Fire in My Bones Digital Guide

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Opening Letter from the Co-Conveners “The call to teach is like fire shut up in my bones.” – Katie Geneva Cannon

Welcome to the 2022 Joint Black Theology & Leadership Institute (BTLI)! Founded in 2012, BTLI is a weeklong intensive continuing education event for clergy and laity for training, worship, and fellowship. For the past nine years, BTLI has welcomed distinguished fellows who desire to deepen their thinking, preaching, and proclamation by learning with preeminent scholars of theology and religion, and practitioners. The 2022 BTLI represents the 9th annual gathering and the first joint initiative between Princeton Theological Seminary Office of Continuing Education (PTS), The Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership at Union Presbyterian Seminary (KGCCWL), and Virginia Union University Center for African American History and Culture (CAAHC). The theme for the 2022 BTLI, “Fire in My Bones: Womanist Leadership, Activism, and Preaching,” honors the work and witness of The Reverend Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, the first Black woman ordained in the United Presbyterian Church and the founder of womanist theological ethics. Womanism describes a growing field of study and prophetic social movement that takes seriously the historical and contemporary experiences of Black women while advocating for the wholeness and wellbeing of all humanity. In a 2017 interview during her last visit to the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary, Cannon described how womanist theology and ethics challenges the Church in this way: “Womanism is a way of knowing. Womanist scholarship is cognizant, intuitive, and a legitimate academic enterprise. Womanist Theological Ethics is rigorous inquiry whereby we change the index in theological education by centering the differentiated experiences, perspectives, and realities of Black women as the touchstone. In other words, as women of the African Diaspora living in the United States, we examine our inherited forms of survivalist intentions in a wider sociocultural context at the hermeneutical center, instead of being a superfluous afterthought, hanging off the peripheral ecclesiastical margin. Womanist intellectual activists shift paradigms, both in content and methodologies in biblical exegesis, church history, and systematic theology, due to our commitment to work in solidarity with real-world liberation struggles for freedom, justice, and fullness of life.”1 BTLI models the Cannon classroom by inviting learners and leaders to bring their embodied stories and selves to develop new pathways for moral praxis. This summer gathering is designed to provide clergy and lay leaders with the opportunity to think deeply about womanist theology and its clarion call to Black faith in this contemporary era through the lens of leadership, activism, and preaching. The 2022 BTLI cohort represents an exceptional, intergenerational, multidenominational group of 60 Black clergy and laity from diverse congregations and communities across the United States. This year’s leadership features a prestigious cadre of 24 leading womanist scholars, womanist collaborators, and prophetic voices. We are overjoyed that this BTLI will be held in person July 10-15, 2022, which marks a glorious return to the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary since the global pandemic. Masks are highly encouraged to maintain a safe environment.

Princeton Theological Seminary. “A Call Like Fire Shut Up In My Bones: An Interview with Dr. Katie Cannon (1958–2018),” March 2, 2018. news/katie-cannon-interview.


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BTLI is a cohort-centered program that invites fellows to volunteer in worship and fellowship. Be prepared to sign up and get involved. In addition to plenaries and presentations, we have curated sessions and stations throughout the week to stimulate collaborative learning, creative writing, performance art, ritual, and imaginative play. Thank you to the conveners and staff from the PTS, KGCCWL, and CAAHC offices who have worked tirelessly to curate an extraordinary experience. We are incredibly grateful to our three institutional sponsors for their generous contributions and collaboration. We salute all presenters and practitioners who have committed to sharing their gifts and graces to make this BTLI a success. May this conference guide be a helpful resource as you embark on a life-changing journey. The summer is heating up! Let’s get fired up! In Love and Struggle,

The Reverend Melanie C. Jones Director of The Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership Instructor of Ethics, Theology, and Culture Union Presbyterian Seminary

Dr. Sushama Austin-Connor Program Director, Black Theology and Leadership Institute Office of Continuing Education Princeton Theological Seminary

The Reverend Dr. MarQuita Carmichael Assistant University Pastor Assistant Director of Religious Life Director of Civic Engagement and Faith-Based Initiatives for the Center of African American History and Culture Virginia Union University

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The 2022 BTLI Institutional Partners Princeton Theological Seminary Black Theology & Leadership Institute Office of Continuing Education 64 Mercer Street Princeton, NJ 08542-0803

 @PTSBTLI  @PTSBTLI  @princetonseminary

Through the Office of Continuing Education, Princeton Theological Seminary offers ministry leaders opportunities for theological formation, spiritual renewal, and leadership development. Pastors, ministry professionals, and volunteers will find a place to network, share ideas, learn, and grow in a spiritually rich, Christ-centered environment — both on campus and online.

The Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership Union Presbyterian Seminary 3401 Brook Road Richmond, VA 23237

 @centerforwomanistleadership  @justwomanist  @justwomanist

The Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership (KGCCWL) is the premier center for womanist theory and practice endowed by Union Presbyterian Seminary. The mission of KGCCWL is to nurture the soul of Black women as they cultivate pathways to whole communities. KGCCWL recognizes the significance of centering Black women’s scholarship as viable sources and resources for theological education. Through six, high-priority initiatives—wellness, witness, wisdom, worship, wares, and works—KGCCWL serves as a site of participatory learning for scholars, students, clergy, laity, and community leaders.

