» Spotlight on Faculty

Chapman's religious studies faculty are nationally and internationally recognized scholars who are engaged in cutting edge research in their fields and bring this expertise into the classroom.

photo of Julye Bidmead

Julye Bidmead

Julye Bidmead is an archaeologist on the staff of multiple excavations in Israel, including the Megiddo Expedition and the Jezreel Expedition. She is the author of The Akitu Festival: Religious Continuity and Royal Legitimation in Mesopotamia (2002) and teaches Hebrew Bible, archaeology of Ancient Israel, and gender studies in both religious studies and the honors program. She is the faculty advisor to Chapman’s chapter of Theta Alpha Kappa, the national religious studies honor society.
photo of Marilyn Harran

Marilyn Harran

Marilyn Harran is Professor of History and Religious Studies, Stern Professor of Holocaust Education, Director of the Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education and Director of the Sala and Aron Samueli Holocaust Memorial Library. A respected Church historian, Dr. Harran is also a nationally recognized leader in Holocaust education. She not only teaches courses on the Holocaust and related topics, but also coordinates an annual Holocaust lecture series, bringing survivors, scholars, films and more to campus.
photo of Rafael Luévano

Rafael Luévano

Rafael Luévano is both Associate Professor of Religious Studies and an ecumenical officer of the Roman Catholic Church. Prof. Luévano teaches mysticism and religion and the arts. He is the author of Endless Transforming Love: An Interpretation of the Mystical Doctrine of St. John of the Cross (1990) and Woman-Killing in Juárez: Theodicy at the Border (2012). He has worked on projects that include a comprehensive investigation of violence in Mexico.
photo of Nancy Martin

Nancy M. Martin

Nancy M. Martin is Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Director of the Schweitzer Institute. Prof. Martin has expertise in Hinduism, world religions, gender & religion, and comparative religious ethics. She is a leading authority on the popular devotional Hindu woman saint Mirabai, and her publications cover a range of issues including women’s religious lives, low-caste oral religious traditions, and interreligious harmony and conflict in India. She is the co-editor of a series of volumes on ethical issues and world religions and has co-directed interdisciplinary conferences in Southern California and at Cambridge University on topics from the environment and global health, human rights and responsibilities, and medical ethics, to war and reconciliation and religion and gender.
photo of Gail  Stearns

Gail Stearns

Gail Stearns is Dean of the Wallace All-Faiths Chapel and Associate Professor of Religious Studies. Prof. Stearns is co-author with Julye Bidmead of Invest Your Humanity: Celebrating Marvin Meyer (2015) and the author of a monograph on the gospel of Mark, Open Your Eyes: Toward Living More Deeply in the Present (2011) and of Writing Pauline: Wisdom from a Long Life (2005). Her doctoral work focused on gender theory from an interdisciplinary perspective, including gender in religion, anthropology, sociology, and literature, and she teaches courses on mindfulness, gender, religion, and interfaith dialogue and leadership. Learn more about Dr. Sterns.

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The Department of Religious Studies
Chapman University
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Orange, CA 92866