Kenyatta Gilbert—son and grandson of Baptist preachers—knew he would chart his own distinctive course and find his vocational home in a courtroom practicing law one day. As it turns out, he did walk in their footsteps as preacher—but not without his own unique voice.

When Kenyatta found himself at Princeton Theological Seminary having accepted his “call” to ministry at age 19, he assumed his next role would be one of pastor. But within those hallowed halls he also discovered a second love—teaching. After completing his Ph.D. in homiletics (the theological study of preaching), Kenyatta found a way to pursue both passions. When once asked about his vocational commitments to the classroom as Professor of Homiletics at Howard University School of Divinity, he enthusiastically responded, “Few things bring me greater joy than helping students find their unique and authentic preaching voice.”

Kenyatta’s love of preaching, teaching, and researching has birthed three widely regarded books within his discipline. He is author of The Journey and Promise of African American Preaching (Fortress), A Pursued Justice: Black Preaching from the Great Migration to Civil Rights (Baylor), and Exodus Preaching: Crafting Sermons about Justice and Hope (Abingdon).   A contributing editor for Living the Word in Sojourners magazine, Kenyatta is founding director of The Preaching Project:  Restoring Communities Through Spoken Word ( and project director for Equipping the Saints: Promising Practices for Black Congregations Online Resource Center, which is funded by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, Inc. 

Kenyatta is married to Dr. Allison Blow Gilbert, a pediatrician. The Gilberts have three daughters: Olivia Copeland, Ella Jane, and Ava Sage.

“Self-discovery is the fruit of a faithful preaching life.”