Virginia Union University Center for African American History & Culture (CAAHC) 1500 N. Lombardy Street Virginia Union University, VA 23220

 @Virginia.Union  @VAUnion1865  @VAUnion1865

Virginia Union University is a premier liberal arts urban institution of higher education and center of excellence for the preparation of students and the development of leaders for tomorrow’s world. The Center for African American History and Culture at Virginia Union University is invested in the intentional research of Black Life and Legacy, education and community collaboration around Black culture and the arts.

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Schedule July 10-15, 2022 // The Black Theology and Leadership Institute begins at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 10, and concludes at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 15. BTLI Fellows are expected to attend the full event. Sunday, July 10, 2022 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Registration (Lobby, Erdman Center)

4:30 – 5:30 pm

Opening Reception (Front Lawn, Mackay Campus Center)

5:30 – 7:00 pm

Opening Dinner (Main Lounge, Mackay Campus Center)

7:00 – 8:30 pm

Worship - Lisa Allen McLaurin / Eboni Marshall Turman (Seminary Chapel)

Monday, July 11, 2022 7:00 – 7:30 am

Labyrinth Walk (Theron Room, Theodore Sedgwick Wright Library)

8:00 – 9:00 am

Breakfast (Cafeteria, Mackay Campus Center)

8:30 – 9:15 am

Bible Study (Private Dining Room/PDR, Mack Campus Center)

9:30 – 11:50 am

Morning Session – Eboni Marshall Turman (Stuart Hall, Room 6)

Noon – 1:00 pm

Lunch (Cafeteria, Mackay Campus Center)

1:00 – 3:00 pm

Afternoon Session – Eboni Marshall Turman (Stuart Hall, Room 6)

3:00 – 5:00 pm

Cohorts (In Erdman Center: Cooper Conference Room, Art Studio, Patio; in Adams House: Adams Living Room, Adams Dining Room)

5:00 – 6:00 pm

Dinner on your own

7:00 – 8:00 pm

Worship - Lisa Allen McLaurin / Lisa L. Thompson (Seminary Chapel)

8:00 pm – until

Readings/Study/Labyrinth Walk

8:00 – 9:30 pm

2021-2022 Calvin Cohort with Stacey Floyd-Thomas

Tuesday, July 12, 2022 7:00 – 7:30 am

Nature Walk (Historic Marquand Park, Princeton)

8:00 – 9:00 am

Breakfast (Cafeteria, Mackay Campus Center)

8:30 – 9:15 am

Bible Study (Private Dining Room/PDR, Mackay Campus Center)

9:30 – 11:50 am

Morning Session – Pamela Lightsey (Cooper Conference Room, Erdman Center)

Noon – 1:00 pm


1:00 – 3:00 pm

Afternoon Session – Pamela Lightsey (Cooper Conference Room, Erdman Center)

3:00 – 5:00 pm

Cohorts (In Erdman Center: Cooper Conference Room, Art Studio, Patio; in Adams House: Adams Living Room, Adams Dining Room)

5:00 – 6:00 pm

Dinner on your own

7:00 – 8:00 pm

Worship - Lisa Allen McLaurin / Teresa Fry Brown (Seminary Chapel)

8:00 pm – until


8:00 – 9:30 pm

2021-2022 Calvin Cohort with Stacey Floyd-Thomas — 8 —

Wednesday, July 13, 2022 8:00 – 9:00 am

Breakfast (Cafeteria, Mackay Campus Center)

8:30 – 9:15 am

Bible Study (Private Dining Room/PDR, Mack Campus Center)

9:30 – 11:50 am

The Annual Betsey Stockton Lecture - Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie (Cooper Conference Room, Erdman Center)

Noon – 1:00 pm

Lunch (Cafeteria, Mackay Campus Center)

1:00 – 3:00 pm

Book Club Conversation - Katie’s Canon: Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community (Katie Geneva Cannon) (Cooper Conference Room, Erdman Center)

3:00 – 5:00 pm

Workshop – Donta' McGilvery (Main Lounge, Mackay Campus Center)

5:30 – until

“On Your Own” Evening

Thursday, July 14, 2022 7:00 – 7:30 am

Guided Meditation (Theron Room, Theodore Sedgwick Wright Library)

8:00 – 9:00 am

Breakfast (Cafeteria, Mackay Campus Center)

8:30 – 9:15 am

Participant-led Bible Study

9:30 – 11:50 am

Plenary – Stephanie Crumpton (Cooper Conference Room, Erdman Center

Noon – 1:00 pm

Lunch (Cafeteria, Mackay Campus Center)

1:00 – 3:00 pm

Plenary – Stephanie Crumpton (Cooper Conference Room, Erdman Center)

3:00 – 5:00 pm

Cohorts (In Erdman Center: Cooper Conference Room, Art Studio, Patio; in Adams House: Adams Living Room, Adams Dining Room)

5:00 – 6:00 pm

Dinner on your own.

