Marvin K. White (MDiv ‘16) is a writer, preacher, visual artist, organizer, and Minister of Celebration at the historic GLIDE Memorial Church in San Francisco, CA.
White first came to Pacific School of Religion (PSR) as a part of Changemakers, a one-year, cohort-based scholarship program that identified current and potential social change leaders who would benefit from theologically grounded, immersive learning opportunities to deepen their understanding of their vocation. At the conclusion of this program, White continued his theological journey by entering PSR’s Master of Divinity program.
“Marvin K. White is one of the most creative literary metaphysicians I’ve ever met,” said Rev. Ann Jefferson, PSR’s Director of Community Life and Spiritual Care. “He turns words into medicine for the soul. I don’t believe that he could have imagined where his continuing journey to attain his Master of Divinity degree coupled with his large body of artistic work would lead him. I don’t know if he even believed in the full possibilities for himself.”
After graduating from PSR in 2016, White became an ordained deacon at City of Refuge UCC, a congregation founded by fellow PSR alumnx, Bishop Yvette A. Flunder (CMS ‘95, MA ‘97) and was named the inaugural Public Theologian in Residence at First Church Berkeley UCC. In 2019, White became the full-time Minister of Celebration at GLIDE Memorial, a spiritual community rooted in liberation and built on a radically inclusive faith tradition.
In addition to his theological achievements, White is an accomplished writer and artist, publishing four collections of poetry; Our Name Be Witness, Status, last rights, and nothin’ ugly fly, and has performed nationally and internationally as a former member of the acclaimed and groundbreaking theater troupe, Pomo Afro Homos. He was a recipient of the YBCA Fellowship, “What Does Equity Look Like?,” and was named one of the “YBCA 100” in 2019.
White was a Teaching Artist for WritersCorps, and continues to lead creative arts and writing workshops for a range of audiences. He holds a fellowship in the national African American poetry organization, Cave Canem, and founded and sat on the board of two BIPOC and LGBTQ writer’s organizations: Fire & Ink and B/GLAM.
Watch White describe his journey at PSR and GLIDE Memorial, share what inspires him to continue his commitment to social change, and encourage the congregation to strengthen their own commitments at PSR’s 2022 Commencement.