Laurie Mellinger, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation and Christian Theology
Dean of Academic Programs
B.A. Millersville University
M.A.R. Evangelical School of Theology
Ph.D. The Catholic University of America
"It's an exciting time to be serving at a great school like Evangelical! I love spending time in the classroom, helping students to learn more about God with both their heads and their hearts. I'm doing some careful thinking this year about ways to foster community here at Evangelical, and about how to extend that sense of warmth and connection into everything that happens here, from students' initial inquiry through graduation and beyond. Evangelical wants to be a place where students can not only learn theology or leadership or therapy, but where they can also learn to love one another deeply (1 Pet 1:22, 4:8)."
Laurie's been a professor at Evangelical for ten years, teaching courses in spiritual formation and Christian theology, and has served as the Dean of Academic Programs since July, 2011. Her research interests include theological anthropology at its intersection with human suffering and disability, the role of narrative theology in making disciples in postmodern cultural settings, and building a dialectical understanding of Christian spiritual practices and sanctification. She is also intrigued by the interplay between content and its application in theological education, especially when teaching prayer and spiritual disciplines. In her administrative role, she works to expand and strengthen academic programs. She has taught at retreats and workshops, published papers in scholarly journals, and presented her work at academic conferences.
Laurie spent many years teaching music to private students, and more than a decade developing and leading contemporary worship teams, before coming to Evangelical as a student in 1996. Upon her graduation, after teaching a course as an adjunct here, she was invited to serve as Mentored Faculty, teaching part-time while pursuing the doctoral degree. She graduated with a Ph.D. in the field of Christian spirituality from The Catholic University of America in 2010. Moreover, she is an active member of the American Academy of Religion, the Evangelical Theological Society, the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, and Spiritual Directors International.
Laurie is married to Dan, who is the Deputy Director of Human Resources for the County of Lancaster, PA. Licensed for ministry by the Mennonite Church USA, Laurie preaches occasionally at her home church, Mountville Mennonite, and helps to facilitate the worship ministry there. She is also involved with her husband in small-group ministry and prayer ministry. They have two daughters: Elizabeth, an RN in the trauma-neuroscience intensive care unit at Lancaster General Hospital; and Sarah, a college junior and self-described "theater kid," who really enjoys her occasional work at the Fulton Opera House in Lancaster. Free time is hard to find, but when she gets the chance, Laurie enjoys crocheting, piano and guitar playing, and following Philadelphia sports teams-—through thick and thin!