7:00 – 8:00 pm

Worship – Lisa Allen McLaurin / Melanie C. Jones (Seminary Chapel)

8:00 pm – until


Friday, July 15, 2022* 7:00 – 7:30 am

Yoga Meditation (Theron Room, Theodore Sedgwick Wright Library)

8:00 – 9:00 am

Breakfast (Cafeteria, Mackay Campus Center)

8:30 – 10:30 am

Plenary - Angela N. Parker (Cooper Conference Room, Erdman Center)

10:30 – 11:30 am

Interactive Bible Study Workshop – Angela N. Parker (Cooper Conference Room, Erdman Center)

Noon – 1:00 pm

Closing Lunch (Main Lounge, Mackay Campus Center)

*Schedule subject to change. **Please check out of your room at the Erdman Center during the morning break. Luggage can be stored with the front desk.

ATTIRE: Business Casual preferred for the entire week. On Monday evening, we will take a group photo. Please plan to wear your KGCCWL scarf or bowtie for the group photo.

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The 2022 BTLI Leadership Bios The Reverend Lisa Allen-McLaurin, Ph.D. is an Emmy and Webby-award winning pastor, professor, and public theologian. She is Helmar E. Nielsen Professor of Church Music and Worship and oversees the Master of Arts in Liturgical Arts and Culture degree at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and is appointed the Coordinator of Practical Ministries for the Sixth Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Dr. Allen-McLaurin holds Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. degrees in piano and music education from Millsaps College and the University of Southern Mississippi, and the Master of Divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She is the author of A Womanist Theology of Worship: Liturgy, Justice, and Communal Righteousness (Orbis Books, 2021), Worship Matters! A Collection of Essays on the Practical and Spiritual Discipline of Worship (Creative Publishing, 2015), and Development Comes Before Deliverance: A 9-Week Sermon Series and Bible Study on the Book of Exodus (Creative Publishing, 2018), and is a featured musicologist in the 2015 Emmy-award winning documentary, Reflect, Reclaim, Rejoice: Preserving the Gift of Black Sacred Music. Khristi Lauren Adams is a speaker, author, youth advocate and ordained Baptist minister. Khristi is the author of Parable of the Brown Girl which is published by Fortress Press. The book highlights the cultural and spiritual truths that emerge from the lives of young black girls. Parable of the Brown Girl has received awards for Best Young Adult Book from The African American Literary Awards and the New York Black Librarians Caucus. Her next book, Unbossed: How Black Girls Are Leading the Way will be released in the Spring of 2022 with Broadleaf Books. A middle grade version of the book titled Black Girls Unbossed: Young World Changers Leading the Way will be released with Beaming Books. She works as Dean of Spiritual Life & Equity at the Hill School. Khristi is also an instructor of Religious Studies at the Hill School. She is the Founder & Director of “The Becoming Conference”, an annual conference and leadership cohort designed to empower, educate & inspire girls between the ages of 13-18. Khristi is a graduate of Temple University with a degree in Advertising and a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary where she obtained a Master of Divinity degree. She also currently sits on the advisory board for Word Made Flesh, a non-profit organization existing to serve among the most vulnerable of the world’s poor. Dr. Sushama Austin-Connor is a faith leader serving clergy nationwide as well as communities in Princeton and Trenton, NJ. She is the founding director of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute (BTLI) at Princeton Theological Seminary as well as the program administrator in the center of Continuing Education. She is a proud wife and mother.

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The Reverend Dr. MarQuita A. Carmichael is the Assistant University Pastor at Virginia Union University. She has served in the ministry of Christ for over 20 years. Dr. Carmichael grew in ministry as an associate minister responsible for Pastoral Care and Counseling at the Pilgrim Journey Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia where she was ordained with the support of her pastor, Reverend Angelo V. Chatmon. Rev. Carmichael is the founder of the Diamonds and Pearls Teen Mentoring program and volunteers her time with Camp Diva, a local empowerment program for teenage girls. Dr. Carmichael is the author of “A Drop of Oil”, published by Blackwoman Press and is a contributor to Dr. Ella Pearson Mitchell’s “Those Preaching Women, Volume 5” published by Judson Press. Additionally, her submissions to one of her mentors and beloved ancestor, Reverend Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon’s “Womanist, Feminist, Mujerista Ethics Seminar Journal” were published by Dr. Cannon in May 2009. Dr. Carmichael earned her the Doctor of Ministry Degree in May 2012. A scholar, teacher and ordained minister, The Reverend Stephanie Crumpton, Th.D. is committed to healing and wholeness of entire people. Her work on trauma in communities began in 2006 with doctoral research on Black women’s experiences of intimate and cultural violence and continues in her current work on African American communal recovery from various forms of trauma. With over 15 years of experience in the religious academy and in communities, she is the currently the director of the HeartWork Rising Trauma Healing Initiative at McCormick Theological Seminary. HeartWork Rising is an extension of work that began with launching the McCormick Theological Seminary Trauma Symposium in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also a programming consultation with the Chicago Torture Justice Center’s politicized grief healing initiative, editor and contributor to multiple Odyssey Films Social Impact campaigns, including a recent project about the Tulsa Race Massacre. she has served as a panelist for the United Church of Christ’s 2021 joint acknowledgment of the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racism and the UN International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. She has also served as a State Court Appointed Family Violence Advocate in the Fulton County Solicitor General’s Office (Atlanta, Georgia); consulted with the Georgia Commission on Family Violence (Atlanta, Georgia) initiative to equip faith communities with networks and practical resources for responding to intimate violence. Her body-centered work includes instructional yoga for the 2021 Katie G. Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership Biennial Conference, and the Cultivating Courageous Resisters Project. Rev. Dr. Crumpton joined McCormick Theological Seminary in 2017 and she is the associate professor of practical theology and director of the HeartWorkRising Trauma Healing Initiative. The Reverend Stacey Floyd-Thomas, Ph.D. holds the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Chair in Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt University Divinity School where she is the associate professor of ethics and society. She received both her master’s degree and PhD at Temple University. Additionally, she serves as the executive director of the Black Religious Scholars Group (BRSG). As a co-founder of the Society for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion (SRER), she specializes in the intersection of Christian social ethics, feminist/womanist studies, critical race theory, and postcolonialism. She has published six books and acted as the general editor of two book series: Religion and Social Transformation (NYU) and “Making It Plain”: Approaches in Black Church Studies (Abingdon). She is currently engaged in several research projects examining African American Christianity and liberation theology. She has received several distinguished honors with the most notably the 2012 Womanist Legend Award and 2022 Margaret Cuninggim Mentoring Award at Vanderbilt University.

