Smith-King ProgramIn partnership with J. Alfred Smith, Sr. and The King Institute at Stanford University
THE END GAME IS ALL-INCLUSIVE PEACE AND JUSTICE
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute (The King Institute) has the singular distinction of Coretta Scott King’s permission to study, catalogue and disseminate the public and private papers of Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Institute was founded in 1985 when Coretta Scott King asked Stanford historian Clayborne Carson to archive and edit her husband’s letters, sermons, speeches, and other materials. The objective of the J. Alfred Smith, Sr. Fellowship is to analyze and build on this work.
The Center for Innovation in Ministry at SFTS will augment and complement the King Institute’s programs in three important ways:
- We are creating a scholarly position in honor of J. Alfred Smith, Sr. called the Smith-King Research Fellow,
- We are developing community projects based on collaboration and creativity to solve social challenges,
- We are offering Stanford University’s online curriculum which promotes the development of global vision and inner life that inspired and sustained Dr. King in his ministry.
J. ALFRED SMITH, SR. RESEARCH FELLOW
The Center for Innovation in Ministry at SFTS is creating a scholarly position for an SFTS graduate student to be jointly affiliated with the King Institute at Stanford. The work of the Smith-King Fellow will be specifically focused on Martin Luther King, Jr. as a preacher rather than a civil rights leader.
The Smith-King Scholar will deliver lectures at Stanford, SFTS and in communities struggling with the same issues of social and economic justice that engaged Dr. King and Dr. Smith.
STANFORD UNIVERSITY ONLINE CURRICULUM
American Prophet: The Inner Life and Global Vision
of Martin Luther King, Jr.
American Prophet is a course about the inner life and thoughts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many history books tell us that King was a civil rights leader who advocated for peaceful protest and made inspirational speeches. But what was he really thinking and feeling during the various campaigns in which he participated? How did he even become a civil rights leader in the first place? Was he really as confident about his methods as we think?
ABOUT REV. DR. J. ALFRED SMITH, SR.Rev. Dr. J. Alfred Smith, Sr. is the celebrated Pastor Emeritus of the historic Allen Temple Baptist Church (ATBC) in Oakland, California which he led for 40 years. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and Master’s of Theology degree from the American Baptist Seminary of the West.
According to the New York Public Library, Reverend Smith gained recognition in the San Francisco Bay Area through his pastoral duties at ATBC and activities in the local community. He administered over 25 community and family-oriented programs and services at ATBC, the congregation of which multiplied from less than 1000 members in 1970 to over 4,000 in 1989. In addition, he was the founding president of the Bay Area Black United Fund in the 1970s, served on a variety of Oakland civic bodies and mayoral committees, and organized Bay Area community activities. He provided leadership in revitalizing the minority business community, reducing drug traffic, promoting youth employment, improving educational opportunities, extending civil rights, expanding health care, and generally enhancing communication across racial, social, and religious lines.
In addition, he pursued various courses of study that strengthened his position as pastor, such as a course in the Spanish language and Latino and Spanish literature and culture in Cuernavaca, which he took as a result of an assignment to work with Latinos. This experience led him to develop a sensitivity to Latinos, which served him well as pastor of ATBC where Latinos make up a significant segment of the congregation.
Dr. Smith Sr. currently serves as “Distinguished Professor of Christian Ministry and Preaching” at the American Baptist Seminary of the West and the Graduate Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California. He is also currently a Visiting Professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, as well as Scholar in Residence at the Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina.
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