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Teresa Smallwood JD, PhD

Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative Associate Director

Rev. Dr. Teresa L. Smallwood, Esq. was born in Windsor, North Carolina.

She is the daughter of the late Harry and the late Mattie Cherry Smallwood.  Dr. Smallwood graduated from Bertie Senior High School with honors in 1978.  She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for undergraduate studies where she majored in Speech Communications and Afro-American Studies and graduated with a B.A. Degree.  She received the Juris Doctor Degree in 1985 from North Carolina Central University School of Law. 

Dr. Smallwood began her legal career with Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont in Charlotte, NC. She also work as a staff attorney for the Children’s Law Center in the same city.  In 1989, she served as an Assistant District Attorney until she commenced her private practice that spanned more than two decades.

Dr. Smallwood currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee having graduated with the PhD degree May, 2017 from Chicago Theological Seminary in the areas of Theology, Ethics, and Human Sciences. She now serves as Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate Director of the Public Theology and Racial Justice Collaborative at Vanderbilt Divinity School.

Dr. Smallwood was licensed and ordained to public ministry while serving Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Lewiston, NC. She is a member at New Covenant Christian Church in Nashville under the pastoral leadership of Rev. Dr. Judy Cummings.