C. Vanessa White

Associate Professor of Spirituality and Ministry



BA, Northern Illinois University

MA. DMin, Catholic Theological Union


She is Past Convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium, an interdisciplinary theological association of Black Catholic theologians and scholars and a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality. A Secular Franciscan (over 30 years). Dr. White works with Bishop Joseph N. Perry (postulator for the cause) promoting the cause of Fr. Augustus Tolton and in coordinating annual pilgrimages to the birthplace, ministerial site, and burial site of Fr. Augustus Tolton. She serves as an advisor/consultant for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service. The subcommittee assists the US bishops in reviewing and approving certification standards and procedures to be used by arch/dioceses and national organizations in the certification of specialized ecclesial ministers.


She received the Juan Diego Award for Distinguished Service in the Church from the National Association of Lay Ministry in 2015 as well as the Augustus Tolton Award for Ministerial Service in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 2002.


Dr. White is an experienced workshop presenter, retreat facilitator, spiritual director and teacher. Her areas of research focus on the intersections of spirituality and ministry, spiritual practice, health, women’s spirituality, diversity/intercultural dialogue, leadership development, spiritual and ministry formation, lay ministry and adult faith formation, leadership, youth and young adult ministry and issues pertinent to the spiritual and pastoral life of African Americans.


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 [2006], and contributing author in the book Liturgy and Justice [2002] published by Liturgical Press.


She has published articles and essays in the National Religious Vocation Conference journal as well as Horizons: Journal for the College Theology Society New Theology Review, The Journal of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium, Daily Theology, The Bible Today, and U.S. Catholic Magazine.


She was asked by CNN News to contribute to their “Black in America” series with an op – piece that can be found online at cnn.org entitled “Authentically Black and Truly Catholic”.   She is regular contributor to Give Us This Day – daily prayer journal published by Liturgical Press as well as inaugural contributor to the web-based Catholic Women Preach series.