Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible/Homiletics and Worship
Scholar of Theology and the Arts
B.A., Trinity University, 1986,
M.Div. Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 1990,
Ph.D., Baylor University, 2002
The Rev. Valerie Bridgeman comes to LTS after several years of teaching Old Testament, Preaching, and Worship at Memphis Theological Seminary, where she was founding director of the Return Beat Theology & Arts Institute (now named At the River Institute) and its programs. She served as general editor and consultant for the United Methodist Church’s Africana Worship project, which yielded three worship resource books and a collection of scholarly essays on worship. In addition, she is an acclaimed published poet, with several of her poems appearing in a volume on which she shares the dust jacket with Maya Angelou, Risk, Courage, and Women: Contemporary Voices in Prose and Poetry (University of North Texas Press).
Dr. Bridgeman is the founding president and CEO for WomanPreach! Inc., and is a respected Womanist theologian and scholar in preaching, bible, and cultural criticism. She has been a lecturer and conference speaker across the country, most notably as the esteemed C. Gardner Taylor Lecturer for the African American Studies Program at Duke University.
As an interdisciplinary scholar, Dr. Bridgeman is active in three professional guilds, serving in leadership capacity in both the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature as a co-chair of sections. She also is a member of the Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies (SARTS). Valerie was nominated for and inducted into the Society for the Study of Black Religion. In 2010, she was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collegium of Scholars during the Twenty-Fourth Annual Martin Luther King Jr. College of Ministers and Laity at Morehouse College. She was cited for her commitment to the ideals of peace and justice espoused by Dr. King.
Dr. Bridgeman was one of the Associate Editors for the Fortress Press volume, The Africana Bible: Reading Israel’s Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora. She has distinction of being the last co-editor alongside the Rev. Dr. Ella P. Mitchell, in her Those Preaching Women series of sermon collections by women. This volume (A Multicultural Collection) is the only one that has voices beyond African American women preachers. Valerie is the author or editor of numerous volumes, articles and essays on the Hebrew bible, worship, preaching and art.
Dr. Bridgeman is an ordained minister of the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.); she served as an associate pastor or pastor for more than 25 years. While living in Memphis, as a part of her ministry she founded the “Tribe,” a collective of multi-media young artists who use art as a spiritual discipline in service to ending violence among young adults, especially gang members. Dr. Bridgeman is a peace activist and advocate for human rights.
Dr. Bridgeman graduated from Baylor University with a Ph.D. in biblical studies (Hebrew Bible concentration) and secondary studies in ethics. She won the Charles L. King Preaching Excellence Award while a student at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and won the Austin Book Award for 1995 for her collection of poems, In Search of Warriors, Dark and Strong, and Other Poems.
Introduction to Christian Worship
Introduction to Preaching
Electives in Worship
Electives in Preaching
Electives in Hebrew Bible/Interpretation
Interdisciplinary interests at the intersection of biblical interpretation, preaching, and art (especially literary and visual arts). Hermeneutics and meanings in understanding Hebrew biblical texts; Womanist, African American, cultural criticism and postcolonial interpretations of texts; Hermeneutics and rhetoric for preaching; art criticism and biblical hermeneutics; Ritual and performance in Christian worship and life; the use of Hebrew Bible prophetic texts in nineteenth century women religionists, suffragists and abolitionists
Co-editor of prophetic corpus and contributor "Nahum" and "Jonah," in The Africana Bible: Reading Israel's Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora, Hugh R. Page, Jr., gen. ed. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010.
Those Preaching Women: A Multi-Cultural Collection , co-editor, Judson Press, 2008.
Companion to the Africana Worship Book , Discipleship Resources, Nashville, 2008.
Africana Worship Book, Volumes 1, 2 and 3, Discipleship Resources, Nashville, 2006, 2007, 2008
Preaching Hebrew Biblical Texts
The Bible and Art
Preaching and Social Justice
Womanist/African American Religious Thought
Biblical Interpretation (Womanist, feminist, literary, postcolonial)
The Bible and Public Discourse
The Hebrew Bible and Spirituality
Worship in Multi-cultural settings