MLK Drum Major for Justice Scholars Program

Applications accepted Dec. 1 - 31, 2020. Scholars start February 1, 2021 

Digital Certificate in Public Theology Ceremony – w/o August 10, 2021

Dr. King said, “It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation, not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say ‘wait on time.’" In light of this belief, some people of faith will want to engage in Christian reflection, speech, proclamation, and action publicly in pursuit of a more just society for all.

Drum Major for Justice is a certificate program in public theology. The purpose of Drum Major for Justice is to equip pastors, lay people, activists, and others to find their voice, collaborate with others, and engage the Church’s theology and practice in arenas beyond its four walls in pursuit of justice and societal transformation.  


Upon completion of the course, learners will be able to: 

  1. Apply biblical and theological insight to real-world situations or problems.

  2. Analyze congregational or other local cultures to more effectively serve those cultures. 

  3. Apply theories of mass media communication to the Church’s theology and proclamation.

  4. Embody the Church's theology through ethical action.


Scholars Program Overview & Key Dates

  • Application Window – December 1 – 31, 2020

  • Scholarship Awardees Notified January 8, 2021

  • Public Announcements w/o January 11, 2021

  • Scholars Start – February 1, 2021 – July 30, 2021

  • Scholars Group Checkpoints with JCSTS Scholar-in-Residence (:30-45 minutes via zoom)

    • w/o February 22, 2021

    • w/o March 22, 2021

    • w/o May 17, 2021

    • w/o July 12, 2021

  • Digital Certificate of Public Theology Ceremony – w/o August 10, 2021 

Course Information (The Fine Print)

Drum Major for Justice Scholars Program is self-paced with Scholar-in-Residence support for the 2021 program. The Scholar-in-Residence support is available on the designated dates and scholars are expected to participate.  The learning activities are designed for you to engage on your own time and pace. Some learners will advance through the learning activities quickly, others at a more moderate pace. We anticipate the Scholars 2021 program will complete in approximately 6 months, barring unforeseen circumstances.

As a competency-based course, Drum Major for Justice is ungraded but highly participative (via our checkpoint conversations and private FB discussion group). Learners interact with the course content in order to demonstrate competency to our instructional team via the activities built into the course.


In light of the pandemic and the civil unrest in the U.S., a Scholar-in-Residence has been added to facilitate check-in discussions. The price for the course is $449.00 plus the cost of books (acquired on your own); however, scholarships are now available (for the cost of the course only).

This certificate program is organized into distinct units. The first is an orientation to Canvas Learning Management System, our online classroom. Please take your time with this unit, particularly if you have never taken an online class before or if you are uncomfortable with technology. An expert will be available to assist you within a 24-hour window if you need help. Access to the core content of this program will be granted only after you have completed the Canvas LMS orientation unit. The other units include readings, videos, and activities carefully curated to support your development as a public theologian. For your own benefit, please do not circumvent or short-change any of the learning activities.

Scholars Apply Here

1.  Complete the application by clicking here.

2.  Scholarship awardees will be asked to submit a 2-5-minute video (phone video is ok) submission explaining: “Why Dr. King’s teachings remain relevant today and why you believe learning from this course can help in your work?”

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