Rev. Yolanda Norton

Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible/H. Eugene Farlough Professor of Black Church Studies
Graduate School of Theology

Photo of Rev. Yolanda Norton


Ph.D. Candidate, Vanderbilt University

M.T.S., M.Div., Wesley Theological Seminary

B.A., Syracuse University


P: 415.451.2888

Meet Yolanda

Rev. Yolanda M. Norton is a Ph.D. candidate in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel and Theology and Practice Fellow at Vanderbilt University.   Her current research interests include womanist interpretation, narrative and literary criticism, and the Persian period. In particular, her work focuses on the books of Genesis and Ruth, and how each text treats foreign women, and considers the ways in which insider-outsider paradigms in Scripture influence constructions of identity and facilitate the vilification and/or oppression of women of color who encounter the biblical canon in the modern world.

Professor Norton has published chapters in I Found God in Me: Womanist Biblical Hermeneutics Reader and Global Perspectives in the Old Testament. She also has articles included in a pending publication in Liturgical Press’ new feminist commentary on the Psalms.

Prior to coming to SFTS, Norton was a Visiting Instructor at Moravian Theological Seminary and adjunct faculty at Wesley Theological Seminary. She is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has served in various ministerial capacities in the Washington, D.C. area and Nashville, TN.

She holds a Master of Divinity and Master of Theological Studies degree from Wesley Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Syracuse University.

Courses Taught


Womanist Biblical Interpretation

Ancestral Narratives of Genesis


Contributing Voice Author, Wisdom Commentary: The Psalms, Books II and III, Denise Dombkowski Hopkins, lead author, (Collegeville, MN, Liturgical Press, pending)

“Silenced Struggles for Survival: Finding Life in Death in the Book of Ruth” in I Found God in Me: A Womanist Biblical Hermeneutics Reader, Mitzi Smith, ed. (Eugene, OR: Cascade Publishing, 2015)

“Reading Esther as an African American Woman” in Global Perspectives on the Old Testament, Mark Roncace and Joseph Weaver, eds. (Boston: Prentice Hall, 2013)

Guest Lectionary Commentator, Ushers and Nurses Guild Sunday Lectionary Commentary, 2013 African American Lectionary Commentary

Guest Lectionary Commentator, Holy Thursday Compact Unit Commentary, 2012 African American Lectionary Commentary

Guest Lectionary Commentator, Ash Wednesday Compact Unit Commentary, 2011 African American Lectionary Commentary

Awards, Honors, Grants

Ann E. Dickerson Scholarship (Christian Church, Disciples of Christ) (2014, 2015)

Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE), African American Doctoral Fellow (2011-2013)

Interpretation Award for Excellence in Biblical Interpretation, 2011

CC Goen Student Research Fellowship for Christian History Award, 2010

New York State Campus Compact Scholar, 2004

Chancellor’s Award for Public Service, 2003

Maxwell School Award for Citizenship, 2003

Invited Presentations

Social and Economic Evaluation of Women in Proverbs: Responding to Alice Bellis’ Commentary on Proverbs 11:22

  • Guest Respondent, Faculty-Student Colloquium, Howard University School of Divinity

Weeping Witness: Preaching as Prophetic Lamentation Toward the Ethical Imperative

  • Co-Author: Casey Thornburg Sigmon, Academy of Homiletics Annual Conference, December 2013

Navigating Territory and Traversing Terrain: A Womanist Reading of the Book of Ruth

  • Society of Biblical Literature Annual Conference, November 2013

The Psalms and God’s Hesed: Reclaiming Mature Proximity to Presence/Absence in Public Space

  • Co-Author: Casey Thornburg Sigmon, Society of Biblical Literature Annual Conference, November 2012

Temptress or Scapegoat?: The Legacy of Potiphar’s Wife

  • Society of Biblical Literature Annual Conference, November 2011
  • Society of Biblical Literature Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, March 2011


Homiletician/Pastor Combined Consultation, The Academy of Preaching & Celebration, 2016

Consultation with African American Homileticians, The Academy of Preaching & Celebration, 2014

Society of Biblical Literature

Academy of Homiletics

Society of Christian Ethics