The Historically Black Theological Institutions (HBTIs)

by Kevin Lamár Peterman

Training graduate and professional students for religious ministry is a hallmark of American higher education. Today’s MSI Line Up highlights seminaries and divinity schools that make up the nation’s 6 historically black theological institutions. Historically Black Theological Institutions (HBTIs) are committed to a unique mission that is linked to educating students of African descent who will serve marginalized communities and congregations. For more than a century, these institutions have given students an opportunity to develop a comprehensive theology of liberation while training them in the areas of systematic theology, practical theology, history, world religions, and biblical studies. HBTI alumni include religious leaders such as Vashti Mckenzie, Otis Moss Jr., Charles Blake, Marcus Cosby, John W. Kinney and Gina Stewart. These institutions remain critical to the future of preparing men and women who will become effective leaders in the church, the academy, the non-profit sector and the public-square.

1) Howard University School of Divinity—Washington, D.C.


Founded in 1870 as the School of Religion, the Howard University School of Divinity (HUSD) is one of the oldest historically black theological institutions in the United States. Howard’s divinity school is committed to teaching and spiritual formation while also producing research pertaining to theology and ecclesiastical studies throughout the African diaspora. The school received full accreditation under the leadership of Dean Benjamin Elijah Mays and today offers academic programs that include the Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Arts (M.A.), and Doctor of Ministry  (D.Min.) degrees. An envisioned PH.D. program has also been recently announced. In 2017, HUSD announced the appointment of Yolanda Pierce, Ph.D as dean. Pierce is the first woman to hold this position in the divinity school’s history. Learn more about the Howard University School of Divinity at

2) The Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia University—Richmond, VA


The Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology (STVU) is located in Richmond, Virginia on the campus of Virginia Union University. The origins of the school date back to 1865 when the Richmond Theological Institute which later became the Virginia Union School of Religion was founded. STVU is named after the late Reverend Samuel DeWitt Proctor, PH.D, former president of Virginia Union University and pastor of New York City’s historic Abyssinian Baptist Church. Degrees offered at STVU include the Master of Arts in Christian Education, the Master of Divinity and the Doctor of Ministry. A dual degree in conjunction with the Virginia Commonwealth University is also offered in two areas: Master of Divinity and Master of Social Work and Master of Divinity and Master of Science in Patient Counseling. The institution also houses the Barry Young Center for Ministry Formation, the Center for African American Pentecostalism & Leadership Development, the Center For Lifelong Learning and Leadership, the Johnson A. Edosomwan Institute for Evangelism & Global Christianity, Centering Women and the Green Seminary Initiative ect. Today the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology boast an enrollment of nearly 400 students and is nationally known for producing gifted preachers, scholars and civic leaders. The school is currently under the leadership Dr. Corey D. B. Walker who was appointed dean earlier this year.  Learn mor about the Virginia Union Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at

3) Shaw University Divinity School—Raleigh, NC



Shaw University Divinity School is an accredited theological institution located in Raleigh, NC. The school currently offers the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Christian Education and a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degrees. The divinity school is deeply rooted in the Black Baptist religious tradition and is known for primarily producing scholars and ecumenical leaders for the local church. Most recently an initiave entitled, “Shaw Day” was establish to highlight and strengthen the partnership between the divinity school and neighboring congregations. The institution is currently led by Dean Johnny Hill, Ph.D. Learn more about Shaw University Divinity School at

4) The Interdenominational Theological Center—Atlanta, GAdownload.png

The Interdenominational Theological Center, commonly referred to as ITC is a unique theological institution that was founded as a graduate professional school in 1958. The academic center is comprised of the Morehouse School of Religion, Gammon Theological Seminary, Turner Theological Seminary, Phillips School of Theology, the Charles Harrison Mason Theological Seminary and the Richardson Fellowship. Together, these individual schools of theology form a cluster that provides students with an enriching experience across denominations. Students at ITC are given the opportunity to earn the Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Arts in Christian Education (M.A.C.E.), Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) or the Doctor of Theology in Pastoral Care (Th.D) degrees. An online Master of Divinity (M.Div.) is also offered. Each year a prestigious lecture series named in honor of the late Dr. Gardner Calvin Taylor, the Dean of Black preaching is held on the campus of ITC. The ecumenical institution has a long tradition of producing academicians and leaders for the church and the global community. Learn more about the Interdenominational Theological Center at

