Toddie Peters

Professor of Religious Studies
Spence Pavilion-Religion/Phil. 215
2340 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244 (336) 278-5247

Professional Expertise

ethics and social justice

Brief Biography

Rebecca Todd Peters is Professor of Religious Studies at Elon University. In addition to teaching ethics courses in the Religious Studies department, she offers courses in the Poverty and Social Justice, Environmental Studies, Honors, and Women and Gender Studies programs.  

Her work as a feminist social ethicist is focused on globalization, economic, environmental, and reproductive justice. Her book, In Search of the Good Life: The Ethics of Globalization (Continuum, 2004), won the 2003 Trinity Book Prize. She has also co-edited four books including Justice in a Global Economy: Strategies for Home, Community and World (Westminster/John Knox, 2006) and To Do Justice: A Guide for Progressive Christians (Westminster/John Knox, 2008). She is the past President of the American Academy of Religion, Southeast Region and is Elon University’s 2011-12 Distinguished Scholar. Her most recent book is Solidarity Ethics: Transformation in a Globalized World.

Peters is an ordained PCUSA minister and is active denominationally and ecumenically. She chaired the PCUSA task force on Just Globalization and represents the PCUSA as a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches.  She also chairs Salem Presbytery’s Ecumenical and Interfaith Task Group.


  • Ph.D. (Christian Ethics), Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY, 2001
    Dissertation: “In Search of the Good Life: A Feminist Critical Theo-ethical Reading of the Globalization Debates.” Beverly Wildung Harrison, advisor.
  • M.Phil., Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY, 1999
  • M.Div., Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY, 1996
  • B.A. with Honors(Art History), Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, 1989
  • B.A.(English), Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, 1989

Employment History

  • Professor of Religious Studies, Elon University, Elon, NC 2013-
  • Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, Elon University, Elon, NC, 2009 - 2013
  • Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Elon University, Elon, NC, 2007 - present
  • Distinguished Emerging Scholar & Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Elon University, 2001-07
  • Lecturer, Religious Studies, State University of New York, Stony Brook, 1998–99

Courses Taught

REL 492 - Senior Seminar in Religious Studies
REL 479 - Theology from the Margins
REL 471 - Christianity, Globalization, and Empire
REL 464 - Sisterhood, Sexuality, and Systemic Oppression: Exploring Feminist Political Theologies
REL 374 - Christian Ethics
REL 348 - Environmental Ethics
REL 344 - Christianity and Social Justic
REL 343 - Women, Violence, and Resistance
REL 292 - Approaches to the Study of Religion
HNR 276 - Ethics of New Reproductive Technologies
REL 110 – Religion in a Global Context

GST 416 - Wealth and Poverty
GST 443 – Poverty and Social Justice

Leadership Positions

American Academy of Religion

  • Academic Relations Committee

American Academy of Religion, Southeast Region

  •  President, 2008-09
  • Vice-President and Program Chair, 2007-08
  • Vice President Elect, 2006-07
  • Member at Large, Executive Committee, 2004-06
  • Co-Chair, Religion, Ethics, and Society section, 2001-06

Southeast Commission on the Study of Religion

  • Chair, 2009-10
  • Board member, 2007-2011

Society of Christian Ethics

  • Board of Directors, 2009-2012
  • Nominating Committee Chair, 2010-11
  • Ethics and Political Economy interest group, Co-convener, 2005-2008
  • Writing Group on Economics, 2002-2006

World Council of Churches, Faith and Order Commission, 2006 - present

  • co-chair, Moral Discernment in the Churches project, 2006-2012


Grants Awarded

Sabbatical Award, Elon University Faculty Research and Development Grant, 2014-15
Diversity Infusion Grant, Elon University, 2013
Summer Fellowship, Elon University Faculty Research and Development grant, summer 2012
Service-Learning Scholar, Elon University, 2011-12
Salem Presbytery, “To Do Justice project,” 2008
Sabbatical Award, Elon Faculty Research and Development Grant, 2007-08
Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology grant for Working Group on Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies,” Co-director with Bernadette McNary-Zak, Rhodes College, 2007-08
Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology grant for Mentoring Undergraduate Research: A Consultation for Developing Learning Goals and Standards in Religious Studies,”April 27-29, 2007, Co-director with Bernadette McNary-Zak, Rhodes College 
Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology Summer Research grant for Examining    Women’s Moral Agency and Identity in the Tasks and Experiences of Mothering,” summer 2003
Project Pericles Grant for “Winter Term Global Village,” 2002-03
Union Fellowship, 1996-99
Fund for Graduate Education Scholarship,1996-00
Auburn Scholarship, 1992-96
Leopold-Schepp Foundation Scholarship, 1988-89; 1992-96


Single-Authored Books:

Solidarity Ethics: Transformation in a Globalized World, Minneapolis: Fortress, 2014.

In Search of the Good Life: the Ethics of Globalization, New York: Continuum, hardcover, 2004; paperback, 2006; Korean translation, 2012.

