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The Transition of Dr. Leah Gaskin Fitchue

Funeral Arrangements below:

Dr. Leah Gaskin Fitchue, first female President of Payne Theological Seminary Dies

Rev. Dr. Leah Gaskin Fitchue, former President of Payne Theological Seminary, was the first African American woman president of a theological seminary belonging to the 244 member Association of Theological Schools and the first African American woman to serve as president of any Historically Black Theological Seminary. Rev. Dr. Fitchue was an ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She held a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University, a Master of Science degree from the University of Michigan, a Doctor of Education degree from Harvard University, and a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary.

With an educational career stretching from working as the head of the Philadelphia Education League to serving as a professor of religious studies at Hampton University, she served as President of Payne Theological Seminary from 2003-2015.  In 2005–2006, under Fitchue’s leadership, Payne began offering an online degree in which two-thirds of a student’s education occurred online, and the remaining one-third in residence. It was the first among the six traditionally African American theological schools to offer an online degree.  During her tenure, the foundations were also laid for the school’s Doctor of Ministry Program.

Rev. Dr. Fitchue died on June 18, 2019. She was the daughter of Joseph Matchett (deceased) and Rosie Lee Jones (deceased). She is survived by her daughter Dr. Ebony Joy Fitchue, a doctoral student at Howard University.