Scholars are the Backbone of Our Work
The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center has assembled a distinguished scholarly team—top historians, religious experts, and legal scholars from across the nation and around the world—who have helped shape and review the narrative experience of the museum’s exhibit galleries and ensure historical accuracy. We also draw on our scholars for ongoing development and educational programming.
The scholars include a Pulitzer-prize winning author, an Ivy League university chaplain, a legal historian whose scholarship has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court, a member of the federal commission to mark the nation’s 250th birthday, the former chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, and many others whose commentary has appeared in the nation’s top media outlets.
Scholar Credentials Include
Meet the Scholars
- Author of Beyond Toleration: The Religious Origins of American Pluralism (Oxford) and co-editor of The First Prejudice: Religious Tolerance and Religious Intolerance in Early America (Penn Press), as well as Profane: Sacrilegious Expression in a Multicultural Age (University of California Press).
- He has written essays on politics, religion, and sports for The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Chronicle of Higher Education, Philadelphia Inquirer, Huffington Post, and Christian Century.
- His current project, Free Exercise: Rediscovering the First Amendment's Religious Clauses, is under contract with Cornell University Press.
- Author of Killing for the Republic: Citizen-Soldiers and the Roman Way of War (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), which explores how constitutional polities cultivated a unique set of virtues and a deadly form of civic militarism.
- He has written for several media outlets, including USA Today, LitHub, The Washington Post, and The Hill and in journals such as Religions and Humanitas.
- Dr. Brand received his Ph.D. in church-state studies with a specialization in ancient history from Baylor University. He teaches courses on the ancient Mediterranean world and medieval Europe at The King’s College in New York. His research focuses on the relationship between farming, citizenship, and soldiering.
- Dr. Breidenbach is Senior Affiliate for Legal Humanities at the Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania, and is an historian of politics, religion, and law in America.
- He is the author of Our Dear-Bought Liberty: Catholics and Religious Toleration in Early America (Harvard University Press, 2021) and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to the First Amendment and Religious Liberty (Cambridge University Press, 2020). He has also written for publications such as The Atlantic, Washington Post, and First Things.
- Dr. Breidenbach is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and has held research positions at Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge, Villanova, and Penn.
- He obtained his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Cambridge and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern.
- He was appointed to the National Commission on Children by President Ronald Reagan. Former assistant director of the Governmental Affairs Office for the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A., NEH Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and history team member at the Pew Foundation/Woodrow Wilson Center project on “the nature of the human person.”
- Author of 10 books including, Family Questions: Reflections on the American Social Crisis (Transaction Publishers) and The Swedish Experiment in Family Politics: The Myrdals and the Interwar Population Crisis (Transaction).
- His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune, and he has been interviewed several times, including segments for the PBS News Hour, NPR, NBC News, MSNBC, and CNN.
- Author of the recent bestseller Liberty’s Secrets: The Lost Wisdom of America’s Founders, co-author of God, Israel, and You: The Scandalous Story of a Faithful God, and senior editor of the Global Impact Bible.
- A public policy fellow at William Jessup University.
- Tikvah Fellow, a full-time residential program for exceptional individuals interested in the political, religious, and intellectual future of the Jewish people.
- 2012 recipient of the Missouri Lawyers Weekly Women’s Justice Award (Legal Scholar category) and the 2016 recipient of the University of Missouri School of Law’s Shook, Hardy, & Bacon, LLC Excellence in Research Award.
- She is the author of The Pursuit of Happiness in the Founding Era: An Intellectual History (University of Missouri Press, 2019).
- Member of the Supreme Court of Missouri’s Committee on Civic Education
- He has published several essays relating to topics such as John Locke, Saint Augustine, Natural Law, the First Amendment, and liberal arts education. He also co-edited Natural Law and Evangelical Political Thought (Lexington, 2012).
- His research interests focus on the interrelation of religion and government, particularly about First Amendment law, natural law, and the foundations of political liberalism.
- Covington’s current book projects include Taken on Faith: The Concept of Religion in First Amendment Jurisprudence and a collaborative project on Protestant political morality.
- Alan Crippen is a clergyman in the Anglican Church in North America and the rector of Holy Trinity Parish in Hillsdale, Michigan.
