Robert M. Franklin, Jr.

James T. and Berta R. Laney Professor in Moral Leadership
Robert M. Franklin, Jr.
Phone: 404.727.4176
    • PhD, University of Chicago, 1985
    • MDiv, Harvard University, 1978
    • BA, Morehouse College, 1975

    In his position as the inaugural James T. and Berta R. Laney Chair in Moral Leadership at Candler, The Rev. Dr. Robert M. Franklin, Jr., challenges students to explore the concept of moral leadership in the 21st century in different cultures and contexts in the United States and around the world. Now in his second term at Emory, Franklin is a former Presidential Distinguished Professor of Social Ethics and a senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, both at Emory, and was also the founding director of Candler’s Black Church Studies program from 1989 to 1995.

    In addition to his role at Candler, which he began in 2014, Franklin is a senior advisor to the Emory University president, as well as for Community and Diversity at Emory. He was director of the religion department at The Chautauqua Institution from 2014-2017, president of Morehouse College from 2007-2012, and president of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta from 1997-2002. In 2016, Franklin was named to the Human Rights Campaign’s project council on expanding LGBTQ equality and inclusion efforts at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

    One of the nation’s foremost public theologians, Franklin has authored three books: Crisis in the Village: Restoring Hope in African American Communities (Fortress, 2007); Another Day’s Journey: Black Churches Confronting the American Crisis (Fortress, 1997); and Liberating Visions: Human Fulfillment and Social Justice in African American Thought (Fortress, 1990). He co-authored From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate (Westminster John Knox, 2001). He also penned the foreword to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, Letter from Birmingham Jail, reprinted by Trinity Forum in 2012.  

    Franklin is an ordained minister in both the American Baptist Churches USA and the Church of God in Christ.

    Selected Publications

    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication

    "Rehabiitating Democracy: Restoring Civil Rights and Leading the Next Human Rights Revolution," in Journal of Law and ReligionCambridge University Press2015

    Crisis in the Village: Restoring Hope to African American Communities Fortress Press2007

    "Puncturing the Myths: The Legitimization of Inequality," in Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and Its Poisonous ConsequencesThe New Press2005

    Healthy Marriages in Low-Income African American Communities, Part 1 Annie E. Casey Foundation2004

    "Tough Love: How Religion Enhances and Complicates American Public Life," in Perspectives on LeadershipThe University of Virginia Press2003

    "Great Preaching, Awesome Music, and Revolutionary Action: The Mind, Movement, and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.," in Princeton Seminary Bulletin, vol. 23, no. 2 Princeton Theological Seminary2002

    "A Theological Consideration of Non-conformism: Discrimination Against Gays and Lesbians, Blacks, and the Poor," in Faith Leaders on Inter-group Relations: Perspectives and ChallengesThe National Conference for Community and Justice2002

    Co-author, From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate, Second Edition Westminster John Knox Press2000

    Another Day's Journey: Black Churches Confronting the American Crisis Fortress Press1997

    Liberating Visions: Human Fulfillment and Social Justice in African American Thought Fortress Press1989

    Robert Franklin looks back on four years of moral, civic leadership as he prepares for final sermon, The Chautauquan Daily, August 25, 2017

    Service of Word and Table, Cannon Chapel, January 17, 2017

    "The Long March for Civil Rights in America" - Tangier Forum for Global Studies, March 24, 2016

    "No One is Beyond Redemption: A Candler Conversation on Capital Punishment and the Scheduled Execution of Kelly Gissendaner" - Candler School of Theology, September 18, 2015

    "The Vocation of Argument" - Fall Convocation, Cannon Chapel, August 27, 2015

    "Lent as a Season of Repentance, Reconciliation and Renewal" - Candler Practical Ministry Webinars, February 26, 2015

    "From Here to There: Dr. King's Vision, Our Current Reality and the Way Forward" - Dean's Lecture, Candler School of Theology, January 21, 2015

    Service of Word, Cannon Chapel, October 2, 2014

    Selected Courses

    Principles and Practices of Moral Leadership

    Religion, Ethics, and Public Intellectuals

    Christianity and Politics