Rev. Dr. Derrick McQueen earned his B.A. in Theater Arts from Drew University, an M.Div. in Theology and the Arts, and his Ph. D. in Homiletics and New Testament, the latter both from Union Theological Seminary. Derrick is currently serving as the interim pastor of the historic St. James Presbyterian church in Harlem and Parish Associate for the 1001 Worshiping Congregation Neighborhood Esperanza, which serves those in need on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
He also serves as the Associate Director Visiting Professor of Community Partnerships Columbia University’s, Center On African American Religion and Sexual Politics (CARSS). CARSS is a project that advances research, education, and public engagement at the nexus of religion, race and sexuality, in general, but with a particular focus on black communities, both in the United States and the wider African Diaspora. He has been with the project since its inception as it tries to navigate and promote conversations around sexuality with a focus on historic black churches.
During his time at Union, Derrick has been integrally involved in the community and worship life. As a middler, he earned the Hudnut Award, which is awarded to a middler who has made the best preparation for the preaching ministry. Upon graduation received the Maxwell Fellowship from Auburn Seminary, awarded to the graduating senior who shows the most promise of excellence for future service in parish ministry.
Derrick's interests include practical theology; integrating current academic theologies and empire-critical biblical studies into congregational and community life; classical dramatic structures and their influence on Christianity; and early Christian community models of social justice and their modern applications on issues such as poverty, sexuality, race and gender. Serving as Moderator and Chair of the Commission On Ministry, for the Presbytery of New York City has enabled Derrick to work with many congregations in finding leadership, defining mission and purpose, as well as training congregations in liturgical and community leadership.
Derrick has worked as a community activist and social worker, and is currently a Poverty Scholar with Union's Poverty Initiative. Serving as Moderator and Chair of the Commission On Ministry, for the Presbytery of New York City has enabled Derrick to work with many congregations in finding leadership, defining (redefining) mission and purpose, as well as training congregations in liturgical and community leadership.
Derrick is also a spiritual multi-media artist and for over a decade has toured a one man production on the life of Paul Robeson for the East Lynne Theater Company. As a professor he teaches Preaching, Worship Arts, and New Testament.