NYTS appoints Rev. Dr. Willie Francois III as new Director of the MPS program at Sing Sing
New York, NY (November 4, 2020) – New York Theological Seminary is excited to announce the appointment of Rev. Dr. Willie Francois III as the Director of the Master of Professional Studies program at Sing Sing Correctional Facility and Assistant Professor of Liberation Theology. Rev. Dr. Francois brings with him vast experience in academia as well as in church and organizational leadership.
“The MPS program represents rare vocational synergy for me. It lives at the intersection of power-building, theological education and the criminal justice revolution. NYTS has centered the lives of incarcerated men and sustained a pipeline for incarcerated persons to experience humanization and building power. I energetically welcome this challenge to expand our radical legacy of reducing recidivism, theological formation, and moral leadership. Before us are opportunities to solidify our exemplary place in prison education and as the leading theological resource for prison ministry globally,” said Dr. Francois.
Dr. Francois currently serves as Senior Pastor at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Pleasantville, New Jersey and also President of the Black Church Center for Justice and Equality. His previous pastoral experience includes serving as Associate Pastor at First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem, NY and Minister of Christian Education and Discipleship at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston, TX. His previous academic experience includes serving as Visiting Professor at Memphis Theological Seminary and Adjunct Instructor at the University of Houston.
“It is with much excitement that we welcome Rev. Dr. Willie D. Francois to the NYTS faculty. Dr. Francois is an exceptional teacher and scholar who brings a strong vision for innovative leadership to the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) program. Dr. Francois’s work and expertise demonstrates his passionate commitment to transformative justice and revolutionary education of incarcerated people. We look forward to new heights for the MPS program at Sing Sing through his leadership,” said Dr. Tamara Henry, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Academic Dean.
Dr. Francois holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College. He has published numerous articles and has made several book contributions on mass incarceration and racial justice. He also serves on the board of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc.
“I am excited to officially welcome Rev. Dr. Willie D. Francois III to the NYTS family. His academic and pastoral experience position him to lead through innovation and creativity, combining both theory and practice. I look forward, with great anticipation, to the divine impact that Dr. Francois will have on our students and the entire NYTS community,” said Dr. Lakeesha Walrond, President of NYTS.