- Formerly he was executive director of American Bible Society’s Faith and Liberty Initiative and chief of exhibits, programs and public engagement for the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center. In this capacity he directed exhibit design and content development for the Center, curated the Faith and Liberty Trail, and is general editor of the Faith and Liberty Bible (2021).
- Reverend Crippen has an extensive background in parish ministry, non-profit organization work, and military service. A U.S. Army veteran, his leadership includes artillery platoon and battery command. Additionally his experience as a non-profit executive includes work with International Students, Inc., Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Family Research Council in Washington D.C., and the John Jay Institute (of which he is the founder) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Reverend Crippen was graduated from Cairn University with a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies and Westminster Theological Seminary with his master’s degree in theological studies. He has specialized expertise in the relationship of faith to American ideals and institutions.
- His work has been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court after he published more than 75 book chapters, reviews and articles in scholarly journals, including American Journal of Legal History, Constitutional Commentary, Emory Law Journal, Politics and Religion, Journal of Church and State and William & Mary Quarterly.
- Authored or edited eight books, including Reading the Bible with the Founding Fathers (Oxford University Press), Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation between Church and State (NYU Press), Faith and the Founders of the American Republic (Oxford University Press).
- Received a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and a D.Phil. from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.
- Zealously committed to helping parents, educators, and ministry leaders to cultivate a biblical worldview in emerging generations. He has been researching and teaching about biblical worldview formation for over 25 years as an ordained minister, homeschool conference speaker, Christian school leader, university professor, and—most importantly—as a dad and grandfather. Roger’s doctoral dissertation, peer-reviewed work, and other writing on biblical worldview formation have become important groundwork for scholars exploring how a biblical worldview takes shape in children, youth, and emerging adults.
- In addition to his scholarly work, he is the author of Beyond Biblical Integration, Summit Ministries' popular book about how to cultivate a biblical worldview in PreK–12 students. Roger's current writing agenda includes a work for educators on how to study and teach history from a biblical worldview perspective.
- Rachel Ferguson is the Director of the Free Enterprise Center at Concordia University Chicago, Assistant Dean of the College of Business, and Professor of Business Ethics.
- She is an affiliate scholar of the Acton Institute and co-author of Black Liberation Through the Marketplace: Hope, Heartbreak, and the Promise of America.
- Her commentary has been featured at National Review, the Christian Post, the Acton Power Blog, Discourse Magazine, Law and Liberty, EconLib, and the Online Library of Liberty.
- Dr. Hall teaches at George Fox University, where he is the Herbert Hoover Distinguished Professor of Politics and Faculty Fellow in the William Penn Honors Program.
- He has written or co-edited 14 books, including Did America have a Christian Founding? Separating Modern Myth from Historical Truth (Thomas Nelson, 2019). His next book is Proclaim Liberty Throughout All The Land: How Christianity Has Advanced Freedom and Equality for All Americans (Simon & Schuster, 2023) and he is working on a book on Christian Nationalism.
- Dr. Halpern has edited 17 books, including most recently Esther in America: The Scroll's Interpretation in and Impact on the United States; Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land: The Hebrew Bible in the United States (an Amazon #1 Best Seller that received coverage in The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe) and Gleanings: Reflections on Ruth.
- His writings on the role of the Bible in America have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Tablet, and Jewish Review of Books.
- He teaches in Yeshiva University, synagogues, Hillels and adult educational settings across the U.S., Europe and Israel.
- Dr. Halpern received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in Psychology in Education from Teachers College at Columbia University, a master’s degree in Bible from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, an MBA in Nonprofit Management from Touro University, a doctorate in education from the Azrieli Graduate School of Education and Administration, and rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Chaim Brovender.
- He has published several essays in edited volumes regarding the political outlooks of the founding generation, as well as journal articles, book reviews, and opinion-editorials.
- Wrote Patriotism and Piety: Federalist Politics & Religious Struggle in the New American Nation (University of Virginia Press), which explores how Federalist leaders wrestled with the issue of religion’s place in the early American republic.
- Teaches courses in early American history and American religious history. His research interests include the politics of the early and American republic and especially the intersection of religion and early republican ideals.
- Scholarly interests are in Africana Studies, an interdisciplinary field of study devoted to the critical and systematic examination of the cultural, political, social, economic, and historical experiences of African Americans, Africans, and peoples of African descent around the world.
