Leah Payne

Leah Payne

Assistant Professor of Christian Studies

twitter: @ProfLeahPayne
blog: leahpayne.blogspot.com

My research examines how gender, performance, and popular culture shapes American religious communities.  My first book, Gender and Pentecostal Revivalism: Making a Female Ministry in the Early Twentieth Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) shows how Pentecostal women ministers attained authority as pastors by co-opting versions of ideal womanhood in service to their ministerial identities, and by displaying those identities through classic Pentecostal revivalist methods.  My current research project explores how early twentieth-century liberal theology changes when employed by twenty-first century popular theologians in print media, conference circuits, and the blogosphere.  

As a teacher, I am passionate about creating a learning environment that encourages students to learn about and to do history, theology, and spiritual formation; I want them to know the basics, and I also want them to draw upon their own denominational histories and their personal contexts and experiences. I invoke history, theory, popular culture, and current events to involve students in the learning process. As a member of the Foursquare Church, I am especially committed to mentoring ministers and ministers-to-be in Pentecostal-Charismatic movements.

Academic Background

Ph.D., History and Critical Theories of Religion, Vanderbilt University (2013)
M.A., Religious Studies, Vanderbilt University (2009)
M.T.S., New Testament, Vanderbilt University (2006)
B.A., George Fox University, (2001)

Expertise and Research Interests

American religious history, church history, historical theology, women and American religion, Pentecostalism, gender and performance theory, hermeneutics, and theology and popular culture.

Research Bibliography and Select Presentations

Publications and Presentations

Course Information

  • DMIN 714 - History and Theology of Christian Spirituality
  • DMIN 741 - Historical Models for Spiritual Formation
  • BIST 542 - Biblical Theology

Outside the Classroom

Before entering the academy I worked in the music business for grammy award-winning producer and artist Charlie Peacock, and I appreciate music of all sorts (right now I am loving singer-songwriters like Hozier and Portlanders Portugal. the Man - I always love Dave Grohl and Lauryn Hill... I'm a child of the 90s). In my spare time, I enjoy chatting with friends and family, reading good fiction, watching great t.v. (I am a HUGE sci-fi/fantasy/general nerdery fan) and sipping delicious coffee (what can I say? I'm an Oregonian!).

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