Black Theopraxis Returning to the Source

Oblate School of Theology

Originally Published on OST.EDU

Saturday, September 23

Sept 23 | 9:00AM – 3:00PM Central Time | IN-PERSON AND ONLINE OPTIONS AVAILABLE By Oblate School of Theology

Date and time

Saturday, September 23 · 9am – 3pm CDT



Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event Eventbrite’s fee is nonrefundable.

About this event

  • 6 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

Tenth Anniversary of Sankofa: Black Theopraxis Returning to the Source

Black Theopraxis: A Call to Heal


In the beginning God created and the Spirit says, with the attestation of science, that nothing exists in isolation. Inherent in creation are principles of reciprocity, interdependence, mutuality, and relationality. Vitality and flourishing in creation occur in relationships. Death emerges through separation from the source of life and fragmented relationships in life. Building theology from two lies told by the snake births snakeology and the conceptual framework for a distant God, deficient humanity, divided community, and degraded nature. In snakeology, Christianity becomes another category of division, exclusion, and supremacy finding its end in ultimate and eternal separation.

Black Theopraxis, in concept and practice, carries us beyond the fragmentation of snakeology by attending to the design and desire of the Creator rather than normalizing the consequences generated by the voice and vision of the snake. Black Theopraxis is engaged and embodied theological construction calling and guiding us into personal, communal, and holistic healing, restoration, and reconciliation.

“Will we be made Whole”?

The presentation is sponsored by Sankofa Institute for African American Pastoral Leadership.


Dr. John W. Kinney has devoted himself to the pursuit of excellence in theological training and ministerial preparation and has distinguished himself as a systematic theologian, academician and administrator in a career that spans more than 40 years. This includes 27 years of service to Virginia Union University as Dean of the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology and Senior Vice President of the university.

He received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Marshall University (Huntington, West Virginia) and Virginia Union University (Richmond, Virginia) respectively. He was awarded the Ph.D. from Columbia University/Union Theological Seminary (New York). He has also shared in instruction at Chicago Theology Seminary (Chicago, Illinois); Randolph Macon College (Ashland, Virginia); Union Theological Seminary (Richmond, Virginia); and the College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Virginia).

Dr. Kinney has lectured extensively across the breadth of this nation and in Africa. He has been a featured lecturer at numerous universities and colleges, including Yale University, Duke University, Michigan State University, Howard University, Southern Methodist University, Virginia Common-wealth University, and the University of Richmond. He has also presented at numerous theological schools, including Iliff School of Theology, Bangor Theological Seminary, Shaw Divinity School, Hood Theological Seminary, The Baptist Theological Seminary, McCormick Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary, and many others. He is recognized for his theological constructions addressing the designed harmony in creation and the subsequent fragmentation and separation with particular attention to racism, sexism, and materialism. His thoughts are included in several publica-tions and crystallized in an article entitled The Theology of Fallenness: The Roots of Racism.

Dr. Kinney’s commitment to the needs of the community at large is apparent by his avid participation in several professional societies and organizations. Dr. Kinney has served as a consultant to the American Baptist Convention, the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the Baptist General Convention of Virginia and the United States Air Force, Army and Navy Chaplain Corps. He has been a member of the American Society of Church History, the American Academy of Religion, and the Society for the Study of Black Religion. He has served the larger community of theological educators through multiple leadership roles in the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Dr. Kinney chaired the committee on Race and Ethnicity from 1998 to 2000. He served as a member on the Commission on Accrediting from 2000 to 2006 and actively continued as Commission Chair (2004–2006), Vice President (2006-2008), President (2008-2010) and Personnel Committee Chair (2010–2012). His service to academia is complimented by his service to the parish. Dr. Kinney has served as the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Beaverdam, Virginia, for more than 47 years.

The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis is Senior Minister and Public Theologian at Middle Church in New York City. In her activism, preaching, speaking, writing, and teaching, Dr. Lewis advocates for racial equality, gun control, economic justice, and equal rights for all sexual orientations/genders. A world-renowned theologian, Dr. Lewis has been featured on The Today Show, All In with Chris Hayes, AM Joy, The Melissa Harris Perry Show, NY1, ABC, NBC, PBS, CBS and many more. Her writing has appeared in outlets like Harper’s Bazaar, Vox, The Huffington Post and Religion News Service. She is the author of several books, most recently Fierce Love: A Bold Path to a Ferocious Courage and Rule-Breaking Kindness That Can Heal the World  which was published by Penguin Random House in 2021.

Registration Fee:

 In-Person: $15 (includes lunch)

 Online: $10

Individuals can register to participate online, via Zoom Webinar, or in person, on the OST campus/WTC 101.

For those participating online: You will be able to connect to the Zoom Webinar using the Eventbrite online event page. Access will be granted upon registration for this event.

In-person participants are encouraged to bring a light jacket or shawl, a writing pad and pen, and a reusable water bottle and/or coffee mug.

Please note that this presentation will not be available for viewing at a later time. We look forward to having you join us live.

For information or to register by phone, contact Victoria Rodriguez, Associate Registrar, at or (210) 341-1366 EXT 240.