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Workshops 2007 - Worship and Preaching Among Afro-Christian Women

Transforming Voices:
Worship and Preaching
Among Afro-Christian Women

Directed by Michelle R. Loyd-Paige, Charsie Randolph Sawyer,
and Barbara Omolade

July 23-27, 2007

Funds provided by the Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Co-sponsored by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Seminar Description
This workshop is the third meeting of the series In Spirit and In Truth: Race, Christian Worship, and Public Witness. The first workshop, Health and Transformation in Afro-Christian Worship, was held in July 2003. The second workshop, Afro-Christian Worship and Social Transformation, was held in July 2004. The focus of this third workshop will be the study and celebration of African-American female preachers and worship leaders in the United States. As with the other workshops in this series, we seek to bring together scholars and practitioners of Afro-Christian worship for a week of intense discussion, practice, and study.

Specifically this workshop will explore: 1) how the scholarship of Afro-Christian women has been instrumental in shaping the voice and vision of social change and social justice; 2) the social-historical place, impact, and influence of Afro-Christian female preachers and worship leaders in the United States; 3) the intersection of womanist  perspectives and Christian Theology and its implications for Afro-Christian women in ministry; and 4) the connections between Afro-Christian women worship leaders and the development of "women composers" in the gospel music genre.

This workshop will not only lead participants in a scholarly exploration of the leading and defining of worship and preaching among Afro-Christian women, but will also engage participants in active worship.

About the Directors
Michelle R. Loyd-Paige
is Interim Dean for Multicultural Affairs at Calvin College and Professor, Department of Sociology and Social Work, with a research interest in African-American clergywomen. She holds Master and Doctorate Degrees from Purdue University and joined the Department of Sociology at Calvin College in 1985. Dr. Loyd-Paige is currently the interim Dean for Multicultural Affairs at Calvin College. Dr. Loyd-Paige’s interest in the Afro-Christian female preacher is not solely as a scholar; she is also an ordained minister of the Gospel and serves as a pastoring elder in Muskegon, Michigan. In addition, she is the founder of Preach Sista!, Inc., a non-profit organization which “Embraces, Encourages, and Equips Women for Ministry."

Charsie Randolph Sawyer, professor of music at Calvin College, is a very versatile, exciting, and gifted soprano. Dr. Sawyer has many orchestra, oratorio, opera, and recital performances to her credit throughout the United States, Europe, and the United Kingdom. In addition to being a professional soloist, Dr. Sawyer has utilized her God-given musical talents in many other ways over the past 30 years, including serving as church organist, minister of music, choir director, worship leader, and clinician. She holds Master and Doctorate Degrees in Music from the University of Michigan. Her undergraduate study was at Youngstown State University in Ohio.

Barbara Omolade is Emeriti Dean for Multicultural Affairs. She was Calvin College’s first Dean for Multicultural Affairs, joining the Calvin community in January 2004. She received her Masters degree in American History and Black Women Studies from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont and her Doctorate degree in Sociology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Dr. Omolade is passionate about giving voice to the struggles and achievements of  African-American women both in and beyond the academic setting. For several years she was the project director for the Women in History Program of the Women’s Action Alliance in New York.

Seminars & Workshops 2007

For further information contact:
Seminars in Christian Scholarship
Calvin College
1855 Knollcrest Circle SE
Grand Rapids MI 49546-4402
fax 616.526.6682