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Corey Walker named interim dean of Wake Forest University School of Divinity

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Corey Walker addresses students in April 2017 when he was Dean of the College at Winston-Salem State University.

Professor Corey Walker has been named the interim dean of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity, the university said Tuesday. Walker will begin his duties Jan. 1.

Walker will continue to serve as a Wake Forest professor of humanities and the director of Wake Forest’s African American studies program, the university said.

“I am deeply honored to serve the School of Divinity and Wake Forest University in this capacity,” Walker said.

“In a challenging moment in our nation and world, the School of Divinity is uniquely positioned to draw on its rich intellectual and spiritual resources to faithfully live out our university motto, Pro Humanitate,” Walker said. “I welcome the opportunity to be a part of this extraordinary community in this righteous endeavor.”

Wake President Susan R. Wente praised Walker.

“Corey Walker is an exceptional leader and scholar with extensive experience in theological education who will carry forward the Divinity School’s mission as interim dean,” Wente said. “I am confident he will provide thoughtful leadership during this time of transition and position us to strategically envision how we build for the future.”

Last Friday, The Rev. Jonathan Lee Walton, the current dean of the School of Divinity, was named the eighth president of Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, N.J.

Walker is an ordained American Baptist clergy person, the university said.

He preaches and teaches in congregations and universities across the nation and has published on African American religion and philosophy, African American history and culture, and religion and American public life.

Walker joined the Wake Forest faculty in 2020 and established the university’s African American studies program. He works in the Wake Forest Department of English and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Program.

Before he arrived at Wake Forest, Walker held faculty and academic leadership positions at several universities.

At Virginia Union University, Walker served as vice president, dean of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology and professor of religion and society, WFU said.

Previously, Walker was the inaugural Hanes professor of the humanities and served as the dean of the college at Winston-Salem State University. Earlier in his career, he served as a faculty member in theology, ethics, and culture in the department of religious studies and in African American studies in the Woodson Institute of African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia.

Walker is the author of “A Noble Fight: African American Freemasonry and the Struggle for Democracy in America.” He and is completing his book, “Disciple of Nonviolence: Wyatt Tee Walker and the Struggle for Democracy in America,” which will be published by the University of Virginia Press.

He has published more than 60 articles, essays, book chapters and reviews appearing in journals and publications. He also co-directed and co-produced the documentary film, “Fifeville,” with artist and filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson.

Walker is a graduate of Norfolk State University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in finance, Wake Forest said.

After a career in the financial services industry, he received a master’s degree in divinity from the Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union University, a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard University, and doctorate in American studies from The College of William & Mary.

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