Joelle Hathaway

Assistant Professor of Theological Studies & Director of the MATW Program

Dr. Joelle A. Hathaway is the Assistant Professor of Theological Studies at Bethany Theological Seminary, where she also directs the MA: Theopoetics and Writing. She is a double graduate of Duke Divinity School, where she completed her MTS (Masters in Theological Studies) and then ThD (Doctorate in Theology) in Theology and the Arts. Joelle’s research and teaching interests examine the intersection of Christian theology, the arts, ecology, and the built environment. Of particular interest is what insights the arts and artistic practice can offer to practices of theological, spiritual, racial, and ecological formation. Her current book project, Cultivating a Sabbath Imagination: Wendell Berry’s Sabbath Poetry, the Doctrine of Creation, and the Human Vocation in Creation, examines the Sabbath poetry and poetic practice of farmer, novelist, environmentalist, and social critic Wendell Berry to illumine the potential of poetry to participate in the formation of a theological imagination that is ecological sensitive and faithfully improvisational. She lives outside Indianapolis with her spouse Brent Smith and their daughters Lillian and Vivian.


Th.D., Duke Divinity School, Duke University

M.T.S., Duke Divinity School, Duke University

B.A., Seattle Pacific University

Recent Publications

Cultivating a Sabbath Imagination: Wendell Berry’s Sabbath Poetry and the Human Vocation in Creation. Fortress Press (Forthcoming).
“Eating Worthily: 1 Corinthians 11” The Visual Commentary on Scripture, online exhibition and reflection (Forthcoming)
“Mountains: Visual Art,” in Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception, vol. 19. (Berlin; New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2020).
“Symposium Introduction: Placemaking and the Arts. Jennifer Allen Craft.” Syndicate Network, (March 27, 2020).
“Parables and Poetry: Imaginative Formations of a Locally Adapted Imagination,” review essay for Syndicate Symposium on The Place of Imagination: Wendell Berry and the Poetics of Community, Affection and Identity, by Joseph R. Wiebe.” Syndicate Network, (December 10, 2019).

Courses Recently Taught

Art, Justice, and Peace
Christian Themes in the Gallery, Contemporary Images in the Church
Ecological Theology and Christian Responsibility
Introduction to Theological Reflection
MA Formation
Spirituality and Ecology: The Sabbath Poetry of Wendell Berry
Theology and Poetics of the Place
The Holy Spirit, Imagination, and Creativity

Websites of Interest

Personal Website:
Christians in the Visual Arts:
The Visual Commentary on Scripture:

Dr. Joelle Hathaway
Joelle Hathaway