The Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) at Xavier University of Louisiana has appointed C. Vanessa White, D.Min. as Associate Director for the Th.M. Degree Program, effective immediately. Dr. White, a long-time member of the IBCS community, earned the Master Catechist Certification in 1990 and has served in several leadership capacities. As an IBCS faculty member, Dr. White teaches in both the Degree and the Continuing Education and Enrichment (C&E) programs.

August 27, 2020

"As Associate Director for the Degree Program, Dr. White serves as the principal administrator of the Th.M. program that provides graduate-level professional education in systematic and pastoral theologies, as well as a variety of pastoral ministries with a focus that reflects the Black religious, cultural and Catholic experiences," said IBCS Director Kathleen Dorsey Bellow. "IBCS graduate students are lay ministers, seminarians and others in formation, vowed religious, and clergy who are engaged in or preparing for ministry in Catholic parishes and diocesan offices in the areas of parish leadership, religious education, liturgical leadership, campus ministry and education."


“It is an honor to be a part of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies, the first and primary national center for the study of the Black Catholic experience,” said Dr. C. Vanessa White. I stand on the shoulders of devoted women and men who have served in this position before; I am looking forward to contributing to the continued growth of the IBCS community.”

Dr. White brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the position. She is Associate Professor of Spirituality and Ministry, as well as Director of the Certificate in Pastoral Studies Program and the Certificate in Black Theology and Ministry Program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. White was formerly the Director of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies and Master of Arts in Specialized Ministries at the Catholic Theological Union. 

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a focus in Child Development and Family Service (Northern Illinois University, 1978), Masters in Theological Studies with a concentration in Mission and Cross-Cultural Studies (Catholic Theological Union, 1991) and a Doctor of Ministry with a concentration in Spirituality (Catholic Theological Union, 2005).

A former convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium, an interdisciplinary theological association of Black Catholic theologians and scholars, Dr. White works with Bishop Joseph N. Perry (postulator for the cause) promoting the cause of Fr. Augustus serving as an advisor/consultant for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service. She also serves as one of the advisors for Fetzer Institute’s ‘Study on American Spirituality’ that will be published later in 2020. Additionally, she is a member on the Board of Directors of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality.

White has received numerous awards and honors including – F. Sadlier Dinger Award from the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership, the Juan Diego Award for Service to Lay Ministry in the Church from the National Association of Lay Ministry, the Augustus Tolton Award from the Archdiocese of Chicago and Doctorate of Humane Letters from Franciscan University in Loretto Pennsylvania. 

A Secular Franciscan, Dr. White is an experienced author, workshop presenter, retreat facilitator, spiritual director and educator who lectures nationally on Christian spirituality, discernment, health, women’s spirituality, diversity/intercultural dialogue, leadership development, spiritual and ministry formation, spiritual practices, lay ministry and adult faith formation.

More about Dr. C. Vanessa White

Dr. White is co-editor of the book (with Dr. Cecilia Moore and Fr. Paul Marshall, SM), Songs of the Heart and Meditations of the Soul – A book of prayers published by St. Anthony Messenger Press and contributing author for Amoris Laetitia: A New Momentum for Moral and Pastoral Formation (Paulist Press, 2018) and Liturgy and Justice: To Worship God in Spirit and Truth (Liturgical Press, 2002) She has published articles and essays in New Theology Review, U.S. Catholic, AMERICA, and and is also a regular contributor to Give Us This Day – daily prayer journal published by Liturgical Press as well part of the reflection team for PRAY TELL’S, “60 second-homily and is an inaugural contributor to the web-based Catholic Women Preach series. 

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