Chanequa Walker-Barnes joins Columbia Theological Seminary

May 17, 2021
(Courtesy of Columbia Theological Seminary)

Womanist theologian Chanequa Walker-Barnes has joined the faculty of Columbia Theo­logical Seminary as professor of practical theology and pastoral counseling.

In a statement, Millie Snyder, one of the seminary’s board of trustees, said Walker-Barnes’s ex­pertise will help equip seminarians for the work of reconciliation in both the church and the world.

“Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes has woven together the best scholarship in clinical psychology with an incarnational faith grounded in justice and faith,” she said.

Walker-Barnes, a licensed therapist, is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Association of Practical Theology, and she serves on the editorial board of the Journal for Pastoral Theology. She is the author of two books: I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial Re­conciliation and Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength.

In early April, Walker-Barnes made headlines when a White pastor posted screenshots of her piece “Prayer of a Weary Black Woman,” from A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal, edited by Sarah Bessey. The prayer, which in­cludes the line, “Dear God, Please help me to hate White people,” drew criticism from some conservatives, who called it racist.

In response, Walker-Barnes tweeted: “The folks critiquing have clearly never read Psalms (other than 23 & 100). Cause then they’d recognize what it’s modeled after.”