June 24, 2017


Dear APT membership,


It is with great sadness that I bring you news of the death of our friend and colleague Dr. Dale P. Andrews. Many of you knew that Dale had been ill with cancer. His passing is a tremendous loss for his family, his colleagues and students at Vanderbilt, and for us in the APT.  Dale was the president of our association from 2014-2016, during which time we benefited in so many ways from his strong leadership as we also enjoyed his considerable practical theological wisdom and humor. You might appreciate this short Faith & Leadership video featuring Dale and aptly entitled “Our Death Is Not The End”–click  here . Below is a copy of the announcement sent by Dean Emilie Townes of Vanderbilt, which includes a way for you to send a card to Dale’s family if you wish to do so.


Dale was a practical theology rock star. Since 2010 he served as Distinguished Professor of Homiletics, Social Justice, and Practical Theology at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Prior to that he taught at Boston University and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Dale’s writings include Practical Theology for Black Churches: Bridging Black Theology and African American Folk Religion (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002); Black Practical Theology (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2015) co-edited with Robert London Smith Jr.; several other edited volumes, and countless published sermons and journal articles. He was ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and pastored a number of congregations, in addition to his clinical experience in community mental health and residential treatment.


Dale, we will miss your laugh, your incisive critical mind, and your friendship. Go in peace, good and faithful servant.


Joyce Ann Mercer

President, APT


 From Emilie Townes:

One and all,


It is with a heavy heart that I write to let you know that Dale P. Andrews, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair and Distinguished Professor of Homiletics, Social Justice, and Practical Theology died last night, surrounded by his family, as was his deep wish.


Service arrangements are yet to be determined, but Barbara will pass along this information to me as soon as it becomes available so that I can let you all know.  She writes, “We want to celebrate the life and love of a great man, father, husband, colleague, mentor, and friend.”


As requested before, please send your notes and cards to the Dean’s Office addressed to


Professor Dale P. Andrews

Vanderbilt Divinity School

411 21st Avenue South

Nashville, TN 37240


We will be sure that Barbara and the kids receive your them as soon as possible once we receive them.  Please give Barbara some time before trying to call, email, or text as she has time to mourn and celebrate Dale’s life and also prepare for the future.


A great light has dimmed,