LaKeesha Walrond assumes presidency of New York Theological Seminary

LaKeesha Walrond, 47, became president of New York Theological Seminary on June 3. She is the first woman and first African American to hold the position.

For over a decade, Walrond served as executive pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem, a congregation with more than 10,000 participants.  Earlier in her life, she earned a PhD in special education and literacy and worked for a decade as a teacher and principal in North Carolina. She has an MDiv from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

Walrond told the New York Times that her goals for the school are to add more online education and nurture an inclusive environment. She has spoken of her own experience being cut off from a church scholarship when she became an unmarried mother.

She is the author of two books, My Body Is Special, aimed at children, and the e-book You Are Bigger than Your Worst Pain: A Spiritual Guide to Pushing Past the Pain. —Christian Century staff