- Author of several journal articles and book chapters, and his writings have been featured in such publications as Black Arts Quarterly, Black Theology: An International Journal, Daily Good, Urban Cusp, Sojourners Magazine, and The Huffington Post, where he is a regular contributor.
- Previously taught in the College of Arts and Sciences and in the Graduate School of Education at Penn, as well as at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.
- Won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for History for his book What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America (Oxford University Press), part of the multi-volume The Oxford History of the United States.
- He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the author of several books including: The Political Culture of the American Whigs (University of Chicago Press), Making the American Self: Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln (Oxford University Press), and his next book will be about the U.S.-Mexican War.
- Specializing in the early national period of U.S. history, particularly its intellectual and religious dimensions, Howe previously taught at Yale University from 1966 to 1973 and was the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford and a fellow of The Queen's College, Oxford. In 1992, he became a permanent member of the Oxford history faculty and a fellow of St Catherine's College, Oxford until his retirement in 2002. Brasenose College, Oxford elected him an Honorary Member of its Senior Common Room.
- Research fellow and board member of AI and Faith, an organization that brings the fundamental values of the world’s major religions into the emerging debate on ethical artificial intelligence. She is also a podcast host and principal investigator for the Beatrice Institute’s initiative, Being Human in an Age of AI.
- She is passionate about foregrounding the Christian origins of ethics in computer science education and is working on a book titled Righteous AI: The Christian Voice in the Ethical AI Conversation.
- A noted expert on the history of evangelicalism and Baptists in America, 18th-century North America, and American Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and Patrick Henry.
- He has written many books, including Thomas Jefferson: A Biography of Spirit and Flesh (Yale University Press), Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father (Yale University Press), Baptists in America: A History (with Barry Hankins (Oxford University Press), and George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father (Yale University Press).
- He has written for several media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, has appeared on C-Span, and blogs for The Gospel Coalition.
- Author, most recently, of We Will Be Free: The Life and Faith of Sojourner Truth (Eerdmans, 2023). Previous books include Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Spiritual Life (Eerdmans 2014), winner of the Minnesota Book Award for General Nonfiction in 2015, and Introduction to the History of Christianity in America Fortress Press (2015)– winner of the Minnesota Book Award for General Nonfiction in 2015 – and wrote the Introduction to the History of Christianity in America for Fortress Press (2015).
- She previously taught at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Augsburg College in Minneapolis, and at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul. A retired Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastor, Koester is also a spiritual director.
- Dr. Abraham Lee is assistant professor of global entrepreneurship and information communications technology at Handong Global University in South Korea. Based in San Francisco, he is also director of the San Francisco Entrepreneurship Exploration and Discovery Program.
- Lee’s research interests include organizational innovation, knowledge management, network theory, and dynamic capabilities. His expertise includes the application of Christocentric principles in economic and organizational development, particularly as it applies to business entrepreneurship and innovation.
- A Korean American of immigrant parents, Lee is interested in exploring the relationship of biblical faith to world cultures, freedom and democracy, and free market economies, with a special focus on the Korean democratic experience.
- He is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley, holds a Masters in Pacific International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego and a Doctorate in Business Administration from IE Business School.
- Focuses on the development of religion and theology in Europe and America during the early modern era.
- He has written The Erosion of Biblical Certainty: Battles over Authority and Interpretation in America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and he is now working on a book on the history of theodicy (or the history of the problem of evil).
- His articles have been published in The New England Quarterly and The History of Education Quarterly.
- Dr. Loconte is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Grove City College and a Senior Fellow at the Institute on Religion and Democracy. He also serves as a Senior Fellow in Christianity and Culture at The King’s College in New York City.
- He is the author of the New York Times bestseller A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War (HarperCollins, 2015) and God, Locke, and Liberty: The Struggle for Religious Freedom in the West (Lexington Books, 2014), among several other books. His commentary on religion and public life appears in the nation’s leading media outlets.
- Monsignor Magee was ordained to the Priesthood for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on May 18, 1991.
- He is Full Professor and Chair of the Department of Systematic Theology as well as Full Professor of the Systematic Theology and Sacred Scripture Departments. In addition, he serves as a Formation Advisor and a member of the Theological Seminary Formation Committee.
- He currently teaches Fundamental Theology, the Theology of Grace, Ecclesiology, the Pentateuch, Johannine Literature, and the Sacraments of Penance and Anointing. He has also taught Old Testament, Fundamental Theology, and the Theology of the Church.
