Elise Edwards, Ph.D.

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  • Claremont Graduate University, Ph.D. (Religion, emphasis in Theology, Ethics, and Culture)
  • John Leland Center for Theological Studies, M.T.S.
  • Florida A & M University, M.Arch.
  • Florida A & M University, B.S. (Architectural Studies)

Elise Edwards is a native of Maryland, but moved to Waco to begin her teaching career at Baylor in fall 2013. Before coming to Baylor, she lived in Southern California, teaching or serving on staff at Claremont Lincoln University, John Leland Seminary, Pitzer College, and Harvey Mudd College. Dr. Edwards cites becoming a registered architect in Florida as one of her major professional accomplishments, which she did while pursuing her PhD in Religion. In her architectural career, she focused on college and university buildings, environments where she now spends her days teaching and doing research. Her research is interdisciplinary, moving between fields of theology, ethics, architectural theory, and aesthetics to examine issues of civic engagement and question how beliefs and commitments are expressed publicly. As a black feminist, Dr. Edwards focuses her research on cultural expressions by, for, and about women and marginalized communities. She is developing writing projects on pedagogy and a theological, ethical, and feminist approach to architecture. Dr. Edwards strives to help her students realize the diversity of perspectives within Christian thought and to improve their critical thinking and writing skills.

Academic Interests and Research:

Christian Ethics and Theology, Theology and the Arts, Feminist Theology and Practice, Architectural Theory, Contextual and Liberation Theologies, Black Feminism and Womanism, Moral Agency, Religion in the Public Sphere

Professional Activities and Awards:

Co-chair of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and member of Religion and Cities group

Member of the Society of Christian Ethics (SCE)

Member of the Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies (SARTS)

Claremont Graduate University Transdisciplinary Studies Dissertation Award

Society for Arts in Religion and Theological Studies Luce Student Fellowship

American Institute of Architects (AIA) Henry Adams Award

Architectural Research Centers Consortium King Medal for Outstanding Research


“Re-imagining Creation as Creative Activity: Possibilities for Women's Empowerment through Aesthetic Agency” in Christian Doctrines for Global Gender Justice,
Jenny Daggers and Grace Ji-Sun Kim (eds.) Palgrave Macmillan, Spring 2015 (Forthcoming)

“The Faith of my Mothers and Sisters” Essay in Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Feminists on Why We Stay Gina Messina-Dysert, Jennifer Zobair, and Amy Levin (eds.) ISFM Series for White Cloud Press, August 2015 release (Forthcoming)

“Television, Social Networking, and Cultural Criticism: Alternative Methodologies for Feminist Scholarship” in Feminism and Religion in the 21st Century: Technology, Dialogue, and Expanding Borders, Rosemary Radford Ruether and Gina Messina-Dysert (eds.) Routledge, October 2014

“The Jazz Aesthetic as a Model for Theological Discourse” Peer-reviewed Essay, ARTS Magazine, A Journal of the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies
Online Issue 22:4, Fall 2011 Ongoing Contributor to Feminism and Religion blog, www.feminismandreligion.com

Courses Taught at Baylor:
  • REL 1350 Introduction to Christian Heritage
  • REL 3390 Christian Ethics
  • REL 4395 Bioethics