Visiting Professor of Leadership and Ecumenical Studies
Lincoln University, B.A. 1969
Yale Divinity School, M.A.R. (Master of Arts in Religion) 1972
Joined Eden faculty, 2016
Geoffrey Black was elected General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ (UCC) in June 2009. He served as GMP until 2015 when he retired from that post. Prior to his election and call to serve as General Minister and President, Rev. Black served as Conference Minister of the New York Conference United Church of Christ, for nine years beginning in 2000.
Rev. Black’s career in ministry has spanned over forty years, beginning in 1972 when he joined the staff of the Chaplain’s Office of Brown University as Assistant Chaplain. In 1977 he was called to serve as Associate Minister at St. Albans Congregational Church UCC, Queens, NY. Subsequent to that he was called as Pastor of the Congregational Church of South Hempstead UCC in South Hempstead New York in 1981. During his tenure at the South Hempstead church, Rev. Black was also a lecturer in the Field Education Department at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and Protestant Chaplain at Adelphi University.
As a local church pastor, Rev. Black was active in Association and Conference life, serving on several committees and holding a number of elected offices, including the Ordination and Standing Committee and the Committee on Church in the Metropolitan Community of the New York Metropolitan Association. He was Chairperson of the New York Conference Commission on Mission Priorities and also served as moderator of the Conference.
In 1994, Rev. Black joined the staff of the Office for Church Life and Leadership of the United Church of Christ, a national instrumentality of the United Church of Christ, which was housed at the national offices of the UCC in Cleveland, Ohio. In his capacity as Minister for Church Life and Leadership, Rev. Black was active in several key aspects of the ministry of OCLL. In addition to engaging in the work common to all OCLL staff such as ministerial authorization and search and call, he devoted special attention to ecclesiastical endorsement, ministerial formation, congregational life and the development of resources for the multi racial/ multi cultural church.
Since leaving office in 2015 and following a sabbatical, Rev. Black has resumed active participation in the mission and ministry of the United Church of Christ this year with an approach that he refers to as, “selective engagement.” With this approach he serves as Visiting Professor of Leadership and Ecumenical Studies at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. Additionally, he accepts speaking and preaching engagements to support the Joseph Evans Scholarship of the United Church of Christ and shares in the leadership of Jazz for the Journey, a national ecumenical symposium focused on the intersection of Jazz and worship.
Rev. Black and his wife, Patricia reside in Lakewood, Ohio. They are active members of South Haven United Church of Christ in Bedford, Ohio.