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BookTALK: Guest Speaker Series

This guide contains resources that complement the Guest Speaker Series sponsored by the Center for Writing and Learning Support and Barbour Library

Library & Online Resources

Rev. Dr. Teri OttRev. Dr. Teri McDowell Ott has been an ordained Presbyterian (PCUSA) minister for over twenty years. After receiving her Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary she served the church in a variety of pastoral positions. In 2008 she completed her Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary. She began serving Monmouth College as Chaplain in January of 2011 and was promoted to Dean of the Chapel in 2019. On June 1st, 2021, Teri accepted a new call as Editor and Publisher of The Presbyterian Outlook, the only independent publisher of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Teri is married to the Rev. Dr. Daniel J. Ott who serves as the dean of Eastern Mennonite University’s School of Theology, Humanities and Performing Arts. Dan and Teri live in Harrisonburg, Virginia with their two teenagers, Isaac and Ella, and a mischievous mutt named Max. Teri’s first book, Necessary Risks: Challenges Privileged People Need to Face, is inspired by her work with college students and her experience volunteer teaching in a men’s prison. 


Necessary Risks (Fortress Press, 2022) is a book for people of privilege who are increasingly  aware of racial injustice but unsure of what to do about it and afraid to venture into challenging dialogues and spaces. Ott encourages readers to value risk-taking as the path toward a more equitable and just world. She builds on memoir-like stories to explore ten risks with which she has wrestled in her work with diverse populations as the chaplain of a liberal arts college and as a volunteer in a men's state prison. These necessary risks are also informed by Ott's study of authors, theologians, and scholars of color, such as Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin, bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldúa, Ada María Isasi-Díaz, and Eddie Glaude Jr. Demonstrating that in the face of injustice, white silence and inaction are not neutral, Necessary Risks leads readers to feel less fearful and more capable in diverse settings and ultimately to contribute to personal and communal learning and growth, change and transformation.


Learn more about Teri Ott at

Preview Necessary Risks at Google Books

Purchase a copy of Necessary Risks at or

Select Bibliography

Most of the following books are not currently in the Barbour Library collection. The links below will take you to either (which supports local bookstores), the author's online store, or, where you can purchase the book.

Edmondson, Christina and Chad Brennan. 2022. Faithful Anti-Racism: Moving Past Talk to Systemic Change. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Goodson Jacob L., Elliott Brad Stone and Philip Rudolph Kuehnert. 2022. Building Beloved Community in a Wounded World. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books.

Lewis, William T. 2022. Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Pie : Conversations with My White Friends About Race. Charlotte, NC: SPARK Publications.

Moore, Osheta. 2021. Dear White Peacemakers : Dismantling Racism with Grit and Grace. Harrisonburg, VA: Herald Press.

Books and Media in Barbour Library

Print books below may be checked out by PTS students, faculty, and staff, as well as local area patrons who have library accounts (requires an annual fee). Media items are indicated in parentheses. Ebooks are indicated by asterisks, and are available to current PTS students, faculty, and staff only. 

More Barbour Library Resources by Subject

Click on the links below to perform subject searches in the library catalog:

Christianity and justice.

Social justice -- Religious aspects -- Christianity.

Whites - Race identity.



Select Bibliography

The articles below are not available in either the print or electronic Barbour Library journal collection. Please check your local library for interlibrary loan services in order to obtain copies. PTS students, faculty, and staff may obtain the article through Barbour Library's interlibrary loan services.

Hogue, Michael S. 2022. “The Matrix of Whiteness.” Currents in Theology and Mission 49 (1): 83–87. 

Moltmann, Jürgen. 2022. “Black Theology for Whites.” Currents in Theology and Mission 49 (1): 71–82.

Parker, Eve Rebecca. 2022. “World Christianity as a Critique of Whiteness in Theological Education.” The Ecumenical Review 74 (1): 45–57.

Stoddart, Eric. 2022. “Reimagining the White Surveillance Gaze: A Practical Theological Proposal for Repentant and Solidaristic Engagement.” Practical Theology 15 (1–2): 94–106

Articles in Barbour Library

Articles that are available online have links, and are only available to current PTS students, faculty, and staff. Articles without links are in the print journal collection.

Banks, Adelle M. 2016. “Racial Justice Programming in Many Mainline Churches Focuses on Privilege, Power.” Christian Century 133 (12): 18.

Schneider, Rachel C, and Sophie Bjork-James. 2020. “Whither Whiteness and Religion?: Implications for Theology and the Study of Religion.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 88 (1): 175–99


Teri Ott, Risks Privileged People Should Take (Leading Theologically, PCUSA) - March 25, 2021


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