C. Vanessa White

Associate Professor of Spirituality and Ministry



BA, Northern Illinois University

MA. DMin, Catholic Theological Union

C. Vanessa White, D. Min. is tenured Associate Professor of Spirituality and Ministry at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and Director of the Certificate in Black Theology and Ministry. She holds a dual appointment as Associate Director of the Th.M. Program (Master of Theology) at Xavier University’s Summer Institute for Black Catholic Studies.
She has a Master of Theological Studies with emphasis in Mission and Cross-Cultural Studies (1991). and a Doctor of Ministry with a concentration in Spirituality (2005) from Catholic Theological Union. She pursued further post-graduate studies at Loyola University Chicago and Xavier University of Louisiana.
She is a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality and the Black Catholic Theological Symposium, where she served as convenor is currently the listserv administrator and web consultant. She is also a member of
the National Black Storyteller Association as well as the National Association of Storytellers.
Her articles and essays have appeared in New Theology Review, U.S. Catholic, AMERICA, National Catholic Reporter and CNN.org. Her recent contributions to the study of spirituality include the chapter entitled “Deep Down in My Soul: Black Women and the Spirituality of Freedom: Reading the Signs of the Times” in the book Religion, Women of Color, and the Suffrage Movement: The Journey to Holistic Freedom. (Lexington House, 2022) and her essay in the international theological journal Concilium entitled “ Her most “We Shall All Be Free: Theological Education and the Journey Towards Racial Justice and Freedom.” (2023/1) Her reflection on the Feast of Pentecost can be found in Catholic Women Preach (volume 1) that was recently published by Orbis Books (2022) She is co-editor of the book, “Songs of Our Hearts and Meditations of Our Souls: Prayers for Black Catholics. (St. Anthony Messenger Press), is a contributor to the Black Catholic Studies Reader (David Endres, editor, CUA, summer 2021) and to the Wisdom Commentary series volume on Luke, 1-9 (General editor, Barbara Reid, Liturgical Press, 2020) Dr. White was an inaugural contributor for the GIVE US THIS DAY, daily prayer booklet published by Liturgical Press as well as the Catholic Women Preach web series.
In February of 2023, she became the first lay woman invited to preach a nine-day solemn novena in honor of St. Jude at the National Shrine of St. Jude which was livestreamed globally. In 2023, she was appointed by Cardinal Blasé Cupich as a delegate for the North American Intercontinental Stage of the Synodal Process.
A womanist practical theologian, her research is focused on the intersections of spirituality and praxis and is attentive to issues of discernment, health, racial justice, diversity/intercultural dialogue, women’s spirituality, leadership development, spiritual and ministry formation, spiritual practices, lay ministry, adult faith formation and issues pertinent to the life of Black Catholics.


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.


Songs of Hearts and Meditations of Our Souls: Prayers for Black Catholics. (coauthored with Cecilia
Moore and Paul Marshall, SM) St. Anthony Messenger Press, 2006. https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Our-Hearts-Meditations-Souls/dp/0867166940


“We Shall All Be Free: Theological Education and the Journey Towards Racial Justice and Freedom.” Concillium. (2023/1) https://concilium.hymnsam.co.uk/issues/20231-racism-women-s-intercultural-perspectives/
“Deep Down in My Soul: Black Women and the Spirituality of Freedom – Reading the Signs of the Times. Women, Women of Color and the Suffrage Movement. Feminist Studies and Sacred Texts Series. ed. SimonMary Asese Aihiokhai. Lanham, MD. Rowman and Littlefield Publishing, 2022, 211-230.
“Pentecost: Trusting the Spirit to Shape Us” Catholic Women Preach. Elizabeth Donnelly and Russ Petrus ed. NY: Orbis Books, 2022. 113-118.
“Gonna Move When the Spirit Say Move: A. Black Spirituality of Resistance and Resilience.” Black Catholic Studies Reader: Theology and History. David J. Endres, ed. Washington DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2021. 117-132.
“Authentically Black and Truly Catholic” CNN. Black in America Series. http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/09/05/white.catholic.black/index.html
“Fr. Augustus Tolton: Pioneer Pastor. US Catholic online. February 14, 2014. Also appeared in print. US Catholic. (Vol. 79, No. 2) 55-56. https://uscatholic.org/articles/201402/augustus-tolton-pioneer-pastor/