The Rev. Peter J. Gomes

Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in The Memorial Church, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachussetts

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1942, the Rev. Prof.
Peter J. Gomes is an American Baptist minister ordained to the Christian
Ministry by the First Baptist Church of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Since
1970 he has served in The Memorial Church, Harvard University; and since
1974 as Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in The
Memorial Church.

A member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and of the Faculty of
Divinity of Harvard University, Professor Gomes holds degrees from Bates
College (A.B., 1965), and from the Harvard Divinity School (S.T.B.,
1968); and thirty-three honorary degrees: New England College,
Waynesburg College, Gordon College, Knox College, The University of the
South, Duke University, The University of Nebraska, Wooster College,
Bates College, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion,
Trinity College, Bowdoin College, Berkeley Divinity School at Yale,
Colby College, Olivet College, Mount Holyoke College, Furman University,
Baker University, Mount Ida College, Willamette University, The State
University of New York at Geneseo, Westminster Choir College of Rider
University, Ursinus College, Wagner College, Lesley University, Williams
College, Virginia Theological Seminary, Morris College, The University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Hamilton College, Union College,
Tuskegee University, and Lasell College. In 2006, he was given The
Preston N. Williams Award by Harvard Divinity School, and Harvard
University in 2001 presented him with The Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award.
He is an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College, The University of
Cambridge, England, where The Gomes Lectureship is established in his

Widely regarded as one of America’s most distinguished
preachers, Professor Gomes fulfills preaching and lecturing engagements
throughout America and the British Isles. In 2005 he presented a series
of sermons in St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, England, in the presence of
Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall;
and in 2004 he gave the Convocation Address at Harvard Divinity School.
In 2002 he served as Hein Fry Lecturer for the Evangelical Lutheran
Seminaries in the United States.

In 2001 he was Missioner to Oxford University; in 2000 he delivered
The University Sermon before The University of Cambridge, England, and
The Millennial Sermon in Canterbury Cathedral, England; and in 1998 he
presented The Lyman Beecher Lectures on Preaching, in Yale Divinity
School. Named Clergy of the Year in 1998 by Religion in American Life,
Professor Gomes participated in the presidential inaugurations of Ronald
Wilson Reagan and of George Herbert Walker Bush. His New York
and national best-selling books, The Good Book: Reading
the Bible with Mind and Heart
, (1996); and Sermons: Biblical
Wisdom for Daily Living
(1998), were published by William Morrow
and Company, Inc.; The Good Life: Truths That Last in Times of
was published in 2002 by HarperSanFrancisco, which published
Strength for the Journey: Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living in
spring 2003. In 2005, The Backward Glance and the Forward Look
was published by WordTech. He has also published ten volumes of sermons
as well as numerous articles and papers.

Professor Gomes serves on the advisory board of The Living
. In addition, he serves as Harvard University trustee of The
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and as trustee of The Roxbury Latin School
and of Bates College; and he is a member of The Massachusetts Historical
Society, The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and a sometime Fellow of
The Royal Society of Arts, London, England. Former acting director of
The W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, Harvard
University, he is past president of The Signet Society, Harvard’s
oldest literary society; and former trustee of Wellesley College, of The
Public Broadcasting Service, and of Plymouth Plantation. He is past
president and trustee of The Pilgrim Society of Plymouth,

Profiled by Robert Boynton in The New Yorker, and
interviewed by Morley Safer on 60 Minutes, The Reverend
Professor Peter J. Gomes was included in the summer 1999 premiere issue
of Talk magazine as part of its feature article, “The Best Talkers
in America: Fifty Big Mouths We Hope Will Never Shut Up.”

past cathedral appearances