Dr. Lakisha R. Lockhart called to Union Presbyterian Seminary

Womanist, religious educator and play facilitator will teach Christian education

by Union Presbyterian Seminary | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Dr. Lakisha R. Lockhart

RICHMOND, Virginia — Womanist, religious educator and play facilitator Dr. Lakisha R. Lockhart has been appointed Assistant Professor of Christian Education at Union Presbyterian Seminary, beginning July 1.

Lockhart comes to Union Seminary from Chicago Theological Seminary where she served as assistant professor in practical theology. Previously, she taught at Wesley Theological Seminary and Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union University. She also serves as a consultant for the Campus Ministry Theological Exploration of Vocation Initiative with the Forum for Theological Exploration on behalf of the Lilly Endowment Inc., and as the executive secretary for the Religious Education Association.

“I am very excited that she is joining the teaching ministry of Union Presbyterian Seminary,” President and Professor of New Testament Brian K. Blount said. “I expect Dr. Lockhart to have an immediate, creative, and inspirational impact in her teaching, her advising, her research and her writing.”

Lockhart’s research interests are in the areas of religious education; practical, liberation and Womanist theologies; ethics and society; multiple intelligences; embodied faith and pedagogies; theological aesthetics’ theopoetics; and creativity, imagination and play.

Her teaching takes seriously the benefits and necessity of play, movement, aesthetics, creative arts and embodiment. For Lockhart, the body is a locus for doing theology and theological reflection.

“I not only see myself as a professor, but as a facilitator, rope jumper, game-player, sojourner, advocate, disruptor, and catalyst for critical consciousness, liberation, and engagement that leads to action and change,” Lockhart said. “When people embody their belief through practical application, they are more dedicated to their own formation, the formation of others, and to serve Christ and the church.”

Ordained to ministry in the non-denominational tradition, she recognizes the importance of teaching Christian education for the strengthening of the church. Because she recognizes that theological education is grounded in both academic and ecclesial contexts, her students are assigned to participate in their congregations and communities as a part of their educational experience. Her focus on practical pedagogy is not only to develop more committed and knowledgeable educators and ministers, but also more committed and knowledgeable congregants.

“Dr. Lockhart embodies the best of the former Presbyterian School of Christian Education’s philosophy and approach to Christian education and interprets it for a new generation and a forever-changed church and world,” Associate Professor of Christian Education Rebecca Davis said. “She lives into the radical pedagogy of welcome and play of Professor Glenn Bannerman, the academic excellence and barrier-breaking of Dr. Sara Little, and the life-long commitment to Christian education of alumna Willene Tarry Braun.”

Lockhart has authored and co-authored numerous publications and book chapters, includingUnited Against Racism: Churches for Change: Facilitator’s Guide; “Let’s Dance: Zumba and the Imago Dei of Beautiful Black Bodies” in The Other Journal: An Intersection of Theology & Culture; and “My Wildest Dream: A Letter to My Black Son” in Religious Education. Lockhart also was featured in the “Just Womanist” series for The Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leadership.

Her awards and honors include “Millennial Womanist to Watch” from The Millennial Womanist Project, “Images of Success” from Claflin University, and a First Wornom Innovative Grant from the Religious Education Association.

Lockhart has a doctoral degree from Boston College, Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., Master of Arts from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and a Bachelor of Arts from Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

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