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 holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies with a concentration in Theology, Ethics, and Culture from the University of Virginia; an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary; and a B.A. from Bethel University (St. Paul, MN).
Dr. Poe’s research and teaching are primarily related to modern and contemporary Christian systematic theology and history. She is interested, more particularly, in the thought of Friedrich Schleiermacher and constructive theologies. In addition to investigating systematic doctrines within a modern context, she is also interested in the evolution of institutions of higher education and the study of teaching and learning.
Dr. Poe has published a number of books and articles that reflect her research and teaching interests. Her recent book, Essential Trinitarianism: Schleiermacher as Trinitarian Theologian (Bloomsbury 2017), offers an analysis of Schleiermacher’s Christian Faith (1830/31) that highlights the Trinitarian structure of his theology. Her forthcoming edited volume, Schleiermacher and Sustainability: A Theology for Ecological Living (Westminster John Knox, November 2018) draws Schleiermacher scholars together to address the ways in which his theology and ethics could contribute to eco-theologies in our time of global climate change. Dr. Poe also co-edited with Maurice Apprey The Key to the Door: Experiences of Early African American Students at the University of Virginia (University of Virginia Press, 2017). The book highlights the first-person narratives of some of the earliest African American students who graduated from the University of Virginia during the era of desegregation, and takes stock of how far the university has come and how far it still must go. Dr. Poe has authored many articles and book chapters in Schleiermacher studies, the study of higher education, and teaching and learning.
In 2018, Dr. Poe received the Richard A. Smith Award for Excellence in Scholarship or Creative Work at Millsaps College. She is active in the American Academy of Religion, and has served as co-chair of the Schleiermacher Unit since 2014.
Dr. Poe was ordained in 2007 by the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, and in 2011 by the United Church of Christ.