5) Hood Theological Seminary—Salisbury, NC


Named in honor of Bishop James Walker Hood, Hood Theological Seminary was established in 1879 as the Zion Wesley Institute. The institute later grew to become Livingstone College which is located in Salisbury, NC. In 2001, Hood Theological Seminary became independent of the college and reorganized as a free-standing theological institution. Today, the seminary has a North Carolina campus and a site in Greenville, AL. The seminary is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and offers the following degrees; Master of Divinity (M.Div), Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.T.S.), and the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.). The Center for Chaplaincy is also under the auspices of Hood Theological Seminary. Learn more about Hood Theological Seminary at

6) Payne Theological Seminary—Wilberforce, OH

Payne Theological Seminary was founded by the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church under the auspices of Wilberforce University in 1891. Named in honor of Bishop Daniel  AlexanderPayne, an advocate of higher education, the institution was formed to prepare leaders for ministry in the tradition of liberation, reconciliation, and  social justice. Payne later became a free-standing seminary in 1894 and was first accredited in 1956. The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) and the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degrees are offered with online course options. The institution currently has nearly 150 students enrolled and more than 20 members of the faculty.  Learn more about Payne Theological Seminar at



7 Health and Wellness Programs at HBCUs

by Aisha Bowen

Following the infamous “What the Health” Documentary, healthy eating has become a popular movement across the United States. Individuals from all backgrounds are becoming more conscious about their diet and its affects on their overall health. This movement is especially important for African Americans, as they have some of the highest rates of heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol, and diabetes in the country ( Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up highlights 7 Historically Black Colleges and Universities with health and wellness programs to help combat health issues in African American communities.

1) Spelman College (HBCU)—Atlanta, GA


Spelman College was recently featured in the New York Times for their groundbreaking Wellness Center opening. The Wellness Center is an initiative started by President Tatum and her leadership team to “improve and enhance personal and community health by embracing wellness through mind body and spirit” ( The Wellness Center offers  aquatics, exercise classes, meditation courses, sound therapy, yoga, and a plethora of other services. To learn more about Spelman College’s innovative approach to improving health and wellness on their campus, click here.

2) Morgan State University (HBCU)—Baltimore, MD

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Morgan State University’s wellness program entitled Morgan Mile was created to engage Baltimore communities within one mile of Morgan State. One of the program’s main goals is to improve the health of community members.

3) Fayetteville State University (HBCU)—Fayetteville, NC

fayettevillestateuFayetteville State University’s Bronco Wellness, or B-Well, program was created to promote healthy lifestyle practices and improve personal health and wellness amongst the FSU community. B-Well’s initiatives focuses on 8 tiers of “wellness” including: physical, emotional, financial, occupational, spiritual, intellectual, environmental, and and social wellness. To learn more about specific B-Well programming, click here.

4) Tennessee State University (HBCU)—Nashville, TN


Tennessee State University created a health empowerment summer camp for young people in the  greater Nashville community. Youth Active and Media Savy (YAMS) is a 2-week long summer program with the purpose of developing young people’s skills in the following areas: “critical thinking, healthful decision making, healthy meal and snack preparation, and physical activities” ( YAM’s goal is to “equip African American youth with the knowledge and awareness to make better health and wellness choices” (

5) Fort Valley State University (HBCU)—Fort Valley, GA


Fort_Valley_State_UniversityFort Valley State University’s College of Agriculture, Family Science, and Technology promotes health and wellness through their “Life on the Farm” mobile exhibition. This mobile exhibit travels around Georgia educating youth throughout the state about where food originates, best farming practices, and agricultural related careers. Students not only learn about healthy ways to grow and purchase food, but also learn humane treatment of animals. To learn about the great work of “Life on the Farm” and to support their efforts, click here.

6) Tuskegee University (HBCU)—Tuskegee, AL



Tuskegee University offers a superb community program entitled “The Expanded Foods and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)” with support for both youth and adults. The adult program in particular teaches adults skills in “food production, preparation, storage, safety, and sanitation, as well as how to manage food budgets and related resources from local food assistance agencies and organizations better” (

7)  University of the District of Columbia (HBCU)—Washington, D.C. 



