Who's Who Top Educators

Rev. Betty Whitted Holley, PhD

Title: Academic Dean and Full Professor
Company: Payne Theological Seminary
Location: Beavercreek, Ohio, United States 

Rev. Betty Whitted Holley, PhD, Academic Dean and Full Professor at the Payne Theological Seminary, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in religious education.

Dr. Holley is an accomplished theological educator and educational administrator with decades of experience to her credit. In preparation for her career, she attended Bennett College, earning a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics in 1976. In 1980, she graduated from the University of North Carolina with a Master of Education in mathematics and physics, and in 1988 she obtained an Educational Specialist degree in middle school education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2000, Dr. Holley graduated from the Payne Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity in theological education, and in 2007 she completed a Doctor of Philosophy in environmental ethics and African American religious studies at Union Institute and University.

Dr. Holley has served the Payne Theological Seminary as an educator since 2000, when she started as an adjunct professor with the institution. Since 2001, she has held the title of professor of environmental ethics and ecological theology, and since 2004, she has acted as the program director for alternative theological education. Dr. Holley was an associate professor from 2016 to 2020 and has been a full professor at Payne Theological Seminary since 2020. Since 2017, she has directed the Master of Divinity degree program at the seminary, and since 2020, she has served as an academic dean.

Alongside her work as an educator, Dr. Holley has given presentations before numerous theological organizations, including a presentation titled “Imagining the Human Future: Ethics of the Anthropocene,” which she gave at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., in 2015. She was elected the chairperson of the Association of Theological Schools Commission on Accreditation in 2022 and was the first African American woman to hold the position. For her professional excellence, she has received numerous educational awards throughout her career, including Mathematics Educator of the Year and NASA Science Educator of the Year. Dr. Holley attributes her success to her faith, as God directs her path. In the coming years, she hopes to become president of an institution or seminary and continue to make a difference in the lives of many.

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