Baylor University to Host Three-Part Sequence of Programs on Confronting Racism in the White Church
February 17-19, 2022, Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary will host “Do We Want to Be Healed?” Racism in the White Church, the first in a three-year sequence of programs addressing racism in the white church and seeking God’s justice. This initial event will offer resources and inspiration for those interested in or in the beginning stages of redressing racism in the white church, with a particular focus on racism against the Black community.
In addition to Truett Seminary, this event is being sponsored by The Eula Mae and John Baugh Family Foundation, The Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing, and The Public Religion Research Institute and is being coordinated by Greg Garrett, PhD, Professor at Baylor University and Canon Theologian at The American Cathedral in Paris. Garrett’s initial dream for the event grew out of two years of conversations about race and justice with various churches and ministry organizations following the death of George Floyd.
"Many churches knew they needed to take up this work, but often they didn't know the next steps to take. Pastors and priests weren't sure how to engage their congregations. I'm so excited to partner with Truett Seminary to host this program about initial steps,” Garrett said. “You can lean into anti-racism work through cultural engagement—we'll talk about gospel music and films on race and prejudice—through Scripture, through historical study, and through simple observation of the world we live in. It may be that your church has never done this work, but as my friend the great Black theologian Kelly Brown Douglas says, it is not optional. The Apostle Paul writes that Christians have been given the ministry of reconciliation, and we know in our hearts that we are called to be agents of compassion and grace in a culture that is riven with divisions."
Racism in the White Church will feature keynote speakers Kristin Du Mez, PhD, Professor of History and Gender Studies at Calvin University, Robert P. Jones, PhD, CEO/Founder of The Public Religion Research Institute, and Catherine Meeks, PhD, Executive Director of The Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing. A full lineup of speakers for the event may be found here. The event will include both stimulating presentations and dynamic conversations.
"The Vision of Baylor's Truett Seminary is to be a leader in preparing thoughtful, faithful Christian ministers for a twenty-first century church and world," said Todd D. Still, PhD, DeLancey Dean and Hinson Professor at Truett. "This gathering is in keeping not only with the Vision of our school but also with the beatific vision of Revelation, where all people from all places stand together before the Lord and the Lamb expressing harmonious and heart-felt praise. I hope that many people from many places will join us for this timely and necessary event."
"Do We Want to Be Healed?" Racism in the White Church will be available for participation both in person and online. In person registration is $25 and online registration is free. Learn more and register today at www.baylor.edu/truett/racisminthewhitechurch.