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LaTiscia Fowlkes is the event coordinator with The Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership. Fowlkes brings professional and ministerial experience in project coordinating, sourcing goods and services, maintaining budgets, and contract management to this leadership role. Fowlkes’ driving passion is turning the best ideas into live performances and multimedia events that entertain, educate, and inspire. Fowlkes is a procurement specialist senior with the Commonwealth of Virginia. She leads as the program administrator over the Small Purchase Charge Card and Travel Charge Card programs, handles several commodities where she continues to hone her skills, and directs industry experts as a supplier diversity supply chain advocate. Fowlkes began her career in procurement in 2006 as the procurement and diversity program coordinator. Fowlkes was instrumental in implementing new programming and reporting procedures surrounding SWaM business enterprises. Through her passion for prevention efforts at the agency and extensive procurement knowledge, Fowlkes facilitated and hosted vendor fairs, focus groups, special events, and strategic programming to help SWaM businesses grow and develop. Fowlkes has a Bachelor of Science in business with concentrations in accounting and economics from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has achieved her Virginia Contracting Associate (VCA) and Virginia Contracting Officer (VCO) certifications. She is an active member of the Capital Area Purchasing Association (CAPA). She is an active member of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP) where she participates on the Young Professionals Council. She is also active with the Virginia Association of Governmental Purchasing (VAGP). In Fowlkes’ spare time, she is active in supporting local theatre and various charities. She is an active participant in youth ministry; and leads a local drama ministry team. Fowlkes is known in many circles for her bright and cheerful laugh, which closed doors and walls cannot even contain. The Reverend Teresa L. Fry Brown, Ph.D. is the Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and is First Vice President of the Academy of Homiletics. She is Executive Director of Research and Scholarship for the A.M.E. Church, the fourteenth Historiographer, and editor of The A.ME. Review. Dr. Fry Brown has published six monograms including Weary Throats and New Songs: BlackWomen Proclaiming God’s Word and over fifty articles.

The Reverend Melanie C. Jones, Ph.D./ABD is a womanist ethicist, millennial preacher, and intellectual activist embodying radical love and revolutionary justice in the academy, Church, and global community. Rev Melanie leads the premier site for participatory learning of womanist theory and practice in theological schools as the Inaugural Director of The Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership and teaches theology and ethics at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Formerly, Rev Melanie served as the 2018-19 Crump Visiting Professor and Black Religious Scholar-in-Residence at Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, TX, and Lecturer at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, TX, American Baptist College in Nashville, TN, Chicago Theological Seminary, and The Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL. For her distinguished research, Rev Melanie earned notable fellowships and scholarships, including The Forum for Theological Exploration, The Henry Luce Foundation, The Louisville Institute, The Lily Endowment Fund, Wabash Center, and Villanova University Center for Church Management. A third-generation ordained Baptist preacher and sought-after lecturer, Rev Melanie is a global leader serving professional societies and international boards with noted academic and popular publications as well as features on television, radio, and news outlets. Follow Rev Melanie at and @revmelaniej. — 12 —

