Trauma-Informed Preaching and Racial Justice

Public Deposited

MLA citation style (9th ed.)

Toole, Patrick. Trauma-informed Preaching and Racial Justice. Aquinas Institute of Theology.

APA citation style (7th ed.)

T. Patrick. Trauma-Informed Preaching and Racial Justice.

Chicago citation style (CMOS 17, author-date)

Toole, Patrick. Trauma-Informed Preaching and Racial Justice. Aquinas Institute of Theology.

Note: These citations are programmatically generated and may be incomplete.

Rights Statement
  • In the aftermath of the tragic killing of George Floyd and subsequent racial unrest that divided the nation, Catholic preachers have largely remained silent. The preachers in my diocese have also been reluctant to speak out. I developed and tested a training program to prepare and motivate priests and deacons within the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, to preach on racial justice through trauma-informed instruction. Trauma-informed instruction includes the science of trauma and its effects on the body, along with a theological perspective and preaching structures based on these insights. The first chapter outlines the thesis project’s genesis, ministerial context, problem, purpose, hypothesis, assumptions, and limitations. Chapter 2 investigates the thesis project’s interdisciplinary framework. This chapter examines the relationship between fear and racism, the relevance of the trauma recovery process to racial justice preaching, and advice for preachers based on insights from trauma-informed psychology. Chapter 3 explores my theological framework. This chapter uses Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Holy Saturday theology as a metaphor for racial trauma survivors. The chapter also applies trauma-informed theology to racial justice preaching. Chapter 4 articulates the thesis’ homiletic foundation. This chapter discusses trauma-informed preaching and racial trauma, analyzes preaching on racial justice, and presents preaching structures and methods for challenging topics, such as racism. Five priests and five deacons attended my racial justice training program in Bridgeport, Connecticut, from October 5, 2023, through December 15, 2023. Chapter 5 presents this ministerial intervention in detail. Chapter 6 presents the thesis study’s results, including quantitative and qualitative data triangulated from multiple sources that support the hypothesis that trauma-informed instruction prepares and motivates preachers to speak on racial justice. The chapter also examines lessons learned and suggests areas of improvement for future training programs. It concludes with a discussion of future opportunities.
Resource Type
Degree Granting Institution
Host Institution
Last modified
  • 02/16/2024