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The Rev. Bernard L. Richardson, Ph.D.

The Rev. Bernard L. Richardson, Ph.D.

Dean of the Chapel
Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel
Washington, D.C.
The Rev. Bernard L. Richardson, Ph.D. The Rev. Bernard L. Richardson, Ph.D.


The Reverend Dr. Bernard L. Richardson is the fourth Dean of the historic Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel. As the appointed officer for religious affairs at the University, he coordinates the wide array of ministries sought by students and their parents, faculty, staff, and the community at-large; directs and participates in religious services and public programs; and serves as the liaison between the University and religious organizations.

He established and is the Director of the Howard University Spiritual and Ethical Dimensions of Leadership Initiative, which was awarded $2.5 million from the Lilly Endowment. The revitalization of creative religious programming under his leadership has garnered national attention. Most notably the reknown Howard University Alternative Spring Break and the Sunday Chapel Service, which is broadcast on WHUR-FM, reaches a vast audience and is rated first in its time slot among all radio broadcasts in the metropolitan area.

Dr. Richardson is a tenured Associate Professor at the Howard University School of Divinity, and has made scholarly contributions in the area of pastoral care and counseling. He has lectured and conducted courses/seminars at colleges and universities nationwide, including the Parks/King Lecture at Yale University.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Howard University and earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Yale University Divinity School. After receiving a National Institute of Mental Health Fellowship, he earned the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan State University. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Carthage College. An ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, he served for ten years as the Pastor of the Archer Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Windsor, Connecticut. He has also served as a Counseling Specialist at the Michigan State University Counseling Center, and as a Mental Health Therapist at the Ingham Community Mental Health Center. Other past professional positions include: tenured Associate Professor at Southern Connecticut State University, where he taught in the areas of Counseling and School Psychology; Visiting Professor of Pastoral Theology at Hood Theological Seminary, Livingston College; and Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Counseling at the Hartford Seminary.

Some of his honors include: induction into Phi Delta Kappa National Education Honor Society; Crystal Apple Outstanding Educator Award, College of Education, Michigan State University; Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers of Morehouse College; DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities; and Perth Amboy High School Hall of Fame. He was selected as the Orator for the 139th Opening Convocation for Howard University and was given a Special Citation of Achievement. He also received the Benjamin E. Mays Fellowship for Ministry and is a member of numerous professional organizations. Most recently, Dr. Richardson was inducted into the Washington, DC Hall of Fame by the Washington, DC Hall of Fame Society and the Office of the City Historian.    


Speaking Engagements

Sunday, August 16, 2020 Sunday, August 11, 2019 Sunday, November 18, 2018 Sunday, August 12, 2018 Sunday, April 29, 2018 Sunday, August 13, 2017 Sunday, December 03, 2017 Sunday, April 26, 2020