The University of the District of Columbia’s created a dynamic university wide health and wellness initiative called Get Up and Move! The program is a collaborative partnership between multiple campus offices including UDC Athletics,  UDC Counseling Centers, Center for Nutrition Diet and Health, UDC’s Wellness Center, and many more.  Get Up and Move’s activities include (but are not limited to) “physical activity, disease prevention workshops, health promotion programs and learning about healthy lifestyles in a fun, interactive way” ( Click here to learn more about Get Up and Move’s resources for the university community.

6 Nutrition Programs at MSIs

by Carol Sandoval

October is prime planting season. Some of the most delicious fall crops, including broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, are key ingredients to making kid-friendly, healthy meals. Nationally, there is a day dedicated to increasing focus on healthy eating and physical activity for children. The holiday, Child Health Day, is celebrated annually on the first Monday of October. In observance of today’s holiday, today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up highlights 6 nutrition programs at MSIs!

1) Nutrition and Dietetics:  Fullerton College (AANAPISI/HSI)—Fullerton, CA

Students at Fullerton College are able to attain an Associate’s Degree at Fullerton College and easily transfer to a California State University as a Nutrition and Dietetics major. Coursework for the degree includes instruction in nutrition, foods, psychology, chemistry, and microbiology.

2) Nutrition Science:  Georgia Perimeter College (PBI)—Atlanta, Georgia

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Nutrition Science at Georgia Perimeter College encourages students to analyze nutrition through different contexts. Offered course include Nutrition and Culture, Diabetes Prevention, and Nutrition for Children.

3) Family and Consumer Sciences: Tennessee State University (HBCU)—Nashville, TN

The Family and Consumer Sciences major at Tennessee State University has many subgroups. One of of the subgroups is Foods and Nutrition. Through this program, TSU hopes to educate the next generation of nutrition professionals working in the healthcare facilities, community health settings, and commercial establishments.

4) Nutrition, Dietetics, & Food Management: Murray State College (NASNTI)Tishomingo, OK

With the mission of preparing students as future food and nutrition professionals, Murray State College offers course in business of foods and food service management and dietetics. At Murray, student are given the opportunity to graduate as Registered Dietitians (RD).

5) Nutrition and Dietetics: Oakwood University (HBCU)Huntsville, AL



This major at Oakwood University not only prepares students in understanding the socio-cultural, psychological, economic and political factors influencing food choice but it also gives students the opportunity to participate in health seminars and related community volunteer work.

6) Health Education: Kentucky State University (HBCU)Frankfort, KY

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After the completion of 45 credit hours, students are eligible to apply for this unique program. As apart of the School of Education at Kentucky State, the program trains students to lead a curriculum on health education.

Art Studies at 7 Minority Serving Institutions

by Carol Sandoval

Golden harvest-fields, amber sunlight, a full spectrum of warm hues. Beauty surrounds us on a regular autumn day. The ambience is peaceful and artistic. As a tribute to the starting fall season, today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up features seven Minority Serving Institutions cultivating today’s budding artists.

1) California College of the Arts (AANAPISI)—Oakland, CA

Led by incredible faculty and mentors, students at California College of the Arts have the option of choosing amongst twenty-two concentrations. From film, to interior design, to sculpture, there is a major for every artist out there!

2) Delaware State University (HBCU)—Dover, DE

Art Education, a major offered at Delaware State University, trains students to teach art at the K-12 level. The major combines studio art and professional preparation. During their last year, seniors in the major are required to have real-world experience in the classroom as Teaching Assistants at local schools.

3) Laguna College of Art and Design (AANAPISI)—Laguna Beach, CA

As new phone apps become more prominent in today’s society, Game Design, one of twelve majors offered at Laguna College of Art and Design, has become a popular choice among many. Students learn to combine game design, marketing, and business acumen.

4) Hampton University (HBCU)—Hampton, VA

At Hampton University, students are presented with many opportunities to pursue a career in the arts. Art students are encouraged to showcase their own art in local galleries and exhibits while Theater students are invited to attend conferences by the National Association for Dramatics and Speech Arts.

