​            ​​Copyright Seymour Institute ©2017

Seymour Institute
​Mobilizing the Black Church for Policy Initiatives



Christopher O. Tollefsen is Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina. His areas of specialization include moral philosophy and practical ethics. Currently he is doing work in natural law ethics, liberal perfectionism, medical ethics, the ethics and politics of inquiry, philosophical embryology, the nature of human action, end of life issues, and ethics and education. He has published extensively in academic journals on topics of bioethics, meta-ethics, and the New Natural Law Theory. A graduate of Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, he holds a doctorate in philosophy from Emory University.

Kenneth D. Johnson is the Chief Operating Officer at Oakland Community Organizations in California, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Seymour Institute. Ken Johnson grew up in Silicon Valley and graduated from Harvard University, where he first got involved with organizing on campus and in inner-city Boston. Ken has extensive management and nonprofit experience, having worked for State Farm, The Ella J. Baker House and the city of Sunnyvale.

David D. Daniels III is the Henry Winters Luce Professor of World Christianity at McCormick Theological Seminary. Daniels has been a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society for the Study of Black Religion  and the Society for Pentecostal Studies. He is a member of the steering committee of the Evangelical Theology Group and Afro-American History Group of the American Academy of Religion. Daniels received the Bachelor of Arts from Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine majoring in religion and economics. In 1979 he obtained the Master of Divinity from Yale University. During his years at Yale, he was a Benjamin E. Mays Fellow for the Fund for Theological Education. David earned a PhD in Church History from Union Theological Seminary in New York in May, 1992. From 1979 to 1983 he was instructor of Religion at the Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH. Daniels has been an ordained minister in the Church of God in Christ since 1980.

Jacqueline C. Rivers, the Executive Director of the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies, has presented at the Vatican colloquium Humanum  in November 2014. She appeared recently on WBUR discussing police violence against black men. Her latest publication is a chapter in the volume The Cultural Matrix, written with Orlando Patterson of Harvard University. Jacqueline Rivers holds a PhD from Harvard University where she was a Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy of the J. F. Kennedy School of Government and a Graduate Research Fellow of the National Science Foundation. She graduated from Harvard Radcliffe College (B.A. summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa and M.A., both in Psychology). Jacqueline Rivers was born and raised in Jamaica and now lives in Dorchester with her husband, Reverend Eugene F. Rivers, III.

Cheryl J. Sanders is professor of Christian Ethics at the Howard University School of Divinity where she teaches courses in Christian ethics, pastoral ethics and African American spirituality. Her key areas of research and writing are African American religious studies, bioethics, pastoral leadership and womanist studies. Dr. Sanders has been Senior Pastor of the Third Street Church of God in Washington, D.C. since 1997.  She has ministered nationally and internationally for more than 30 years as a preacher for church services, camp meetings, conventions, conferences and revivals. In 2005, she was honored as one of the elders in the fall issue of The African American Pulpit: Those Preaching Women. Dr. Sanders has lectured at colleges, universities and seminaries all over the United States, including the 2005 C. Eric Lincoln Lectureship at Clark Atlanta University and the Staley Distinguished Christian Scholar Lectureship. She has held visiting professorships at Harvard Divinity School and High Point University, and taught as an exchange professor at Wesley Theological Seminary and the Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg. She is an author of more than 100 articles and several books, including Ministry at the Margins (1997); Saints in Exile: The Holiness-Pentecostal Experience in African American Religion and Culture (1996); andEmpowerment Ethics for a Liberated People (1995).  She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Swarthmore College and two graduate degrees from Harvard Divinity School: Master of Divinity, cum laude and Doctor of Theology in the field of applied theology. She is married to Dr. Alan Carswell, and is the mother of two children, Allison and Garrett.

Jamaica West has branded herself using wit, humor, and emotion to uniquely speak on controversial topics. With inspirations such as Vladamir Nabokov, Nina Simone, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Joan of Arc, Jamaica has traveled nationwide wowing audiences with her delivery style. She has graced the stages of P4CM, Legacy Conference Chicago, and has just finished her second nationwide tour. Ms. West was raised by a single mother in Columbus, Ohio where she received the gospel at the age of 14. She credits her Christian faith as the anchor that has held her through bouts of depression. She feels a deep responsibility to create work that reflects the times and focuses especially on the social injustices of the world along with womanhood, faith, and everyday life. Jamaica West now resides in Chicago, Illinois where she attends Legacy Church. She currently works with Shining Light Ministries, teaching the art of spoken word in some of America's toughest jails and has just released a poetry book entitled "coffee black", available on Amazon. 

Justin Giboney is an attorney and political strategist in Atlanta, GA.  He is also the Co-Founder and President of the AND Campaign, which is a coalition of urban Christians who are determined to address the sociopolitical arena with the compassion and conviction of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Mr. Giboney has managed successful campaigns for elected officials in the state and referendums relating to the city's transportation and water infrastructure.  

In 2012 and 2016, Georgia’s 5th congressional district elected him as a delegate for the Democratic National Convention and he served as the co-chair of Obama for America’s Gen44-Atlanta initiative. A former Vanderbilt University football player and law student, Justin now serves on the Urban League of Greater Atlanta Board of Directors.  Additionally, Justin has participated in LEAD Atlanta, Outstanding Atlanta and the Georgia Bar Association’s Leadership Academy.  He's written op-eds for publications such as Christianity Today and Creative Loafing.


Bishop Charles E. Blake, Presiding Bishop,

Church of God In Christ


Summer Seminar: Home
Summer Seminar: Faculty Profiles
Summer Seminar: Readings
Law Seminar: Applications

»    Eugene F. Rivers, III, President, Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies
»    Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, African Methodist Episcopal Church
»    Elder Quentin L. Cook, Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
»    Dr. Jacqueline C. Rivers, Executive Director, Seymour Institute
»    Justin S. Giboney, Executive Director, AND Campaign
»    Apostle James I. Clark, Presiding Apostle, Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ
»    Professor Robert P. George, Princeton UniversityType your paragraph here.

1)Quentin Cook (contact: John Taylor)

2)Robert P. George

3)David Daniels

4) Apostle James I Clark (contact: Van Adams)

5) Frank Reid



8)Tim Schultz

9)Malcolm Rivers

10)Michael Wear

11)Justin Giboney

12)Tim Shah

13)Bill Mumma

14)Bishop Blake

Our Faculty

Staff Profiles 2017