The Rev. Joyce Mercer, Ph.D. named Editor-Elect of "Religious Education" Journal


Media Contact: Curtis Prather
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Alexandria, Va. –
Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is proud to announce the appointment of Rev. Joyce Ann Mercer, Ph.D., as editor-elect of the Religion Education Association’s (REA) 108-year-old journal Religious Education. Mercer is professor of practical theology and the Arthur Lee Kinsolving Professor in Pastoral Theology at VTS.

“The editor of a prestigious journal has the opportunity to shape conversation. The task of selecting, encouraging, and facilitating excellent articles in this important field is a privilege,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. dean and president of VTS. “We are excited that she has accepted this position.”

Under Jack Seymour’s leadership as editor, Religion Education has become internationally recognized for its contributions to thinking, teaching and practicing religious education in diverse communities all over the world. In order to grow, the Board of REA sought an exceptional editor-elect to work with and learn from the editor during a transition time so that the journal would sustain a smooth flow of excellent leadership.

Mercer came to VTS in 2006 after serving as a faculty member of Graduate Theological Union in California and Union Theological Seminary in the Philippines. She completed a doctorate at Emory University, earned a D.Min. from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago; a Master of Social Work from the University of Connecticut; and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA for twenty-eight years, Mercer is the author of several books including GirlTalk Godtalk: Why Faith Matters to Adolescent Girls And Their Parents (San Francisco, Jossey Bass, 2008) and Welcoming Children: A Practical Theology of Childhood (St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2005).

Mercer will continue as a respected member of the VTS faculty, and will begin her position with REA on September 1, 2014, working with current editor Jack Seymour through a transition period until his retirement at the end of 2015. At that time she will assume the editorship for a three-year renewable term.

Dean Markham added, “The primary vehicle of cutting edge research remains the journal article. It is the substantial journal article, which is peer-reviewed, where a particular question is examined in depth that moves the discipline on. For those in the world of religious education, the primary journal of this discipline is, not surprisingly, Religious Education.”


Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women, representing more than 42 different dioceses and five different countries, for service in the Church, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. Visit us online at