Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Theological Studies (MTS)


Christian tradition teaches that God is Mystery and beyond human understanding. However, church practices in worship and education frequently portray God as male. In addition, popular and religious art commonly depict God as White, especially in the United States. Normalizing imagery of God as White male is a misrepresentation of the character of God according to scripture. Presenting God as exclusively male or exclusively White is more than misleading, it is idolatrous and denies the image of God on all peoples put forth in Genesis 1: 26-27. Elevating imagery of God as White and male negates the Imago Dei of the majority of peoples. This practice is an insult to the Great Commandment to Love God and Love thy Neighbor (Matthew 22: 37-39).

Encountering God at the gender and race intersections of female and Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color (BIWOC) expands traditional God imagery and is liberative for women and men, the church, and the world. Portraying God as BIWOC contributes to a multiplicity of God imagery that does not limit the character of God, but continually expands representations of the Christian God to better point toward the infinite Mystery.

This thesis uses Feminist Theology, Liberation Theology, Anti-Racism Methodology, and Intersectional Theology to explore and reflect upon the experience and impact of imagery of God as Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color (BIWOC). The thesis project was a series of four retreats...