Margaret McManus

Associate Professor Emeritus of Historical and Theological Studies
  • PhD, Graduate Theological Union
  • MA, Graduate Theological Union
  • BA, Our Lady of the Lake College


Philosophy of Teaching

During my career as an educator I have been privileged to teach U.S. History, U.S. Literature, and Religious Studies in a number of contexts– Junior High School, High School, College, and Seminary. In all of these venues my goals have been:

1. To locate and creatively assemble a variety of engaging, relevant, and challenging course materials that offer a wide range of scholarly thought in the area of study.

2. To design multiple ways for students, both individually and in study/discussion groups, to engage, assimilate, and find useful application of these materials for their particular personal, familial, social, congregational, and political contexts.

Professional Associations
  • American Academy of Religion
  • Western Association of Women Historians
Current Research

My research interests are indicated by the courses listed below.

Teaching Interests and Courses Taught

My academic, theological, and ministerial interests are reflected in the following courses I offer:

Religious Readings: African American Women’s Literature The lives, social activism, religious commitments, and literary productions of eight highly influential and historically significant 19th century African American women are examined in this 3-unit course.

Historical Jesus: An Introduction Utilizing William Herzog’s work, “Prophet and Teacher” (2005), this course offers: overview of scholarship about the historical figure, Jesus of Nazareth; introduction to issues and approaches currently employed in studies of the historical Jesus; exploration of the relevance these studies might have for the contemporary Christian church.

Earliest Christians and Christ Focused on the period 50 BCE-100 CE, this course explores the historical and theological “ground” in which earliest Christian theologies grew. Special emphasis is placed on understanding the Roman and Jewish “worlds” of Jesus and Jesus’ followers, including Paul. In addition, the course closely examines several New Testament Christological proclamations.

Christianity & Empire Utilizing “Empire and the Christian Tradition: New Readings of Classical Theologians” (Fortress, 2007), this introductory-level course examines key figures who have contributed to the development of Christian thought. Students will gain appreciation for the biography and historical context of these men and women as well as for the content and impact of their theological perspectives.

Mentor Year Project I & II This two-semester course sequence provides a step-by-step process in which ministerial and community leadership students conceptualize, research, plan, develop, and implement a project intended to address a specific spiritual, ecclesial, and/or social need identified within a specific community.

Course Syllabi

Syllabi from the courses listed above may be obtained by sending a request via email to:

Selected Publications

Encyclopedia Articles on: Fanny Jackson Coppin, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Lugenia Burns Hope, National Black Sisters’ Conference, Leonora O’Reilly, Mary Kenney O’Sullivan, Sarah Parker Remond, the Sisters of Loretto, Marjorie Tuite in The Westminster Handbook to Women in American Religious History, edited by Susan Hill Lindley and Eleanor J. Stebner (2008).

Book Review: “Persons of Color and Religious at the Same Time: The Oblate Sisters of Providence, 1828-1860” (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2002) by Diane Batts Morrow in Church History 74:3 (September, 2005): 646-648.

Conference Paper: “An Unlikely Companionship: Vida Scudder and Catherine of Siena” (2005).

Dissertation: “‘From Deep Wells of Religious Faith’: An Interpretation of Vida Scudder’s Social Activism, 1887-1912” (1999).

GTU Involvement

Long-term commitment to the support of women’s scholarship and attention to women’s issues is reflected in the leadership roles I have assumed at both the Center for Women and Religion (CWR) and, more recently, in the GTU’s Women’s Studies in Religion program.

Though I do not serve on the GTU Core Doctoral Faculty, I offer academic support and guidance to MA and PhD students when invited to participate on thesis and dissertation committees.