On May 21, the Rev. Hiram Ratliff ’88, senior pastor of the New Tabernacle Baptist Church in the Bronx, graduated with his Master of Divinity from the New York Theological Seminary.
“Hobart had a big impact on my theological education and foundation as I minored in religious studies,” says Ratliff, who also recalled discovering that Hobart was once associated with two different seminaries. “Upon graduation I worked my way up in my childhood church, Antioch Baptist Church, from a deacon to a youth minister to assistant pastor to finally pastoring a church in the New Tabernacle Baptist Church in Bronx, N.Y.”
Along the way, Ratliff earned a master’s degree from the New York Theological Seminary in 2007, this one in professional studies in pastoral counseling.
As a student at the Colleges, he majored in English and was the recipient of the Martin Luther King Award, given in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to a graduating HWS student of color who has exceptionally exemplified during his or her college career, the concern for others, commitment to improving human relationships, leadership in minority affairs, and dedication to intellectual excellence that characterized King’s life and ministry.
Today, in addition to his ministry, Ratliff’s calling has led him to work in social services in agencies such as the Harlem Children’s Zone, giving back to the community in which he grew up. With fellow Hobart alumnus Joel Talish ’87, Ratliff sits on the board of School in the Square, a new Bronx charter school set to open its doors in September 2016. He is married to Maria A. Ratliff and they reside in the Bronx.