Ph.D.            Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey

D.Min.           Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey

M.Div.           Vanderbilt Divinity School, Nashville, Tennessee

B.A.              Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri



Acting Assistant Minister (three-quarter-time), Sept 2010-July 2011.

Ministerial Portfolio: Pastoral Care, Membership, Volunteer Development.



Summer Minister, July 2008. 



Solo Parish Minister of a 225 Member Congregation, 1998-2006.

Major Initiatives:  Fundraised, coordinated, and dedicated church Memorial Garden,

completed in May 2003; initiated small group ministry, Fall 2002; capital campaign to

purchase adjacent property, 1999; and oversaw and supported completion and

dedication of the new church building, January 1999.


ORDINATION, East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, Kirtland, Ohio

Ordained by the East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, April 18, 1999

Received UUA Final Fellowship, February 7, 2002.


Assistant professor, Frank and Alice Schulman Chair of Unitarian Universalist History at Meadville Lombard Theological School, Chicago, Illinois (July 2012-present)


  • Unitarian Universalist History and Heritage Society Board of Trustees
  • Collegium (UU lay and professional history and theology group), Vice President
  • Meadville Lombard Theological School Board of Trustees, Faculty Representative
  •  Meadville Lombard President’s Council, Faculty Representative
  •  Lead, Student Culture Task Force
  • Assisted Library and Fundraising with grant proposals
  • Godbey, Bowen, and Billings Prizes committees-review student submission for annual student prizes


·      BOOK: “Wanamaker’s Temple:  Creating Sacred Space in an Urban Department Store” forthcoming New York University Press.


·      BOOK CHAPTER: “Black Humanism in Pre-War Chicago,” forthcoming in an edited volume from the Institute for Humanist Studies, Fall 2017.


·      BOOK:  Co-editor of a “A New Collection of Primary Sources for Unitarian Universalist History.” Under contract with Skinner House Books, Spring 2017. 


·      CONTRIBUTOR: “Thomas Wentworth Higginson,” “Henry Whitney Bellows,” and “William Ellery Channing,” “A New Collection of Primary Sources for Unitarian Universalist History.”


·      CONTRIBUTOR: “Businessman’s Revival,” “Acres of Diamonds,” and "Free Religious Association” in the forthcoming Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, “Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States,” editors George Thomas Kurian & Mark A. Lamport, Foreword, Martin E. Marty. 


·      BOOK REVIEW: Teaching across Cultures: Building Pedagogical Relationships in Diverse Contexts, Chinwe H. Ikpeze (Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publications, 2015).


·      BOOK REVIEW: Sensational Religion:  Sensory Cultures in Material Practice.  Edited by Sally M. Promey.  (New Haven, Connecticut:  Yale University Press, 2014).  704 pp. in Journal of Presbyterian History, forthcoming 2015. 


·      BOOK REVIEW: Daniel Patterson, The True Image:  Gravestone Art and the Culture of Scotch Irish Settlers in the Pennsylvania and Carolina Backcountry (North Carolina, 2012) in Journal of Presbyterian History, forthcoming 2014. 


·      NATIONAL BLOG:  “Then and Now”— A weekly blog for in the Christian Century, for American Religion Historians

“A Traditional Commercialized Christmas,” December 24, 2013

 “God’s Long Summer of National Commemorations,” September 18, 2013

“Moral Campers,” June 26, 2013

“My Deliverer is Coming (but only on weekdays)” March 20, 2013


SERMON: Grayslake, Illinois, December 24, 2016

ORDINATION SERMON: Gail Stratton, Oxford, Mississippi, October 9, 2016

SERMON: Grayslake, Illinois, September 18, 2016

SERMON: First Unitarian, Evanston, July 10, 2016

INSTALLATION: Boise, Idaho for the Rev. Sara LaWall, April 2016 (ML Alum) 

SERMON: Grayslake, Illinois, Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016

SERMON:  First Church of Chicago, Hyde Park, Illinois, March 13, 2016

SERMON: Park Forest, Illinois, December 6, 2015

SERMON:  Grayslake, Illinois, August 4, 2015

SERMON: Paris Fellowship, Paris, France, June 14, 2015

SERMON: North Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, Deerfield, IL, April 29, 2015

SERMON: Prairie Circle Unitarian Universalist Church, April 26, 2015

SERMON: First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 12, 2015

SERMON: Park Forest UU Congregation, Park Forest, IL, April 5, 2015

ORDINATION SERMON: Pat Owen, First UU Church of Richmond, Virginia, May 2015

ORDINATION SERMON: Doug McCusker, River Road Unitarian Universalist Church,

            Bethsaida, Maryland, March 22, 2015

ORDINATION SERMON: Chris Jimmerson, First Unitarian Universalist Church of

            Austin, Texas, February 22, 2015

SERMON:  Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice, FL, January 18, 2015

