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Barbara A. Fears

Assistant Professor of Religious Education

  • Ministry Studies, Divinity
  • School of Divinity


Dr. Barbara Annette Fears is Assistant Professor of Religious Education at Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C. where she teaches courses in the history, philosophy, and practice of ministry. Dr. Fears identifies as a womanist practical theologian, a critical race theorist (CRT), and a critical pedagogue. Her research focuses on matters of power, privilege and accountability in faith formation, praxis of faith, and curriculum development. She collaborates with local churches, colleges, and colleagues to develop religious education curriculum. Recent works include a book review on Pressing Forward Faith, Culture, and African American Youth, chapters in two upcoming Judson Press publications, and a forthcoming article in Teaching Theology and Religion.

Since joining the faculty, Dr. Fears has participated twice in the Howard University Junior Faculty Summer Writing and Creative Works Academy, in the Workshop for Early Career Theological School Faculty and in the Design Thinking for Religious & Theological Educators sponsored by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion. She has preached sermons at ministerial conferences and presented papers at professional meetings, and has published in and reviewed papers for academic journals. In addition, Dr. Fears has received an HU Provost's Distinguished Service Award (2021) and in 2023 was recognized by Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary for exemplifying faithfulness, commitment, and perseverance in ministry through leadership in academic, nonprofit, and congregational settings. 

Previously, Dr. Fears worked in bio-behavioral studies with Midwest Research Institute, in documentation and training with AT&T and Lucent Technologies, and in environmental, social and governance (ESG) advocacy with Wespath Investment Management formerly The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church. She has a Master of Divinity, Master of Theological Studies in Theology and Ethics, Doctor of Philosophy in Christian Education and Congregational Studies and a Preaching Award from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She is an Adrienne M. and Charles Shelby Rooks Fellowship recipient from and ordained clergy in the United Church of Christ, an IRB-certified human researcher, and a CPE-trained chaplain.