James H. Costen, Jr. is the Program Director of the Connecting Grace Initiative at the Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary. He also serves as the seminary's Technological Advisor.
James holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Kennesaw State University, and currently working on a Masters degree in Race and Urban Studies at Georgia State University. His research focus is the readiness of the Church to effectively assist the formerly incarcerated in community reintegration. James is also engaged in organizing movements that push against the hyper-incarceration of people of color (End the New Jim Crow Action Group: Atlanta and End Money Bail: Dekalb County, GA).
Additionally, James is the creator and director of the James H.Costen, Sr. Institute for Complicated Freedoms. The Institute, named after his father, collaborates with community stakeholders to foster community healing and collective efficacy.
James has a deep sense of love and compassion for God and family. He is married, has one son, and four grandchildren.