The Rev. Dr. Dorsey Odell Blake Named 2023 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer

The Rev. Dr. Dorsey Odell Blake Named 2023 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer.

BERKELEY, CA – April 20, 2023 – The Graduate Theological Union (GTU) is pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Dorsey Odell Blake will be recognized as the 2023 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer on November 7, 2023. 

The Rev. Dr. Blake is Faculty Associate, Leadership and Social Transformation, at Pacific School of Religion, a member school of the GTU. He also served for six years as Dean of Faculty and Visiting Professor of Spirituality and Prophetic Justice at Starr King School for the Ministry, a former member school of the GTU.   

The Rev. Dr. Blake was officially installed as Presiding Minister of The Church for The Fellowship of All Peoples in October 1994. He is the recipient of numerous community service awards, and he has extensive field ministry experience with interfaith groups addressing justice and peace issues. Currently, he serves as a member of the coordinating committee for the National Council of Elders. He is also a member of the faculty for the Dale P. Andrews Freedom Seminary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute of the Children’s Defense Fund. 

“This recognition by faculty colleagues is an awesome affirmation and a gift I shall always cherish,” the Rev. Dr. Blake said, upon receiving notification of the award. “I am profoundly honored.” 

The 48th annual Distinguished Faculty Lecture, titled, “Howard Thurman: Seeking, Queering, and Transcending” will include Rev Dr. Blake’s reflections on the ways in which Dr. Howard Thurman transcended the labels often used to describe him: poet, mystic, philosopher, theologian.  

“In a personal conversation with me, he called himself ‘a seeker,’” the Rev. Dr. Blake said. “As a seeker, he queered normative understandings of the institutions and overall systems in which he was involved, leading to alternative ways of being and living.” 

Each November, the GTU faculty honors a distinguished professor who embodies the scholarly standards, teaching excellence, and commitment to ecumenism that define the GTU. Nominations are made by GTU faculty and are then considered by the Council of Deans, which selects the lecturer. 

The lecture will take place live on November 7, 2023, at 5:00PM PT. The event will be hybrid with an in-person audience located in the GTU Dinner Board Room, Flora Lamson Hewlett Library.  

Attendees who would like to attend virtually may register to join via Zoom here. Those who would like to attend in-person should contact Sabrina Kennedy by October 25th by 5:00 pm at skennedy@gtu.eduLearn more about past Distinguished Lecturers, or listen to past lectures here