Edited Books:
Teaching Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies,edited and with Introduction by Rebecca Todd Peters and Bernadette McNary-Zak, American Academy of Religion Teaching Religious Studies Series, Oxford:Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2011.

To Do Justice: Engaging Progressive Christians in Social Action,edited and with Introduction by Rebecca Todd Peters and Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty, Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 2008.

Justice in a Global Economy: Strategies for Home, Community, and World, edited and with Introduction by Pamela Brubaker, Rebecca Todd Peters, and Laura Stivers, Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 2006.

Beverly W. Harrison,Justice in the Making: Feminist Social Ethics, edited and with Introductions and Afterword by Elizabeth Bounds, Pamela Brubaker, Jane Hicks, Marilyn Legge, Rebecca Todd Peters, and Traci West. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2004.

Journal Articles:

“Considering Social Policy on Abortion: Respecting Women as Moral Agents,” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, Spring 2014.
“Teaching for Social Justice: Creating a Context for Transformation,” Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory, vol. 12, no. 2, (fall 2012): 215-227.
“Feminist Critical Discourse on Globalization, Economy, Ecology, and Empire,” Ecumenical Review, vol. 64, no. 3 (October 2012): 281-298.
“Examining the Economic Crisis as a Crisis of Values,” Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, vol. 65, no. 2 (April 2011): 154-166.
Conflict and Solidarity Ethics: Difficult Conversations on Economics, Religion, and Culture,”College Theology Society Annual, vol. 56, 2010.
“Women Scholars in Christian Ethics: The Impact and Value of Family Care,”Julie Hanlon Rubio, Barbara Hilkert Andolsen, Rebecca Todd Peters, and Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics,” vol. 27, no. 2, fall 2007.
“The Future of Globalization: Seeking Pathways of Transformation.”Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics,” vol. 23, no. 2, spring 2004.

Book Chapters:

“Considering a Solidarity Economy as a Framework for Justice,” in The Almighty and the Dollar: Reflections on Economic Justice for All, edited by Mark J. Allman, Winona, MN: Anselm Press, 2012.
“Examining the Value of Solidarity as a Moral Foundation for Poverty Alleviation,” in Leadership and Global Justice, edited by Douglas A. Hicks and Thad Williamson, Jepson Studies in Leadership Series, NY: Palgrave, 2012.
“Theorizing Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies” and “Contributing to the Discipline,” co-written with Bernadette McNary-Zak, in Teaching Undergraduate Research in Religious Studies, edited by Bernadette McNary-Zak and Rebecca Todd Peters, New York: Oxford, 2011.
“The Politics of Power: Negotiating North-South Tensions Over Empire and Economics,” in That They May All Be One, Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2010.
“Global Change Context,” in Leading Change in Multiple Contexts: Connecting Purpose, Concepts, and             Practices, Gill Robinson Hickman, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2009.
“Assessing the Ethical Landscape of Globalization,” inEthics in an Era of Globalization,” edited by M.S.             Ronald Commers, Wim Vandekerckhove, An Verlinden. London: Ashgate, 2008.
“Economic Justice Requires More than the Kindness of Strangers,” in Faith and Economic Life edited by Mark Valeri and Douglas A. Hicks. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.
“To Fund our Values,” in To Do Justice: Engaging Progressive Christians in Social Action, edited by Rebecca Todd Peters and Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty, Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2008.
“Supporting Community Agriculture,” in Justice in a Global Economy, edited Pamela Brubaker, Rebecca Todd Peters and Laura Stivers, Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2006.
“Decolonizing our Minds: Postcolonial Perspectives on the Church,”Women’s Voices and Visions of the Church: Reflections from North America, edited by Letty Russell, et. al., Geneva: WCC Publications, 2005.
“What are we to DO: Examining the Moral Challenges of Solidarity for the First World,” in The Grace of Solidarity in a Globalized World, edited by Mario DeGiglio-Bellemare and Gabriela Miranda García,           Geneva: World Student Christian Federation, 2004.
Embracing God as Goddess: Exploring Connections Between Female Sexuality, Naming the Divine, and Struggling for Justice” in Body and Soul: Rethinking Sexuality as Justice-Love, edited by Marvin Ellison and Sylvia Thorson-Smith, Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2003.

Lectionary articles:
“March with the Poor: Salt March Day”, Preaching Social Justice from the Lectionary: A Commentary for Preachers, Year A, B, and C. Ron Allen, Dale Andrews, and Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm, eds. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011, 2012, 2013.

Dictionary Entries:
“Abortion,” “Birth control and Contraception,” “Pregnancy,”in Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity, Daniel Patte, general editor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.


