Cain Hope Felder

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Dr. Cain Hope Felder

Cain Hope Felder is professor of New Testament language and literature and editor of The Journal of Religious Thought at the Howard University School of Divinity.[1] He also serves as chair of the Ph.D. program and immediate past chair of the Doctor of Ministry program. He has been on Howard’s faculty since 1981.

Prior to coming to Howard, he taught within the Department of Biblical Studies (1978–81) at Princeton Theological Seminary. From 1969 to 1972, Felder worked as the first executive director of Black Methodists for Church Renewal, the Black Caucus of The United Methodists Church, which was headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Originally ordained as an elder in the United Methodist Church, he served as pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in New York City (1975–77). Currently, Felder serves as an elder in the Second Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, where he has been appointed by Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson as the resident Biblical scholar for the district. He is an active member of Hemingway Memorial AME Church, located in District Heights, Maryland.

From 1998 to 2001, Felder served as chair of the implementation panel for the National Center for African American Heritage & Culture at Howard University. He has been on Howard's faculty since 1981, having come to Washington from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he taught as a member of the Department of Biblical Studies (1978–81).

Felder is the founder of the Biblical Institute of Social Change (BISC) in Washington, D.C., organized in the spring of 1990. BISC has been dedicated to inform, inspire, affirm, and transform the Christian community through scholarship and research. This organization serves as a catalyst for a renewed interest in Biblical interpretation in diverse quarters: prisons, halfway houses, local churches, and campus ministry settings.

A prolific writer, his publications include True to Our Native Land (Augsburg Fortress, May, 2007), the first African American commentary on the New Testament; Troubling Biblical Waters: Race, Class, and Family[2] (Orbis Books, 1989) – 16th printing; and The Original African Heritage Study Bible (Winston Publishing Company, 1993). A world-renowned scholar, he is a sought-after lecturer, consultant and media interviewee. He has appeared in USA Today, The Washington Post, The New York Times and Ebony, and on BET, PBS and NBC.

Felder holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Philosophy degree in Biblical languages and literature from Columbia University in New York; a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York; a Diploma of Theology from Oxford University, Mansfield College in England; a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, Greek & Latin from Howard University in Washington, D.C.; and a diploma from the Boston Latin School.

He maintains dual residences in Washington, D.C. and in Mobile, Alabama, that he shares with his bride, Dr. Jewell. He is the father of one daughter, Ms Akidah Felder, a graduate of Spelman College and both a New School Scholar and graduate of The New School for Social Research with a Master of Arts degree in Media Studies.


  1. ^ "Interview with Dr. Cain Hope Felder of Howard University". Christian Post. November 7, 2005. Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  2. ^ "Changing Attitudes in the Church". Washington Post. July 17, 1989. Retrieved 28 December 2010.