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Faculty and Vice Presidents

The Rev. Judy Fentress-Williams, Ph.D.

The Rev. Judy Fentress-Williams, Ph.D., is Professor of Old Testament. She joined the faculty in 2002. Her areas of expertise include Hebrew Bible, dialogic interpretation, religious studies, Afro-American studies, and literary criticism. Before coming to VTS, she taught at Hartford Seminary.

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 in 1990 and her A.B. in English from Princeton University with certificates in African-American Studies and American Studies in 1984.

Prior to her appointment at Virginia Seminary, Judy was a member of the faculty of Hartford Seminary from 1994-2002, 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.

Dr. Fentress-Williams’ 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.


Moses at the Matinee: A Dialogue between Scripture and Film at the annual Earls Lectures at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, January, 2002;

B. Julian Smith Lectures at the CME Pastors’ Conference hosted by Phillips School of Theology in Atlanta, GA, January, 2002;

What Do You Have in Your House? keynote address for the Fund for Theological Education conference in Washington, D.C. May, 2000;

Revisiting Genesis 3, presented at the Society for Biblical Literature recruitment conference in Nashville, TN, September, 1998;

Reflections on Mentoring presented at the annual meeting for the Committee for Under-represented Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession for the Society for Biblical Literature, San Francisco, CA, November, 1997.

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