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Black Catholic Spirituality is a Course

Black Catholic Spirituality

Mar 6, 2024 - Apr 2, 2024

$30 Enroll

Full course description

Image Credit: William H. Johnson, I Baptize Thee, ca. 1940, oil on burlap, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation

4-Week Course


This course explores the Black Catholic Christian experience in the United States. The course moves from the experience of enslaved believers to the current experience of Black Catholics who are living through the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. We find hope in the prophetic voices of US Black Catholics on the road to sainthood, particularly Sr. Thea Bowman. This course aims to bring light to the challenges and prejudices faced by Black Catholics, past and present, as well as the deep faith, prayer, and community that they bring to the global Church.


  • Week 1: Who We Are
  • Week 2: Foundations
  • Week 3: Challenging Times
  • Week 4: Hope for the Future

Special Features

This course includes:

  • Video clips;
  • Text transcripts of each featured video;
  • Weekly questions for reflection and discussion;
  • A weekly introduction and study guide; and
  • A regularly updated Resources page for further study.

All STM Online: Crossroads courses include these features

  • Participants have access 24 hours/7 days a week to the course's password-protected web site.
  • Each participant belongs to a small Community for Conversation and faith sharing guided by a facilitator.
  • The course site is usually available to participants at least three months after the course has ended.
  • An orientation on how to navigate the web site is always available.
  • Technical assistance is easy to contact and prompt in returning a message.
  • A Certificate of Active Participation is awarded to those who post at least three messages of substance for each week of content.

Time Commitment

A participant can expect to spend an average of approximately 3-4 hours each week. This commitment includes both the assigned reading and interaction online.

Content Scholars

  • C. Vanessa White, (text) is an associate professor of Spirituality and Ministry at Catholic Theological Union and has a dual appointment as associate director of the Th.M. Program at Xavier University's Institute for Black Catholic Studies.
  • Fr. Cyprian Davis, O.S.B., (text) was an African American monk and renowned chronicler of Black Catholic history. He was an ecclesial historian at St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana.
  • Patrick Saint-Jean, S.J., (text) is Jesuit scholastic teaching at Creighton University. He is also the author of The Spiritual Work of Racial Justice.
  • Dawn Araujo-Hawkins, (text) is the news editor at The Christian Century and previously was a staff writer at Global Sisters Report.
  • M. Shawn Copeland, Ph.D., (video) is professor emerita of theology at Boston College.
  • Amey Victoria Adkins-Jones, Ph.D., (video) is assistant professor of theology and African and African Diaspora Studies at Boston College.
  • Sr. Thea Bowman, F.S.P.A., Ph.D., (video) was a Black Catholic religious sister, teacher, and scholar. She was a pioneer in recognizing the gifts and rights of Black Catholics in the Church.

Certificate Requirement Categories

Spirituality and Prayer
Themes from Our Christian Tradition

What is an STM Online: Crossroads course?

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William H. Johnson, I Baptize Thee, ca. 1940, oil on burlap, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation