The Reverend Angela D. Sims, Ph.D. is the first woman president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRCDS). She is also the first Black woman president to lead any Rochester-area college. Prior to joining CRCDS on July 1, 2019, Dr. Sims served as Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Robert B. and Kathleen Rogers Professor in Church and Society at Saint Paul School of Theology in Leawood, Kansas. She holds a Ph.D. in Christian Social Ethics from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Prior to matriculation at Union, Dr. Sims completed a baccalaureate degree summa cum laude at Trinity College (Trinity Washington University) and a Master of Divinity with honors at Howard University School of Divinity.
Dr. Sims has cast a vision for Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School to become a seminary of and for the community committed to practices of peace, service, and justice. With an emphasis on strengthening the school’s infrastructure, Dr. Sims has led the school through a process of strategic planning. Informed by a missional approach, this strategic plan is designed to enhance academic excellence, achieve financial sustainability, improve efficiency and effectiveness, and engage the community.
Dr. Sims’s research examines connections between faith, race, and violence with specific attention to historical and contemporary ethical implications of lynching and a culture of lynching in the United States. Principal investigator for an oral history project, “Remembering Lynching: Strategies of Resistance and Visions of Justice,” her research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Womanist Scholars Program at the Interdenominational Theological Center, the Louisville Institute, the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, and the Institute for Oral History at Baylor University. Dr. Sims is the author of Lynched: The Power of Memory in a Culture of Terror; Ethical Complications of Lynching: Ida B. Wells’s Interrogation of American Terror; co-editor with Katie Geneva Cannon and Emilie M. Townes of Womanist Theological Ethics: A Reader; and, lead author of Religio-Political Narratives in the United States: From Martin Luther King, Jr. through Jeremiah Wright.
A native of Louisiana, Dr. Sims grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. An ordained Baptist clergywoman who takes seriously the prophetic imperative “to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God,” Dr. Sims is an active member and contributor to several academic guilds and faith-based community organizations.