Vince Bantu Named Assistant Professor of Church History and Black Church Studies
The School of Theology is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Vince Bantu as assistant professor of church history and Black church studies. Dr. Bantu will teach primarily on Fuller’s Houston campus, where he will also serve as a liaison to the William E. Pannell Center for African American Church Studies and network with African American churches, pastors, and students.
Bantu has taught in various capacities at a number of colleges and institutions, including Nyack College, New York Theological Seminary, North Park Theological Seminary, the Center for Early African Christianity, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Covenant Theological Seminary. Additionally, Dr. Bantu has extensive pastoral experience in African American, Asian American, and Hispanic churches.
“Dr. Vince Bantu is a welcome addition to the Fuller faculty generally and to the William E. Pannell Center for African American Church Studies more specifically,” said Clifton Clarke, assistant provost for the William E. Pannell Center for African American Church Studies. “As a historian of North African Christianity, with interests in Black church studies, Dr. Bantu will strengthen our commitment to provide a well-rounded and inclusive learning experience for our students.”
“Dr. Bantu brings to Fuller a great combination of street credibility and scholarly acumen,” said President Mark Labberton. “He loves Jesus, the church, and the world. He has a lot to teach us all. We are excited to have him join our faculty and be part of our whole community.”
Noting the intersection of his calling and the seminary’s vision for the Pannell Center, Bantu recounts his own call to ministry and to theological education this way:
“I received the Lord’s call to ministry as a teenager and immediately felt drawn to theological education that is rooted in service to the church. During my theological education, a specific passion grew in me for serving under-represented segments of the body of Christ in theological academia, both in terms of demographics and curricular content. For this reason, my scholarship focusing on ancient African Christianity with an eye toward contemporary issues of identity for Christians of African descent has been an exciting way to engage my call.”
Bantu holds a BA from Wheaton College, an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a ThM from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a PhD in Semitic and Egyptian Languages from The Catholic University of America. Bantu specializes in the history of African Christianity.
Bantu’s dissertation married his interests in African Christianity and the role of ethnicity in identity development. Springing from his research interests and his extensive involvement in multicultural urban communities, Bantu’s ongoing teaching and research interests include racial reconciliation, non-Western Christianity, apologetics, community development, interfaith dialogue, and theological education in under-resourced communities.
Marianne Meye Thompson, dean of the School of Theology, commented, “We are thrilled to have Vince join our community. We anticipate that Vince’s considerable gifts of speaking and community organizing, when linked with his passion for the gospel, his scholarly expertise in African Christianity, and his missiological concerns, will have a positive and fruitful impact on Fuller and its mission in the coming years.”
Bantu is the author of numerous articles on global Christianity, including studies of Syriac and Nubian Christianity, apologetics, justice, evangelism, and African American theology. He is currently working on two projects: Gospel Theology: A Constructive Theology and Critical Reflection on African-American Christianity and No Further Burden: Exploring the Multiethnic Roots of Christianity.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Dr. Vince Bantu to Fuller Texas,” said Matthew Kaemingk, associate dean of Fuller Texas. “The rapidly globalizing city of Houston is the most diverse city in America. Dr. Bantu’s extensive research and experience in global missiology and multicultural ministry is going to be a real asset not only to our students but to our local churches as well. Moreover, Dr. Bantu’s unique training in early African church history and theology of the African American church is going to greatly enrich our academic community for years to come.”
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Vince Bantu to his new role at Fuller Seminary.