Grant S. Shockley, 1976-1979

Dr. Grant S. Shockley

Portrait of Dr. Grant S. Shockley, circa 1955.



Dr. Grant Shockley was the third president of the ITC. He was known as the preeminent African American religious educator of the twentieth century. An ordained United Methodist elder, Dr. Shockley was Professor of Christian Education at the Divinity School of Duke University from 1983 to 1989. Dr. Shockley was president of the Interdenominational Theological Center from 1975 to 1979, and President of Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas from 1979 to 1983. Dr. Shockley’s work as a Christian educator was lived out as a pastor, professor, seminary president, author, husband and father.  His work emphasized the necessity of Black Liberation Theology to be taught to laity in the local church. Dr. Shockley believed and lived out the notion that theological reflection and critical thinking were not exclusively for the church pastor. He believed and taught that knowledge of the Bible and creative thought about God must belong to the people. An excellent resource concerning the life and work of Grant Shockley is Black Religious Experience: Conversations on Double Consciousness and the Work of Grant Shockley by Shockley, Charles R. Foster and Fred Smith.