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John Blevins is an associate research professor in the Interfaith Health Program of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. His doctoral studies focused on practical theology and human sexuality and his current work focuses on the ways that religion functions as a socio-political force in both national and international contexts, particularly in relation to health and illness. Much of that work is centered in eastern and southern Africa, with an emphasis on sexual health and on the social factors that contribute to HIV risk.
The Reverend Doctor Mary Elizabeth Toler is an ordained American Baptist minister and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has extensive ministry and counseling experience in local parishes, hospitals, college campuses, and psychiatric recovery centers. She currently runs a private pastoral counseling practice and serves as an adjunct professor in pastoral care and counseling at McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a Th.D. from the Candler School of Theology of Emory University and a M.Div. from The Divinity School of Duke University.
Reverend Margaret P. Aymer, PhD is Associate Professor of New Testament at the Interdenominational Theological Center. She is the author of First Pure, Then Peaceable: Frederick Douglass, Darkness and the Epistle of James.
Guy Pujol, D.MIN., is currently pursuing a Doctor of Theology in Pastoral Counseling at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the former Executive Director of AIDS Alliance for Faith and Health (1998-2009). Guy’s work examines the theological and religious barriers to HIV/AIDS prevention and care; his current academic interest explores narrative pastoral theological reflection on HIV/AIDS. As a pastor, pastoral counselor, and nonprofit executive, he has been directly involved with nonprofit HIV/AIDS services and AIDS ministries since 1987. Guy is a regular presenter for local AIDS education programs in Atlanta, and travels nationally presenting programs on treatment issues related to HIV/AIDS as well as programs that explore the intersection of faith and health. Guy serves as a North American Advocate for the Global Campaign for Microbicides (GCM), and co-chairs the Theological Study Group on Faith and Health for the Society for Pastoral Theology (SPT).
Gary Gunderson is Senior Vice President for Faith & Health and the Director of the Center of Excellence in Faith & Health of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, TN, while also on the faculty of the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University in Atlanta. He is the author of Deeply Woven Roots (Fortress Press, 1997), Boundary Leaders (Fortress Press, 2004), Leading Causes of Life (Abingdon Press, 2009) and Strong Partners (The Carter Center, 1996). He is a deacon in The United Methodist Church.
Bobby Baker is the director of Faith & Community Partnerships at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, TN. He is also the Pastor of Magnolia First Baptist Church. He was awarded the distinction of Certified Chaplain by the Association of Professional Chaplains in July 2000.
Jamie Butcher is the Pastor for Congregational Care at Alpharetta Presbyterian Church in Alpharetta, GA. She worked as a chaplain in geriatric care before returning to congregational ministry. Her special interests in ministry include pastoral care and worship leadership.
Mary Ann Burris, Ph.D., is the founder and Executive Director of the Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH).
Mazvita Machinga is the founder of the Pastoral Care and Counseling Services in Mutare, Zimbabwe, a center that offers counseling and care services to people in distress. Mazvita has served as a primary and secondary school educator for thirteen years and an adult educator for ten years. She has fifteen years of experience working with and offering care and counseling to marginalized and disadvantaged communities such as women in poverty, abused and abandoned children, prisoners, and ex-prisoners. Mazvita is a pre-release counselor and spiritual care provider through the Prison Fellowship of Zimbabwe. She is currently a third year PhD student in Practical Theology, focusing on Pastoral Psychotherapy at the Claremont School of Theology.
Emma Varley earned her Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from the University of Toronto in 2008. Between 2008 and 2010, she held a Killam Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Department of Bioethics at Dalhousie University. Since 2010, Emma has been an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (Pakistan). Her current research examines the impacts of sectarian conflict, Islamist politicization and religious identity for northern Pakistani women’s reproductive and maternal health beliefs, practices and outcomes.
