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Robert Michael Franklin Jr., PhD, M.Div.

Portrait photo

Robert Michael Franklin Jr. graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Morehouse College in 1975 with a degree in political science and religion. He continued his education at Harvard Divinity School, earning a master of divinity degree in Christian social ethics and pastoral care in 1978, and the University of Chicago, earning a doctorate in ethics and society, and religion and the social sciences in 1985.

He is President Emeritus of Morehouse College, the nation’s largest private, four-year liberal arts college for men, where he served as the tenth president from 2007 to 2012. In January 2014, he became Director of the Religion Program at The Chautauqua Institution. An insightful educator, Franklin has served on the faculties of the University of Chicago, Harvard Divinity School, Colgate-Rochester Divinity School and at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, where he gained a national reputation as director of Black Church Studies.

He provides commentary for the National Public Radio (NPR) program, “All Things Considered,” and weekly commentary for Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting Television.

He also has served as program officer in Human Rights and Social Justice at the Ford Foundation, and as an adviser to the foundation’s president on future funding for religion and public life initiatives. Franklin also was invited by American film producer Jeffrey Katzenberg to prepare an online study guide for the congregational use of The Prince of Egypt, a DreamWorks film (1999). In 1997, Franklin assumed the presidency of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC), the graduate theological seminary of the Atlanta University Center consortium. He served as the Chautauqua Institution’s Theologian in Residence for the 2005 season.