  • “In Search of the Good Life: The Ethics of Globalization,” Keynote AddressNinth Annual Ethical Student Leadership Conference, Wiley College, Marshall, TX, January 24, 2015
  • “Solidarity Ethics as Transformative Spirituality,” South Park Christian Church, Charlotte, NC, November 8, 2014
  • “How Are We to Live?” Pittsburgh Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA, October 2, 2014
  • “Solidarity Economics: Foundations for New Economic Thinking,” Keynote Address, Futures of Capitalism Conference, University of Winchester, Winchester, England, April 9, 2014
  • “Embracing Radical Hope in the Midst of Crisis,” Keynote Address, SCM Moving Forward: Empowering Christian Students for Progress and Social Change, Washington, DC, April 12, 2013
  • “Towards a North American Contextual Theology,” Plenary Address, World Council of Churches Poverty, Wealth, and Ecology Forum and Hearings, Calgary, Alberta, November 8, 2011
  • “Christian Social Witness in a Secular Age,”  Plenary Address, “Citizens of Heaven and Earth: Faith and Civil Society”, Davidson College Conference on Reformed Theology and Ethics, March 15, 2011
  • “Accounting for Difference: Rethinking Global Markets in a Postcolonial World,” Plenary Address, Societas Ethica Annual Meeting “On Morals, Markets and Money -- Economic and Business Ethics Revisited,”  Frankfurt, Germany, August 21, 2010.
  • Conflict and Solidarity Ethics: Difficult Conversations on Economics, Religion, and Culture,” Plenary Address, College Theology Society (co-presented with Traci West), Portland, OR, June 5, 2010.
  • “The Call to Solidarity: Standing for Justice in an Unjust World,” Building the Beloved Community: Environmental Justice and the City, Metro-Urban Institute, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, April 9, 2010
  •  “The Challenge of Embracing a Kairos Moment,” Confessing When Empire Trembles: Accra and Belhar Confessions in Conversation Colloquium,Stony Point, NY, January 16, 2010
  • “After Re-Imagining: Choosing to be Feminist,” Re-Imagining Revisited: From Past to Future, Minnetonka, Minnesota, April 18, 2009
  • “Solidarity Ethics and the Challenge of Responsible Global Citizenship,” Bridgeway Lecture, Furman   University, March 26, 2009
  • “Beyond the Economic Crisis: Rethinking the Moral Foundations of Political Economy,” American Academy of Religion, Southeast Region Presidential Address, Greensboro, NC, March 13, 2009
  • “Examining Globalization and Economics,” World Alliance of Reformed Churches Feminist Dialogue on Economy, Ecology and Empire, Bangalore, India, August 14, 2008
  • Theologian in Residence, New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC, July 26-27, 2008
  • “Changing Direction: Theological Resources for Engaging Globalization” and “Changing Direction: Strategies for Living Faithfully as First World Christians,” The Brueggemann and Kulenkamp Lectures, Eden Theological Seminary, Saint Louis, Missouri, April 1-2, 2008
  • “Globalization and Justice: What is God Calling Us to Do?” Keynote speaker and preacher, North Carolina Campus Ministry Retreat, Camp Haynes, NC, Feb. 16-18, 2007
  • Called to Justice: Examining the Moral Challenges of Privilege,” Keynote Address, Pennsylvania State Pastor’s Conference, “It's a Different World: Global Community, Globalization and Our Local Churches," Pennsylvania Council of Churches,November 15, 2006
  • “Justice in a World Gone Mad: Assessing the Ethical Landscape of Globalization,”Keynote Address, 1st International Global Ethics Conference – “What is Global Ethics and How to Research It,” Center for Ethics and Values Inquiry, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, April 29, 2006
  • “With Eyes Ever Forward – Examining the Challenges of Globalization,” Founder’s Day Address, Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL, February 7, 2006
  • “Globalization and Poverty,” Young Adult Ecumenical Forum on Globalization and Poverty, Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO, August 11-12, 2005
  • “Globalization Seminar,” faculty development seminar at Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC, May 4, 2005
  • “Women and Abortion,” Planning Parenthood panel, Let’s Talk About Sex, Africana Women’s Studies/Womanist Religious Studies 2nd Annual Summit: Bennett College for Women, Greensboro, NC, April 9, 2005
  • “Postcolonial Perspectives on the Church,” Women’s Voices and Visions on Being Church, National Council of Churches in Christ, USA and World Council of Churches North American regional consultation, Stony Point, NY,November 4-7, 2004
  • “Feminist Theology and the Ethics of Globalization,” Feminist Theology and Globalization Conference for Oxford Handbook on Feminist Theology, Durham, NC, October 22, 2004
  • “Typologies of Globalization” and“Examining the Moral Challenges of Solidarity for the First World,” Young Adult Ecumenical Forum on Globalization and Economic Justice, World Council of Churches, Nashville, TN, July 21-25, 2004


  • Elon University Distinguished Scholar Award, 2012

  • 2007 CHOICE Award for Outstanding Academic Title, American Library Association, (for Justice in a Global Economy: Strategies for Home, Community, and World)

  • Honorable Mention, Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights 2005 Outstanding Book Awards (for In Search of the Good Life: The Ethics of Globalization)
  • Excellence in Scholarship Award, Elon College of Arts and Sciences, 2004                                                        
  • Trinity Prize, Trinity Press International, 2003 (for In Search of the Good Life: The Ethics of Globalization)
  • Jepson Award (University of Richmond) for Outstanding Dissertation in Leadership Studies, 2002           
  • Anne M. Bennett and John C. Bennett Fellowship, 1996