Position: Professor Emeritus of Religion and Philosophy
Phone: (540) 327-6771
Postdoctoral Research: 1994-5 Visiting Scholar at the University of Virginia on a Mellon Appalachian Fellowship. Ph.D. 1986 The Catholic University of America (Religion) 1982 The Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, Graduate Program in Christian Spiritual Guidance. M.A. 1982 The Catholic University of America (Religion and Culture) M.Div. Fuller Theological Seminary (Concentration in Biblical Studies) B.A. Washington and Lee University (European History)
Fields of Expertise:
Interfaith Dialogue; Spirituality and Justice; Theological Anthropology; Religion and Ecology;
“Reflections on Academic Reflection” for the Society for Buddhist Christian Studies for a “Panel on Contemplative Pedagogy” American Academy of Religion, Chicago 2012
Contributed a chapter entitled “Contemplative Practices that Animate the Study of Religion” for the book: Meditation in the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies. Judith Simmer-Brown and Fran Grace, editors, (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2011).
Religious Studies Professor for Semester at Sea (Spring 2011):
Designed two FDP’s (Faculty Directed Practica) for Semester at Sea: “Gandhi’s Legacy of Nonviolence” with Prof. Prasad at the University of Madras and “Interfaith Resistance to Apartheid” with Bishop Peter Storey in Cape Town, South Africa.
Presented and planned a program entitled “Healing America’s Original Sin: Guidance from To Kill a Mockingbird” for the One Book/One Community program. Panelist included: Tyson Gilpin, Robert Williams, Cecily Byrd Haston, Jim Bryant and Warren Hofstra.
September 22, 2010 at the Handley Library.
“Interfaith Peace Interventions: Their Promise for Countering Religiously Motivated Violence” a paper presented at the Global Nonviolence Conference on Religion and Political Violence at the Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence at James Madison University, April 11-12, 2007
“Taste and See: Contemplative Practice as an Invitation to Animate the Study of Religion” a “Streetfair of Posters, Exhibits, and Interactive Displays” for the Academic Teaching and Study of Religion section of the American Academy of Religion. Washington, DC November 2006
“On Losing our Minds: Toward a ‘Solution’ to the Mind/Body Problem” in The Torch, 75, No. 2(Winter 2001-2002):15-18,31.
“Religion: Cause of Violence/Source of Healing and Reconciliation” in the Proceedings of the Second International Peace Conference at Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University in Pyatigorsk, Russia, 2001.
“Citizen Initiated Peace Interventions” a paper presented at the International Peace Conference at Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University in Pyatigorsk, Russia, May 2000.
“Interfaith Peacemaking: The Work of the Fellowship of Reconciliation”, a major presentation at the 1999 Parliament of the World Religions meeting in Cape Town, South Africa.
“On Losing our Minds: Toward a Solution to the Mind/Body Problem” to the Winchester Torch Club, June 1999.
“Three-Dimensional Personhood: Toward a Theological ‘Solution’ to the Mind/Body Problem” a paper presented to the Theology and Religious Reflection section of the American Academy of Religion, meeting in San Francisco, 1997.
“Forerunners of God’s Reign” a week of Biblical meditations for church professionals in Disciplines 1997, a publication of the Upper Room, 1997
Prayerful Responsibility: Prayer and Social Responsibility in the Religious Thought of Douglas Steere. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1992.
“Shenandoah University has allowed me the great privilege and high honor of devoting myself to teaching and studying the lofty subjects as religion and philosophy. I am as enthralled with these subjects as I was the day I began. The material never failed to challenge me intellectually and ethically, and I like to believe this was also the case for most of my students. My main reason for wanting to teach was to share these ideas, but it was also to stay grounded in them. Henry David Thoreau wrote something that resonates with this: “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” These thoughts have dominated and enriched my life, and I will continue to share them as long as I live.”
Recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, Shenandoah University, 2014. The award is designed to honor those “who put service above self.”
“Resolution of Appreciation” from Board of Trustees of Shenandoah University for “leadership, service, and advocacy of diversity” in international programs. Nov. 11, 2012.
President, Valley Interfaith Council, a group working to improve understanding and respect among religions in the northern Shenandoah Valley. 2001-2014
Faculty Leader, Shenandoah EcoVenture, a month long outdoor educational trek
along the Appalachian Trail through the Shenandoah National Park and paddling the Shenandoah River, a total of 170 miles, Fall 2010
Co-Convener, (effectively president) Virginia Chapter of the Methodist Federation of Social Action (MFSA), a peace and justice advocacy group in the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church 2002-2008
Board of Directors, Theta Alpha Kappa, the national honor society for religious studies and theology, 1992-2005.
Certificate of Appreciation “for distinguished contributions to Inter-Religious Dialogue” by the “Being Together Conferences” held in the Winchester area, 1991-1999 at Lord Fairfax Community College. Awarded October 15, 1999
Templeton Course Competition winner for a course in science and religion, 1998. (This course was awarded a $10,000 grant. (It was one of 100 courses chosen from 260 applicants.)
National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, 1996-1999
Exemplary Teaching Award, 1992 (Awarded by the Board of Higher Education of the United Methodist Church through Shenandoah University, recipients are chosen by a committee of students and faculty at the institution.
“Will You Do Another One?” Reconciling Ministry Blog. August 11, 2016 https://www.rmnetwork.org/newrmn/will-you-do-another-one/
“A Call to Justice, Inclusion, and Reconciliation: An Open Letter to Moderate/Centrist Delegates to the United Methodist General Conference” Huffington Post. May 11, 2016 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-zimmerman/-a-call-to-justice-inclus_b_9898952.html
“Keeping Covenant with the Church: Why One Pastor Officiated at a Same-Sex Wedding” A narrative and justification for officiating at a same-sex wedding. https://www.rmnetwork.org/newrmn/keepingcovenant/ November, 18, 2014
“Why Can’t Virginia Protect the Poor from Predatory Lenders?” Op-ed for the Richmond Times Dispatch, December 19, 2014 http://www.richmond.com/opinion/their-opinion/guest-columnists/article_14d3ee25-bce4-5648-8317-a411727b8973.html