Kathryn House

Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies and Practical Theology, Chair of the Rev. Dr. Lee Barker Professorship of Leadership Studies
M.Div., Ph.D., Boston University School of Theology
B.A., Duke University

Rev. Kathryn House, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies and Practical Theology and Chair of the Rev. Dr. Lee Barker Professorship of Leadership Studies

Rev. Kathryn House, Ph.D. joined the Meadville Lombard faculty in 2023. Prior to her appointment, House served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, Louisville Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, and Adjunct Professor at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She also served as the Project Director of the Myrtle Collaboration, an Innovation Hub of the Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose Initiative, at Louisville Seminary. House completed her Ph.D. in Theological Studies and MDiv at Boston University School of Theology. While at the School of Theology, she was Asst. Director of the Center for Practical Theology and Instructional Coordinator for Distance Learning Initiatives

House is the co-editor of the forthcoming special issue of Theology and Sexuality entitled "Purity Culture and its Discontents," and is co-editor of the special issue “Essays in Honor of Nancy Tatom Ammerman" in Perspectives in Religious Studies. She has contributed chapters to the edited volumes Trauma and Lived Religion: Transcending the Ordinary (Palgrave Macmillan) and Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Feminists on Why We Stay (White Cloud Press).

House’s research interests include prophetic religious leadership, evangelical purity culture, liberation theologies, religious trauma, theologies of vocation, practical theology, and Baptist theology. Her current project, an expansion of her dissertation The Afterlife of White Evangelical Purity Culture: Wounds, Legacies, and Impacts, investigates the theological legacies of white evangelical purity culture (WEPC) and the construction of white womanhood and proposes a Baptist theology of baptism as a practice of solidarity in response. Her project foregrounds the passionate evangelical millennialism of antebellum female moral reformers’ efforts to curb prostitution between 1834 and 1838; the faith-based activism of women who fought to end, as well as to foment, racial terror lynchings in the United States; and contemporary criticisms and constructive ethics of the most recent purity movement known as evangelical purity culture. It also considers recent resonant debates over dissonant deployments of bodily and religious freedom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

House is a theological educator who nurtures learners’ capacities for critical engagement with diverse traditions and texts so that they might lead with a deep understanding of their contexts and communities and pursue their calls with creativity and courage. Her pedagogy is grounded in transformative learning theory and informed by feminist and antiracist commitments. At MLTS, House teaches courses across the Master and Doctor of Ministry programs on intersections of social change, spirituality, and liberation; ethics; ministerial leadership and administration; and research methods.

An ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches, USA, and the Alliance of Baptists, House is a member of the Board of the Centre for Faith, Art, and Justice and the former Pastor for Christian Formation at the First Baptist Church in Jamaica Plain, MA. She is the President of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion Region-at-Large and a member of the Steering Committee of the Ecclesial Practices Unit of the American Academy of Religion.