Monica A. Coleman is Associate Professor of Constructive Theology and African American Religions and Co-Director of the Center for Process Studies at Claremont School of Theology, and Associate Professor of Religion at Claremont Graduate University.  She is author of The Dinah Project: a Handbook for Congregational Response to Sexual Violence and Making a Way Out of No Way: a Womanist Theology, co-editor of the forthcoming anthology, Creating Women’s Theology: Engaging Process Thought and editor of the forthcoming anthology on third wave womanism, Ain’t I a Womanist Too? She blogs on depression and faith at www.beautifulmindblog.com.
Sabine Henrichsen-Schrembs has recently finished her PhD in sociology at the University of Bremen, Germany, with an emphasis on alternative forms of spirituality in modern western society. She is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and her current research interests revolve around the relationship between climate change and meaning making.
Peter Versteeg is an anthropologist and project coordinator of the VU Institute for the Study of Religion, Culture and Society (VISOR), VU University Amsterdam. He has published on liturgy, spirituality and research methodology. His most recent publication is The Ethnography of a Dutch Pentecostal Church: Vineyard Utrecht and the International Charismatic Movement (Mellen Press, 2011).
Brooke Dodson-Lavelle is a Doctoral Student in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University. Her work focuses on the confluence of Buddhist contemplative theory and cognitive science. She currently serves as an instructor and program developer for several studies examining the efficacy of a secular, Cognitive-Based Compassion Training (CBCT) program for school children and adolescents in Atlanta¹s foster care system. Brooke is also the Program Coordinator for both the Emory-Tibet Partnership and the Emory Tibetan Mind/Body Sciences Summer Study Abroad program in Dharamsala, India. Prior to attending Emory, she earned her B.A. in Religion and Psychology at Barnard College and her M.A. in Religion at Columbia University. While at Columbia, she also worked as a Research Coordinator for the Columbia Integrative Medicine Program, where she developed and led mindfulness-based meditation programs for a variety of clinical populations.
Brendan Ozawa-de Silva received his doctorate in Modern History from Oxford University in 2003 as well as an M.Phil. from Oxford University and a Master of Theological Studies from Boston University. From 2003 to 2005 he taught at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology as a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Initiative in Religious Practices and Practical Theology and as Visiting Professor of World Religions and Spirituality. Since 2005 he has served as Associate Director for Buddhist Studies and Practice at Drepung Loseling Monastery, Inc., the North American branch of Drepung Loseling Monastery in India, a center for the study of Tibetan Buddhism and an academic affiliate of Emory University. In 2007 and again in 2010 he was appointed Program Coordinator for the Visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Emory University. Since coming to Emory, he has been a highly involved participant in the Emory-Tibet Partnership, which coordinates Tibet-related activities at Emory, and together with Brooke Dodson-Lavelle he has played a key role in the Educating the Heart and Mind program, which seeks to bring the cultivation of ethical values into secular education for individual and social change. In his current studies, he is working towards a second Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies, investigating what Buddhist contemplative practices and contemporary findings in cognitive science may have to offer each other in terms of our understanding of the mind, body, and health, particularly with regard to the cultivation of compassion. He is involved in several current meditation studies in Atlanta and in Japan, and has published recent articles on the mind/body relationship in Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan medicine, the secularization and scientific study of contemplative practices, and the introduction of contemplative practices into education.
Nilima started filmmaking her freshmen year at Skidmore College when she wanted to help a local animal shelter to fundraise. Then, she transferred to the University of Vermont (UVM) where she studied Political Science and International Development, teaching herself more documentary filmmaking. There she made short films on ecotourism in Honduras and child labor prevention in India, among others. She volunteered with a number of organizations including the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, Big Brother Big Sister, and STAND (Darfur-action). Nilima then completed her MFA in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford University, where she expanded the subjects and style of her work. There she made films about pet pigs, foster youth, and an inner-city farming program. During her MFA program, Nilima created a summer camp for Somali Bantu and native Vermont children, where the kids learned filmmaking and gardening. Nilima has recently taught filmmaking to children in India and college students, and worked as a freelance editor. She is currently launching an iPhone app startup whose mission is to help charities fundraise. Nilima loves animals, hiking, playing Ultimate Frisbee and watching comedies (and documentaries).
