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The Pursuit of Justice

JCSTS joins the call for a moral revival to eradicate structural racism.

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. Art by Nikkolas Smith

Advancing communities of faith, justice, and compassion through innovation in theological education.


Justice Foundations

The Justice Foundations Series (JFS) provides an initial overview of key concepts to explore the intersections between social justice, faith-based action, and congregational life. This material is designed for self-directed, individual Learning Partners (traditionally called students), and adult education, bible study or youth group meetings and retreats.  

Drum Major For Justice

The Drum Major for Justice Certificate in Public Theology is built on a faith and justice foundation. Explore the history of the Black Church, the development of Black Liberation Theology, and the evolution of BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color) -Led liberation movements of today. 

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Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary (JCSTS) is pleased to announce the commemoration of its 155th anniversary.

JCSTS originated in 1867 in Charlotte, North Carolina as the Freedmen's Institute of North Carolina.  It was established by Presbyterians who believed that education was an essential antidote to the poisonous effect of slavery.  Over time, the institute became a university that included a theological seminary and eventually JCSTS relocated to Atlanta.

Today, the school serves as a leader in bold innovation having gone 100% digital in 2015.

The education offering serves Learning Partners in faith and justice curriculum at various levels. JCSTS is propelling growth with tools, affirmation, and confidence to influence circles and communities across the globe. JCSTS is the only Black seminary in

the Presbyterian Church (USA).


NEW! The 1550 Partners Fund is the 155th year-long commemoration and fundraising effort in partnership with its Board of Trustees and prominent alumni, leading philanthropists, and program sponsors.  This anniversary year offers a path where a single gift can create a significant impact.


Join the 1550 Partners Fund.

Melva W. Costen Institute 

Offering a collaborative educational environment where clergy, musicians, liturgists, and planners cultivate a deeper understanding of worship as an empowering practice for doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God. Coming Fall 2022: Symposia on the Rich Musical Traditions of the Black Church.

Learn More

Good Trouble Colloquy Series 

The Honorable John Lewis was a United States Congressman, leader, and icon for more than five decades. As such, he encouraged people of good will to “speak up, speak out, get in good trouble, and help redeem the soul of America.” In honor of Rev. John Lewis, JCSTS' Good Trouble Colloquy series equips ordinary persons to exercise their faith in the public sphere. 



Trusted Space for Safe Conversations in Ongoing Pandemic Times

Join JCSTS and our partners for the next event slated for August 2022. Please stay tuned for more information.


Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary is one of the nine theological schools of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the only one that is historically African American.


JCSTS' model focuses on 5 core competencies. Individual courses are designed to meet one or more of these competencies. Built into each course are learning activities and assessment tools that a student can complete on her/his own time frame for up to one year from the start date.

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The Reverend Paul Timothy Roberts, Sr.

Under Paul’s leadership, JCSTS is reinventing itself and has gained prominence in the national conversation about justice, faith, and new models of theological education.


Paul preaches and teaches nationally and has written for numerous publications. He serves on the boards of the Presbyterian Foundation, Montreat Conference Center, Macedonian Ministry Inc, and NEXT Church. 


"Education is a by-product of RELATIONSHIPS."



Contact Us

Johnson C. Smith
Theological Seminary

1328 Peachtree Street NE 
Atlanta, GA 30309 
228-7743 | info@jcsts.org 

Theological Formation for Thriving Communities

Theological Formation for Thriving Communities is a 10-month certificate program that equips non-ordained leaders to lead smaller congregations. The program is slated to begin in January 2023. Registration will open this winter.