5) Otis College of Art and Design (AANAPISI)—Los Angeles, CA

Located in the West Coast Fashion Capital, Otis College of Art and Design capitalizes on its resource-rich environment. Doubling as a think-tank for industry innovation, Otis collaborates with many employers to provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences for their students. Some majors include Fashion Design, Communication and Architecture.

6) Escuela de Artes Plasticas de Puerto Rico (HSI)—San Juan, PR

Offering majors in graphic design, digital design, sculpture, and industrial design, Escuela de Artes Plasticas in Puerto Rico also hosts professional development workshops for students pursuing a career in the arts.

7) Claflin University (HBCU)—Orangeburg, SC


With majors in Art Education, Digital Design or Studio Art, Claflin University encourage students to explore their artistic horizons by visiting regional museums and studying abroad.

4 MSI Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrations

by Aisha Bowen

In the US, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th through October 15th. Throughout the month, multiple events are held on university campuses to celebrate the rich history of Hispanic individuals who are both affiliated with the institutions and in the community. Today’s Monday Morning Line Up highlights 4 MSI’s with unique Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations.

1) University of Houston (AANAPISI)—Houston, Texas




The University of Houston holds a series of events throughout the month that include art exhibits, political activism discussions, cultural expression dialogues, and celebrations. The University’s Urban Experience program recently began hosting an Annual Celebración “paying tribute to the generations of Latino/as who have influenced and enriched our nation and society.” Learn more about UH’s Hispanic Heritage Month events here.

2) University of the Pacific (AANAPISI)—San Francisco, CA


University of the Pacific’s Hispanic Heritage month celebrations include speakers, musical performances, ballets, Men’s and Women’s soccer games, festivals and much more! Each of the events are unique ways for the University community to celebrate Latino heritage and culture. Learn more about University of Pacific Latinx Heritage Month Celebrations here.

3) Texas A&M University Corpus Christi (HSI)—Corpus Christi, TX



Texas A&M University Corpus Christi’s Hispanic Heritage month is supported by multiple university and community programs. Some of those organizations include the Islander Cultural Alliance, Department of Humanities Spanish Program, Mexican American Studies Program, The Minority Advance Project of Texas, local libraries, and the Student Nurses Association. These groups organize events such as movie screenings, a Hispanic film series, poetry readings, open house celebrations, and educational advancement dialogues. Learn more these events here.

4) Nova Southeastern University (HSI)—Fort Lauderdale, FL


Nova SouthEastern University


NSU’s Hispanic Heritage month celebrates all Hispanic ethnicities with specific events related to Argentinian, Venezuelan, and Cuban culture. There is a film festival, book fiesta (celebrating Hispanic early literacy books), virtual Cuban architecture tour, musical performances, and even a Hispanic Community  Health Care luncheon. Learn more about the events here.

5 Environmental Studies Programs at MSIs

by Aisha Bowen

Recent horrific natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey in Texas and the mudslides in Sierra Leone, are poignant reminders about environmental dangers. With these occurrences as well global warming on rise, it is important now, more than ever, to study the environment and do our part to preserve our precious earth. Today’s Monday Morning Line Up highlights 5 MSIs that are training students for this task through environmental studies programs.

 1. University of Maryland Eastern Shore (HBCU)—Princess Anne, MD

UMD Eastern Shore

The University of Maryland Eastern shore offers degrees in branches of Environmental Science at both the Bachelors and Masters level. According to the University website, undergraduates can earn a four-year Baccalaureate of Science degree in either the Environmental Chemistry or the Marine Science option. The post-graduate level program is called the “Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Science (MEES).” MEES offers masters and doctoral degrees in four Foundations including Environment & Society, Earth & Ocean Science, Ecological Systems, and Environmental Molecular Science & Technology.

Read more about the program here

2. University of Alaska Anchorage (NASNTI)—Anchorage, AK


The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Alaska Anchorage offers a Bachelors of Science in Environment and Society. This degree in prepares students for careers in “environmental advocacy, policy setting and analysis, education, urban and resource planning, and graduate studies in a variety of disciplines.” 

Read more about the program here

3. University of California, Santa Barbara (HSI)—Santa Barbara, CA


UC Santa Barbara

U.S. News ranked UC Santa Barbara as #12 best global University for Environment/Ecology (see rankings here). Both the B.A. and B.S. in Environmental Studies programs offered focus on the relationships between the humanities, social sciences, and natural science disciplines.

