Skip to content

Leadership

Class of 2023

Mary Nickel
Vice PResident

Mary joined Princeton’s doctoral program in Religion, Ethics, and Politics in 2016. She also holds an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, an M.A. in Politics & Government from Illinois State University.

Her work integrates political theory and theological ethics. Her dissertation, “Matrices,” focuses on what pregnancy and motherhood can teach us about social agency and collective responsibility.

Stephanie Thurston
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Stephanie’s interests include theological social ethics, political theory, and political theology. She has taught and written on complicity and focuses on moral responsibility for school segregation, policing and prisons, and migration.

She holds an M.A.R in Ethics from Yale Divinity and a Ph.D. in Religion & Society at Princeton Seminary. Her dissertation, Making Citizens in a Credential Society: Identities, Values, and Practices at Brooklyn High, is an ethnographic study of moral and civic formation at a Title I public high school.

Class of 2024

Sara Williams

Sara is an assistant professor at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary. She received her Ph.D. from Emory University in the area of ethics and society with concentrations in religious practices and practical theology and religion, conflict, and peacebuilding. She also holds a master of arts in religion from Yale Divinity School and a master of social work and graduate certificate in nonprofit management from the University of Georgia.

Prior to entering academia, Williams worked for several domestic nonprofits and international NGOs in social work, nonprofit management, and human rights.

Matt Elia

Matt teaches at the University of Virginia, where he is currently a postdoctoral fellow. He works at the intersection of race, sexuality, and religion in American public life. His dissertation draws upon the resources of Black Studies to reexamine the problem of slavery in Christian political thought, particularly the modern reception of the thought of Augustine of Hippo.

Matt earned his Master’s degree and Ph.D. from Duke University.

Class of 2025

Luke Zerra

Luke is currently the Associate Dean of the Stevenson School for Ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania and an Episcopal Priest serving a parish in Pittsburgh. He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton Seminary in Theology and Ethics and wrote his dissertation on liturgy and moral formation in Anglican theologian Richard Hooker. He is also interested in disability ethics and accounts of religious language. As a member of the FPE board, Luke looks forward to creating spaces to share and comment on each other’s work and to help foster connections between the academic and ecclesial aspects of the FPE’s work.

Carl Friesen

Carl is currently a PhD candidate in ethics at the University of Notre Dame, where he expects to graduate in Fall 2022. His dissertation, “Theological Foundations for a Christian Land Ethic,” is an interdisciplinary and intersectional appraisal of normative approaches to land use, focusing in particular on sustainable agriculture. Carl’s research interests attempt to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical approaches to ethics and primarily engage religion and ecology, political theory, environmental ethics, and peace studies. He is also involved in envisioning, developing, and launching a new peace studies centre at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. He has been a member of FPE since 2019 and served as fundraising liaison for FPE’s conference that same year. He would like to create the space for FPE to imagine new, sustainable forms of theological scholarship and education while supporting fruitful exchanges between diverse methodological and theological perspectives.