Faculty and Staff

Front row: Laura Wright, Kristin Swanson, Alyssa Henning, Sean Burke, Scott Hurley, Terry Sparkes, Todd Green, Lori Ostlie. Back row: Bob Shedinger, Wanda Deifelt, Guy Nave, Gereon Kopf, Jim Martin-Schramm, Robert Wafula

The department's faculty are active in a number of professional scholarly organizations, including the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature. Also productive scholars themselves, faculty present papers, chair conference sessions, and write for publication. Work published by members of the department in recent years includes a considerable number of books and many articles on a wide variety of subjects.

Sean D. Burke

Associate Professor of Religion

Department Head

Education: Ph.D., Biblical Studies, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California; M.Div., Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; B.A., Judeo-Christian Heritage, Concordia College, Bronxville, New York

Research Interests: Sex in sacred texts; queer theory; sacred texts & religious diversity

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Wanda Deifelt

Professor of Religion

Education: Ph.D., Joint Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and Northwestern University Doctoral Program; M.T.S., Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary; B.A., Faculdade de Teologia, Escola Superior de Teologia

Research Interests: Contextual Christian Theologies (particularly feminism and liberation), Reformation, Ecumenism, Interdisciplinary Studies on Embodiment, and Interfaith Dialogue

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Scott Hurley

James Martin-Schramm

Co-Director of Nottingham Program

Education: Ph.D., Christian Ethics, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York; M. Phil., Christian Ethics, Union Theological Seminary in New York City; M. Div., Parish Ministry, Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary; B.A., Doctrines of Human Nature, Pacific Lutheran University

Research Interests: Ethics, Energy, and Climate Policy; Theological Ethics and Duties to Future Generations; Christian Social Ethics; Campus Renewable Sustainability Initiatives

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Guy Nave Jr.

Professor of Religion

Education: Ph.D., New Testament Studies, Social History of Early Christianity, Yale University; M.Phil., New Testament Studies, Biblical Interpretation, Yale University; M.A., New Testament Studies, Greco-Roman Milieu, Yale University; M.Div., Biblical Studies, New Testament Exegesis, Princeton Theological Seminary; B.A., Psychology, Oral Roberts University

Research Interests: Origins and social history of early Christianity, social implications of biblical interpretation, the relationship between Christianity and empire, the relationship between scripture and faith

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Robert F. Shedinger

Professor of Religion

Education: Ph.D., Religious Studies (with distinction), Temple University; M.A., Religious Studies, Temple University; M.Div., Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary; B.S., magna cum laude, Civil Engineering Tech, Temple University

Research Interests: The Syriac versional tradition of the New Testament, theoretical approaches to the study of religion, Christian-Muslim relations in the contemporary world

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Terry Sparkes

Dean for Institutional Planning and Mission

Education: Ph.D., University of Chicago Divinity School, History of Christianity; M.Div., Colgate Rochester Divinity School/Bexley Hall/Crozer Theological Seminary; B.A., Denison University, French Language and Literature

Research Interests: Immigration and religious diversity in the U.S.; religion, politics, and culture; religious fundamentalisms and modernity; religion and identity in modern American fiction; interdisciplinary studies and the liberal arts; global peace and justice studies

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Robert Wafula

Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion

Education: Doctor of Philosophy, Hebrew Bible, Drew University; Master of Philosophy, Drew University; Master of Theology, Hebrew Bible, Westminster Theological Seminary; Master of Theological Studies, Old Testament, Eden Theological Seminary; Master of Theology in Hebrew and Old Testament Studies; Bachelor of Divinity, Old Testament Studies, St. Paul's Theological Seminary

Research Interests: The Bible and Postcolonialism, Contextual hermeneutics, The Bible and race/ethnicity/and nationality, social justice, identity politics, violence, and the politics of religious identity.