Minister Aria M. Kirkland-Harris is a licensed minister, millennial womanist, and community development consultant who is committed to the stability, health, and wholeness of African American churches and communities. She lives out this call through her work in local church, denominational, and academic contexts. Minister Kirkland-Harris was licensed to preach the Gospel and exercise her gifts in ministry by the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Richmond, VA where she currently serves as their Director of Stewardship and Community Development. She is also the Womanist Graduate Fellow at the Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership at Union Presbyterian Seminary where she studies Black women’s approaches to achieving economic independence. As a consultant, her clients have included The Gift of Black Theological Education and Black Church Collaborative, the Baptist General Convention of Virginia, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church, and Enterprise Community Partners’ Faith-Based Development Initiative. Minister Kirkland-Harris holds a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology from Columbia University, a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University, and a M.Div from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. The Reverend Jennifer S. Leath, Ph.D. was recently appointed Queen’s National Scholar and Assistant Professor in Black Religions at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario), a position that will also support a new Black Studies BA General/Minor degree. Prior to Queen’s, Dr. Leath served on the faculty of Iliff School of Theology (Denver, CO) after completing her A.B. at Harvard University, her M.Div. at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, and her Ph.D. at Yale University and working to establish the Center on African-American Religion, Sexual Politics, and Social Justice (CARSS) at Columbia University. Rev. Leath is an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and has pastored congregations in Media, PA, White Plains, NY, and, most recently, Campbell Chapel AME Church in Denver, CO. Rev. Dr. Leath’s first monograph, From Black to Quare (and then) to Where: Theories of Justice & Black Sexual Ethics, is forthcoming with Duke University Press. The Reverend Pamela Lightsey, Ph.D. has a stellar history as a senior administrator and scholar in higher education. She currently serves as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Meadville Lombard Theological School and Associate Professor of Constructive Theology. Before her appointment at Meadville, she was Associate Dean at Boston University School of Theology. She is also an ordained elder in the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church. Dr. Lightsey is a womanist theologian who has lectured at schools within and outside the continental United States. Dr. Lightsey is an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army. She served as a member of the original executive committee for the Soul Repair Project, which studies the role of moral injury in military veterans. As an activist, Dr. Lightsey has worked within the LGBTQ community to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell military policy, and to ensure marriage equality. Pamela’s several publications include the full manuscript, “Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology” (Wipf and Stock, 2015), Transforming Service: Reflections of Student Services Professionals in Theological Education. Editors Shonda R. Jones & Pamela R. Lightsey. (Wipf and Stock, 2020). “He Is Black and We are Queer” in Albert Cleage Jr and the Black Madonna and Child (New York: Palgrave Macmillan), “Blinking Red: The Escalation of a Militarized Police Force and Its Challenges to Black Communities” (Lexington Books, 2019).

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The first Black male to earn a Ph.D. in Theatre (emphasis in Youth and Community) from Arizona State University, The Reverend Donta McGilvery, Ph.D. is a theatre scholar and practitioner with a theology and justice focus. He has 21 years of experience teaching theatre in Black churches, underserved communities, colleges, universities, and seminaries. Dr. McGilvery currently serves as the Pastor of Outreach and Justice at First Institutional Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona.

Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie is the 117th elected and consecrated bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She is the first female elected to episcopal office in the more than the two-century-old AME Church and is the first female to serve as President of the Council of Bishops and President of the General Board. Bishop McKenzie has been active in social justice issues for more than three decades. She was appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama to be on the inaugural White House Commission of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnership. She is the founder of Selah Leadership Encounters for Women, a wraparound multi-disciplinary approach to resourcing women who want to level up their spiritual, professional and personal lives. Bishop McKenzie is the author of six books including Not Without a Struggle and Journey to the Well. Her newest book is The Big Deal of Taking Small Steps to Move Closer to God. Dr. Tony McNeill, affectionately known at “Dr. T.,” is a sought-after workshop clinician, lecturer, consultant, mentor, and guest choral conductor throughout the country. McNeill currently serves as director of choral activities and chairman of the department of music at Clinton College in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Prior to his appoint at Clinton College, he was a visiting professor and interim choral director at Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston, Texas. McNeill also served four and a half years as the director of worship and the arts at Atlanta’s Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, “America’s Freedom Church.” He has presented lectures and workshops for the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada, American Choral Directors Association, Presbyterian Association of Musicians, Hampton University Ministers’ Conference, Duke Divinity School, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, The American Baptist College, The National Association of Presbyterian Christian Educators Conference (APCE), Shaw University Ministers’ Conference, and served as artist-inresidence for the past seven years at Princeton Theological Seminary (Princeton, New Jersey) for the Black Theology and Leadership Institute (BTLI). McNeill is a respected worship educator and consultant and participates as a member of the gospel recording group Donald Lawrence and The Tri-City Singers (South Carolina/North Carolina). He is the founder/curator of The Call 2 Worship Group, an online community of musicians and clergy. McNeill earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Appalachian State University, with an emphasis in piano and choral music; a master’s degree in choral conducting from Florida State University (Tallahassee, Florida); and a Doctorate of Worship Studies from The Robert Webber Institute for Worship Studies (Jacksonville, Florida).

