South African Couple to Serve as Guest Faculty at Berea College

Dr. Elna Boesak and Dr. Allan BoesakDr. Elna Boesak and Dr. Allan Boesak will join Berea College as guest faculty during most of the Spring 2018 term.

The Boesaks, who are from South Africa, were introduced to Berea by Archbishop Desmond Tutu—who received an honorary degree from Berea in 2005—and by a former trustee.

Dr. Allan Boesak recently completed a five-year appointment as chair of the Desmond Tutu Peace, Reconciliation, and Global Justice Center at Butler University and Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. A fervent advocate for direct, non-violent action, Dr. Boesak completed his doctorate in theology at the Protestant Theological University in the Netherlands and held positions in the South African Council of Churches where he worked closely with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He completed a degree at the Dutch Reformed Mission Church Theological Seminary at the University of the Western Cape and a doctorate in theology at the Protestant Theological University in the Netherlands. He will be teaching a course on peace and social justice in Berea’s Religion Department.

Dr. Elna Boesak’s career spans three decades in print, radio and television journalism in South Africa, working as a producer, television reporter and anchor. Her work put her front and center in some of South Africa’s most turbulent transitions from apartheid to democracy. She was the first journalist to conduct a live interview with former South African President F. W. de Klerk immediately after the last raced-based general election in South Africa in 1989. Since 2003, she has been an independent journalist, producer and communication strategist working in leadership development and coaching programs, especially focused on youth, media ethics and responsible citizenship. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Pretoria and a Ph.D. in Gender and Religion from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. She will be teaching courses in Berea’s Communication Department.

The Boesaks will present “Oppression, Resistance, Liberation—Two Journeys, One Path” at a public event on Feb. 15 at 3 p.m. at Union Church. A reception following their remarks will be held in the church’s Community Room.


Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College admits only academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally-recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.