Monica A. Coleman
Professor of Constructive Theology and African American Religions
A.B., Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, Harvard University; M.Div., Vanderbilt University Divinity School; M.A., Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University
A scholar and activist, Monica A. Coleman is committed to connecting faith and social justice. An ordained elder in the Michigan Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Coleman is also Co-Director of the Center for Process Studies at Claremont School of Theology.
Leading foundations in the United States have supported Coleman’s research and education. Coleman has received funding from the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation, the Association for Theological Schools, the Roothbert Fund and the Forum for Theological Exploration (formerly, the Fund for Theological Education).
Coleman is the author or editor of six books, and several articles and book chapters that focus on the role of faith in addressing critical social and philosophical issues. Her memoir “Bipolar Faith: a Black Woman’s Journey with Depression and Faith” shares her life-long dance with trauma and depression, and how she discovers a new and liberating vision of God. In “Not Alone: Reflections on Faith and Depression, Coleman offers a 40-day devotional wrestling with depression in a spiritual context.” Coleman wrote about church responses to sexual violence in “The Dinah Project: a Handbook for Congregational Response to Sexual Violence.” In “Making a Way Out of No Way: a Womanist Theology,” Coleman discusses inter-religious responses to the joys and pains of black women’s lives. She is the co-editor of “Creating Women’s Theologies: a Movement Engaging Process Thought” and editor of “Ain’t I a Womanist Too?: Third Wave Womanist Religious Thought.” Coleman’s articles have been featured in a variety of publications including ESSENCE, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Philosophia and Aspire: Women of Color Study Bible. Her current writing projects focus on the intersection of depression and faith, and theories of religious plurality.
A survivor of rape, Coleman became committed to speaking out against sexual violence in 1997. She founded and coordinated “The Dinah Project,” an organized church response to sexual violence, at Metropolitan Interdenominational Church in Nashville, TN. Her expertise in religion and sexual violence has taken her around the country to speak at churches, colleges, seminaries, universities, and regional and national conferences.
Coleman is active in ecumenical and academic religious guilds. Coleman served two terms as a member of the Faith and Order Commission for the National Council of Churches, USA. She currently serves on the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches. Coleman holds numerous leadership positions in the American Academy of Religion including the former co-chair of the Black Theology Group, a steering committee member of the Open and Relational Theologies Consultation, and membership on the Committee on the Status of People with Disabilities in the Profession. Coleman is also a member of the refereed societies, Society for the Study of Black Religion (SSBR) and the Institute for American Religious and Philosophical Thought (IARPT).
Coleman often teaches Bible study in her local church, and speaks widely on religion and sexuality, religious pluralism, churches & social media, mental health, and sexual and domestic violence.
A.B. – Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges
M.Div. – Vanderbilt University Divinity School
Cert. Religion, Gender and Sexuality – Vanderbilt University Divinity School
M.A. – Claremont Graduate University
Ph.D. – Claremont Graduate University