Reverend Dr. Renita J. Weems is a biblical scholar, a writer, an ordained minister, and a public intellectual whose scholarly insights into modern faith, biblical texts, and the role of spirituality in everyday lives make her a highly sought-after writer and speaker. She has numerous books, commentaries and articles on the Bible and prophetic religion to her credit. Among these are “Just A Sister Away” (1987 & 2005); “I Asked for Intimacy” (1993); “Battered Love: Marriage, Sex, and Violence in the Prophets (1995); “Showing Mary: How Women Can Share Prayers, Wisdom, and the Blessings of God” (2003); “What Matters Most: Ten Passionate Lessons from the Song of Solomon” (2004); “Song of Songs: A Commentary,” Interpreter’s Bible Series, Vol. 5 (Abingdon, 1997). Her 1999 book, “Listening for God: A Minister’s Journey Through Silence and Doubt” (Simon & Schuster), won the Religious Communicators’ Council’s prestigious 1999 Wilbur Award for “excellence in communicating spiritual values to the secular media.”
Ordained an elder in the AME Church since 1984, Dr. Weems is a former member of the faculty of Vanderbilt University Divinity School (1987-03), where she was the first African American woman to be tenured. She is a former William & Camille Cosby Visiting Professor of Spelman College (2003-05). Dr. Weems is the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Old Testament (Princeton Theological Seminary, 1989). She received her M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary (1983) and B.A. from Wellesley College (1976). She was the first African American woman to deliver the prestigious Lyman Beecher Lecture at Yale University (2008). Dr. Weems is featured in “Black Stars: African American Religious Leaders” (2008), a collection of biographies of some of the most important Black Religious Leaders over the last 200 hundred years, including such impressive figures as Adam Clayton Powell, Elijah Muhammad, Sojourner Truth, Howard Thurman, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.