Virginia Union University Appoints Rev. Dr. MarQuita A. Carmichael as Director of VUU Africa

September 20, 2023

RICHMOND, VA --- September 18, 2023] — Virginia Union University President and CEO Dr. Hakim J. Lucas is excited to appoint Rev. Dr. MarQuita Carmichael as Director of VUU Africa. 

 "With a strong background in theology and a profound understanding of the cultural, social, and educational landscape of Africa, Dr. Carmichael is well-equipped to lead our efforts in expanding VUU's presence and impact on the continent. Dr. Carmichael will be responsible for fostering collaborations with educational institutions, promoting academic exchange programs, advancing research opportunities, and furthering our commitment to social and community development in African regions," said Dr. Lucas.

Rev. Dr. Carmichael hails from Arlington, Virginia, and holds the esteemed position of Director of VUU Africa. Her professional journey within the university commenced as the Director of Faith-based Major Gifts for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology, where she achieved remarkable success in augmenting scholarship opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students. Over her tenure spanning nine years, Dr. Carmichael diligently fulfilled roles as Assistant University Pastor and Director of Civic Engagement and Faith-Based Initiatives for the Center for African American History and Culture.

Dr. Carmichael's deep affinity for the continent of Africa traces its roots back to her childhood, a period when she was immersed in the rich history and culture of Africa. Growing up surrounded by African artifacts and experiencing cultural exposure, she developed a profound connection to the heritage of the Akan people of West Africa. Her lifelong dedication revolves around nurturing our historical ties to Africa in a purposeful manner, ensuring that our collective identity flourishes.

In her view, understanding our origins and embracing our historical legacy is fundamental to our growth as a people. Dr. Carmichael firmly believes that we must connect with our history, acknowledge our enduring legacy, hold onto our aspirations, and facilitate healing as a community. And this transformative journey cannot be truly accomplished without acknowledging the profound influence of Africa, a continent that has shaped our past and continues to shape our future.

This commitment to both African history and the mission of Virginia Union University exemplifies Dr. Carmichael's dedication to fostering a deeper understanding of our roots and propelling us forward as a united and empowered community.

Furthermore, Dr. Carmichael achieved a unique milestone as the first woman to be appointed to a historically Black Church in Virginia's Middle Peninsula. In 2012, she was officially installed as the 20th Pastor of the Antioch Baptist Church in Susan, Virginia, and admirably served in this capacity for seven years. During her tenure at Antioch Baptist Church, Dr. Carmichael played a pivotal role in several significant building projects.

Her academic journey saw her earn a Master of Divinity degree in 2005 and a Doctor of Ministry degree in 2012, both from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at VUU.

Additionally, she completed a clinical residency in pastoral care and counseling at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. Her eloquent sermon titled "The Silence We Keep" clinched first place in the Faith Trust Institute's National Sermon Contest for the year 2010.

Dr. Carmichael is renowned for her empathetic approach and unwavering dedication to others. She gracefully navigates the challenges and joys of ministry while endeavoring to empower individuals to lead authentic lives in the presence of one another and before the divine.

An accomplished author, Dr. Carmichael penned "A Drop of Oil" and made contributions to Dr. Ella Pearson Mitchell's work, "Those Preaching Women Volume 5." Furthermore, her submissions to Dr. Katie G. Cannon's "Womanist, Feminist, Mujerista Ethics Seminar Journal" were published in 2009. She also assumes the role of the creative force behind Serenity's Waiting, a service offering professional coaching, strategically aligned collaborations, and retreats.

Dr. Carmichael's personal joys are deeply rooted in her family, which includes her husband, Reverend Darnell Carruthers, who serves as the Pastor of Greenbrier Baptist Church, her adult son Anthony Carmichael Burton, and their beloved canine companions, Macie Grace and Mile Davis.

Contact: Erika Roache 
Director of Public Relations