As the Reverend Dr. Micah L. McCreary enters his second year as President of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, he draws on his deep spiritual foundation and his scholarly understanding of psychology to provide leadership for the next generation of seminarians. Like many MFP Fellows, Dr. McCreary credits the Minority Fellowship Program with giving him access to the networks and mentors who helped his development. He says his experience was “powerful” and life-changing after growing up in inner-city Detroit, Michigan. As a pastor’s son and the oldest of seven children, he was deeply involved in the church, which helped him escape the pitfalls of urban life. He received his bachelor’s degree in engineering at the University of Michigan and later earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.
Dr. McCreary entered the MFP program while studying psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). His teaching career at VCU as a tenured associate professor of psychology spanned 21 years. During that time, he held other positions at VCU, including as Assistant Vice Provost for Diversity, Quality Enhancement Plan Coordinator, and Co-Director of the Counseling Psychology Program.
Despite his idyllic career, the one tragedy in his life has been the long-time incarceration of one of his brothers who went to prison during the 1970s and is scheduled to be released in the near future. He says that, but for the grace of God, he could have made an error in judgement and done something that would have delivered him to the same fate. Fortunately, Dr. McCreary stayed on the right path, and he is looking forward to reuniting with his brother.
While in the MFP program, Dr. McCreary was able to meet and work with many giants in the field of psychology through the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi), including Dr. Na’im Akbar and Dr. Wade Nobles. Understanding the “racist personality disorder” is fundamental to Dr. McCreary’s vision as a proponent of justice across multicultural, economic, and gender differences, and led to his current position as president of New Brunswick Theological Seminary, the oldest Protestant seminary in the United States. The seminary took a public stand against racism and in 2007 formed an Anti-Racism Transformation Team.
Dr. McCreary will be leading a seminary that looks much different than it did in past years. Today, New Brunswick Theological Seminary has evolved from a predominantly white male institution to a body that has more women than men. Seventy percent of the students are of color, and 20 percent are foreign born. His vision is to lead a “seminary with heart for God’s cities, for spiritual outreach, and community transformation.”