Nancy Lynne Westfield

Nancy Lynne Westfield, Ph.D. writes about the religious, educational and spiritual experiences of African-American people, especially women. She is a womanist with a vocational passion for teaching, and an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church. This informs her work as Professor of Religious Education and Director of the Forum for Social Justice at Drew University Theological School, New Jersey. Her students say that her courses are creative, intense, and strangely fun. Nancy’s first book was a children’s book entitled All Quite Beautiful: Living in a Multicultural Society. Her published dissertation is entitled Dear Sisters: A Womanist Practice of Hospitality. Her books written in collaboration include: Being Black/Teaching Black: Politics and Pedagogy in Religious Studies and Black Church Studies: An Introduction. She is currently working on two books: one about racial identity politics and anti-racist consciousness, and a collaborative project about the mystical experiences of African American people. For more check out: https://lynnewestfield.com or follow her on Twitter @LynneWestfield.

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Jazzing-Up the Semester (Part One of Two) Spectacles create excitement. Experiencing the excitement of spectacle used to be reserved for such moments as the circus’s annual appearance, bringing elephants, lions and clowns. Or it happened on the rare occasion of a World’s Fair, which was considered one of ...

Justice is one of those ideas that has captured our imaginations for generation upon generation; yet it is still a contested notion. Collectively, systemic racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, white supremacy, and a judicial system that is lenient on “white collar/white male” crime, while vengeful upon the poor and minoritized ...

In the late 1980’s, the church I served had a large staff and a sanctuary worthy of rental for the filming of a professional TV Christmas special. On an otherwise humdrum day in March, word that Stevie Wonder was in the sanctuary spread like wild fire around the staff offices. ...

“Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.” So many of our students have a “Dorothy” experience when they enter theological and religious education. Our classrooms are not what they have had previous experience of. Our classrooms are not the local church, not Bible college, not the family reunion, not church ...

The power of affirmation lies in the acknowledgement of a job well done.  When colleagues applaud our success, we feel more a part of the enterprise, more connected, and more accepted. Being affirmed is being seen, noticed, made visible in erasing workplaces where so much of our work feels like ...

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