In 1923, Howard Thurman graduated from Morehouse College as valedictorian. He was ordained a Baptist minister in 1925, after completing his study at the Colgate-Rochester Theological Seminary. He then decided to pursue further study as special student of philosophy in residence at Haverford College with Rufus Jones, a noted Quaker philosopher and mystic.
He served as dean of Rankin Chapel at Howard University in the District of Columbia from 1932-1944. He later became the first Black dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University (1953-1944). In 1944 Thurman left his prestigious tenured position at Howard to help the Fellowship of Reconciliation establish the first racially integrated, intercultural church in the United States, the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco, California.
After leaving Marsh Chapel in 1965, Thurman continued his ministry as director of the Howard Thurman Educational Trust in San Francisco until his death in 1981. Thurman was the author of 20 books of ethical and cultural criticism. The most famous of his works, Jesus and the Disinherited (1949), deeply influenced Martin Luther King, Jr., and other leaders of the modern civil rights movement. (Thurman was in fact a classmate and friend of Martin Luther King, Sr., at Morehouse College).
Ebony Magazine called Thurman one of the 50 most important figures in African-American history, and Life rated him among the twelve best preachers in the nation.
Meditations of the Heart
by Howard Thurman.