Michele Watkins

Assistant Professor, Theology
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Ph.D.Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, M.Div.Howard University, BA

Rev. Dr. Michele E. Watkins is a pastor, educator, scholar, and activist who works at the intersection of religion, culture, and social justice as a womanist systematic theologian. Her areas of expertise are systematic, black and womanist, and patristic theologies with interest in the continuities between African American religion and Orthodox theology more broadly.  

She is the author of Deification of the Desacralized: Critical Correlations Among Womanist & Orthodox Theologies, currently under review with Fordham University Press and the coauthor of Unmasking Racism: Coloring with Love for the Church, Community, and Academy (United Methodist General Board of Higher Education, 2023). Watkins has contributed chapters to Faith, Reason, and Theosis (Fordham University Press) and the forthcoming volume, The Political Theology of Paul Tillich (Lexington Press, 2024). Her current research focuses on the material and interreligious dynamics of deification and soteriology. 

Prior to joining St. John’s, Watkins has served under academic appointments at the University of San Diego, where she was recognized for educational excellence in inclusive pedagogy, and Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO.  

Watkins is a provisional elder in the United Methodist Church. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Society for the Study of Black Religion, the oldest scholarly guild dedicated to teaching and research on the varieties of religious experience within the Africana diaspora. She also serves as co-chair of the Tillich: Issues in Theology, Religion, and Culture Unit of the American Academy of Religion.