Theodore Brelsford

Affiliate Associate Professor of Religion and Education
Theodore Brelsford
    • PhD, Emory University, 1999
    • MDiv, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1988
    • BA, Slippery Rock State University, 1983

    Prior to taking on the role of Affiliate Associate Professor of Religion and Education, Dr. Theodore Brelsford was a full-time member of the Candler faculty for 10 years, first as a visiting professor, and later as the director of the Religious Education Program from 2001-2008. Dedicated to both the church and the academy, he has served in school chaplaincy positions, youth ministry, and pastoral ministry.

    Brelsford's research interests include religious education, epistemology and imagination, and he is currently working on a book, "Believing in Myth, Living in Mystery: The Mystery, Myth, and Reality of Christian Faith." His current research project is titled “Non-Schooling Models of Church-based Christian Education: New Developments in Contemporary North American Protestant Congregations.”

    He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Association of Practical Theology, and currently serves on the board of directors of the Religious Education Association. He is the former editor-in-chief of the journal Religious Education

    Brelsford is ordained in the United Church of Christ, and is the pastor at The Orchard Park Community Church in Orchard Park, New York.

    Selected publications

      Books

      Co-editor,Contextualizing Theological Education: Integrating Ecclesial and Academic Practices in Teaching and Learning. Pilgrim Press, 2008

      Chapters and Articles

      "Religious Imagination as Problem." Religious Education, vol. 110, issue 3, Taylor & Francis, June 19, 2015

      "Believing Political Lies Reveals Lack of Faith." Buffalo News, The Buffalo News, October 28, 2012

      "Educating For Formative Participation in Communities of Faith." Religious Education, vol. 96, issue 3, Taylor & Francis, January 19, 2011

      "In Memoriam: Terence Copley (1947-2011)." Religious Education, vol. 106, issue 5, Taylor & Francis, November 01, 2011

      "An Organic Curriculum for the Small Church." Lifelong Faith, vol. 2, no. 4, Lifelong Faith Associates, November 01, 2008

      "A Mythical Realist Orientation for Religious Education: Theological and Pedagogical Implications of the Mythical Nature of Religious Story." Religious Education, vol. 102, issue 3, Taylor & Francis, July 01, 2007

      "Still Stuck in (Sunday) School?" Leader in Christian Education Ministry, Spring 2006, Cokesbury, March 01, 2006

      "Religious Education Beyond the Schooling Model." Religious Education, vol. 100, issue 4, Taylor & Francis, November 01, 2005

      "Lessons for Religious Education from Cognitive Science of Religion." Religious Education, vol. 100, issue 2, Taylor & Francis, January 01, 2005

      Selected awards

      "Promoting Open and Committed Christian Faith," Research and Travel Grant, Candler School of Theology

      "Interviews with Open and Committed Believers," Research Grant, Candler School of Theology

      "Imaginative Faith in Fragmented Times," Research and Writing Grant, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion

      "Teaching and Learning Beyond Boundaries: Faith Communities and American Schools as Character Education Partners," Conference Grant, The Sherman Fund

      "Graduate Division of Religion Graduate Student Teaching Mentors Project," (co-authored with Gary Laderman), Three-year Development Grant, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion

      Graduate Fellowship, Emory University, 1991-1995.

      Fellowship in Practical Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary

      Selected courses

      Religious Education as Formation and Transformation

      The Art of Teaching, Creativity and Pedagogy

      Becoming a Reflective Practitioner