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The Reverend AnneMarie Mingo, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Penn State University. As a religious social ethicist, her research interests include 20th and 21st Century Black Freedom Struggles with a specific focus on the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, South African Apartheid Movement, and global Movement for Black Lives, socio-religious activism of Black women, and theological and ethical influences in social movements. Dr. Mingo’s published articles have appeared in the Journal of Religious Ethics, Black Theology: An International Journal, Practical Matters, Religions, and the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion. Her first book on Black Churchwomen’s faith, courage, and moral imagination in the Civil Rights Movement will be published with the University of Illinois Press. She is an ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Reverend Angela Parker, Ph.D. is assistant professor of New Testament and Greek at McAfee. She received her B.A. in religion and philosophy from Shaw University (2008), her M.T.S. from Duke Divinity School (2008-2010) and her Ph.D. in Bible, culture, and hermeneutics (New Testament focus) from Chicago Theological Seminary (2015). In her research, Dr. Parker merges Womanist thought and postcolonial theory while reading biblical texts. Dr. Parker has two forthcoming books. First, Eerdmans Publishing will release If God Still Breathes, Why Can’t I: Black Lives Matter and Biblical Authority in September 2021. (Amazon and Eerdmans) In this book, Dr. Parker draws from her experience as a Womanist New Testament scholar in order deconstruct one of White Christianity’s most pernicious lies: the conflation of biblical authority with the doctrines of inerrancy and infallibility. The Reverend Dr. Paula Owens Parker is the program associate for The Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership and also the senior program developer of Roots Matter LLC, a program which identifies approaches to healing generational trauma in families and communities. Dr. Parker is the developer of RAPHA: A Course in Contemplative Healing Prayer, a spiritual director, and a certified facilitator of Emotional Emancipation Circles (EEC) of Community Healing Network. She is a member of the advisory board of the Spiritual Directors of Color Network and a presenter for the North Carolina Institute for Spiritual Direction and Formation. Dr. Parker is the author of Roots Matter: Healing History, Honoring Heritage, Renewing Hope (2016) which recognizes the impact of transgenerational trauma, as a result of chattel slavery, on the African American community. She has contributed articles to Healing Line, Christian Century and Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology and co-authored the chapter “Internal Liberation” in Kaleidoscope: Broadening the Palette in the Art of Spiritual Direction (2019). The Reverend Teddy Reeves, Ph.D. is the Curator of Religion in the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Teddy is the executive producer and host of the Museum’s award-winning gOD-Talk series, a web-based series exploring Black faith in the 21st century.

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The Rverend Dr. Irie Lynne Session is a dynamic minister, pastor, author, TEDX Presenter, Spiritual Entrepreneur, and Womanist practitioner. She’s a Church Planter and Co-Pastor of The Gathering, A Womanist Church of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Dallas, Texas, and President of the National Convocation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She is a 2019 recipient of a $15,000 Pastoral Study Project Grant from the Louisville Institute. Her research project was titled, Womanist Ecclesiologies: Black Women Resisting White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy. Dr. Irie is founder and CEO of DreamBIG Consulting where she supports Black women to excavate their latent passions and creativity, leverage their professional expertise and experience, to use technology, social media, and digital platforms to create economic autonomy and recently expanded to include antiracism training. Dr. Irie is co-author of, The Gathering, A Womanist Church: Origins, Stories, Sermons, & Litanies. She is also author of Badass Women of the Bible and, Murdered Souls, Resurrected Lives. The Reverend Lisa L. Thompson, Ph.D., a native of Cedar Grove, North Carolina, is associate professor of Black Homiletics and Liturgics at Vanderbilt University Divinity School. She is the author of Ingenuity: Preaching as an Outsider and Preaching the Headlines.

The Reverend Eboni Marshall Turman, Ph.D. is the associate professor of theology and African American religion at Yale University Divinity School in New Haven, CT. She is a 2018 recipient of the Inspire Yale award, and a 2018 recipient of the Yale University Bouchet Faculty Excellence award for research and teaching. Dr. Turman co-chairs the Black Theology group of the American Academy of Religion and serves on the executive board of the Society for the Study of Black Religion. Her research interests include the varieties of 20th century US theological liberalisms, most especially Black and womanist theological, social ethical, and theo-aesthetic traditions. In addition to several journal articles and book chapters, she is the author of Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation: Black Bodies, the Black Church, and the Council of Chalcedon. Her current book project is tentatively titled, Black Woman’s Burden: Male Power, Gender Violence, and the Scandal of African American Social Christianity, and she has recently begun preliminary research for her third monograph titled, Loves the Spirit: The Black Womanist Theological Idea. A retired concert dancer and ordained minister of the Gospel in the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., Dr. Turman formerly served as the Assistant Minister of the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem for over ten years, where she was the youngest woman ordained to the gospel ministry and the second woman to serve the ordinances in its 211-year history. You may follow Dr. Turman @ebonithoughts. Rebecca A. Wilcox is a PhD student at Princeton Theological Seminary concentrating in Religion and Society. Her research engages Black religion, Hauntology, and critical Black studies to explore anti-Black antagonisms in underground economies. Wilcox received her Masters of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt University, and a BA in Religion with a minor in Philosophy from Clark Atlanta University, her most beloved HBCU. Wilcox is from the Bronx, New York where she was raised by her mother and siblings, who serve as the pulse for her commitment to critical Black thought. — 16 —

The Reverend Andrew Wilkes is the co-founding, co-lead pastor of the Double Love Experience Church in Brooklyn, New York and the former Executive Director of the Drum Major Institute, a social change organization founded by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He also serves as the Chief Policy and Advocacy Officer at Generation Citizen. Rev. Wilkes is a PhD candidate in political science at the CUNY Graduate Center and the author of Freedom Notes: Reflections on Faith, Justice, and the Possibility of Democracy.

