Theology PhD Student Earns Prominent Resident Fellowship to Further Research

The Rev. Andre L. Price, MDiv, will be spending the Fall 2022 semester at the Collegeville Institute in Collegeville, Minnesota, as a Bishop Thomas Hoyt Fellow.

Villanova University Theology doctoral candidate the Rev. Andre L. Price, MDiv

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University Theology doctoral candidate the Rev. Andre L. Price, MDiv, will be spending the Fall 2022 semester at the Collegeville Institute in Collegeville, Minnesota, as a Bishop Thomas Hoyt Fellow. The fellowship will provide Price, who also serves as senior pastor at Mount Olivet Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia, an opportunity to work on his dissertation, titled “God of our Weary Years,” and engage with other theological scholars from diverse backgrounds in research, community and prayer.

Price was drawn to Collegeville, in part, because of his profound respect for the institute’s founder’s writings on the Holy Spirit. Collegeville was founded by the Benedictine theologian the Rev. Kilian McDonnell, OSB, who sought to create a community in which scholars of diverse Christian backgrounds could gain fresh insights through a residential experience of work and worship.

“As I approach entering the end of my program, the Collegeville fellowship presents an opportunity to distinguish myself and share my work in an ecumenical space,” Price says.

As a resident scholar, Price will present his scholarship during weekly seminars; serve as a prayer, meditation or contemplation leader; and participate in a public event such as a lecture, panel or classroom presentation.

Vincent Lloyd, PhD, Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova and member of Price’s dissertation committee, believes the experience will be transformative for Price. 

“Andre Price is one-of-a-kind: senior pastor of a historic Philadelphia church, an innovative scholar conversant with cutting-edge scholarship in philosophy, theology and cultural studies, and a seasoned teacher who cares deeply about the intellectual and spiritual formation of his students,” Dr. Lloyd says. “There is no doubt that Andre will emerge as a leading voice in Black theology. He has been a true gift to the Villanova community, bringing his insights, experiences, questions and engagement to the classrooms and hallways of our university. His time at Collegeville will give him the time and space he needs to take his very promising dissertation project to the next level and add his voice to the crucial scholarly conversation about racial justice and theology.”

Price’s work focuses on the God-world relationship and Black theology.

“My dissertation proposes that Black theology inadequately theorizes the God-world relationship, resulting in damaging political ramifications,” Price says. “I employ theological, philosophical and historical methods to illustrate that in its failure to see anti-blackness as an ontological and constitutive element of the modern imaginary, Black theology uncritically reproduces and gives itself over to the same parasitic logics that render Black life inconsequential. Turning towards the Spirit, by attending to Black church practices, offers a suitable construal of the God-world relationship. Black Charismatic/Pentecostal practice not only has political reverberations; practice reflects a distinct construal of God’s relatedness to the world.”

Being a full-time PhD student and pastor at Mount Olivet has its challenges, and Price admits that making time for self can be challenging, but he says he just keeps his head down and takes it day by day. In fact, Price sees his two callings as mutually informing each other.

“I have experiences in ministry that have led to articles I have published, and conversations in class and with my peers and faculty that I have used in the congregant setting,” Price says. “I have always lived at the intersection of these two worlds. I come from a religious tradition that holds personal holiness and social transformation in tension.”

Price earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theological Studies from Eastern University and a Master of Divinity from Eastern’s Palmer Theological Seminary. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, The Society of Pentecostal Studies and the Political Theology Network.

The mission of the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research, rooted in Christian tradition, is to bring together people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to foster the world’s healing through the power of religious ideas, insight and practices. The institute was chartered in 1967.

Learn more about Villanova's PhD program in Theology.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.

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