Ralph Watkins is the Peachtree Associate Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur Georgia. His work focuses on building bridges between young adults and the church in order to develop future leaders for the twenty-first century church. As a scholar, professional photographer, pastor, sought after speaker and workshop leader Dr. Watkins seeks to help the churches live into the new networked world.
With over 20 years of pastoral, teaching, and administrative experience, Watkins is an active teaching scholar with over 250 publications and conference presentations to his credit. He is the author of “The Future of the African American Church” (co-authored with Justin West) (2014), “Hip-Hop Redemption: Finding God in the Rhythm and the Rhyme” (2011), “Leading Your African American Church Through Pastoral Transition” (2010), “From Jay-Z to Jesus: Reaching and Teaching Young Adults in the Black Church” (co-authored with Benjamin Stephens) (2008), “The Gospel Remix: Reaching the Hip Hop Generation” (2007), and “I Ain’t Afraid to Speak My Mind” (2003). He is presently working on his next book with Eerdmans Press entitled “Africana Theology: The Re-Radicalization of Black Theology”.
Dr. Watkins is the host of the television show Conversation with Dr. Ralph Basui Watkins a that discusses issues of faith and social justice. His television show airs on the Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting Network. He is also the producer / director of two full length feature documentaries: “She Is The Pastor” (2012) and “Our Journey to Palestine: A Story of the 43rd Delegation of Interfaith Peace Builders” (2013). He is presently working on his new documentary Jazz as a Metaphor for Ministry.
In recent years, Watkins has received a Governor’s Teaching Fellowship, Lilly Teaching Fellowship, Fulbright Hayes Fellowship for study in Ghana, a Wabash Teaching Fellowship, and various awards and grants to study the African roots of African American theology in Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Ethiopia, Senegal, and Ghana.
Lessons from the Show
Ralph talked to us about the choices he’s made in his life, the path he has followed, and about his livelihood, and he offered us many wonderful lessons that point us towards an authentic, happy and fulfilling life and career including:
- Ralph sees his mission as empowering leaders in the 21st Century and talks about who those leaders are and what this empowerment means;
- Connecting requires conversation, and particularly listening, which is not possible in 140 characters, and which in turn requires listening, messiness, and the embrace of messiness;
- We are living in a creative age in which we can tell stories in ways previously unimaginable, and in which we can also collaborate in amazing ways.
You can contact Ralph by email at WatkinsR@ctsnet.edu or by phone at 626 298 3833 and you can watch another conversation Ralph and I had on his TV show, “Talk It Out: February 8, 2017“.
This is episode # 147