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Online Course: Womanist Biblical Interpretation

January 9, 2023 @ 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 Monday 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: Womanist Ways of Worship

Course Dates: Mondays, January 9 – February 6, 2023, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. EDT (No class meeting on January 16)

Course Description: Since the latter portion of the 20th century, African American Biblical Hermeneutics and Womanist Biblical Interpretation have emerged as distinct apparatuses of exegetical inquiry in the area of Biblical Studies. While some may argue the common history of Africans in America does not warrant a bifurcation of biblical interrogation, the nuanced evolution of African Americans in the religious academy and the unique experiences of African American women therein help explain the existence of two distinct avenues of biblical scholarship. Not unlike the theological analogues of Liberation Theology and Mujerista Theology, the concerns of African American Biblical Hermeneutics and Womanist Biblical Interpretation are not wholly identical. To oversimplify, African American Biblical Hermeneutics is primarily concerned with race while Womanist Biblical Interpretation takes up (at least) the interlocking concerns of race, class, and gender in its examination of the world behind, within, and in front of the biblical text.

Womanist Biblical Interpretation is a four-week-online intensive survey course designed to introduce participants to the major themes, concerns, and scholars of the exegetical method. Working synchronously and asynchronously, students will critically engage the works of Womanist biblical scholars to understand the ways this scholarly enterprise has evolved and consider possible trajectories for its future. Importantly, this course relies heavily upon students’ close readings of both biblical passages and scholarly writings to scrutinize how factors such as methodological approaches, socio-historical contexts, and individual or community urgencies collaborate to produce Womanist Biblical Interpretation scholarship within the religious academy.

Led by: Rev. Dr. Kimberly D. Russaw, Associate Professor of Old Testament, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Leader Bio: Rev. Dr. Kimberly D. Russaw is a dynamic and diversely gifted woman of God who brings all of her gifts together to serve the God she loves. She is the Associate Professor of Old Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA, where she blends intellectual rigor with an infectious passion for teaching. To prepare for this ministry, she earned the Master of Divinity degree (Biblical Studies) from the Interdenominational Theological Center (Atlanta, GA), and the Master of Arts degree (Hebrew Bible) from Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN). When Russaw completed her Ph.D. in Religion at Vanderbilt University, she joined a select cadre of African American scholars who passionately teach the next generation of Christian leaders at our seminaries, colleges, and universities.

Dr. Russaw is the author of Daughters in the Hebrew Bible (Fortress Academic, 2018) and Revisiting Rahab: Another Look at the Woman of Jericho (Wesley’s Foundery Books, 2021). She has written several articles and essays such as “Veils and Lapcloths: The Great Cover Up of Bynum, the Bible, and Black Churches,” “Wisdom in the Garden: The Woman of Genesis 3 and Alice Walker’s Sofia,” and “Undaunted: Reading Miriam for the Sisters They Tried to Erase.” Additionally, she has contributed to online spaces such as OnScripture, Church Anew, Huffington Post Religion, and The Christian Recorder (the official organ of the African Methodist Episcopal Church) on topics such as the Bible and popular culture.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Russaw is committed to the life of the local church and is a life-long member of Greater Institutional AME Church. There she has been most committed to those ministries that empower women, girls, and those who love them. Russaw shares her gifts as a sought after keynote speaker, workshop facilitator, and preacher.

Named one of “Six Black Women at the Center of Gravity in Theological Education” by NBCNews.com, Russaw is an ordained itinerate elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, an inductee into the prestigious Martin Luther King, Jr. Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College, and holds membership in many professional organizations including the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Academy of Religion, the Society for the Study of Black Religion, and the National Black MBA Association.  Russaw is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Biblical Literature, serves as a member of the Sisters Chapel Advisory Council (Spelman College), and is a dedicated member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

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 25, 2022. (Note: Beginning, December 26, 2022, 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 9, 2023
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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