The Rev. Joyce Mercer, Ph.D.

Professor Joyce Ann Mercer joined the VTS faculty in 2006. She is currently the Arthur Lee Kinsolving Professor in Pastoral Theology. She completed her Ph.D. at Emory University in 1997, focusing on issues of faith, gender, and violence in the lives of adolescent girls. She previously earned a D.Min. at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago; the Master of Social Work degree from the University of Connecticut; the M.Div. from Yale Divinity School; and a B.A. in religious studies from the University of Virginia.

Before joining the faculty at VTS, she served on faculties at San Francisco Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union, and at Union Theological Seminary in the Philippines. She is the author of Welcoming Children: A Practical Theology of Childhood (Chalice Press, 2005), Lives to Offer: Accompanying Youth on Their Vocational Quests (co-authored with Dori Grinenko Baker, Pilgrim Press, 2007), and most recently, Girl Talk, God Talk: Why Faith Matters to Teenage Girls—and Their Parents (Jossey Bass, 2008).

Professor Mercer serves on the editorial boards of the journals Religious Education and Theological Education. She serves on the executive committee of the Association of Practical Theology, and the steering committee of the Practical Theology Group in the American Academy of Religion. She is also a member of the International Academy of Practical Theology.

Professor Mercer is married with three children.

“A Universally Particular Psychology? A Feminist Practical Theological Exploration of Cultural and Indigenous Psychology,” in Pastoral Psychology 56:1, September 2007: 81-94.

Transformational Adult Learning in Congregations," Journal of Adult Theological Education 3 (2006): 163-178.

“Capitalizing on Children’s Spirituality: Parental Anxiety, Children as Consumers, and the Marketing of Spirituality,” in International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, Vol. 11, No. 1: Spring 2006, pp. 23-33, and forthcoming as Chapter 3 in Perspectives on Children’s Spirituality, Cathy Ota and Mark Chater, eds. (New York: Routledge), 2006.

"Who Do You Say That I Am? Children’s Identities, ‘Spiritual Capital,’ and Congregational Life" Family Ministry, 19:4 Winter 2005, 11-27.