The Rev. Dr. Julie A. Mavity Maddalena
Julie is a Christian social ethicist, pastor, consultant, and equity and inclusion trainer. Ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2007, she is currently serving as an interim pastor in Georgetown, MA. She has previously worked as Christian Education Director in Fort Collins, CO, and School Minister, Director of Spiritual Life, and Teaching Faculty at Brooks School, a secondary college preparatory boarding school in North Andover, MA. She has also been a resident manager at an Atlanta homeless shelter and a summer chaplaincy intern at MD Anderson Cancer Hospital in Houston, TX.
Julie earned her B.A. in history and biblical studies from Abilene Christian University and her MDiv from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She completed her PhD in Religious Studies, with a concentration in Religious Ethics from Southern Methodist University. Julie specializes in Christian Social Ethics, particularly intersections of class, race, gender, and sexuality in the US political economy. At SMU, she has taught courses in Perkins School of Theology at SMU in Christian ethics and social justice and undergraduate courses in women’s and gender studies and religious studies. She currently teaches Moral Theology for SMU’s hybrid/online program and A Variety of Beliefs Within Christianity Today for PATHWAYS online program in progressive theology.
Using an engaged, participatory approach, Julie consults with churches, community groups, nonprofit boards, retreat centers, and schools doing cultural competency and theological education around race, gender, sexuality, ability, and intersectionality. While teaching multiple semesters of Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies, Julie introduced students to the theory and advocacy work of the Health at Every Size (HAES) movement. She was struck by how resistant students were each semester, more so than to any other idea in the course, to acknowledging and resisting toxic diet culture and the more general culture of self-improvement. Since that time, Julie has continued her teaching and research around the “shameful gaze” that deems some bodies normative and other bodies, those that are fat, disabled, older, queer, or sick, morally deficient, using Roxane Gay, Lynne Gerber, Lisa Isherwood, Michelle Mary Lelwica, and J. Nicole Morgan. She includes the role of Christian theology as reinforcer of this culture and site of liberation and affirmation, and brings this important, dynamic work into her work and teaching as much as possible.
Julie loves hiking, reading, wine, coffee, Gilmore Girls, Harry Potter, the enneagram, and relaxing in general. Julie and her spouse, Mike, have two elementary age children, Kai and Cole, whom they did not intentionally name after two of the four Ninjago characters. They have two cats they love who were abandoned on their church doorsteps, but they are really dog people at heart. While still relatively new to New England, Julie loves the proximity to mountains and oceans and the warmth of small-town Massachusetts. She is very excited for this opportunity to commune, play, rest, recharge, and do good work together on Star Island.