Rev. Frank A. Thomas, PhD., currently serves as the Director of the PhD Program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric and as the Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. For many years, Dr. Thomas has also taught preaching to Doctoral and Master’s level students at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois, Memphis Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee, and United Theological Seminary of Dayton, Ohio. He is the CEO of Hope for Life International, Inc., which formerly published The African American Pulpit. Thomas also serves as a member of the International Board of Societas Homiletica, an international society of teachers of preaching.
Thomas is the author of The God of the Dangerous Sermon (Fall, 2021); Surviving a Dangerous Sermon (2020); How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon (2018); and Introduction to the Practice of African American Preaching (2016), all released by Abingdon Press. He also co-edited Preaching with Sacred Fire: An Anthology of African American Sermons 1750 to the Present with Martha Simmons, published by W. W. Norton & Company in 2010. This critically acclaimed book offers a rare view of the unheralded role of the African American preacher in American history. A revised and updated version of They Like to Never Quit Praisin’ God: The Role of Celebration in Preaching was released in August 2013. To complement this classic preaching book, in 2014 Dr. Thomas published Preaching as Celebration Digital Lecture Series and Workbook. Thomas is also the author of several other books on subjects from matters of prayer to spiritual maturity.
Rev. Thomas served with distinction as the senior pastor for two remarkable congregations: New Faith Baptist Church of Matteson, Illinois, and Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church of Memphis, Tennessee, for eighteen years and thirteen years, respectively.
Thomas holds a PhD in Communications (Rhetoric) from the University of Memphis, a Doctor of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, Doctor of Ministry degrees from Chicago Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary, and a Master of Arts in African-Caribbean Studies from Northeastern Illinois University.
Thomas and his wife Joyce Scott Thomas have two adult children, Anthony William and Rachel Dickerson (Milton), and one granddaughter, August Elise Dickerson.
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.