Jennifer W. Davidson

Associate Professor of Theology & Worship
  • PhD, Graduate Theological Union, Liturgical Studies; Allied field in Systematic and Philosophical Theology
  • Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching & Learning, United Theological Seminary
  • MDiv, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
  • BA, Eastern University, English and Secondary Education



Facebook: @ContemplativeTheology

LinkedIn: Jennifer W. Davidson

Curriculum Vitae: CV 2019



I am a passionate educator with extensive experience teaching in a multicultural setting. I love to empower others as they discover their own voices and come to deeper insights about themselves and their world. I develop dynamic learning environments in face-to-face and online classrooms by employing a liberative and contemplative pedagogy.

  • Communion & Baptism in American Baptist Contexts
  • Trauma-Informed Pedagogy for the Graduate Theological Classroom
  • Contemplative Pedagogy
  • Writing a Rule of Life

Global Theological Perspectives — Together in this course we engage theologies coming from Asian American, Black liberation, Dalit, feminist, indigenous/Naga, Korean, L’Arche, womanist, and other perspectives. Through these encounters, students have ample opportunity to grapple with and articulate their own theologies, and gain facility with navigating multiple, complex theological ideas that help enliven theologically diverse and spiritually robust communities. Students also cultivate spiritual practices, informed by insights from The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, that will serve as long-term resources for spiritual, emotional, and professional well-being. We engage in theological reflection in light of contemporary issues of injustice to create frameworks for hopeful, strategic justice work. Learning is facilitated through regular written assignments, small group and paired discussions, and prayerful disciplines.

Writing a Personal Rule of Life — Your time in seminary is extremely busy with a lot of new demands made on your time, energy, and wallet. Sometimes you might resign yourself to thinking that you have to wait until after graduation before you start taking care of yourself again. But the rhythm you set now is most likely one you will continue after graduation. This course will encourage you to set your new rhythm now, a rhythm of the spirit that will  sustain you and ground you for the long journey ahead—both in seminary and after you graduate. Embracing an ancient Christian practice of crafting a Rule of Life, this course will guide you through a process of creating a life-giving rhythm centered on God through prayer, work, study, spiritual companionship, care of your body, reaching out, and hospitality. This course was inspired by retreats I have offered in partnership with Brad Berglund and Rhythms of the Spirit.

Theology as Living Conversation — Did you know theology can be ordinary, practical, public, and creative? Did you know theology and science don’t have to be sworn enemies? This innovative online course will introduce you to a bunch of different ways that you can be a theologian–find the one that resonates with you the most, discover how other people identify, try on new approaches. Take your place at the table, and join the conversation! 2018 Fall Theology as Living Conversation Syllabus

Women’s Studies in Religion – All oppression is connected. All liberation is connected. Now more than ever we need to be adept at analyzing how gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, education, and immigration status affect social conditions. This course will equip you with the tools you need to be engaged in effective advocacy work for social justice and liberation. A life-transforming class and a core required course for the women’s studies in religion certificate program for the Graduate Theological Union. 2018 WSR Syllabus

BlackLivesMatter Movement: The Spirit of Protest – Investigating the historical and contemporary reasons for the emergence of this movement and analyzing intentional intersectionality and strategies for solidarity from multiple social locations. Download Syllabus PDF

Pedagogy for Teaching Worship – A doctoral-level seminar course that examines and develops pedagogical strategies for teaching worship in diverse classrooms and/or congregations. We pay attention to how pedagogy shifts when teaching practices and theologies of worship.

Worship in All Seasons – This course draws out the connections between liturgy and time. How does worship shape, and get shaped by, various seasons. Here, the word ‘season’ is understood expansively to include liturgical seasons such as Advent, Lent, and Easter; but also seasons of life, including times of crisis and tragedy and times of celebration. Students develop skills at creating meaningful liturgies and rituals for their own contexts.

Prayer in Public Worship – This course explores different forms of prayer in worship and how they help to bring us into deeper intimacy with God. Particular emphasis is given to: theologies of prayer; historical perspectives on prayer in worship; the relationships between personal prayer and public prayer; and different genres of prayer in public worship, including intercessions or Joys and Concerns.

Selected Publications

Image of book cover for River of Life Feast of GraceRiver of Life, Feast of Grace: Baptism, Communion, and Discipleship. Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 2019.

“Contemporary Liturgical Resources.” In Sources of Life: Resources for Baptist Churches Practicing Theology. Perspectives on Baptist Identity Series. Edited by Steven R. Harmon and Amy L. Chilton. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, forthcoming.

“Solidarity of BlackLivesMatter in Trump America: How a Constructive Theology Classroom Can Speak to our World’s Need for Meaning and Connection.” Review & Expositor, Fall 2017.

“I Hate, I Despise Your Festivals: A Praxis-Oriented Liturgical Spirituality.” Trouble the Water: A Christian Resource for the Work of Racial Justice. Ed. Michael-Ray Mathews, Marie Onwubuariri, and Cody Sanders. Macon, GA: Nurturing Faith, Inc., 2017.

Can Religious Culture Protect Society’s Sacrificial Victims?Tikkun co-authored with LeAnn Snow Flesher, (Winter 2016).

“Creation’s Groans and Spirit’s Sighs: Cultivating Attentiveness to the Spirit through the Practice of Concerns and Celebrations.” American Baptist Quarterly, Summer 2012 (published in 2014).

Beyond Preferences: Worship as Practicing the Presence of God.” Baptist World: A Magazine of the Baptist World Alliance, Vol. 60, No. 2 (April-June 2013).

“In Step with the Spirit: Proclamation,” Baptist World Alliance Day Worship Resource Materials, Baptist World Alliance (May 2012).

“Remembering Ourselves Before God: A Constructive Liturgical Theology of Prayer.” The South African Baptist Journal of Theology, Vol. 18 (Fall 2009).

GTU Involvement
  • Core Doctoral Faculty
  • Co-Chair, Women’s Studies in Religion Steering Committee
  • Religion and Practice Department
  • Theology and Ethics Department
  • Masters and Dissertation Committees
Hobbies and Interests
  • Being outdoors: walking, hiking, paddle boat on the reservoir
  • All things creative: cooking, cross stitch, painting, coloring
  • Reading novels, especially mystery and historical fiction
  • Listening to Podcasts
  • IndyCar and Formula One Racing
Other Ways to Engage