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Vanderbilt Divinity School Webinars

Events, webinars, and public lectures

Activism Then & Now: Equipping for the Road Ahead

Kelly Miller Smith Sr. Virtual Symposium and Centennial Birthday Commemoration

The Vanderbilt Divinity School's Kelly Miller Smith Institute on Black Church Studies joins the Kelly Miller Smith Family Foundation’s inaugural event, a virtual symposium, for social justice activists, advocates and supporters, presenting principles and strategies for social change that cross generations and disciplines.


Relevant Religion Series: Radical Spirituality for a Just World

With Rev. Kaji Dousa, Dr. Iva Carruthers, and Bishop Yvette Flunder

Martin Luther King’s concepts of beloved community – a just culture, common humanity of love and power sought a new purpose in a new social order for human flourishing. The theology of beloved community was conceived in a way of talking about redeeming and reconciling justice spaces through activist faith and love which cannot be contained by church domains or brought fully under its management but is discipled through the power of Christian love and spirituality. The revolutionary power of these concepts are necessary in a common struggle for a just world.

The 2020 Cole Lecture delivered by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.: “Fugitive Democracy, Ella Baker, and Black Democratic Perfectionism”
Spiritual Revolution: A Relevant Religion series
We explore tools for building a new Spiritual Contract with yourself and communities. Through ritual and conversation, we’ll learn from healer and organizer Dr. Dayanara Marte some of the practices and possibilities to “go beyond survival and restore our spiritual integrity.”
White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity
We welcome author Robert P. Jones, PhD, speaking about his book, "White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity", and its relevance for the nation’s current moment of racial reckoning and the upcoming presidential election. Jones is also the author of the 2016 book, The End of White Christian America, which won the 2019 Grawemeyer Award in Religion.
Drawing on history, public opinion surveys, and his own personal journey, Jones delivers a provocative examination of the unholy relationship between American Christianity and white supremacy, and issues an urgent call for white Christians to reckon with this legacy for the sake of themselves and the nation. Jones argues that it is no exaggeration to say that not just the future of white Christianity but the outcome of the American experiment is at stake.
Society in Conflict: Public Health and Education
The Nashville Conflict Resolution Center and Vanderbilt University’s Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership host a facilitated conversation titled "Society in Conflict." The program will focus on public health and education. Speakers include Meharry Medical College President Dr. James Hildreth, Vanderbilt professor Dr. Marisa Cannata and Juliana Ospina Cano, executive director of Conexion Americas.
What’s Behind the Mask? American Religious Responses to Pandemics: Part 1
It was God’s own mighty plan: American Religion and the Hidden History of Global Pandemics, Financial Panics, and Racial Pandemonium
What’s Behind the Mask? American Religious Responses to Pandemics: Part 2, featuring Dr. Juan Floyd-Thomas
This is Woman's Work. This is Womanist Work: The Worth and Witness of Womanism in Times Like These.
The exploitation of black women’s labor has a long history and is even more visible now in the era of pandemic, considering who is “essential workers.” Womanism speaks to this. The School of the Prophets is where womanism is more than a siloed school of thought. Womanism is integral to how theological education is shaped and experienced. This intergenerational panel of four womanist scholars represent many disciplines, including homiletics, ethics, religion and psychology. The panelists speak out of the urgency and import of the times and proclaim hope in the midst of the pandemic.
Panelists include:  emilie m. townes,  Dean of the Divinity School andE. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society; Phillis I. Sheppard, Associate Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture; Lisa L. Thompson, Associate Professor and the Cornelius Vanderbilt Chancellor Faculty Fellow of Black Homiletics and Liturgics; Stacey Floyd-Thomas, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Chair in Ethics and Society and Associate Professor of Ethics and Society
What Dreams May Come Next: Harnessing the Prophetic and Pastoral Nature of Black Faith to Cultivate a Transformed Future.
Black Lives Matter. With the explosion of attention on lethal violence against black people, the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd have revealed to broader society the ways in which white supremacy is lethal. At the School of the Prophets (Schola Prophetarum), we dream of transformation through the deep traditions of Black faith and practice. This panel of scholars represent many disciplines, including history, ethics, Bible, and Black Church Studies. The panelists speak out of the urgency and import of the times, through grief into proclamation.
Panelists include: Juan Floyd-Thomas, moderator Associate Professor of African American Religious History; Victor Anderson Oberlin Theological School Professor of Ethics and Society Professor of the Program in African American and Diaspora Studies and Religious Studies; Forrest Harris Professor of the Practice of Ministry Director of the Kelly Miller Smith Institute on Black Church Studies; Herbert R. Marbury Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible

Meet VDS
Get to know our VDS community! Meet faculty and staff as they answer five questions on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month, 11:30am Central. Inspired by Daniel B. Williams's #FiveQuestionsFriday of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Austin, TX.

Meet: Teresa Smallwood


Meet: Stephanie Budwey 

Meet: Amy E. Steele 

Meet: Sophia Agtarap

Meet: Lyndsey Godwin 

Meet: Jaco Hamman

 Meet: Ellen Armour