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Rev. Dr. Judy Fentress-Williams

Rev. Dr. Judy Fentress-Williams

Professor of Old Testament
Virginia Theological Seminary
Alexandria, Virginia
Rev. Dr. Judy Fentress-Williams Rev. Dr. Judy Fentress-Williams

Judy Fentress-Williams is in bi-vocational ministry in Alexandria, VA as the Professor of Old Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) and the Senior Assistant to the Pastor for Teaching and Preaching at the Alfred Street Baptist Church.


Dr. Fentress-Williams received her Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Yale University in 1999. Her dissertation entitled, “What Has Happened to the Son of Kish? A Dialogic Reading of Saul in I Samuel” reflects her interest in a literary approach that celebrates the multiple voices and inter-textuality of scripture. She earned her M.Div. from Yale Divinity School and her A.B. in English from Princeton University with certificates in African-American Studies and American Studies. She joined the VTS faculty in 2002.
Prior to her appointment at Virginia Seminary, Judy was a member of the faculty of Hartford Seminary as Professor of Hebrew Bible. She was also the director of the Black Ministries Program, a certificate program designed to meet the needs of African-American clergy and laity in the greater Hartford area.


Today, Rev. Dr. Fentress-Williams lives at the intersection of the church and the academy. In addition to her teaching position at Virginia Theological Seminary, Rev. Dr. Fentress-Williams serves on the pastoral staff at Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA. In this role, she teaches night Bible study, Senior Bible Study, Christian Life Institute, Ministers in Training, and serves as a retreat facilitator.


In addition to her active bi-vocational ministry, Rev. Dr. Fentress-Williams is also a prolific scholar. Her published essays include, “The Bible in Dialogue” in "September 11: Religious Perspectives on the Causes and Consequences”, “Location, Location, Location: Tamar in the Joseph Cycle” in Bakhtin and Genre, and “Exodus” in Biblia Africana. She recently published a commentary on the book of Ruth for the Abingdon Old Testament Commentary Series. A member of the Society of Biblical Literature, she is an active participant in the Bakhtin and Biblical Studies Group and she serves on the Advisory Board for the Office of Religious Life at Princeton University.


Judy is married to Kevin Williams, M.D. and they have two children, Samantha and Jacob.

Speaking Engagements

Sunday, March 18, 2018