)
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