Hampton University President Announces School of Religion Partnership with C.O.G.I.C. Second Jurisdiction of Virginia at the 110th Ministers’ Conference

HU and Leaders at the Oldest and Largest Gathering of Interdenominational African-American Clergy in the World Take Bold Step Forward with Collaboration to Certify Ordination and Licensure Candidates

Hampton, Va. (June 6, 2024) – Hampton University proudly announced that its newly launched School of Religion has formed a partnership with the Church of God in Christ Second Jurisdiction of Virginia during the 110th Hampton University Ministers’ Conference (HUMC), marking a new chapter for both the university and the church community. This innovative collaboration will be a vital resource for both the Ministers’ Conference and the broader faith-based community.

“We are thrilled to announce that the Church of God in Christ is our very first partner with the School of Religion,” said Hampton University President Darrell K. Williams. “Together, we are shaping the future of religious education and leadership, stepping forward to support our mission of preparing inspired and effective leaders for the 21st century.”

The Church of God in Christ (C.O.G.I.C.) is one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the world. Founded in 1907, C.O.G.I.C. is known for its commitment to spiritual growth, community service, and social justice.

“The collaboration between C.O.G.I.C. and Hampton University’s School of Religion is a remarkable opportunity to enhance spiritual education and leadership,” said Bishop Michael B. Golden, Jr., appointed as on the youngest bishops of C.O.G.I.C. “We are honored to be the inaugural partner in this endeavor, and we look forward to the positive impact this will have on our communities and beyond.”

Rev. Dr. Debra Haggins, founding dean of the School of Religion, executive director and treasurer of the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference, and HU chaplain, shared her excitement about the partnership.

“The School of Religion is a dream realized for Hampton University and the faith community,” said Haggins. “This institution will provide a comprehensive and inclusive platform for theological education, research, and spiritual development. We are excited about our partnership with C.O.G.I.C. and we’re committed to fostering a new generation of leaders who are well-equipped to address the challenges of our time.”

The School of Religion offers a diverse range of programs and initiatives, including:

  • Degree Programs: Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in theology, religious studies, and ministry.
  • Continuing Education: Workshops, seminars, and certificate programs for clergy and lay leaders.
  • Research and Publications: A robust agenda of research projects and publications aimed at advancing religious scholarship and practice.


The Hampton University Ministers’ Conference, established in 1914, is one of the longest-running and most respected gatherings of African American clergy in the world. It provides a forum for theological education, spiritual enrichment, and professional development. Each year, thousands of clergy and lay leaders from various denominations gather to engage in dynamic worship, inspirational preaching, and cutting-edge workshops. The conference provides a unique opportunity for religious leaders to network, share insights, and develop strategies for effective ministry in their communities.

Over the years, the Hampton Ministers’ Conference has hosted many esteemed speakers, including: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Civil Rights Leader; Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., Pastor Emeritus, Trinity United Church of Christ; Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President of Repairers of the Breach; Bishop T.D. Jakes, Founder and Pastor, The Potter’s House; Rev. Dr. Frederick Haynes, Senior Pastor, Friendship West Baptist Church; Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Senior Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ; Dr. Tony Evans, Founder and Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship; Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale, Senior Pastor, Ray of Hope Christian Church; and former U.S. President Barack Obama.

For more information on the Hampton University School of Religion, visit hamptonu.edu.  


Hampton University, a dynamic historically Black institution with a legacy of excellence in education, research, and community service, provides a nurturing and empowering environment for students to thrive academically and personally. Founded in 1868, Hampton emphasizes a scientific and professional curriculum with a strong liberal arts undergirding, offering a broad range of technical, liberal arts and graduate degree programs. With a commitment to inclusion and innovation, Hampton continues to be a model of educational leadership in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Named “Best Private College” in Virginia, Hampton is a tightly-knit community of learners and educators representing 49 states and 35 territories and nations. With a commitment to fostering intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and global citizenship, Hampton University prepares students to thrive in an ever-changing world. Visit www.hamptonu.edu. For media inquiries, please contact Sarita Scott, in the Office of University Relations, at 757.727.5253.