PhD Student, Systematic Theology

University of Notre Dame (USA)


LaRyssa Herrington is a 2nd-year doctoral student in Systematic Theology at the University of Notre Dame from Tolono, Illinois. She holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and social work from Greenville University and is a graduate of Emory University’s Candler School of Theology where she completed her Master of Divinity concentrating in Catholic Studies.

LaRyssa’s current research works at the intersection of Womanist Theology, Mariology, and Theologies of Grace/Sacramentality and explores the impact of racism and trauma on Black bodies. More specifically, her work examines how embodied ritual practices not only bring visibility and healing to experiences of internalized oppression, but how sacramentality and ritualized voicing participate in the actualization of liberation and hope. Such models for healing are being explored through Mary’s biblical representation as a prophetic witness for herself and the larger community through acts of Christian proclamation and resistance, as well as her presence in the devotional lives of Black Catholics. LaRyssa recently launched a four-part webinar series titled “Black Catholics and The Millennial Gap” with the National Black Catholic Congress and is also the recipient of the Louisville Institute Doctoral Fellowship.

In her free time, LaRyssa enjoys creative writing, theatre, swimming, watching movies, singing, and playing her ukulele.