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wefluker@ashland.edu

Walter Fluker

Walter Fluker

Adjunct Instructor

Walter Earl Fluker is professor emeritus of ethical Leadership at Boston University, dean’s
professor of spirituality, ethics and leadership at Candler School of Theology at Emory
University, and founder and CEO of Walter Earl Fluker and Associates, Inc.,
walterearlfluker.com.

He was born in Vaiden, Mississippi and raised in Chicago, Illinois where he attended public
schools. He served in the United States Army as a Chaplain’s Assistant from 1971-1973. He
received his BA degree in philosophy and biblical studies from Trinity College in 1977, and an
MDiv degree in 1980 from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Fluker completed his PhD
degree in social ethics at Boston University in 1988.

He served as pastor of the historic St. John’s Congregational Church, UCC in Springfield,
Massachusetts from 1981-1986. In 1986, Fluker was university chaplain and assistant professor
of religion at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He became assistant professor of
Christian ethics at Vanderbilt Divinity School, and assistant to the pastor at First Baptist Church
in Nashville, Tennessee. He taught at Harvard College from 1990-1991 and was named dean of
black church studies and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial professor of theology and black
church studies at the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (CRDS) in 1991. In 1992, Fluker
became editor of the Howard Thurman Papers Project. He served as director, National
Resource Center for the Development of Ethical Leadership from the Black Church Tradition
from CRDS in 1993-1998. In 1998, Fluker joined Morehouse College as executive director of The
Leadership Center (renamed the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership), The Coca Cola
professor of leadership studies and professor of philosophy and religion. Fluker joined the
Boston University School of Theology faculty as the Martin Luther King, Jr. professor of ethical
leadership and director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Initiative for the Development of Ethical
Leadership in 2010 and retired in July 2020.

He has lectured and taught broadly in global and national contexts. In 2004, Fluker served as
Distinguished Lecturer in the International Human Rights Exchange Program and visiting
professor for the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business and from 2008-2011 as
faculty at The Salzburg Global Seminar, Salzburg, Austria. Fluker was a distinguished lecturer for
the US Embassy in Abuja and Lagos, Nigeria; Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban, South Africa,
China; and India. He has served visiting professorships at the Harvard Divinity School and
Candler School of Theology; and visiting scholar at Princeton Theological Seminary and
Columbia Theological Seminary.

He has consulted and provided ethical leadership training for an array of organizations,
including the Democratic Leadership Council National Conversation, Goldman Sachs Global
Leaders Program, CARE, The United States Army Chaplain’s Corps, the Tepper School Business
at Carnegie Mellon University, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the
Department of Education, the Department of State, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the
Georgia State Superintendents’ Association, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
Among his publications are:
• The Ground Has Shifted: The Black Church in Post-Racial America. New York: New York
University Press, 2016
• Ethical Leadership and the Quest for Character, Civility, and Community. Minneapolis:
Fortress Press, 2009
• They Looked for a City: A Comparative Analysis of the Ideal of Community in the
Thought of Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King, Jr. Landham, MD: University
Press of America, 1989
• Editor of the five-volume documentary edition of The Papers of Howard Washington
Thurman, 2009-2019
• Co-editor with Peter Eisenstadt, Walking with God: The Sermon Series of Howard
Washington Thurman. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, Vol 1. Moral Struggle and the Prophets,
2020; and Vol 2, The Way of the Mystics, 2021; Vols. 3, and 4 forthcoming 2022 and
2023