M.A., Ph.D., Catholic University of America
Professor of Mission and Culture
Janel Kragt Bakker teaches in the areas of mission, sociology of religion, and social justice at Memphis Theological Seminary. She earned a Ph.D. in Religion and Culture from the Catholic University of America in 2010, and she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Religious Practices and Practical Theology at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, the following
year. Prior to joining the faculty of MTS in 2015, she served as associate director of the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research at St. John’s Abbey and University.
Janel’s research interests include grassroots missional partnerships, restorative justice, and efforts to reckon with historic links between western colonialism and mission. Her book, Sister
Churches: American Congregations and their Partners Abroad, published by Oxford University Press in 2014, probes post-colonial patterns in relationships among Christians around the world.
She is currently working on a manuscript about mission as an invitation to reject Christian dominion and receive the gift of God’s reign. She also serves on the Theology of Reparations steering committee of the Council for World Mission.
Janel lives in Midtown, Memphis, with her spouse and three children. She is a layperson in the United Methodist Church and has been involved in the work of a number of local organizations
including Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope, Thistle and Bee Enterprises, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and the Rhodes College Liberal Arts in Prison program.