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Baccalaureate and Honor Cord Ceremony
May 4, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Dr. Jonathan C. Augustine (a/k/a “Jay Augustine”) serves as senior pastor of St. Joseph AME Church in Durham, NC, and as general chaplain of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He is an accomplished author, respected academic leader, and nationally recognized social justice advocate.
Prior to Dr. Augustine’s current pastoral service, he led Historic St. James AME Church (1844) in downtown New Orleans, the oldest predominantly black Protestant congregation in the Deep South, while simultaneously teaching at Southern University Law Center. He currently serves as a visiting professor at North Carolina Central University Law School and as a consulting faculty member at Duke University Divinity School, where he is also a member of the Board of Visitors and a missional strategist with the Center for Reconciliation. His most recent books are When Prophets Preach: Leadership and the Politics of the Pulpit (Fortress Press, 2023) and Called to Reconciliation: How the Church Can Model Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion (Baker Academic, 2022). His work on civil and voting rights, as well as other social justice matters, has been published in law reviews throughout the United States, including the Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal, Louisiana Law Review, Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, and the University of Louisville Law Review, among many others. His most recent work on immigration reform appears in the Howard Law Journal.
Augustine serves as a member of the board of directors of PartnersGlobal, Inc. and is a silver life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (“NAACP”). As a pastoral leader who serves his beloved AME Church beyond the local congregation, he is also an elected member of the denomination’s Judicial Council (Supreme Court). Among his many notable awards and distinctions, Augustine was named “Outstanding Alumni Brother of the Year” by Alpha Phi Alpha (2017), he won the fraternity’s Belford V. Lawson National Oratorical Scholarship (1994), and was awarded President Barack Obama’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2016). As a young activist, he was named to Ebony Magazine’s “30 Leaders of the Future” (2001) and is currently an active member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.
After graduating from Howard University with a degree in economics, Augustine served as a decorated infantry officer in the United States Army. He earned his law degree at Tulane University and served as a law clerk to Chief Justice (then-Associate) Bernette Joshua Johnson, at the Louisiana Supreme Court, before practicing law and serving in both publicly elected and appointed offices in Louisiana. After accepting the call to ordained ministry, he earned his Master of Divinity degree, at United Theological Seminary, as a Beane Fellow and National Rainbow-PUSH Coalition Scholar, before completing a fellowship at Princeton Theological Seminary and earning his Doctor of Ministry at Duke University.
Dr. Jay Augustine is married to his partner and friend, Michelle Burks Augustine. They are the parents of two college students.