Faculty

Valerie Stein, Professor of Religious Studies / Program Director, Ethics & Social Change / Program Director,  Race & Ethnicity Studies

Dr. Valerie Stein

Professor of Religious Studies / Program Director, Ethics & Social Change / Program Director, Race & Ethnicity Studies

Olmsted Hall, Room 341
812-488-1103
vs9@evansville.edu

Professor of Religious Studies, is the Program Director of the Ethics & Social Change program and Race & Ethnicity Studies. Dr. Stein has been at the University of Evansville since 2002. She teaches a wide range of courses situated at the intersection of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion and social change. Dr. Stein earned her ThD in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament from Harvard University. Her research centers on the use, influence, and impact of religion on issues of gender, sexuality, colonialism, and race.| Stein's book, Anti-cultic Theology in Christian Biblical Interpretation: A Study of Isaiah 66:1-4 and Its Reception grounded the discussion of Christian anti-Jewish interpretation of the Hebrew Bible in the analysis of a particular passage. She shows that the widely held Christian interpretation of Isaiah 66:1-4 as an indictment against the Jerusalem temple and cult - and thereby God's rejection of Judaism - is motivated by a theology of substitution that sees the Church as the new Israel. Stein has also presented and published on how interpretations of biblical women reflect social attitudes and beliefs with respect to gender (see, for example, her articles “Know*Be*Do: Using the Bible to Teach Ethics to Children” and “Gender Components in Dramatic Retellings of Judith”). Her current research (see “Privileging God the Father: The Neoliberal Theology of the Evangelical Orphan Care Movement” in The Politics of Reproduction: Adoption, Abortion, and surrogacy in the Age of Neoliberalism) uses postcolonial and feminist methods of biblical criticism to show how evangelical Christian theology interprets the Bible to align the adoptive parents with God and thus effectively to allow for the dismissal of ethical concerns associated with adoption and foster care. In the case of international adoption, this “Gospel-centered” adoption takes advantage of Western privilege to victimize women in developing nations as a form of Christian neocolonialism. She problematizes the role of transracial adoption in the Evangelical orphan care movement as a visual evangelism.
Rob Shelby, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer

Dr. Rob Shelby

Interim Vice President of Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer

University Center, Room 230A
812-488-2500
rs262@evansville.edu

Dr. Shelby serves as the Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Evansville. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Louisville in applied sociology. As a former assistant professor of sociology, he taught several core courses, including Race and Ethnic Relations and Community Organization. Under his leadership, the Director of the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion provides intercultural training and cultural events, addresses concerns related to sexual harassment, discrimination, and bias, and fosters spiritual formation and vocational understanding.