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Harold Dean Trulear

Professor of Applied Theology

  • Ministry Studies, Divinity
  • School of Divinity


Harold Dean Trulear, Ph.D., has served as Associate Professor of Applied Theology at Howard University School of Divinity since 2003. He currently teaches Ministry and Social Justice Advocacy, Ethics and Politics, Ministry and Criminal Justice, and Church and Community Studies. He is a Certified Instructor in the Inside/Out Prisoner Exchange Program, having taught HUSD courses in several correctional facilities.

Prior to joining the Howard Divinity faculty, he served as Visiting Distinguished Professor of Religion and Public Policy at the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University. He also held faculty positions at Yale University, Colgate Rochester Divinity School, The Center for Urban Theological Studies (Geneva College), and Jersey City State College.

His administrative experience includes Dean for First Professional Programs at New York Theological Seminary (1990-96) and Vice President for Faith Based Initiatives at Public/Private Ventures (1998-2001). He also served as pastor of churches in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and he is currently a pastoral associate at Empowered Ministries International in Clinton, MD.

Dr. Trulear has lectured for university, church and professional organizations across the country, including Fuller Theological Seminary, Rice University, Baylor University, Tuskegee University, Southern University, Payne Theological Seminary, Princeton University, the American Baptist Churches/USA, the Mount Sinai Holy Church of America, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the North American Association of Christians in Social Work and the NAACP.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Morehouse College (1975), he completed his Ph.D. with distinction at Drew University (1983). Dr. Trulear is the author of over 100 articles, book chapters, essays and published sermons. His important monographs include "Faith Based Initiatives with High Risk Youth," "The African American Church and Welfare Reform," and "George Kelsey: Unsung Hero." He directs a national research and demonstration project called "Healing Communities," mobilizing congregations to support those returning from incarceration through the establishment of family and social support networks. With Charles Lewis and W. Wilson Goode, he is co-editor of the book Ministry with Prisoners and Families: The Way Forward (Judson Press 2011). 

Through his research and activism he has been named a Fellow at the Center for Public Justice in Annapolis, Maryland, and served as a consultant to the Faith and Families portfolio of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In 2014, Dr. Trulear was named as one of "14 Faith Leaders to Watch" by the Center for American Progress. From 2013-2016 he servesdas a member of the Executive Session on Community Corrections at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In March 2017 he was named Justice Champion of the Month by the Coalition for Public Safety. He is also a member of the 2017 Leadiing with Conviction Fellows of JustLeadership USA.


Trulear, Harold Dean (2021)

Healing Communities USA Training Guide (with Denise Strothers, editor)

Trulear, Harold Dean (2013)
For the Incarcerated, A Phone Connection Can Change Lives
The Crime Report

Trulear, Harold Dean (2010)
Healing communities: A framework for congregations in their ministry to families affected by incarceration. A report prepared for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Baltimore, MD: Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2010. Harold Dean Trulear, Stephanie Boddie and Robert Franklin.

Trulear, Harold Dean (2010-11)
Release, reentry and redemption. Precepts for Living, Urban Ministries, Inc. 2010-11.

Trulear, Harold Dean (2011)
Ministry with Prisoners & Families: the Way Forward. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 2011. Harold Dean Trulear, Wilson Goode Sr., Charles E. Lewis Jr. (eds.).

Trulear, Harold Dean (2011)
Balancing justice with mercy: Creating a healing community. Social Work & Christianity, Vol.38, No.1 (2011): 74-87.

Trulear, Harold Dean (2011)
Beyond the rush to incarcerate. Capital Commentary, Center for Public Justice, 6/3/11

Trulear, Harold Dean (2011)
Raising our expectations. Prism Magazine, Nov.-Dec. 2011: 45 

Education & Expertise


Religion and Society

Drew University

Religion and Society

Drew University

Music and Religion

Morehouse College