James R Cochrane (BSc, MDiv, PhD, DDiv h.c.) is professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town, Director of the Research Institute on Christianity and Society in Africa, and Head of the International/African Religious Health Assets Programme Hub at the University of Cape Town, with research interests in religion and public health, religion and globalization, religion and public life, and hermeneutic philosophy. A previous editor of the Journal of Theology for Southern Africa and of the South African Outlook, his publications include Circles of Dignity: Theological Reflection and Community Wisdom, and Servants of Power: English Speaking Churches in South Africa, 1903-1930, several edited volumes, and close to 150 essays and articles. Most recently, these have focused on religion in public health, and with co-author Dr Gary Gunderson, he is currently negotiating the publication of Religion and the Health of the Public: Some Conceptual Foundations for Transformative Practice.
Lori Carter-Edwards, Ph.D. is the Assistant Professor in the Division of Community Health in the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University. She is also a member of the Liaison Team in the Duke Center for Community Research in the Duke Translational Medicine Institute. Dr. Carter-Edwards received a Ph.D. in Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health in 1995. Currently, she is involved with community action and research projects at the local, state, and national level investigating lifestyle behaviors, obesity, health care access and outcomes in pediatric, postpartum, and elderly populations at risk for cardiovascular-related diseases and their complications, and the coordination and impact of a community engagement consultative service among the Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) sites nationwide.
Calvin Ellison, Ph.D. holds a Doctorate of Ministry from Central Christian University. He is also a Naturopathic Doctor with an earned degree from Trinity College of Natural Health. Dr. Ellison is the Founder and Executive Director of Success Dynamics Community Development Corporation which houses such programs as: Community Health Ambassador’s Program, Closing the Gap (a three county diabetes case management program), and Farmville Health Project (a youth focused community garden program). He is also the founder and chairman of the Community Empowerment Network of North Carolina, an organization of 26 FBOs from sixteen (16) counties in eastern North Carolina with chapters in other regions of the state. Dr. Ellison is the Pastor of Oasis of Hope Church in Farmville, NC and serves on the NC Institute of Medicine Health Reform Task Force.
Cheryl LeMay Lloyd, Ph.D. is an adjunct assistant professor in Family & Youth Development and Emeritus State Leader of Urban Programs at North Carolina State University. Dr. Lloyd received the Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from North Carolina A&T State University in 2010. Her current research is in the areas of leadership development for community engagement and African American leadership.
Forrest D. Toms, Ph.D. currently serves as an Associate Professor in the Leadership Studies Doctoral Program at NCA&T State University. Dr. Toms received the Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Howard University in 1991. His current research is in the areas of leadership enhancement and development with faith-based institutions, the science of community engagement with African American leaders and communities and the development of research metrics related to engagement activities in underrepresented communities. Other areas of research, consulting and training include the areas of cultural competency, strategic planning, and capacity building for civic engagement.
Linda L. Barnes, PhD, MTS, MA, is a religion scholar and medical anthropologist. She received her PhD in the comparative study of world religions and in medical anthropology from Harvard University. Previous publications include Needles, Herbs, Gods, and Ghosts: China, Healing, and the West to 1848 (2005); Variations on a Teaching/Learning Workshop: Pedagogy and Faculty Development in Religious Studies (1999); and co-edited volumes Religion and Healing in America (2004), Teaching Religion and Healing (2006), and Chinese Medicine and Healing: An Illustrated History (in press for 2012), as well as articles in leading medical anthropology journals. Jointly appointed as an Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, and the Division of Religious and Theological Studies at Boston University, she co-founded and directs BUSM's M.A. Program in Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practice, which includes a track in the study of religions, medicines, and healing. She is currently writing a cultural history of Chinese medicine and healing traditions in the U.S. from 1849 to the present, for which she has interviewed over 300 practitioners from a full range of cultural backgrounds throughout the country.
