Associate Professor of Theology
Arts and Science Building 316
Born in Massachusetts, but really a Hoosier. I grew up certain I’d work outside or play basketball, hopefully both! My family entered the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod from Church of the Brethren and Presbyterian backgrounds. I was encouraged by all my pastors (at home and at college) to grow in understanding what I believed.
Whitinger Scholar at Ball State where I got hooked on classics and fencing and met Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia through a history course on the Byzantine Empire. Created my own major in Medieval Studies to go with my major in Latin and minors in Greek (and I can’t remember the others).
Went to University of Toronto instead of University of Notre Dame because my advisors in classics and history and English thought it would be a good idea to leave Indiana at some point in my education. Took most courses through the Pontifical Institute of Medieval studies where I was engaged socially and intellectually with the riches of the Catholic tradition. My medieval interests kept going back in time as I discovered the voices of ancient brothers and sisters in the faith: the questions they asked, their way of life, their innovations in prayer and service. My Greek came in handy as I gravitated toward a project on early eastern Christianity: examining the pastoral issues of forgiveness and social disparities as well as the formation of Christian identity through ascesis and the cult of saints.
Joined a downtown LCMS church whose members included Christians from Eritreia, Iran, Ghana, Congo, Sri Lanka, Poland, Slovakia as well as some from US and Canada. Met a brilliant guy who was in a lot of my seminars and who eventually became my husband.Competed on the university’s varsity fencing team (foil) for five years, captain for the foil team for 3 years.
Lots of part-time teaching, surprised to be hired more in theology than history. Formed as an academic within Catholic communities: Loyola University in Maryland and St. Mary’s Seminary. But couldn’t land a long-term academic after five years of applications and lots of interview. Anxiously and painfully tried to conceive of a life outside academics (worked as a cultural historian for an engineering firm). Renewed by experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. As soon as we gave up, I was hired by Valparaiso University for the fall of 2000..
An on-going process of becoming: a scholar, a teacher, a mother and wife, a Catholic/Orthodox infused-Lutheran. Member of Immanuel Lutheran Church. Drawn to sharing both the life, thought and practices of earlier brothers and sisters in Christianity as well as the practices and prayer to believers today.
Ph.D., (1996) Medieval Studies, University of Toronto
Thesis: “Christian Society and Moral Values in the Homilies of Asterius of Amaseia”
Advisor: Robert E. Sinkewicz
M.A., (1989) Medieval Studies, University of Toronto
B.A., (1988) Hons., Summa Cum Laude, Medieval Studies, Latin, Ball State University
Honors thesis: “New Heroes for a Pagan Land: Celtic and Saxon Tradition through the Vitae of St. Columba and St. Cuthbert”
Advisor: Bruce Hozeski
- John 21:1-8 (Theological Perspective) in Feasting on the Gospels. John Volume 2. Edit-ed by Cynthia A. Jarvis and Elizabeth Johnson. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox. (334-336).
- John 21:9-14 (Theological Perspective) in Feasting on the Gospels. John Volume 2. Ed-ited by Cynthia A. Jarvis and Elizabeth Johnson. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox. (340-342)
- “Lenten Bodies in Late Antiquity” Allegorica: . Traditions and Influences in Medieval and Early Modern Studies 29 (2013) 3-19.
- “The Communion of Saints: Four Perspectives on Lay Vocation,” Concordia Journal (Spring) 112-114.
- Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany February 13, 2011 Deuteronomy 30:15-20 (Theological Perspective) Lectionary Homiletics. Ed. David Howell. Luther Seminary. (4-5)
- Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany February 6, 2011 Isaiah 58:1-9a/9b-12 (Theological Perspective) Lectionary Homiletics. Ed. David Howell. Luther Seminary (13-14)
- Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany February 20, 2011 Matthew 5:38-48 (Theological Perspective) Lectionary Homiletics. Ed. David Howell. Luther Seminary (22)
- Eighth Sunday after the Epiphany February 27, 2011 Matthew 6:24-34 (Theological Perspective) Lectionary Homiletics. Ed. David Howell. Luther Seminary (30-31)
- Response to Rebecca Lyman’s review of Christ at the Center. The Early Christian Era in Conversations in Religion & Theology (Blackwell) Volume 8.2 (November) 146-149.
- “Easter Vigil Exodus 14:10-31, 15:20-21” (Theological Perspective) in Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, Year A. Volume 2, Lent through Eastertide. Eds. David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press (330-332).
- Book: Christ at the Center: Early Christian Era, vol. 1 of the Westminster History of Christian Thought series. Louisville: Westminster John Knox.
- All Saints, Psalm 24 (Theological perspective) in Feasting on the Word: Year B. Volume 4, Season after Pentecost 2 (Propers 17–Christ the King). Eds. Bartlett and Taylor. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press. (224-228).
- Proper 25, Psalm 34: 1-8, 19-22 (Theological perspective) in Feasting on the Word: Year B. Volume 4, Season after Pentecost 2 (Propers 17–Christ the King). Eds. Bartlett and Taylor. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press. (200-204).
- Proper 26, Psalm 146 (Theological perspective) in Feasting on the Word: Year B. Volume 4, Season after Pentecost 2 (Propers 17–Christ the King). Eds. Bartlett and Taylor. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press. (248-252).
- Entries for New Westminster Dictionary of Church History, vol. 1 to 1700. Ed. Robert Benedetto. Westminster John Knox Press.
Amphilocius of Iconium 21
Diodore of Tarsus 196-197
Early Christian Rhetoric 213
Ephesus, Councils of 224-225
Preaching in the Early Church 530-531
Theodore of Mopsuestia 637-638
Theodoret of Cyrrhus 638-639
Three Chapters 646-647
- “The Fulfillment of Human Nature in Eastern Patristic Christianity” in Vital Christianity. Spirituality, Justice and Christian Practice. Ed. by David L. Weaver-Zercher and William H. Willimon (T&T Clark International), 102-114.
- “The Cult of Martyrs in Asterius of Amaseia’s Vision of the Christian City,” Church History 74:2 (June 2005), 236-254.
- “Asterius of Amaseia’s Witness to Religious Disunity in Late Antiquity,” Patristic and Byzantine Review 23.1-3 (2005), 131-148.
Teaching and Research Interests in Ancient and Medieval Christianity (Catholic, Orthodox and Assyrian)
- Worship and Devotional Practices
- Saints and Martyrs
- Christian Formation
- Pre-modern Christian Social Teachings
- Missions and Adaption to New Cultures (Europe, Africa, India, Asia)
Formation for Parish Education, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Valparaiso
- “Thirsting for God: Lenten Disciplines”
- “Christ at the Center: Early Christianity”
- “Prayer and Faithful Living”
- “Poverty and Wealth: A Conversation with Early Christians”
- Co-Leader for Lenten small groups
- Co-Leader for Ignatian Spiritual Exercises
- Various grades of Sunday School
- Early Christianity
- Medieval Christianity: East and West
- Early Christian Social Teaching
- Christian Spiritual Traditions and Practices
- Eastern Christianity
- The Christian Tradition
- American Society of Church History
- Association International d’Études Patristiques/ International Association of Patristic Studies
- North American Patristics Association