- At Villanova, Dr. Mark teaches political theory, philosophy of law, and politics and religion. He is a faculty associate of the Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good.
- He served for four years on the nine-member, bipartisan US Commission on International Religious Freedom, most recently as chairman.
- In addition to his academic writing, Dr. Mark has published on topics related to international religious freedom in US News & World Report, Investor’s Business Daily, Foreign Affairs, The Hill, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, and he has appeared on the likes of CNN, Al Jazeera America, Relevant Radio, and CBS radio in Philadelphia.
- He holds a BA, MA, and PhD from the Department of Politics at Princeton University.
- Dr. McClay is the Victor Davis Hanson Chair in Classical History and Western Civilization a Hillsdale College.
- Author of the acclaimed new history book, Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story. Among his other books are A Student’s Guide to U.S. History; Religion Returns to the Public Square: Faith and Policy in America; Figures in the Carpet: Finding the Human Person in the American Past, and Why Place Matters: Geography, Identity, and Civic Life in Modern America.
- Winner of multiple awards and appointments, he is a member of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, which is planning events for the nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026.
- Both a lawyer and a historian, Miller has argued many church/state cases in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Mitchell v. Helms, 530 U.S. 793 (2000).
- He wrote The Religious Roots of the First Amendment (Oxford University Press), more than 30 scholarly and professional journal articles and book chapters dealing with issues of church, state, and society.
- He has a Ph.D. in American Religious and Legal History from the University of Notre Dame, where he received the award for the best dissertation of the year for 2010 from the history department, and he received his J.D. from Columbia University Law School, where he was a Stone Scholar and an editor of the Columbia Law Review.
- An expert on the influence of the Bible in 17th and 18th century Anglo-American politics and war, Dr. Moots is co-editor of Justifying Revolution: Law, Virtue, and Violence in the American War for Independence (University of Oklahoma Press).
- He wrote Politics Reformed: The Anglo-American Legacy of Covenant Theology (University of Missouri Press), and he is working on Sanctifying Liberty: Early America’s Protestant Constitutionalism (Oxford University Press).
- Previously Moots served as a William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and Public Life in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions in the Department of Politics at Princeton University, and he has also held fellowships from the Earhart Foundation and the Huntington Library.
- Author or editor of five books on American political culture, including The Political Philosophy of George Washington (Johns Hopkins University Press), John Witherspoon and the Founding of the American Republic (University of Notre Dame Press), and The Forgotten Founders on Religion and Public Life (University of Notre Dame Press).
- He has written numerous chapters, articles, and reviews in scholarly publications in the fields of history, political science, and religion.
- He has lectured at colleges and historic sites throughout the United States and in England (Hertford College, Oxford), and made several media appearances, including outlets such as C-SPAN and the BBC.
- He has written extensively on the theory and practice of religious liberty in England and America, from his first book, Conscience and Community: Revisiting Toleration and Religious Dissent in Early Modern England and America (2001), to his most recent: a biography of William Penn entitled William Penn: A Life (2018).
- His research has also explored the interconnections between religion and American politics and political thought. In particular, he examines this idea in this book Prodigal Nation: Moral Decline and Divine Punishment from New England to 9/11 (2008).
- Murphy also co-authored Political Religion and Religious Politics: Navigating Identities in the United States (2015).
- Rev. Dr. Norwood has served as the senior pastor of the Ujima Village Christian Church of Ewing, New Jersey since 1992, and is the founder and director of the Christian Mission School of Theology. Between 2004 and 2019, Dr. Norwood also served the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation as an elected Tribal Councilman, the first Principal Justice of the Tribal Supreme Court, and minister to the tribal Christian Prayer Circle Fellowship Ministry. He is the founder of “1st Light Mission” Christian tribal outreach, the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape delegate to the National Congress of American Indians and General Secretary of the Alliance of Colonial Era Tribes.
- He is a post-doctoral researcher with the Department of Ecclesiology at North-West University, Potchefstroom, SA, and has lectured at various academic institutions on Theology, American Indian history, culture and current concerns, and testified before the United States Congress.
