Faculty and Staff

Valerie Stein

Dr. Valerie Stein

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

Olmsted Hall, Room 341

Professor of Religious Studies, is the Program Director of the Social Justice 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.
Jim Ware

Dr. Jim Ware

Emeritus Professor of Religion

Room 340, Olmsted Hall

Dr. Ware earned an M.A. in Greek and Latin Classical Literature from Washington University, St. Louis, and an M.A and PhD in New Testament and Ancient Christianity from Yale University. His scholarly work focuses on the New Testament, earliest Christianity, and ancient philosophy and religion. He is the author of Paul’s Theology in Context: Creation, Incarnation, Covenant, and Kingdom (Eerdmans, 2019), Paul and the Mission of the Church (Brill, 2005; softcover reprint Baker Academic, 2011), and a new tool for the study of Paul’s epistles, Synopsis of the Pauline Letters in Greek and English (Baker Academic, 2010). He is also co-editor and co-translator of Philodemus on Frank Criticism (Society of Biblical Literature, 1998), the first English translation of a work by the ancient Epicurean philosopher Philodemus discovered in the ruins of Herculaneum. He teaches courses in ancient Greek language and literature, the New Testament, the Gospels, Paul’s letters, and ancient Christianity.


Marisa Patterson-Knox

Mrs. Marisa Patterson-Knox

Administrative Assistant for Foreign Languages and Cultures and Archaeology