Editor’s note: Read part two of this interview – Interview: Christina Edmondson Talks ‘Incredibly White Spaces,’ Encourages Black Women
Christina Edmondson is the dean for Intercultural Student Development at Calvin College. Edmondson holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Tennessee State University, an MS degree from the University of Rochester in Family Therapy, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Hampton University. In addition, she brings her training as a Certified Cultural Intelligence facilitator, public speaker, and mental health therapist to the popular “Truth’s Table” podcast. Edmondson is a member of New City Fellowship, a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church where her husband serves as senior pastor.
This is part one of Faithfully Magazine’s interview with Dr. Edmondson, conducted by phone. It has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
I’d like to start off with something light-hearted. If you could describe yourself with three fictional characters from books, movies, comics, etc., who would they be and why?
I would say from the Black Panther movie, I would describe myself a bit like Nakia, who is the king’s love interest in that movie. So, humor plays a really big part in my life so I would say there’s kind of an I Love Lucy quality. And let’s see. Oh! The Magic Schoolbus teacher. I would love to be a combination of all three of those.
Can you tell me about yourself, your faith journey, and how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in a culturally Christian community. So, I grew up in a space where just about everybody I was around growing up said that they were a Christian. Not in the Bible-belt, but certainly a part of a community where people had a church. So, if you met just a random person, there was a church that they went to. And my mother particularly was active and engaged in church life from my earliest memories. And I would say had a very tangible, evidenced expression of faith, within my earliest memories. I grew up finding my mother—when I couldn’t find her—I found her praying beside her bed, and this could be like in the middle of the day. Or [I grew up] hearing women having friends come over and hearing them go from laughing to just a time of prayer. Even my dad, who I think didn’t have the same kind of church roots as my mom, I remember him just stopping at a red light and saying, “You know, we just haven’t thanked the Lord today,” and just at the red light we were praying.