Read more about the program here

4. University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (AANAPISI/AANH)—Honolulu, HI

UH Manoa

The Environmental Studies program at UH Mānoa is a interdisciplinary program created by the Environmental Center. Students who wish to pursue a BA in Environmental Studies can focus their courses on either the “social or natural/physical sciences.”  Students are prepared for jobs such as “environmental resource managers, environmental specialists, hazardous waste managers.”

Read more about the program here

5. Southern University and A&M College (HBCU)—Baton Rouge, LA



Southern A&M’s Environmental Studies programs fall under Biological Sciences department. Interestingly, the University established the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies (CEES). with the purpose of promoting interdisciplinary research and coordinating environmental energy curricula development activities. The CEES  has elevated the University as a leading HBCU in responding to the federal government’s contracting needs in this field.

Read more about the program here.

Know of other Environmental Studies at MSIs? Share them in the comments below!

7 Partnerships Between Federal Government Agencies and MSIs

by Carmen Ye

As our government expands its workforce diversity, many agencies have partnered with MSIs to bring more talent into the fold. These partnerships allow government agencies to recruit directly from MSIs and expand the pipeline for those looking to enter civil service. Some opportunities are internships, while others can lead to direct hire positions. In today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up, we highlight 7 government agencies and departments that have partnerships with MSIs.

1) Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management

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The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities has created a pipeline program with the Bureau for Land Management. In 2016, HACU placed 32 interns with the BLM through their Direct Hire Authority Resource Assistant Internship Program. This contract will allow BLM to use direct hire authority to hire interns into civil service upon completion of the 11-week internship and graduation of their degree program.

2) Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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The NOAA Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions has 4 components: Cooperative Science Centers that are each led by an MSI; Undergraduate
Scholarship Program that increases the number of students who attend MSIs and graduate with degrees in fields integral to NOAA’s mission; Graduate Research and Training Scholarship Program to provide opportunities for graduate students with MSIs; and NOAA Experiential Research Training Opportunities to increase engagement between MSIs and NOAA.

Read more about it here.

3) Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration

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The MSI internship program at FAA provides students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, students attending a college or university with a high percentage of Asian American and Pacific Islanders, Tribal Colleges and Universities and Students with Disabilities the opportunity to participate in internship opportunities throughout the United States. The internship includes students from academic backgrounds such as Air Traffic Control, Aviation Management, Business Administration, Computer Science, and Economics. Compensation includes a weekly stipend, plus the cost of travel, orientations, workshops, field trips, mentoring, and coaching.

Read more about it here.

4) Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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The objectives of the NRC partnership with MSIs include, but are not limited to, research and development opportunities, on-the- job training, mentoring, year-round internships within NRC affiliated labs, and increasing recruitment and retention at MSIs for students
interested in career goals related to NRC’s mission. NRC is also able to provide more expansive support services to strengthen the capacity of MSIs to educate and train students; and to conduct research in the field of science, engineering, law, information technology, and other fields.

Read more about it here.

5) Department of Homeland Security

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The MSI program at DHS has 3 program initiatives: Summer
Research Team program to engage early career faculty,
undergraduate, and graduate students in research at DHS Centers of
Excellence (COE); Scientific Leadership Award Program to develop
homeland security science and engineering research and education
programs at MSIs; and Faculty Exchange Program for faculty from
MSI partners to reside at a COE and collaborate on research.

Read more about it here.

6) Coast Guard

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As part of the Coast Guard’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, it has partnered with MSIs to build a diverse workforce that engages Coast Guard members at all levels. A key component is the College Student Pre-Commission Initiative, which helps students pay for college tuition and includes pay and benefits. Current partnerships include Florida International University, Virginia State University, Hampton University, and Xavier University.

Read more about it here.

7) U.S. Agency for International Development

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The USAID MSI Program’s mission is to facilitate an environment
where U.S. MSIs become USAID partners by successfully competing
for USAID awards and by engaging in U.S. foreign assistance
activities. The USAID MSI Program provides support to minority-
serving U.S. higher education institutions interested in USAID
programs and activities and promotes the interests, capabilities, and
experience of MSIs within USAID.

Read more about it here.


Know of more partnerships between MSIs and Federal Government Agencies? Share them in the comments below!