- His publications and research papers include: We are Still Here – The Tribal Saga of New Jersey’s Nanticoke and Lenape Indians (2007); The Historical Impact and Current Challenges of Christian Ministry Among the Aboriginal People of the Delaware Bay Region (2015); Contextualized Worship Among the Nanticoke-Lenape American Indians (2017 in the peer reviewed academic journal, In die Skriflig).
- Dr. Norwood has been featured in several documentaries including: The Seven Ages of Britain (2010); Philadelphia: The Great Experiment (2014); Promised Land (2016), The King’s Highway (2016); and, Bicentennial City (2019).
- His scholarship focuses on the influence of the Bible as an ancient sourcebook for the American founders’ understanding of moral, ethical, and political science. His current research interests involve the beliefs and use of the Bible by U.S. presidents, especially in their political rhetoric.
- He has written eight books including The Founders and the Bible (Rowman & Littlefield); The Golden Age of the Classics in America: Greece, Rome, and the Antebellum United States (Harvard) and The Battle for the American Mind: A Brief History of a Nation's Thought (Rowman & Littlefield).
- He has contributed a host of essays to edited volumes, including two books published by Oxford University Press.
- Anthony Schmidt leads the collections and curation team at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC and curated the Justice Gallery at the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center. Most recently he was the lead curator for the 2023 MOTB exhibit Scripture and Science. He also led the MOTB exhibition on the Slave Bible and was responsible for assessing the financial impact of slavery on Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton Seminary and Slavery: A Report of the Historical Audit Committee.
- Anthony holds a PhD in American Religious History from Princeton Theological Seminary and has also studied at Vanderbilt and the University of Oklahoma.
- His research interests include Christian history, popular piety, Jewish-Christian relations, popular science, and African American Christianity.
- His scholarly interests are in exploring the ways in which history influences and interacts with the political imagination. His work is focused on the American revolutionary era, the Early Republic, and the antebellum United States (circa 1760-1860.
- He has written three books including American Zion: The Old Testament as a Political Text from the Revolution to the Civil War (Yale University Press). The book uncovers the roles that the Old Testament played in Americans’ political imagination, discourse and self-understanding, including the idea of national chosenness.
- Shalev observes that the Hebrew Bible, and particularly the role of biblical Israel, were central in the formation of an American national and political culture from the Revolution to the Civil War.
- Dr. Smith's research interests include intellectual and religious history in the Nineteenth Century United States and Atlantic World.
- He has edited and co-edited works of historical theology and diplomatic papers and regularly writes for popular outlets. He is currently working on a book on religion in the Early American republic.
- Her scholarly interests focus on the intersection of religion and politics in American history, with an emphasis on questions of civic formation in sustaining political commitments.
- Previously, she was the 2016-17 James Madison Program Thomas W. Smith Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University, and she served as an education coordinator for the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, where she supervised the institute's Teaching American History grant partnerships.
- Drawing on her years in the field of public history and civic education, she is deeply interested in the use of material culture and visual culture as sources for understanding the development of American political thought.
- Following a 25-year career as a lawyer, including seven years in Hong Kong, Stahr has turned his attention to writing biographies of American leaders.
- He is the author of three books including John Jay: Founding Father (2005) and New York Times Bestseller Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man.
- Stahr is currently working on a biography of Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase.
- Author of The Possibility of Religious Freedom: Early Natural Law and the Abrahamic Faiths (Cambridge University Press, 2019).
- A political theorist who studies religion in society and politics, with particular interests in Islamic political thought as well as the history of political thought more broadly.
- Has held fellowships at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions (Princeton University), Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Doha, Qatar, the John Jay Institute for Faith, Society and Law, and in Morocco through a National Security Education Program Boren Fellowship.
- Prior to her academic career, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Morocco.
- Prior to his appointment as president in 2008, Dr. Williams served as senior vice president and provost for the University.
- From 2001 until 2005 he served as headmaster and CEO of Trinity Christian School of Fairfax. While in northern Virginia, he also served as visiting lecturer for the Witherspoon Fellowship in Washington D.C.
- He holds a BS in Bible degree from Cairn University and a MEd and a PhD from Temple University in Philadelphia.
- He is a regular contributor to online and print publications and serves as a visiting lecturer and speaker on cultural and professional issues.
- He is the chairman of the Board of Governors of The John Jay Institute in Pennsylvania and a member of the Board of Directors of Gospel Volunteers Inc.
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