Dr. Barbara A. Holmes is a writer and scholar, who publishes books about the intersection of ethics, spirituality, mysticism, cosmology and African Anerican religious culture. She is the President of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, and the former Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Memphis Theological Seminary. She was called to ministry while working as a corporate lawyer for the J.C. Penney Corporation, and was ordained in the Latter Rain Apostolic Holiness Church in Dallas, Texas. Today, she has privilege of call in the United Church of Christ and recognition of ministerial standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Dr. Holmes grew up in New Haven, Connecticut, and was a member of Dixwell Avenue Congregational Church. She currently resides in the Twin Cities.
Dr. Holmes has earned the following degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a minor in Theatre Arts from the University of Connecticut; a Master of Science in Education from Southern Connecticut University; a Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Religion (Ethics) from Vanderbilt. She earned a law degree from Walter F. George School of Law, at Mercer University and practiced law in Miami, Atlanta, Macon and Dallas. She specialized in civil litigation, corporate, and appellate practice. She says, "I have been called to work in diverse settings, where the call to serve also invites the human spirit to engage in radical creativity."
In addition to her work with law firms, she has worked with homeless missions, HIV/AIDS ministries, and international ministries in Kenya (the Presbyterian Church of East Africa) and Japan. The author of four books and numerous articles, her most recent publications include: Liberation and the Cosmos: Conversations with the Elders and Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church. Dr. Holmes has two sons: Marcus, a film director, and Jason a musician and songwriter.