Dr. Black received her Ph.D. from Drew Theological School in the field of Religion and Society. Her work focuses in Congregational and Mormon Studies. She also holds a Master of Arts degree, also in the field of Religion and Society from Drew University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Montana. She teaches applied ethics courses and has been both a team coach and a judge for National and local Ethics Bowl competitions.
Her first book A Sociology of Mormon Kinship was published in 2015. This work explores the way Mormon congregations apply the idea of family in establishing themselves as special types of kinship networks. She has presented her work at numerous professional conferences including the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, and has an article featured in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought regarding women and the priesthood within Mormonism. She currently serves as a board member for the Mormon Social Science Association.
Dr. Black is a first-generation student and grew up in rural central Utah. She was raised in the LDS Church but officially left as an adult. This personal background allows her to utilize the insider/outsider model of inquiry which gives her a unique perspective into Mormon thought and experience. She is now a member of the Community of Christ which is a progressive denomination within the Mormon movement and will be ordained to the office of Elder this year.
Cited most often as an ethnographer, her work appeals to a diverse range of disciplines. Dr. Black currently resides in Oakland, California with her husband and four cats.