Christian education scholar Lockhart to illustrate playfulness’ part in life, theology


From Zumba to double-dutch, the Rev. Lakisha R. Lockhart is on a mission to show the power of play and movement in life and theology.

She sees herself not just as a professor — she’s currently teaching at Union Presbyterian Seminary — but as a “facilitator, rope jumper, game-player, sojourner, advocate, disruptor, and catalyst for critical consciousness, liberation and engagement that leads to action and change,” Lockhart said in a piece published by Presbyterian News Service. “When people embody their belief through practical application, they are more dedicated to their own formation, the formation of others, and to serve Christ and the church.”

Play, movement, aesthetics and creative arts in life and in theology will all be up for discussion as she gives her presentation at 2 p.m. today in the Hall of Philosophy, part of the Week Two Interfaith Lecture Series theme on “A Spirit of Play.”

Lockhart’s research over the years has focused on religious education; practical, liberation and Womanist theologies; ethics and society; multiple intelligences; embodied faith and pedagogies; theological aesthetics’ theopoetics; and creativity, imagination and play. Her doctoral dissertation at Boston College? Doing Double-Dutch: Womanist Modes of Play as a Pedagogical Resource for Theological Education.

She considers herself a playful Womanist scholar-activist, and at Union Presbyterian Seminary she’s an assistant professor of Christian education. In that work, she sees teaching Christian education as a way to strengthen the church; part of her students’ educational experience is actually, actively participating in their congregations and communities.

That way, educators and ministers aren’t just more committed and knowledgeable — their congregants are, too.

Ordained in the non-denominational tradition,Lockhart is executive secretaryfor the Religious Education Association, and has served as director of the STREAM Youth Theology Institute and assistant professor of practical theology at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. 

Lockhart earned her bachelor’s in philosophy and religion from Clafin University; a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Wesley Theological Seminary; and a master’s degree in ethics and society from Vanderbilt University.

She’s been a Zumba instructor since 2013.


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