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Drew Theological School Mourns the Passing of Theologian Delores Williams

The former assistant professor was a founder of womanist theology

December 2022 – Drew Theological School shares in the worldwide mourning of the renowned and innovative theologian Delores S. Williams, who died on November 17, 2022 at age 88. 

A founder of womanist theology, her groundbreaking book, Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk, remains essential reading in theology. 

Williams earned a PhD in systematic theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she later joined the faculty as associate professor of theology and culture. Later, Williams was named the Paul Tillich Professor of Theology and Culture, becoming the first Black woman to hold a named chair at Union. 

Prior to joining the Union faculty and while completing her doctoral studies, Williams served for several years at Drew University as an assistant professor. In her scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and service in church and society, Williams was widely influential on many others—certainly Black womanist theologians—but also the late Ada María Isasi-Díaz, professor of ethics and theology at Drew University. 

“We here at Drew send our condolences to the family of Dr. Williams and all those who mourn her passing,” said Theological School Dean Edwin David Aponte. “While this is a tremendous and deeply-felt loss for theological education and the church, the legacy of Delores Williams is significant and is felt around the world.”