The Reverend Dr. Gabby Cudjoe Wilkes is a pastor, entrepreneur, brand strategist and thought leader. She is the co-founding, co-lead pastor of the Double Love Experience Church in Brooklyn, New York and has been featured in Essence, Forbes and numerous other publications. She’s a proud graduate of Hampton University, NYU, and Yale Divinity School. Rev. Gabby is an alum of The Millennial Womanist Project, the RISE Women of Color in Ministry Program & The Spelman College Thriving in Ministry Fellowship. She is a former Eastern Regional Convener for The Black Church Pac and a member of the inaugural NYC Faith Leaders Covid-19 Task Force convened by former NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio. Rev. Gabby is a correspondent for the Get Up Mornings with Erica Campbell nationally syndicated radio show, an innovation coach for Ministry Incubators Inc., and a current Yale Divinity School Alumni Board member. Her work centers around the intersection of faith, culture, leadership and strategy. Deja Wilson was born and raised in Michigan, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan in 2016, and a Master of Public Health degree from Wayne State University in 2021. Currently, Deja is a rising second-year Master of Divinity student at Princeton Theological Seminary, where she is interested in intersecting her public health knowledge with her interest in womanist theology.

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On-site Connections Wifi Access: Erdman, Library

Social media:  /PTSBTLI  @PTSBTLI

Network Name: PTS-Guests


Password: PTSInternet1812

Contact Information Dr. Sushama Austin-Connor Convener

Dr. MarQuita Carmichael Convener

Minister Aria Kirkland-Harris Staff

Dr. Jennifer Leath Pastor-in-Residence

Rebecca Wilcox Staff

LaTiscia Fowlkes Staff

Deja Wilson Staff

 609.474.0237 The Reverend Melanie C. Jones Convener

 804.495.1292

Travel Princeton Theological Seminary 64 Mercer Street, Princeton, NJ 08542-0803 Nearby Airports

Bus & Train Routes

Newark Airport (EWR) 3 Brewster Road, Newark, NJ 07114 Route Time to PTS Campus: 45-60 minutes

New Jersey Transit Amtrak

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) 8000 Essington Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19153 Route Time to PTS Campus: 45-60 minutes

The Erdman Center Princeton Theological Seminary 20 Library Place, Princeton, NJ 08540  609.497.7990 (phone)  609.497.0709 (fax)

Trenton-Mercer Airport (TREN) 1100 Terminal Circle Drive Ewing Township, NJ 08628 Route Time to PTS Campus: 18-20 minutes John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) Queens, NY 11430 Route Time to PTS Campus: 60-75 minutes


Nearby Hotel Hilton Garden Inn Princeton Lawrenceville 1300 Lenox Drive, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648  609.895.9200 Room Block: Black Theology and Leadership Institute - Princeton Theological Seminary ($184/night) — 18 —

COVID Protocols Coronavirus FAQ

In consultation with local New Jersey health officials, Princeton Seminary is consistently reviewing recent changes in health guidelines made by the CDC and the New Jersey State Department of Health. As of Monday, March 14, 2022, our policy has been that face coverings indoors will be optional. During the Black Theology and Leadership Institute, we will abide by the Seminary guidelines and highly suggest that face coverings are worn in indoor spaces.

Urgent Care & Medical Emergency Information In Focus Urgent Care Penn Medicine Princeton Health

Campus Maps Princeton Area Map

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Princeton Theological Seminary Map

Parking Information All BTLI registrants will receive a printing pass upon arrival at registration. Please use the campus map to identify available spaces for parking vehicles.

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2022 BTLI Conference Syllabus Online Sources Princeton Theological Seminary. “2017 Women in Ministry Conference | Keynote Address: Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon.” Princeton, NJ, 2017. Princeton Theological Seminary. “A Call Like Fire Shut Up In My Bones: An Interview with Dr. Katie Cannon (1958– 2018),” March 2, 2018. Turman, Eboni Marshall. “Womanist Theology and How It Has Evolved.” The Christian Century, February 28, 2019. Union Theological Seminary. Journey to Liberation: The Legacy of Womanist Theology. New York, NY, 2014.

Print Sources Allen-McLaurin, Lisa. A Womanist Theology of Worship: Justice and Communal Righteousness. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2021.

Brown, Teresa L. Fry. Delivering the Sermon: Voice, Body, and Animation in Proclamation. Elements of Preaching. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2008.

Brown, Teresa L. Fry. Weary Throats and New Songs: Black Women Proclaiming God’s Word. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2003.

Cannon, Katie Geneva. Katie’s Canon: Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community. Revised and Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2021.

Crumpton, Stephanie. Womanist Pastoral Theology against Intimate and Cultural Violence. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

Floyd-Thomas, Stacey M., ed. Deeper Shades of Purple: Womanism in Religion and Society. Religion, Race, and Ethnicity. New York, NY: New York University Press, 2006.

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Gafney, Wilda. A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church: Year W: A Multi-Gospel Single-Year Lectionary. New York, NY: Church Publishing, 2021.

Lightsey, Pamela R. Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2015.

McKenzie, Vashti M. Not without a Struggle: Leadership Development for African American Women in Ministry. Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2011.

Parker, Angela N. If God Still Breathes, Why Can’t I? Black Lives Matter and Biblical Authority. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2021.

Session, Irie Lynne, Kamilah Hall Sharp, and Jann Aldredge-Clanton. The Gathering, a Womanist Church: Origins, Stories, Sermons, and Litanies. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2020.

Thompson, Lisa L. Ingenuity: Preaching as an Outsider. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2018.

