Journey to the Mountaintop: The Conversion and Faith Development of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The night before he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood in the pulpit of the Mason Temple (Church of God in Christ) in Memphis, Tennessee, to deliver what would become his eulogy. As the hall’s air fills with reverberating “Amens” and “Hallelujahs,” King attempts to share with the eager crowd that he had come to a place in his life where he wanted to do only one thing: “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place.” And then he says, “But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will.” King testifies that he was inspired to do God’s will, that is, to continue the struggle for social justice, because “[God] allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land.”

This online course will explore King’s religious conversion experiences and stages in the development of his faith that facilitated his journey to the mountaintop. Participants will be challenged to reimagine the mountaintop not just as a promise—i.e., a vision of the approaching beloved community—but as a performance—i.e., the doing of God’s will in the here and now. Students will engage with the professor in two live sessions and receive written feedback on their reflection papers. 

Dates: October 18 - 29, 2021
Live Sessions: Thursdays, October 21 and 28, 2021, 7:00 p.m. — 8:30 p.m. eastern time

See FAQ page for details on earning C.E.U.s

Standard Fee: $225
Early Bird Fee: $175 (Discount ends September 13 at 11:59pm ET)

Register by October 8, 2021.

How it Works

  When: October 18 — 29, 2021

  Duration: 2 Weeks

 Time Commitment: 10 hours/week 

  Credit: 2 C.E.U.s


What You'll Learn

  •   Demonstrate a working knowledge of the fundamental theories of religious conversion and faith development.
  •   Examine and critique the role of religious conversion and faith development in the faith experiences of spiritual exemplars.
  •   Provide concepts for being aware of one’s religious conversion and faith development.

Who Should Enroll

seminarians, pastors, lay leaders, those interested in religious biographies/personalities and American/African-American culture


headshot of instructor Jay Paul Hinds

Jay-Paul Hinds

Jay-Paul M. Hinds, MDiv '07, ThM '08, is assistant professor of pastoral theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. He received his Doctorate of Philosophy in religion and Certificate of Psychoanalytic Studies from Emory University, with a concentration in religious practices and practical theology. He earned his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. Hinds earned a Bachelor of Arts: religion, cum laude, from Felician College. Before returning to Princeton Seminary, Hinds served as assistant professor of pastoral care, practical theology, and psychology of religion at Howard University School of Divinity.

Price: $225.00

Educating faithful Christian leaders.

Senior Pastor, Asbury United Methodist Church, Atlantic City, NJ

Latasha Milton, Class of 2018

“My passion is doing what I can to empower and liberate people who are hurting. PTS has made me a better person and pastor because it’s given me the tools to better serve the oppressed and marginalized.”