Scholar and minister Richard McKinney was born on August 8, 1906, in Live Oak, Florida. McKinney graduated as valedictorian of his high school class at Morehouse Academy in 1927, and went on to attend Morehouse College. In 1931, McKinney received his A.B. degree in religion and philosophy; from there, he attended Andover Newton Theological School, where he earned his B.D. degree in 1934 and his S.T.M degree in 1937 in philosophy of religion. From Andover, McKinney went on to Yale University to earn his Ph.D. in 1942 with a focus on religion in higher education; he did his post-doctoral research at the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and the University of Paris.
While attending Andover, McKinney began his ministry in 1934, preaching at Pond Street Baptist Church in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1935, McKinney left Pond Street Church to join Virginia Union University as the director of religious activities and an assistant professor. McKinney remained at Virginia Union until 1944, eventually rising to the rank of dean of the School of Religion in 1942. Hired in 1944 by Storer College in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, McKinney became the first African American president of the school. In 1951, McKinney was recruited by Morgan State University to work as a professor and to chair the Department of Philosophy and the Division of the Humanities. McKinney remained at Morgan State University until 1978, rising to the position of acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
After leaving Morgan State University, McKinney returned to Virginia Union for a year, where he served as acting vice president for academic affairs. After leaving that position, McKinney continued his own research, writing, and lecturing, independently.
McKinney was listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Black America and in the Dictionary of International Biography. McKinney served as the chairman of the Board of Union Baptist Church, and on the Board of Trustees of the Enoch Pratt Free Library of Baltimore.
Richard McKinney, the father of two, grandfather of five, and great-grandfather of six, passed away on October 28, 2005 at the age of ninety-nine.
Andover Newton Theological School
We must use our minds.
District of Columbia
College president and theologian Richard I. McKinney (1906 - 2005 ) was the first African American president of Storer College.
Pond Street Baptist Church
Virginia Union University
Virginia State University
Morgan State University
Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Richard McKinney interview: name and date of birth
Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Richard McKinney interview, continued
Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Richard McKinney's favorites
Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Richard McKinney describes his father's background
Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Richard McKinney discusses his siblings
Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Richard McKinney remembers his mother
Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Richard McKinney remembers the sights, smells and sounds of his childhood
Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Richard McKinney reflects on media outlets of the early 20th century
Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Richard McKinney reviews his early avocations
Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Richard McKinney reflects on his education
Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Richard McKinney recalls his participation in musical activities in college
Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Richard McKinney remembers lessons from influential instructors
Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Richard McKinney recounts episodes from his college years at Morehouse College
Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Richard McKinney recalls winning a fellowship to study the Quakers
Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Richard McKinney recalls working to fund his seminary education
Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Richard McKinney recounts his experience at Andover Newton Theological School
Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Richard McKinney reviews key concepts from ancient philosophers
Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Richard McKinney shares reflections on the black church
Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Richard McKinney remembers his contemporary, Reverend Joseph Jackson
Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Richard McKinney evaluates mega-churches
Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Richard McKinney discusses his early teaching post and his pursuit of graduate studies
Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Richard McKinney remembers influential instructors from his graduate years at Yale University
Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Richard McKinney details his tenure at Storer College in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Richard McKinney discusses the closings of black colleges
Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Richard McKinney recalls his interactions with W. E. B. DuBois
Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Richard McKinney expresses his hopes and concerns for the black community
Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Richard McKinney considers his legacy
Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Richard McKinney explains his longevity
Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Richard McKinney discusses his many book projects
Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Richard McKinney describes how he'd like to be remembered