Annie Hardison-Moody is a doctoral student in the Person, Community, and Religious Life course of study in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University. Her work navigates the intersections of religion, health and healing, particularly related to women's reproductive health and gender-based violence. She has experience in public health research and practice, which she brings to her theological scholarship. Hardison-Moody's current work is an ethnographic study of women's practices of resistance, survival and care for those who have experienced gender-based violence.
Mary Ann Burris, Ph.D., is the founder and Executive Director of the Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH).
James R Cochrane (BSc, MDiv, PhD, DDiv h.c.) is professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Cape Town, Director of the Research Institute on Christianity and Society in Africa, and Head of the International/African Religious Health Assets Programme Hub at the University of Cape Town, with research interests in religion and public health, religion and globalization, religion and public life, and hermeneutic philosophy. A previous editor of the Journal of Theology for Southern Africa and of the South African Outlook, his publications include Circles of Dignity: Theological Reflection and Community Wisdom, and Servants of Power: English Speaking Churches in South Africa, 1903-1930, several edited volumes, and close to 150 essays and articles. Most recently, these have focused on religion in public health, and with co-author Dr Gary Gunderson, he is currently negotiating the publication of Religion and the Health of the Public: Some Conceptual Foundations for Transformative Practice.
Matthew Bersagel Braley is an assistant professor of religious studies and philosophy and coordinator of the MA in Servant Leadership program at Viterbo University. He is currently completing a doctorate in the Ethics and Society course of study in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. During 2007-2008 he was a fellow at the Center for Health, Culture and Society at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. He is a member of the African Religious Health Assets Program, an international network of scholars and practitioners employing assets-based development approaches to understand the contribution of religion in healthcare. In addition to his work in global health, he has served as executive director of Southern Truth and Reconciliation, a university-community partnership highlighting reconciliation practices of communities confronting legacies of racial violence. Prior to graduate studies, he directed youth programs in churches and other non-profit organizations.
Annie Hardison-Moody is a doctoral student in the Person, Community, and Religious Life course of study in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University. Her work navigates the intersections of religion, health and healing, particularly related to women's reproductive health and gender-based violence. She has experience in public health research and practice, which she brings to her theological scholarship. Hardison-Moody's current work is an ethnographic study of women's practices of resistance, survival and care for those who have experienced gender-based violence.
Jessica M. Smith is a doctoral student in the Theological Studies course of study of the GDR. Her academic interests center around feminist and womanist scholarship in contemporary Christian theology. She utilizes feminist and womanist literature, feminist theory, and post-structuralist thought as sources for her constructive theological work. Currently, she is interested in re-imagining angelic revelation as a redemptive epistemology for the transformation of self and community.
Ann Pederson, PhD Professor of Religion, Augustana College; Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Neurosciences, Section of Ethics and Humanities, Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota.
Mary Helen Harris, MD, Emergency Department Physician; Associate Professor, Department of Neurosciences, Section of Ethics and Humanities, Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota.
Ellen L. Schellinger, MA, Director of the DeGroot Center for Ethics and Caring, Sanford Medical Center; Clinical Faculty, Department of Neurosciences, Section of Ethics and Humanities, Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota.
Shirley Banks is a Health Educator in the Office of Health Promotion at Emory University Student Health and Counseling Services. She practices meditation in the Theravada Buddhist tradition and is an active Episcopalian. She has twenty years of professional experience in women’s health, sexuality counseling, and health education. She is currently enrolled in the Master of Theological Studies program at Candler School of Theology at Emory University, where she plans to write about Jesus and Gautama Buddha, comparing their personalities and pedagogical practices.
