Courtney Goto

Associate Professor of Religious Education, Co-Director of the Center for Practical Theology

Courtney Goto joined the BUSTH faculty as Assistant Professor of Religious Education in the fall 2010. She is a co-Director for the Center for Practical Theology.

Courtney’s dissertation, entitled “Artistic Play: Seeking the God of the Unexpected,” sets forth a practical theology of play through art.  In this intersection of art and play, Courtney explores issues of body, imagination, teaching, and learning in adult spiritual formation in two case studies—InterPlay and the Sacramento Japanese United Methodist Church.  Her teaching approach is influenced by InterPlay, a movement based in Oakland, California, which engages learners in improvisational theater, movement and vocal music. Courtney’s interests include creativity, imagination, aesthetics, art and practical theology, faith and culture, and technology in teaching.

Courtney is a former managing editor of Practical Matters, a peer-reviewed, online multidisciplinary journal for religious practices and practical theology.  She has done extensive international social justice work representing the United Methodist Church and the World Council of Churches.

Internet Resources

“Artistic Play: Seeking the God of the Unexpected” to (

InterPlay to

Practical Matters to



2009 “Engaging Imagination: An Introduction to the Inaugural Issue of Practical Matters,” Practical Matters 1 (Spring), co-written with Amy Levad.

2009 “Imagination and Multireligious Cooperation: A Conversation with Dr. William Vendley,” Practical Matters 1 (Spring), video co-produced with Joshua Thomas.

2008 “Pretending to Be Japanese: Artistic Play in a Japanese American Church and Family.” Religious Education(103: 4, July-September), 1-16.


2009. Review of Living Forms of the Imagination, by Douglas Headley.  Reviews in Religion & Theology.  (6: 3, July).