Turman, Eboni Marshall. Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation: Black Bodies, the Black Church, and the Council of Chalcedon. New York City: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

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Conference Bags Official Institute Bag: Your BTLI computer messenger bag features a fully lined main compartment with a padded interior pocket that fits up to a 10” tablet and a zippered easy access padded computer pocket that fits up to a 15” laptop. The bag also has an adjustable shoulder strap, grab handle, and a trolley strap that slips over your luggage handle for easy transport. PTSem Tumbler: Stay hydrated, and maybe even caffeinated, throughout the week with your Princeton Theological Seminary hot/cold tumbler. Cannon Doodle Scarf or Bowtie: Get ready for the BTLI cohort photo with your Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership (KGCCWL) scarf or bowtie. These pieces feature the artwork, loving called “Doodles”, of the late Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon. Womanist Approaches Cannon Doodle Pin: Rock this bold and fashionable Womanist Approaches Cannon Doodle Pin on your lapel, dress, bag, or anywhere! KGCCWL Personal Protective Equipment Kit: We are all glad BTLI is back in person for the first time since the pandemic. To ensure everyone’s continued health and safety, your KGCCWL PPE Kit includes two KN95 masks, an ear-saver strap to keep your mask secure, a pack of sanitizing wipes, and hand sanitizer. Virginia Union University Padfolio & Pen: Keep all of your BTLI notes together and organized with your VUU Center for African American History and Culture Padfolio. Katie’s Canon, 25th Anniversary edition: Katie’s Canon is a selection of essays written for various occasions throughout Cannon’s celebrated career. This new edition contains three additional essays and a new foreword by Emilee Townes. The volume weaves together the particularities of Cannon’s own history and the oral tradition of African American women, African American women’s literary traditions, and sociocultural and ethical analysis. The result is a classic. Cannon addresses racism and economics, analyses of Zora Neale Hurston as a resource for a constructive ethic, the importance of race and gender in developing a Black liberation ethic, womanist preaching in the Black church, and slave ideology and biblical interpretation.

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Contemplative Practices Labyrinth Walk Self-led & self-paced Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he [Jesus]said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:31 NIV The very act of walking serves to still our thoughts, allowing space for God amid the usually jampacked confines of our minds. The rhythm of walking is conducive to prayerful contemplation. The unpredictability of the Labyrinth’s twists and turns helps us relinquish our need to feel “in control.” The certainty of reaching the center inspires us to trust God’s providence. These things can serve to draw us into a genuine experience of prayer.

Quiet Space for Retreat Self-led

Open prayer and meditation space for spiritual retreat and play is available downstairs in the Princeton Seminary Chapel to renew your mind, restore your body, and nourish your soul. The Labyrinth and “quiet space” allow you to rest and reflect on all you learn and experience during this week. We encourage you to use them often.

Fire of Act-ivism: Black Theatre & Black Theological Approaches to Activism The Reverend Donta McGilvery, Ph.D., Arizona State University This workshop provides theatrical/storytelling tools and techniques that can be used to innovatively (re)ignite the fire of act-ivism within congregations, institutions, and/or community and justice organizations. Observing the fire of activism quintessential to the Black Church historically, along with the insightful contributions of Womanist theology and Black radical movements in the US, this workshop demonstrates how Black Church and Black theatre works (and has always worked) hand-and-hand to tackle injustice. Countering the demeaning stereotypes and false ideologies that shape our imaginations about one another, what Dr. Emilie Townes refers to it as the “cultural production of evil,” the aim of this workshop is to equip participants with the tools and skills of amplifying voices of minoritized groups by using theatrical techniques to engage in dialogue and stories designed to help communities hear and see each other. By the end of this workshop participants will be able to: gather stories from diverse voices in innovative ways, facilitate dialogue, co-join communities to amplify stories, perform and advocate with a justice orientation, and better understand Black Church and Black theater’s impact on society.

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Three questions this workshop will address are: What is theatre and storytelling and why are they necessary to the conversation of activism in the Black church context? How does Womanist theology and Black Liberation theologies influence Black theatre? What are actual theatre/storytelling techniques I can use as activism in my church/organization? You should attend this workshop if you: Desire to learn innovative approaches to activism that you can use and share in your own spaces. Believe in the power of listening, amplifying voices from marginalized communities, restoring, and healing. Anticipate employing dialogical processes for engaging and educating congregants and community members in matters of justice.

Guided Mediation The Reverend Maureen Gerald Breathe. Inhale. Hold. Exhale. Hold. Rest. And repeat. But mostly, breathe! Work through a restorative guided meditation to find a moment of relaxation, intention-setting, and stress removal. Enjoy this time to practice deepening your awareness and focusing your mind.

Yoga Practice The Reverend Stephanie Crumpton, Th.D. Start the day by setting intentions! Start the day by setting intentions! This open-level vinyasa flow yoga mini-course opens the body to expansive breathing through mindful movement. This class is about being mindful of our breath and stretching the body to bring ourselves back to it as our first home. Dr. Stephanie Crumpton stretches us to listen to our bodies and center our minds.

Things to Do, Where to Eat, Places to Go Except for the opening dinner on Sunday night, dinner meals are on your own. Use the dinner meals to connect with a cohort colleague or catch up with a relative or friend nearby. The Princeton area features a wide array of dining options and cuisines. Take the evenings to explore and enjoy.

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Special Thanks to all institutional partners, staff, fellows, leaders, and participants for your participation in the 2022 Black Theology and Leadership Institute.

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