2025 Workshop

2025 Online Teaching and Learning Workshop

Sacred Self Care: African American Women Faculty Making Room for Ourselves While Teaching Religion and Theology

Application Dates:

Opens: January 2025
Deadline: TBD

Schedule of Sessions

  • Aug. 14, 2025, 12:00pm ET-3:00pmET
  • Sep. 11, 2025, 12:30pm ET-3:00pm ET
  • Oct. 9, 2025, 12:30pm ET-3:00pm ET
  • Nov. 13, 2025, 12:30pm ET-3:00pm ET
  • Dec. 4, 2025, 12:30pm ET-3:00pm ET
  • Jan 8, 2026, 12:30pm ET-3:00pm ET

Leadership Team

Chanequa Walker-Barnes, Ph.D, Columbia Theological Seminary



Wabash Center Staff Contact:
Sarah Farmer, Ph.D
Associate Director
Wabash Center 
301 West Wabash Ave. 
Crawfordsville, IN 47933


Participants will receive an honorarium of $2,500 for full participation in this workshop. 



African American women faculty in religion and theology are situated at the crossroads of two predominantly male arenas: religious leadership and the academy. With rare exception, we are a minority in our departments and institutions, often “the first,” “the only,” or “the youngest” (in age and/or rank). We epitomize Patricia Hill Collins’ concept of “the outsider within.” While situated within the ivory tower, we do not have (or often desire) the same access to institutional power and prestige as our White and/or male counterparts. Hence, we face a myriad of challenges as we navigate intersecting layers of oppression: institutionalized racism, sexism, and heterosexism; disparities in hiring, promotion, and salary; micro- and macroaggressions from colleagues and students; heightened demands for invisible and emotional labor; racial battle fatigue; isolation, exclusion, and tokenism; and lack of mentoring and adequate support.

Despite these obstacles, the presence and voices of African American women are critical to the religious and theological academy. How, then, do we make room for ourselves in spaces that were not built with us in mind? How do we sustain ourselves as we do the work of upending paradigms, advocating for justice and equity, and being voices for marginalized peoples?

This online workshop will gather African American women teaching religion and theology at any season in their career for seven online sessions exploring how holistic self-care can help us to lean into our outsider-within status in ways that support our personal and professional thriving. The sessions will integrate small and large group discussions, didactic presentations, individual reflection and sharing, mindfulness practices, and of course, plenty of laughter, womanistcare, and #BlackGirlMagic.

Participants will have access to supplemental funding (by application) for their individual self-care needs.


  • Foster authentic and supportive community where Black women faculty can network, collaborate, and share experiences
  • Address the intersectional challenges faced by Black women faculty in religion and theology
  • Promote self-care, physical and emotional wellness, and work-life synergy
  • Clarify personal and professional values and priorities
  • Identify and detox from unhealthy habits and practices instilled through higher education
  • Develop a personalized self-care rule of life for sustaining personal wellness and professional vitality
  • Provide resources and mentorship to enhance personal and professional development

Questions to Be Engaged

  • What are the challenges that we experience as African American women faculty in theology and religion?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of our status as “outsiders within?”
  • What unhealthy habits and practices of the academy have we internalized?
  • How can we show up as our authentic selves while protecting ourselves from interpersonal and institutional discrimination?
  • How do we navigate our institutional and professional responsibilities with our commitments to our health, our families, and our communities?
  • What are our needs in terms of healthy work environments?
  • How is self-care reflected in our approaches to pedagogy and scholarship?
  • How do we make room for ourselves as “outsiders within” religious studies and theology?
  • What are the indicators that it is time to leave an institution? What is the exit strategy?


  • African American women faculty in religious studies and/or theology
  • Tenure track, continuing term, and/or full-time contingency
  • Job description or contract that is wholly or primarily inclusive of teaching
  • Teaching in an accredited college, university, or theological school in the United States, Puerto Rico, or Canada
  • Doctoral degree awarded by December 2024
  • Institutional support and personal commitment to participate fully in workshop sessions

Application Materials

Please complete and attach the following documents to the online application (available August 1):

  • Application Contact Information form 
  • Cover letter  
    • An introductory letter that describes your teaching context and addresses why you want to be part of this collaborative community, including what you hope to gain from it and what you might contribute to it. (Up to 500 words) 
  • Brief essay
    • What are the most salient experiences that have shaped your current practice and identity as a Black woman faculty member in religion and/or theology? (Up to 500 words)
  • Academic CV (4-page limit) 
  • A letter of institutional support for your full participation in this workshop from your Department Chair, Academic Dean, Provost, Vice President, or President. Please have this recommendation uploaded directly to your application according to the online application instructions. 
Wabash Center