Walter Earl Fluker

Dean's Professor of Spirituality, Ethics, and Leadership
Walter Earl Fluker
    • PhD, Boston University, 1988
    • MDiv, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 1980
    • BA, Trinity College, 1977

    Dr. Walter Earl Fluker, who served as the Alonzo L. McDonald Family Chair on the Life and Teachings of Jesus and Their Impact on Culture at Candler in spring 2019, has joined the Candler faculty as Dean’s Professor of Spirituality, Ethics, and Leadership. He previously served as Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Ethical Leadership, the editor of the Howard Thurman Papers Project and the Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Initiative for the Development of Ethical Leadership at Boston University School of Theology. 

    He was founding executive director of the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership Center and the Coca-Cola Professor of Leadership Studies at Morehouse College. Known as an expert in the theory and practice of ethical leadership, Fluker is an internationally-known consultant, speaker, lecturer and workshop leader. He is the author of The Ground Has Shifted: The Future of the Black Church in Post-Racial America (New York University Press, 2016) and Ethical Leadership: The Quest for Character, Civility and Community (Fortress, 2009), and the editor of the multi-volume series The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman (University of South Carolina Press) and Educating Ethical Leaders for the Twenty-First Century (Cascade Books, 2013). 

    Selected Publications

    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication

    Books

    Editor,The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman: Volume Five: The Wider Ministry, January 1963–April 1981, University of South Carolina Press, 2019

    Editor,The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman: Volume Four: The Soundless Passion of a Single Mind, June 1949 December 1962, University of South Carolina Press, 2017

    The Ground Has Shifted: The Black Church in Post-Racial America, New York University Press, 2016

    Editor,The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman: Volume Three: The Bold Adventure, September 1943 – May 1949, University of South Carolina Press, 2015

    Editor,Educating Ethical Leaders for the Twenty-First Century, edited with foreword by W. Massey, Cascade Books, 2013

    Editor,The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman: Volume Two: “Christian, Who Calls Me Christian?” April 1936-August 1943, University of South Carolina Press, 2012

    Ethical Leadership and the Quest for Character, Civility, and Community, Fortress Press, 2009

    Editor,The Papers of Howard Washington Thurman: Volume One: My People Need Me, June 1918 – March 1936, University of South Carolina Press, 2009

    Editor,Black Leaders and Ideologies in the South: Resistance and Nonviolence, edited with P. King, Routledge, 2005

    Editor,The Stones that the Builders Rejected: The Development of Ethical Leadership from the Black Church Tradition, Trinity Press International, 1998

    Co-editor,A Strange Freedom: The Best of Howard Thurman, edited with Catherine Tumber, Beacon Press, 1998

    They Looked for a City: A Comparative Analysis of the Ideal of Community in the Thought of Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King, Jr., University Press of America, 1989

    Selected Awards

    Education Maker, The HistoryMakers, 2018

    Principal Investigator, The Louisville Foundation Sabbatical Grant, “The Sound of The Genuine: Howard Thurman’s Sermon Series,” 2016-2017

    Principal Investigator, Boston University Center for The Humanities, Project For The Digitization Of The Papers Of Howard Washington Thurman, Boston University, 2016-2017

    Black Excellence in Boston Religious Studies Honoree, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Boston University, 2-16

    Outstanding Black Graduates Honoree, Forty-Fifth Anniversary of The Center for Church and the Black Experience (CBE), Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2016

    Principal Investigator, The Ford Foundation, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Initiative for the Development of Ethical Leadership, Boston University, 2014-2015

    Principal Investigator, National Endowment for the Humanities, The Howard Thurman Papers Project, Boston University School of Theology, 2014-2016

    Principal Investigator, The Lilly Endowment, The Howard Thurman Papers Project, Boston University School of Theology, 2013-2015

    Principal Investigator, National Endowment for the Humanities, The Howard Thurman Papers Project, Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA, 2009-2010; Boston University School of Theology, Boston, 2009-2013

    Visionary Award, 15th Anniversary Coca-Cola Pre-College Program, Morehouse College, 2012

    Presidential Award, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, for Chair of Visitors Committee, The Center for Church and the Black Experience, 2012

    Inaugural Skirball Professorship, United Negro College Fund, The Leadership Center at Morehouse College, 2008-2010

    Christianity Today, "The Black Church Is Atlanta’s Original Community Organizer" (September 21, 2020)

    PBS, "The Black Church," Documentary with Henry Louis Gates (October 7, 2019)

    The Conversation, "How Howard Thurman Met Gandhi and Brought Nonviolence to the Civil Rights Movement" (January 31, 2019)

    Religion News Service, "Howard Thurman, mentor to King who preached nonviolence, featured in documentary" (January 14, 2019) 

    KPFA's Upfront, "The Future of the Black Church in Post-Racial America" (July 3, 2017)

    KPFA's News and Politics, "The Ground Has Shifted: A Caravan Against Fear And San Jose Tenants on Hunger Strike" (April 18, 2017)