Shelli M. Poe is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Millsaps College (Jackson, MS); Director of the Initiative for Vocational Inquiry, and Director of the interdisciplinary minor in Vocation, Ethics, and Society. She originally joined Millsaps as a post-doctoral Teaching Fellow in 2013, and held a visiting position from 2014-2017. She previously taught courses at the University of Virginia and University of Mary Washington. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a B.A. from Bethel University (St. Paul, MN).

Dr. Poe is active in the American Academy of Religion, serving as co-chair of the Schleiermacher Unit since 2014. Her current research interests stand at the intersection of Friedrich Schleiermacher’s thought and constructive theology. Dr. Poe has published a number of books and articles in Christian theology, higher education, and the study of teaching and learning. See her Curriculum Vitae for more information.


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Religious beliefs and/or reactions against them are deeply embedded features of most people’s lives on this planet. By studying religions—both one’s own tradition, if applicable, and others’ traditions—we learn that they are complex, various, and have capacities for self-criticism and change. By studying religions, those who are part of a religious tradition may become active shapers of those traditions, and all of us can develop greater respect for our religious and secular neighbors.

Students are wonderful conversation partners in the study of religions, and I am delighted to be part of students’ learning processes. I take a learner-centered approach to teaching, which means that I focus on helping students achieve their particular goals in the classroom, acknowledge the background and skills they bring with them to the classroom, and use learning activities to keep students engaged. I pay special attention to the ways that course material and processes relate to other aspects of students’ lives, both inside and outside the classroom.


Contact Dr. Poe at poesm@millsaps.edu.


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