0 Kristina LaCelle-Peterson

Kristina LaCelle-Peterson

Kristina LaCelle-Peterson

Professor of Religion

I am intrigued by the long history of the Christian Church in which people from so many different cultures and traditions have articulated their understanding of the faith. The various ways people have conceived of the Christian life, both as individuals and as members of the Church, fascinate me and their examples inspire me to ask as they did, “How do we faithfully live for Christ in this place and this time?”

My current research focuses on early nineteenth-century Christians who believed that a fervent devotion to Jesus would result in a deep concern for others, and who expressed this concern both through evangelism and through efforts to improve the lives of the poor and the enslaved. The life of Laura Smith Haviland epitomized this integration; among other things, she ran a school, served on the Underground Railroad, worked as a nurse during the Civil War, planted churches and started schools among freed slaves. It is her story that I hope to use as a lens to highlight the intersection of radical revivalism and radical reform efforts before the Civil War.


  • M.Phil., Ph.D., Drew University Graduate School (1992, 2001)
  • M.Div., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (1987)
  • B.A., Houghton College (1982)

Recent publications

Liberating Tradition: Women’s Identity and Vocation in Christian Perspective. Baker Academic, 2008.

“Wonderfully Made or Wonderfully Made-Up?” in Results May Vary, edited by Linda Beail and Sylvia Cortez, Point Loma University Press.
“The Absence of God” in I Am Not Ashamed: Sermons by Wesleyan-Holiness Women, edited by Diane Leclerc. Point Loma Press, 2005.

– “Armenian Church”
– “Asceticism”
– “Free Methodism”
– “Women in the Church”
In the Global Dictionary of Wesleyan Theology, edited by Al Truesdale, from Beacon Hill Press.

“Rediscovering Discarded Images,” in Christian Reflection: A Series in Faith and Ethics, Baylor University Center for Christian Ethics, vol. 33 (Fall 2009).

Courses taught:

  • Intro to Biblical Literature
  • Intro to Christianity
  • History of Christianity
  • Women in the Bible
  • Building Shalom: Justice in Christian Tradition
  • African American Churches and Their Context
  • Gender and the Church
  • Women in Church History

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