Harlan Beckley Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor of Religion, Emeritus; Founding Director of the Shepherd Poverty Program; Founding Executive Director of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty

Harlan Beckley

Newcomb 312

Dr. Beckley received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Illinois and a Doctorate in Christian Theological Ethics from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Beckley taught in the Religion department at Washington and Lee University from 1974 to 1997. In 1997, Dr. Beckley helped to create and became the first Director of the Shepherd Program on Poverty and Human Capability. In 1999, Dr. Beckley was named the Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor of Religion and in 2002 he received the state of Virginia's highest award for excellence in education, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia's Outstanding Faculty Award. He retired from the W&L and the Shepherd Program Faculty in 2014. Dr. Beckley served as Vice President and President of the Society of Christian Ethics from 1999-2001 and as Acting President of Washington and Lee University in 2005-06. He served as the founding director of the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty from 2012-2017.


1981-82 Post-doctoral fellow at The University of Chicago Divinity School

1978 Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
Field: Christian Theological Ethics Dissertation: "Economic Justice in a Pluralistic Society: A Study in Christian Social Ethics"

1973 M.A., Vanderbilt University 1972 M.Div., Vanderbilt University Founder's Medalist (highest GPA)

1966-67 Wesley Theological Seminary

1966 B.S., University of Illinois Major: Economics