Elizabeth Parsons

Lecturer in Religion, Culture, and Development
Ph.D., University of KwaZulu-Natal (2007)
M. Div., Harvard Divinity School (1998)
M.A., Emerson College (1989)
B.A., Harding University (1979)

Dr. Elizabeth Parsons is an educator, development professional, and activist with a background in non-profit administration that has included academic, community and faith-based, and artistic endeavors.  Having lived, worked, and studied in Southern Africa, she teaches inter-disciplinary courses of a practical nature for use in many settings of cultural difference. Among her interests are storied understanding and worldview differences; interactions of the aid and development industry with ecological concerns; and efforts to create resilient, reverent communities in 21st century America.


The Greatest Work in the World: Education as a Mission of Early Twentieth-Century Churches of Christ. Letters of Lloyd Cline Sears and Pattie Hathaway Armstrong. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2015.

What Price for Privatization? Cultural Encounter with Development Policy on the Zambian Copperbelt, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010.

“A Localist Worldview,” review of Boundless Faith: The Global Outreach of American Churches by Robert Wuthnow, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, winter/spring 2010.

“Insights from Zambian Miners for Rethinking Development Policy and the Environment” Development in Practice, Vol. 18, No.3, June 2008.

“Incarnational Politics: Saving the World from ‘Democracy,’” Co-authored with Kapya John Kaoma, The Witness, 19 July 2002, http://www.thewitness.org/article.php?id=756.

“Food Aid for Famine Relief? Not as Simple as It Appears,” The Witness, 25 November 2002, http://thewitness.org/agw/parsons112502.html.


TF808-M1 – Cross-Cultural Mission and Service: Montreal

TM853 – Enacting Mission Through NGO and FBO Work

TM857 – Theologies of Mission and Development

TM858 – Creating Resilience Amidst Resource Scarcity