Shelli M. Poe is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Millsaps College (Jackson, MS). 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. Her own studies were undertaken at the University of Virginia, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Bethel University (St. Paul, MN).

Dr. Poe is active in the American Academy of Religion. She was elected to the AAR Schleiermacher Group Steering Committee in 2013, and as co-chair in 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.

Dr. Poe teaches a number of courses in the Religious Studies department on a rotating basis, including World Religions and How to Study Them, and the Religious Studies Seminar. She also teaches courses in her specialty, Christian Studies: Christian Thought, Christian Theology Today, Christian Liberation, and other special topics. Dr. Poe contributes to Millsaps’ Compass Curriculum as well, teaching Does Religion Belong in the Hospital? (Ventures), and Vocation in Today’s World (Connections). Check out Recent and Upcoming Courses 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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