Lori Carter-Edwards, Ph.D. is the Assistant Professor in the Division of Community Health in the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University. She is also a member of the Liaison Team in the Duke Center for Community Research in the Duke Translational Medicine Institute. Dr. Carter-Edwards received a Ph.D. in Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health in 1995. Currently, she is involved with community action and research projects at the local, state, and national level investigating lifestyle behaviors, obesity, health care access and outcomes in pediatric, postpartum, and elderly populations at risk for cardiovascular-related diseases and their complications, and the coordination and impact of a community engagement consultative service among the Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) sites nationwide.
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Katy Shrout is a doctoral candidate in American religious history and culture. Her dissertation addresses the role of the sacred in the commercialization of white wedding practices, 1840-1970. Drawing upon books, diaries, advertisements, church materials, films, photographs and material artifacts, she investigates how the wedding has served as a site of sacred significance for women, depending upon and reshaping meanings derived from religious institutions and the marketplace. She is interested in what constitutes a religious practice in modernity, and how consumer culture has competed with, fed upon, and sustained American religion. Shrout also has a masters' in documentary film from Berkeley, and produced a documentary screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002.
Samira Mehta is a doctoral candidate in the American Religious Cultures course of study. Her dissertation focuses on Christian-Jewish interfaith families in the late twentieth century United States, a project in which she explores the dynamics of familial religious practice and experience through the lens of cultural history. Mehta's project translates conversations about pluralism in American religion to familial religious practices, and examines the cultural construction of Christian-Jewish interfaith families through a close examination of popular culture. The ethnographic portion of her dissertation involves interviewing families about their own religious practices, with particular analytic attention paid to areas of innovation. Her project also explores dynamics of community outreach to interfaith families.
John Senior is a doctoral candidate in the Ethics and Society course of study and a concentrator in the Initiative in Religious Practices and Practical Theology. His dissertation explores the construction of Christian identity and moral agency in and through forms of political activism. Senior's interests also include the relationship between theological education in the seminary context and diverse practices of ministry.
Adam Ployd is a doctoral student in the Historical Studies program of Emory's Graduate Division of Religion. His research focuses on the intersection of trinitarian theology and church schism in the thought of Augustine. He holds a B.A. from Wake Forest University and an M.Div. from Candler School of Theology at Emory. Ployd is pursuing Deacon's Orders in the United Methodist Church.
William Yoo is a doctoral student in the Historical Studies in Theology and Religion course of study at Emory University's Graduate Division of Religion. His research interests include nineteenth-century American Protestant thought toward immigration, the American foreign missionary movement, the religious history of Korean Protestants in America, and historical theology within world Christianity. He received a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, an M. Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a Th.M from Candler School of Theology. Prior to doctoral studies, he worked in youth ministry and is currently a certified candidate for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
An ordained Baptist minister within the historic black church, Jermaine McDonald is a doctoral student in the Ethics and Society course of study in Emory's Graduate Division of Religion. He is interested in religious rhetoric within progressive/liberal U.S. political discourse and the ways in which black Baptist churches have historically and contemporarily connected church mission and liberationist ideals with public/political goals. McDonald has a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Virginia and an M.Div. from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. Prior to doctoral studies, he worked as a web-based systems developer and as a hospital and hospice chaplain.
James W. McCarty III is currently a Ph.D. student in Religion (Ethics and Society) at Emory University. With concentrations in "Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding" and "Religious Practices and Practical Theology" his research is focused on religion and social change - specifically the intersection of religion, violence, and peace and the ethics of forgiveness and reconciliation. James is currently the Director of the Ethics and Servant Leadership Program at Emory's Oxford College campus. In the past he has served as a minister in the churches of Christ and has held several leadership positions in nonprofit organizations working with the poor domestically and internationally. Previously he earned a B.A. in Religion from Pepperdine University and a M.A. in Ethics from Claremont School of Theology.
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