INSTALLATION SERMON: Khleber Van Zandt, Unitarian Universalist Congregation

            of Venice, FL, January 18, 2015 (afternoon)

SERMON: Prairie Circle, Grayslake, IL, December 25, 2014

SERMON: Unitarian Church West, Brookfield, WI, October 28, 2014

SERMON: First Unitarian Universalist Church, Milwaukee, WI, October 12, 2014

SERMON: Unitarian Church North, Mequon, WI, September 20, 2014

SERMON: North Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, Deerfield, IL, July 13, 2014

SERMONS, Park Forest Unitarian Church, Park Forest, IL, March, April 2014 

SERMON, First Unitarian Church Hyde Park, Chicago, IL, February 2013

SERMON, The Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford, Rockford, IL, Feb. 2013

SERMON, Unitarian Universalist Church West, Brookfield, WI, August 2013

SERMON, Lake Shore Unitarian Society, Wilmette, IL, August 2013

SERMON, Tree of Life Unitarian, McHenry, IL, October 2013

SERMON, First Unitarian Church Hyde Park, Chicago, IL, October 2013

SERMONS, North Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, Deerfield, IL,

            September 2013, February, March, April, May, June, July 2014

SERMONS, Prairie Circle Unitarian Universalist Church, Grayslake, IL, monthly,

            January-May 2014 

SERMON, Countryside Church, Unitarian Universalist, Palatine, IL, December 2012

MINISTER & SCHOLAR IN RESIDENCE, First Unitarian Evanston, IL, December 2012

TWO SERMONS and taught a session on Unitarian Universalist History, 


PRESENTATION: “Sermons on Canvass,” at North American Religion Workshop at

              Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, March 2016


WORKSHOP: “From Wicked to Wonderful:  Transforming Stuckness into Places of

            Innovation and Creativity,” with Dr. Sharon Welch and Heather Nicholson,

            Engagement Scholarship Consortium, State College, PA, September 2015


PRESENTATION: “Rev. Lewis McGee and the Free Religious Fellowship,” Collegium,

            Boston, 2015


PRESENTATION: “Black Humanism in Pre-War Chicago,” Institute for Humanist

            Studies, Rice University, November 2015


WORKSHOP: “Building the World We Dream About: the Pedagogical Challenges of

            Constructive Social Engagement,” with Sharon Welch, Amber Dion, and Mark

            Hicks, Engagement Scholarship Consortium, Edmonton, CA, October 2014


  UUA PRESENTATION: UU Seminary for a Day, History Presentation, Chicago, IL

             August 2014


KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Central Midwest Unitarian Universalist District Annual

            Meeting, April 26, 2013, Waukesha, Wisconsin, “The Stories We Tell About



CONFERENCE PAPER: American Academy of Religion, November 2012, Chicago,

    Illinois, “Wanamaker’s Temple:  Creating Sacred Space in a Department Store”


KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Liberal Religious Educators Association, Unitarian

            Universalist, Annual Meeting September 2012, Williamsburg, Virginia,

            “Curating Our History:  The Importance of Congregational History and

            Religious Education”


CONFERENCE PAPER: Pioneer America:  the society for the preservation of artifacts

            and landscapes, Annual Conference, September 2012, Philadelphia,

            Pennsylvania, “A Building with a Soul: John Wanamaker’s 1911 Department

            Store Building”


FEATURED SPEAKER: Princeton Theological Seminary’s Bicentennial History

    Conference, March 2012, “Remembering James Reeb at Princeton Theological

            Seminary’s Mackay Campus Center”


CONFERENCE PAPER: American Academy of Religion, November 2011, San

            Francisco, California “Moral Architecture:  John Wanamaker’s Philadelphia

            Department Store”


CONFERENCE PAPER: American Society of Church History, April, 2011

    “Boyhood Manliness: Camp Wanamaker and the Cultivation of Moral Boys”


CONFERENCE PAPER: “Divining the Message/Mediating the Divine": Columbia

            University Religion Graduate Students' Conference, April, 2010, “Christian Interiors:

            Visual Culture in John Wanamaker’s Department Store,” revised


CONFERENCE PAPER: “The Future of Unitarian Universalist Scholarship Conference,”

            Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 2009, “Christian Interiors:

            Visual Culture in John Wanamaker’s Department Store”


CONFERENCE PAPER:  American Academy of Religion, Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting,

            Spring 2008, New Brunswick, New Jersey “Christian Interiors: Visual Culture in

            John Wanamaker’s Department Store”


Princeton Theological Seminary Doctoral Fellowship

Unitarian Universalist Fund for Theological Education Fellowship


American Academy of Religion

American Historical Association

American Society of Church History