Teaching Faculty

Earlham School of Religion teaching faculty create collaborative learning environments where students are engaged and challenged to think deeply and critically about matters of faith, theology and religious practice. They are scholars and researchers who make noteworthy contributions to our understanding of biblical history, theology, peace and justice, Quaker history and practice, ministry, Christian leadership and writing. Each come from diverse educational backgrounds and experiences, and share a singular focus on equipping new generations of students for lives of active ministry. 


Stephen Angell, Geraldine Leatherock Professor of Quaker Studies

Stephen is co-author, with Ben Pink Dandelion, of Early Quakers and their Theological Thought (2015), and Bishop Henry McNeal Turner and African-American Religion in the South (1992). He serves as associate editor of Quaker Theology, a Progressive Journal and Forum for Discussion and Study. Stephen earned a B.A. from Boston University in 1974; an M.A. from Earlham School of Religion in 1982; an M.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1987; and, a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988. He joined the ESR faculty in 2001.

angelst@earlham.edu/(765) 983-1496

Phil Baisley, Professor of Pastoral Studies

Phil is a recorded Friends minister, and serves as pastor of Greenfield Friends Meeting. He earned a B. S. from Lancaster Bible College in 1975; an M. Div. from Earlham School of Religion in 1993; and a D.Min. from Ashland Theological Seminary in 2009. He joined the ESR faculty in 1999.

baislph@earlham.edu/(765) 983-1715

Michael Birkel, Professor of Christian Spirituality

Michael is author of numerous publications, including Silence and Witness: Quaker Spirituality and Qur’an in Conversation. His research interests include Quaker spirituality and interreligious understanding. He earned an M. A. from Earlham School of Religion in 1978 and a Ph. D. from Harvard University in 1986.

birkemi@earlham.edu/(765) 983-1535

Nancy Bowen, Professor of Old Testament

Nancy is an ordained minister and author of Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries: Ezekiel (2010). She earned a B.A. from the University of California in 1978; an M. Div. from the School of Theology at Claremont in 1985; and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1994. She joined the faculty of ESR in 1991.

bowenna@earlham.edu/(765) 983-1332

Ben Brazil, Associate Professor and Director of the Ministry of Writing Program

Ben joined the faculty of ESR in 2013. He has written extensively about the theology of travel, and has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. He earned a B.A. from the University of North Carolina in 1999; an M.T.S. from Candler School of Theology, Emory University in 2005; and a Ph.D. from Emory University in 2014.

brazibe@earlham.edu/(765) 983-1543

James Higginbotham, Acting Dean and Professor of Pastoral Care

James is an ordained minister who joined the ESR faculty in 2005. He earned a B.A. from Hiram College in 1980; an M.Div. from Vanderbilt University in 1983; an M.S. from Loyola College of Maryland in 1990; and, a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 2005.

higgija@earlham.edu/(765) 983-1522


Xavier Johnson, Director of Contextual Ministry Education and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology

Xavier is an ordained Baptist (Progressive National Baptist Convention) minister. He earned both a B.A. and a M.A.T. from the University of South Florida; a M.T.S. from the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in 2011; and a D.Min. from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2019. He joined the ESR faculty in 2021.

johnsxa@earlham.edu/(765) 983-1686


Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Professor of Theology

Grace is an ordained minister in the PC(USA) noted for her work in the fields of feminist, post-colonial and Asian American theology. Kim is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, most recently Mother Daughter Speak (2017) and Embracing the Other (2015). She earned a B.S. from Victoria University in 1992; an M.Div. from Knox College in 1995; and a Ph.D. from University of Toronto in 2001.

kimgr@earlham.edu/(765) 983-1585

Jay Marshall, Dean Emeritus and Director of Entrepreneurial Ministry Program

Jay served as Dean of ESR and Vice President of Earlham College for twenty years before his retirement in 2018. He now serves as the program director for the Entrepreneurial Ministry program. He is a recorded Friends minister by North Carolina Yearly Meeting and graduated from Guilford College in 1985. He earned his M.Div. in 1988 and a Ph.D. in 1992 from Duke University.


Lonnie Valentine, Professor of Peace and Justice Studies

Lonnie joined the ESR faculty in 1989. He earned a B.A. from Raymond College, University of the Pacific in 1970; a B.A. from University of California at Irvine in 1975; an M.A. from Earlham School of Religion in 1983; and, a Ph.D. from Emory University in 1989. 

valenlo@earlham.edu/(765) 983-1353