Professor Courtney T. Goto has been teaching at the Boston University School of Theology since 2010. Trained at Emory University, she teaches and makes contributions to research in religious education and practical theology. Goto is a co-Director of the Center for Practical Theology.
Goto’s research addresses the intersections of racism, culture, and faith; as well as aesthetic teaching and learning, creativity, and embodied knowing. Goto’s current project is a collaboration with Chris Schlauch on relating across race. She is author of Taking on Practical Theology: The Idolization of Context and the Hope of Community (Brill, 2018). In this book, she explores the regnant paradigm to which the field of practical theology is captive, reflecting on issues of power and privilege in knowledge production from her perspective as a Japanese American. For this work, she was awarded a Louisville Institute First Book Grant for Minority Scholars. Goto is also author of The Grace of Playing: Pedagogies for Leaning into God’s New Creation (Pickwick, 2016). In this book, she explores how and why grace-filled teaching can be understood in terms of playing, a kind of relating that leads believers to practice being more life-giving possibilities together.
Goto teaches courses that integrate theory and practices, through critical reading, experiential and aesthetic learning, as well as community-based research. In addition to introductory courses in religious education and practical theology, Goto offers courses on Creative Pedagogy, Doing Theology Aesthetically, and Embodying the Kin(g)dom (exploring the role of the body in practicing faith). In addition, she co-teaches with Professor Schlauch a course on Paradigms of Racism, the Ignorance They Hide, and the Ignorance They Sustain. In 2020, she received a Boston University Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Goto is a third-generation Japanese American. She dedicates her work to her parents and grandparents, who are/were survivors of Japanese American internment camps during World War II.