In 2008, the Reverend Dr. Debra Lynn Haggins was named university chaplain and pastor of the historic Memorial Church at Hampton University; the first female to hold this position in the university’s history. As university chaplain, Haggins serves in a dual capacity, as campus minister and as executive secretary of the nationally acclaimed Hampton University Ministers’ Conference-Choir Directors’ & Organists’ Guild Workshop.
Haggins previously served as the interim pastor of the historic Queen Street Baptist Church in Norfolk, Virginia. Prior to that, she served as assistant to the chaplain and faculty advisor to the Student Christian Association at Hampton University. Rev. Haggins has had a successful professional career with the Virginia Beach City Public School System and the Norfolk Public School System. Chaplain Haggins has earned a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Early Childhood Education from Paine College in Augusta, Ga where she joined the sisterhood of the Eta Theta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. She received the Master of Science degree (M.S.Ed.) in Secondary School Administration and the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAS) in Higher Education Administration, both from Old Dominion University. She earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) in theology from The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.
In May of 2017, the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Higher Education Leadership and Management was conferred upon her from Hampton University. This fall, Dr. Haggins will enroll in the Doctor of Ministry program at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology where her field of emphasis will be Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation. Debra Haggins is the mother of Brian, Steven and Bradley Haggins.