Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes is a theologian and psychologist whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for healing, justice, and reconciliation in the Christian church and beyond. Dr. Walker-Barnes has earned degrees from Emory University (B.A., Psychology and African-American/African Studies), the University of Miami (M.S. and Ph.D., Clinical Child/Family Psychology), and Duke University (M.Div., Certificate in Gender, Theology, and Ministry). She is currently Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling in the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University. Prior to coming to McAfee, Dr. Walker-Barnes served on the faculty at Shaw University Divinity School, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Florida. A candidate for ordination in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, she is licensed to practice psychology in Georgia and North Carolina.
Dr. Walker-Barnes began her career as a research psychologist who focused on adolescent development and ethnic minority families. Upon being called to ministry, she left that vocation to attend seminary, where her focused broadened to racial and gender identity, community development, and reconciliation. In her teaching and writing, she draws upon her diverse experiences as an interdisciplinary scholar, a clinician, and a minister to advocate for individual, family, and social healing in the body of Christ. Her work is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing upon pastoral theology, womanist/feminist theology, cultural studies, and the social sciences.
In her first book, Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength, Dr. Walker-Barnes seeks to heighten awareness about the inordinate burden that the icon of the StrongBlackWoman places upon women of African descent and to provide a framework for liberative pastoral care with African American women. Her second project will focus upon racial reconciliation. Her articles have been featured in a wide variety of publications, including the Journal of Pastoral Theology, the Journal of Child and Family Studies, Horizons: The Magazine for Presbyterian Women, and Geez.
Dr. Walker-Barnes is an Atlanta Native (“Grady Baby!”) who recently returned to her hometown after an 18-year-absence. She is married to Delwin Barnes, a mechanical engineer, and they are the proud parents of one son, Micah. And despite having been a Hurricane, Gator, Tar Heel, and Blue Devil, she is still not a sports fan.