The Rev. Dr. Gay L. Byron is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, DC. Before relocating to Howard, she was the Baptist Missionary Training School Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins and Dean of the Program of Black Church Studies at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, NY. She is the author of Symbolic Blackness and Ethnic Difference in Early Christian Literature (Routledge Press, 2002) and the recipient of several fellowships for her research, which identifies and examines ancient Ethiopic (Ge`ez) sources for the study of the New Testament and other early Christian writings.
Her essays and articles are included in publications such as True to Our Native Land: An African American New Testament Commentary, the Women’s Bible Commentary, Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, Teaching Theology and Religion, Biblical Interpretation, and the Presbyterian Outlook.
Dr. Byron is currently co-editing a volume on Womanist Biblical Interpretation and pursuing funding for the preservation of the André Tweed Collection of Ethiopian Artifacts and Manuscripts housed at Howard’s Divinity School. Her teaching and scholarship includes the Pauline letters, Luke-Acts, African American biblical interpretation, Early Ethiopian Christianity, gender and sexuality in early Christian writings, and global perspectives on Christianity. She also serves as the coordinator of the Deans Council of the Washington Theological Consortium; as a member of the Council, which determines general policies and program initiatives for the 8,500-member Society of Biblical Literature (SBL); and as a member of the editorial board for Semeia Studies published through SBL Press.
Rev. Byron is an ordained minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She has pastored a congregation in the Bronx, NY for nearly three years and has served on various committees of the PC(USA). She preaches and leads workshops throughout the country for a variety of denominational bodies, and continues to lecture on topics dealing with race, ethnicity, and the Bible; womanist hermeneutics; and early Ethiopian Christianity. She holds degrees from Florida State University (B.S.), Clark Atlanta University (M.B.A.), and Union Theological Seminary in New York City (M.Div. and Ph.D.).
Dr. Byron is also the mother of two teen-aged sons and active in supporting their various academic, sporting, and scouting pursuits.