This past June, Seminary of the Southwest, in partnership with the Black Religious Scholars Group and SEES (Strategic Ethical Expert Solutions), hosted “Teaching to Transcend: A DEI Consultation on Transformative Teaching in Theological Education.” Representatives from Episcopal seminaries from across the country attended, with Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Bexley Seabury, Sewanee, and General all joining Southwest in this important curricular discussion.
“The Teaching to Transcend workshop brought together over 25 faculty members from five Episcopal seminaries to discuss ways we could expand and diversify our syllabi and our teaching strategies,” said Academic Dean Scott Bader-Saye. “The consultants brought decades of teaching experience and subject matter expertise to help us envision a more expansive and inclusive curriculum. As professors at predominantly white institutions, the faculty participants welcomed the opportunity to review syllabi and teaching practices in small groups and in one-on-one consultations with some of the preeminent Black scholars in our fields. The presentations and consultations that happened over these two days provided tools to create a richer and more diverse theological formation for priests in The Episcopal Church. I am grateful to Stacey Floyd-Thomas and her team, and I am heartened by the broad participation across our seminaries. This event has laid the groundwork for more collaboration among our faculties.”
In this Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion pedagogical consultation and syllabi workshop, organizers provided resources and reflection towards amplifying DEI content in curricula, strengthened inclusive teaching practices in the classroom, and cultivated cultures that support DEI and ATS standards in meaningful ways. Together with some of the nation’s foremost intercultural, interdisciplinary, and interreligious scholars and theological educators, this experience explored ways to assess DEI possibilities that go beyond numbers and biases, so as to create classroom contexts that facilitate the incarnation of our best intentions.
Consultants of the workshop included Dr. Stacey M. Floyd-Thomas, Dr. Brad Braxton, Dr. Miguel A. De Le Torre, Dr. Juan M. Floyd-Thomas, Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, Dr. Lakisha Lockhart, and Dr. W. David Nelson.