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Online Course: Proto-Womanist Thought

January 11, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

This is an online course is offered as part of the Womanist Leadership Institute, a program co-sponsored by The Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership and the Leadership Institute of Union Presbyterian Seminary. This program is a series of online courses to promote and support Womanist scholarship and leadership within a continuing education and lifelong learning environment. Participants can select to take one or multiple courses within the program. Courses are open to all.

This course includes four (4) online class meetings, on Tuesday evenings, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. EDT. In addition to the live class meetings, this course includes both reading and written assignments. However, as a continuing education program, no grades or degree credits will be issued.

Online Course Title: Proto-Womanist Thought

Course Dates: Tuesdays, January 11 – February 1, 2022, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. EDT

Course Description: Have you ever received words of wisdom from your grandmother, auntie, or church mother who probably never heard the term “Womanist?” When asked where such wisdom came from, they would say: “Child, my ancestors passed this wisdom to me and I’m passing it on to you.” If so, you are the recipient of Proto-Womanist wisdom, that wisdom that empowered ancestral African-American women to define and demonstrate with determination a sense of rebellion that claimed their humanity and agency in a country whose political system was and is set on denying their personhood, spirituality, and equality.

Building on the core courses of this virtual program, this elective course presents an overview of the words, actions, and contributions made by familiar and unknown historical African-American women to the development of Womanist thought. Examining the lives and contributions of Maria Stewart, Amanda Berry Smith, Zora Neale Hurston, Jarena Lee, the family stories of strong Black women from students, and other African-American women of the 18th and 19th centuries, real and fictional, is the foundation for the development of Womanist thought of the 20th and 21st centuries. Being undergirded with this knowledge allows students to recognize the contributions of Black Women to the struggle for freedom and equality in the United States since 1619.

Led by: Rev. Dr. Jean Derricotte-Murphy, Associate Minister, Director of Christian Education, and Director of the Worship Arts Ministry, New Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church

Leader Bio: Rev. Dr. Jean Derricotte-Murphy is a 2020 recipient of the Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics, and Arts from Chicago Theological Seminary. Also, holding a Doctor of Ministry and a Master of Theological Studies well qualifies her to teach various seminary courses.

Her Ph.D. dissertation, entitled “A View From the Balcony: Opera Through Womanist Eyes,” traces United States history through the development of opera as a racist genre of cultural entertainment. Examining how African Americans and other marginalized minorities have been forcibly consigned to the balconies of American society, culture, and institutions while peering over symbolic balconies to locate and excavate truth, corrects the historical underpinnings of Western religious thought that fuels racist ideologies that disparage indigenous, black, and brown people in the name of God and Christianity.

Online Course Format:  Weekly class meetings via Zoom Technology, along with assignments posted on Blackboard, the seminary’s learning management system (login credentials provided). Registered participants will receive a Zoom meeting link the week prior to the course’s first meeting.

About the Womanist Leadership Institute Program: To receive a certificate of completion for the Womanist Leadership Institute, participants will engage in four (4) core courses, and two (2) elective courses over a two-year period. However, the program will be on-going, with electives varying year-to-year, allowing participants to complete the requirements within an extended period as needed. Courses are open to all, and no application is necessary. Interested participants will simply register for the courses, and participants can engage the courses without pursuing the program in its entirety. Each course will be capped at thirty (30) participants. Continuing education units (CEUs) will be awarded to those participants who complete the courses; however, no course grades or degree credits will be provided. Course participants do not have to be pursuing a certificate of completion in the program in order to take any of the courses listed in the program.


$175 per individual, if register by December 27, 2021. (Note: Beginning, December 28, 2021, individual price increases by $50. Register early and save!).

CEUs: 3.0 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) for this event. Note: CEU certificates can be generated upon request at the time of the event.


Online registration is open. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.


Waiting List: Space is limited. Register early to reserve your spot. Once event reaches capacity, a waiting list will be started.


January 11, 2022
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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