The Catholic University of America

Final Examination of

Rev. Beverly Janet Goines

for the degree of

Doctor of Philosophy  



The Ecumenical Vision of the Black Church in the Theologies of Thomas Hoyt, Frederick Ware, and Kortright Davis

Director: Dr. William Dinges 
Within the United States, ecumenical dialogue has become increasingly complicated because of denominational divisions due to race. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, many black people left predominantly white Protestant denominations to form separate black denominations because of racism, discrimination, and segregation. These new economically, politically, and ecclesiastically autonomous denominations usually retained the same doctrine and polity as their parent denomination; the main difference was race. Given this historical background, whenever black Christians enter into ecumenical dialogue, issues of race, ethics, and morality become a part of the discussion in addition to questions of doctrine, theology, and ecclesiology.
Additionally, insofar as the rhetoric of the church transcends race and ethnicity but the social dynamic does not, this project explores the Black Church’s ecumenical vision as focused on social justice—a focus that insists that visible unity cannot take place unless social justice issues are resolved. In contrast, the ecumenical vision of white churches seems different, insofar as there is a dichotomy between theology and ethics that does not exist in the Black Church. The larger ecumenical community cannot ignore the reasons that necessitated the need for the Black Church, and the Black Church cannot disregard or leave unacknowledged its history.
In light of this, the project seeks to provide a description of an ecumenical vision of the Black Church through an inductive synthesis of oral interviews and the theological writings of three black theologians and ecumenists: Thomas Hoyt, Jr., Frederick Ware, and Kortright Davis. It examines the viewpoints of these ecumenists in their appraisal of the contemporary ecumenical movement and the Black Church’s future involvement.

More about Goines 

Beverly Janet Goines is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Called to National City Christian Church as a Lilly Endowment Fellow in 2003, she currently serves as the assistant pastor. Her primary responsibilities include pastoral care and counseling, and worship leadership. 
A native of the Washington Metropolitan area, Rev. Goines graduated from Prince George’s County public schools. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Technical Writing from Carnegie Mellon University, a Master of Divinity from Howard University School of Divinity, and a Master of Philosophy in Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America. 
Before devoting herself to ministry, Rev. Goines worked in the public and private sectors as a technical writer, program manager, and project manager. She also worked in the financial services industry, where she earned Series 6 and 63 securities licenses, as well as Property, Casualty, Life, and Health insurance licenses. 
Rev. Goines taught “Jewish-Christian Relations” at The Catholic University of America and worked in the Church Relations department of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum where she helped the Museum build relationships with various religious organizations, faith leaders, and seminaries. 
In addition to ministry, Rev. Goines is currently an academic advisor at Webster University and a staffer at the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN) where she supports victims of sexual violence in the United States military.