Affiliated Faculty

Chad Meister

Chad Meister

Chad Meister is chair of the Department of Religion and Philosophy and professor of philosophy and theology at Bethel University.

A scholar of global religion, he has published a number of books on religion and religious diversity, including The Oxford Handbook of Religious Diversity, The Cambridge Companion to the Problem of Evil, The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion, and The Cambridge Companion to Religious Experience (forthcoming). He is also general editor of three book series that focus on issues in religion from a global perspective: Cambridge Elements: Religion and Monotheism; Cambridge Studies in Religion, Philosophy, and Society; and Investigating Philosophy of Religion. His authored and co-authored books which focus on themes in global religion include Evil: A Guide for the Perplexed, Introducing Philosophy of Religion, and Contemporary Philosophical Theology.

With regard to local interfaith work, Meister serves as a board member of the United Religious Community of St. Joseph County and is regularly involved in local interfaith events. He also founded the Interreligious Student Community, a student group that focuses on interfaith dialogue and understanding among area undergraduate and graduate students.

Meister holds a PhD in philosophy from Marquette University. In 2015 he was a visiting research scholar at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and the William Paton Fellow at the John Hick Centre for Global Philosophy of Religion at the University of Birmingham. He has given invited lectures at the Universities of Oxford (the Joseph Butler Society, Oriel College), Cambridge (the D-Society, Clare Hall College), and London (Heythrop College).

Charles Powell

Charles Powell

Charles W. Powell, a practical theologian, earned his Ecumenical Doctor of Ministry degree at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He specializes in interreligious dialogue between Christians and Muslims. Powell travels extensively throughout the Middle East and Europe engaging in conversations with Muslim scholars and practitioners of Islam in order to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Islamic milieu. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, University of Oxford, UK. Additionally, Powell joins Holy Cross College in the fall as an adjunct professor of Christian-Muslim Dialogue.

Prior to joining the Notre Dame community, Powell pastored churches in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi for nearly two decades. In his early years of ministry, he was a radio announcer and preacher for Southern Gospel radio out of Dothan, Alabama. He is an experienced speaker, administrator, and church planter. Powell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from the Florida Baptist Theological College in Graceville, Florida and a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Rice Seminary in Lithonia, Georgia. He completed most of his Masters at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, prior to relocating to Georgia to plant a new church. 

His recent book project, Empathizing with Muslims: A Path to Dialogue for Southern Baptists, tackles the issues of religious literacy and narrative empathy for Islam and Muslim that are often lacking in the Southern Baptist denomination.

Rafael Vallejo

Rafael Vallejo

Rafael Vallejo started his theological career at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley and San Francisco Theological Seminary. From there he continued on with a Master in Theological Studies from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Divinity at the University of Toronto. 

From 2011-2016, Vallejo travelled extensively and studied with grassroot communities in Peru, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. For his PhD Dissertation in 2018, he conducted ethnographic research on Mexican migrant farm workers in Canada. 

His research interests include post-colonial missiologies, migration and religion, Ibadi Islam theology, and digital humanities.