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Speaker Biographies

Rev. Dr. Marcia Mount Shoop

Author, Theologian, and Pastor

The Rev. Dr. Marcia Mount Shoop (M.Div. Vanderbilt, Ph.D. Emory) is an author, theologian and pastor. She serves as pastor/head of staff at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina. She facilitates ecclesial, academic and community contexts around issues of race, gender, sexual violence, power and embodiment. Marcia is the author of “Let the Bones Dance: Embodiment and the Body of Christ” (WJKP, 2010) and “Touchdowns for Jesus: Lifting the Veil on Big-Time Sports” (Cascade Books, 2014). She co-authored “A Body Broken, A Body Betrayed: Race, Memory, and Eucharist in White Dominant Churches” (Cascade Books, 2015) with Mary McClintock Fulkerson. Learn more about Marcia’s work at


Rev. Paul Timothy Roberts Sr.

President of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary

The Rev. Paul Timothy Roberts Sr. is president of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary (JCSTS) in Atlanta, a position he has held since the fall of 2009. Under Paul’s leadership, JCSTS has reinvented itself as a frontline educational institution whose offerings are 100% online and whose curriculum is centered at the intersection of faith and justice.  

Paul grew up in Bradenton, Florida. He graduated from Princeton University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and African-American Studies. Before his ministry career, Paul worked for eight years in advertising in New York City. He later received a Master of Divinity degree with a concentration in New Testament Studies from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. Paul is an academic fellow of the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey in Céligny, Switzerland. From 1997 through 2010, he was the pastor of Church of the Master (PC[USA]), a church founded in 1965 in Atlanta as an intentionally interracial congregation.  

Paul has served on numerous boards, including the Montreat Conference Center, the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, Macedonian Ministry and Ezra Youth Seminary. Currently, he is a trustee of the Presbyterian Foundation.


Dr. William Yoo

Associate Professor of American Religious and Cultural History; Director of M.Div. Program 

Dr. William Yoo has previously written about the transnational histories of American Protestant world missions in Korea and Korean American immigrant religious communities as well as the histories of Presbyterianism and Protestant theological education in the United States. His latest book covers the history and legacy of slavery and anti-Black racism in American Presbyterianism. His current research interests include tracing the histories of racial injustice, settler colonialism, and slavery in the United States and examining Indigenous, Black, and Asian American theologies of freedom and resistance.  

He is also a minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who desires to write, teach and preach honest narratives of the past integrating Reformed understandings of confession and illumination. His conviction is that deeper engagement with history will aid us in more faithful and effective participation in our present ministries exhibiting God’s love, justice, grace and righteousness. When studying the development of Christianity in the antebellum United States, he is motivated to find both beautiful moments of awe-inspiring faith and ugly episodes where it is difficult to discern the divine presence.


Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis

 Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary and Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. 

The Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis is Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary and Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival with the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and teaches at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

Rev. Dr. Theoharis has been organizing among poor and low-income communities for thirty years with organizations such as the National Union of the Homeless, the National Welfare Rights Union, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Domestic Workers United and many more. Raised in a family committed to social justice, civil liberties and human rights, she has been involved in the movement for her whole life. 

Rev. Dr. Theoharis was awarded the Children’s HealthWatch Champion Award in 2022, the 30th Annual Freedom Award by the National Civil Rights Museum, the Hunger Leadership Award from the Congressional Hunger Center, and Villanova Peace Award in 2021, each along with the Rev. Dr. William Barber II for their work with the Poor People’s Campaign. In 2020 she was named one of 15 Faith Leaders to Watch by the Center for American Progress. In 2019, she was a Selma “Bridge” Award recipient and named one of 11 Women Shaping the Church by Sojourners. In 2018, she gave the “Building a Moral Movement” TEDtalk at TEDWomen, was named one of the Politico 50 “thinkers, doers and visionaries whose ideas are driving politics”, and was also named a Women of Faith Award recipient by the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Rev. Prof. Mitri Raheb

Founder and President of Dar al-Kalima University in Bethlehem, author and editor, and social entrepreneur.

Mitri Raheb reverend, director of the International center of Bethlehem

The most widely published Palestinian theologian to date, the Rev. Dr. Raheb is the author and editor of 50 books and numerous articles. Rev. Raheb served as the senior pastor of the Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem from June 1987 to May 2017 and as the President of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land from 2011-2016.  Rev. Raheb has founded several NGO‟s including the Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW). He is a founding and board member of the National Library of Palestine, and a founding member of Bright Stars of Bethlehem, a US 501c3 non-for-profit organization. He is an elected member to the Palestinian National Council as well as the Palestinian Central Council.

Rev. Dr Raheb received in 2022 a Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary. In 2017 he received the Tolerance Award from the European Academy of Science and Arts, in 2015 the Olof Palme Prize. In 2012 the German Media Prize was awarded to Dr. Raheb. Launched in 1992, this award was mainly granted to Heads of States, including President Obama (2016) the German Chancellor Angela Merkel (2009), Bill Clinton (1999), Nelson Mandela (1998), King Hussein of Jordan (1997), Boris Yeltsin (1996), President Arafat (1995), Yitshak Rabin (1995). He also received for his outstanding contribution to Christian education through research and publication‟ an Honorary Doctorate from Concordia University in Chicago (2003) and for his interfaith work the “International Mohammad Nafi Tschelebi Peace Award” of the Central Islam Archive in Germany (2006) and in 2007 the well-known German Peace Award of Aachen.

The work of Dr. Raheb has received wide media attention from major international media outlets and networks including CNN, ABC, CBS, 60 Minutes, BBC, ARD, ZDF, DW, BR, Premiere, Raiuno, Stern, The Economist, Newsweek, Al-Jazeera, al-Mayadin, RT, LBC, Vanity Fair, and others.

Dr.  Raheb holds a Doctorate in Theology from the Philipps University at Marburg, Germany.  He is married to Najwa Khoury and has two daughters, Dana & Tala. For more,