Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright Commencement Speaker


McCormick Theological Seminary was delighted to have scholar, author, preacher, and theologian, the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., Pastor Emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC) give the Commencement address for McCormick’s graduating class of 2019 on May 11.

In September of 2016, McCormick and Dr. Wright partnered to launch a collaboratively designed doctor of ministry program known as the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Scholars: African-Centered Religious Thought and Ministry, in which Dr. Wright is the featured scholar and mentor. Several of these scholars are scheduled to complete their degrees this May, with others to follow in 2020. In 2017, McCormick honored Reverend Dr. Wright, Jr., with its Legacy of Leadership Award, celebrating transformational leaders who like Dr. Wright, have empowered and inspired communities of faith locally and around the world.

David H. Crawford, President of McCormick Theological Seminary said, “McCormick Theological Seminary is grateful for the decades-long relationship we have had with Dr. Wright. Dr. Wright has done so much, for so many, including McCormick. We are deeply thankful Dr. Wright accepted our invitation to be our 2019 Commencement speaker. Dr. Wright’s life, prophetic ministry and deep commitment to theological education have empowered, guided and shaped generations of leaders for the church and the world.”

“After my time as a member and on the staff at TUCC, experiencing Dr. Wright as his Doctor of Ministry student helped me to go deeper into my own growth as a pastor and person of faith. The fact that he will be the Commencement speaker as I graduate with my degree is particularly meaningful,” said the Rev. Attorney Aaron McLeod, Doctor of Ministry student in the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Scholar cohort, responding with enthusiasm to the news.

The Rev. Dr. Stacey Edwards-Dunn was an architect of the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Doctor of Ministry program and lead its development and implementation. She shared, “I’m grateful that Dr. Wright will honor the students graduating from the program this year by accepting McCormick’s invitation to be the 2019 commencement speaker. This program has been a blessing and his leadership has made it beyond special, not only for the students but for those of us on the teaching team."

“Dr. Wright has inspired and nurtured countless church and community leaders through his founding and leadership of the Minister in Training program [at TUCC]. I am proud and grateful to have been part of Dr. Wright’s visionary program, and thankful he has accepted our invitation to speak this year at Commencement. He is a global theologian, thought-leader, educator, mentor and friend to me and to McCormick,” affirms the Rev. Dr. Stephanie M. Crumpton, Associate Professor of Practical Theology.

McCormick’s 2019 Commencement ceremony is Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. and will be held at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, address. For more information please see the commencement schedule.

About the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.

Rev. Dr. Wright is globally known for his leading-edge efforts as a pastoral theologian and as a reformist. Dr. Wright has published four books and numerous articles. Dr. Wright also lectures across the country addressing the religious challenges the Black church faces and created and launched many ministries.

Dr. Wright served in the Marine Corps as well as the United States Navy. He earned bachelors and master’s degrees from Howard University after his time in the military. He earned another master’s degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School before earning a doctorate from the United Theological Seminary studying under his mentor, Dr. Samuel DeWitt Proctor. In addition to his four earned degrees, Dr. Wright has been the recipient of eight honorary doctorates.

Before retiring in 2008, Dr. Wright pastored Trinity United Church of Christ for 36 years. Demonstrating his understanding of and commitment to Trinity's motto, “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian,” Trinity (TUCC) membership grew exponentially under Dr. Wright’s leadership from less than 100 to over 6,000 members.