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Claudia May

Job Title


Dr. Claudia May is a sought after specialist in Reconciliation Studies and has more than two decades of experience working alongside, teaching, and learning from global and national practitioners and leaders in the practices, principles, and theology of reconciliation. Through her writing and teaching, Dr. May examines how Jesus and those he encountered live out reconciliation. She pays particular attention to the agency of those dismissed as irrelevant. She probes how Jesus co-builds relationships with the despised, the disinherited, and the wounded while confronting injustice, challenging abusive systems, and engaging with conflicting histories, beliefs, and cultures. Dr. May's work stresses that reconciliation acknowledges that the relational disparities and conflicts Jesus confronts can present us with practical approaches to dismantling the inequities and divisions that undermine our relationship with God and others. Through her analysis of psychological studies Dr. May also mines how the lives of Jesus and biblical characters interface with stories of trauma and our complex humanity. God, the Creator of love, inspires her work. Love drives reconciliation and stands at the heart of Jesus’ ministry. This extraordinary love transforms lives, liberates peoples, and sustains the healing pulse of reconciliation.

Started at Bethel



  • University of York, UK - B.A., 1988
  • University of California-Berkeley - M.A., 1992
  • University of California-Berkeley - Ph.D., 1996
  • Pacific School of Religion/Graduate Theological Union - M.T.S., 2016

Courses Taught

Introduction to Reconciliation Studies

Principles and Methods of Intercultural Leadership

Fannie Lou Hamer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Our Multicultural World

The Power of Story and Reconciliation

Hip-Hop, Spoken Word, & Reconciliation

Senior Seminar in Reconciliation Studies


Jesus is Enough: Love, Hope, and Comfort in the Storms of Life

When I Fly With Papa (Spring, 2018)

Various other works including academic articles published in peer-reviewed journals, chapters in anthologies, devotional reflections, commentaries, poetry, memoir, and children's literature


The Bombing of a Mosque: Islamophobia, the Power of Story, and the Love of Community

What's in a Name?: Asian American Women's Lives, Agency, Community, and Reconciliation

European American Experience, Whiteness, Privilege, and Reconciliation

Racism, Trauma, and Reconciliation

Professional Organizations, Committees, and Boards

"Racial Trauma, The Power of Story, and Reconciliation." Oxford University Interdisciplinary Seminars in Science and Religion: Bridging the Two Cultures of Science and the Humanities II, 2017-2019

Areas of expertise

Reconciliation Studies, Discipleship and Leadership Formation, Contemplative Practices and Spiritual Development, African American and Caribbean Literature and Theatre, US Ethnic Literature, Popular Culture and Theology, Practical Theology