The Wright Ecotheologian
Associate Professor of Religion
Former Department Chair of Religion & Philosophy
Executive Director, Collaborative for the Common Good
Catherine Wright (B.Sc, B.Ed, M.Div, Ph.D.) is an interdisciplinary Christian ecotheologian working at Wingate University (North Carolina) in the Religion and Philosophy Department. As a scholar-practitioner, she has helped to create a new institute on campus grounded in the principles of sustainable development called The Collaborative for the Common Good and was chosen to be its first Executive Director on August 1, 2020. In 2022, Dr. Wright was honored with being named one of North Carolina's top 50 women leaders and her 2022 research paper (co-authored with faculty/staff in the CCG) was named one of 28 AASHE Campus Sustainability Award finalists (Community Engagement Category).
Her scholarship focuses on the implications of cosmogenesis on contemporary understandings of human suffering and was the topic of her first text: "Creation, God, and Humanity: Engaging the Mystery of Suffering within the Sacred Cosmos" (Paulist Press, 2017). She was ecstatic when it won an Association of Catholic Publishers (ACP) Excellence in Publishing award in the category of Theology in 2018. In 2020, she followed up with a text called "Caring for Our Common Home: A Practical Guide to Laudato Si'" that explores in many different ways the real life implications of Pope Francis' "green" pastoral letter.
As a Christian ethicist, Dr. Wright engages issues in an interdisciplinary way and constantly strives to communicate her Christ-centered approach to physical, social and spiritual healing in the many talks, fundraisers, think-tanks, lyceums, advisory boards, retreats, field trips, and panels she participates in or hosts.
Dr. Wright has also taught a diverse array of well received courses such as Food and Faith, Global Perspectives on Ethics, Systematic Theology, Religion and Science, Theological Responses to Our Ecological Crisis, Suffering and Joy, Christian Missions in the 21st Century, and EcoJustice -- in addition to many immersive travel based trips to Ashville (NC), Carolina Beach (NC), Jackson (MS), and Ireland. As with her texts, Dr. Wright invites students and readers to discover new ways of thinking and new behaviors with interactive and community engaged exercises aimed to change hearts and heads while hands are doing the work of community transformation. Her courses. presentations and books give new life to the tenet: being the "hands and feet of Christ."
Catherine also loves supporting Creation Care and Social Justice teams across many dioceses and denominations, as well as spending time with her family and friends in the great outdoors -- taking time to do some ‘holy noticing.’ A great joy for her is to work alongside passionate people of faith in her local community who are laboring to empower others to wholeness and happiness.
Her fur babies keep her grounded as does her gardens, her college bound kid Draven, and husband Todd.