Dr. Willie Dwayne Francois III

Assistant Professor of Liberation Theology and Director of the Master of Professional Studies Program

Educational Background

  • A. in History and Religion, Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA
  • Div., Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  • Min., Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Religious Affiliation

  • Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.

Willie Dwayne Francois III teaches classes in Theology, race, and American Carcerality. Hence, Francois’ research meets at intersection of antiracism, American Christian theologies, and carceral studies. Likewise, he holds a teaching position in the African American Studies program at the University of Houston and a visiting professorship at Memphis Theological Seminary.

He is the co-author of Christian Minister’s Manual: For the Pulpit and the Public Square for All Denomination—the most progressive and comprehensive clergy resource and the first interdenominational manual written for Black clergy in 56 years. He has written for The Huffington PostReligion Dispatches, Civil Eats, The Hill and The Christian Century concerning a range of matters pivoting around race, class, and religion in America. His current book project set for 2021 publication is tentatively titled White Noise: Practices for Overcoming our Silence and Inaction on Race.

A scholar-practitioner-activist, Francois serves as the Senior Pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church of Pleasantville, NJ and the President of the Black Church Center for Justice and Equality. He is a vice-president of the North American Baptist Fellowship and the co-chair of the Social Justice Commission of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. In 2019, Governor Phillip Murphy appointed Willie to the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of the New Jersey State Department. Francois’ pastoral activism animates around racial equity, economic justice, and the criminal legal system.


Zoom Office Hours:

  • Mondays 3-5p 
  • Tuesday, 5-6p
Dr. Willie Dwayne Francois III
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