Fran Grace

Professor
Religious Studies and Steward of the Meditation Room

Expert for the Media

Subject and research experts are available for news media interviews and to provide expert commentary on a broad range of topics. Contact Media Relations at 909.748.8857 or by email at media@redlands.edu

Contact

P: 909.748.8681
E: fran_grace@redlands.edu

Office: Religion, Larsen Hall #211

Current Research and Areas of Expertise

Psychology and Religion

Meditation

Contemplative Life

Spirituality, Addiction, and Recovery

Spirituality and Activism

Mystics

Cultivation of Compassion, Joy, Love, Forgiveness, and Peace

Background

Fran Grace spent her growing-up years in the Coffeen Nature Preserve on Florida's Gulf Coast. She sees her teaching and research in the field of Religious Studies as a continuing inquiry into some of those early catalytic experiences of solitude and nature.

The first several years of her career grappled with the downside of religion-- its dogmatism and judgmentalism. Her first book came out of the effort to understand such impulses not only within religious history but also within herself.

Her current teaching and writing examine the upside of religion, mainly the "inner life" -- its inspirational teachers, various methods for spiritual development and healing and the paths to Self-Realization, Enlightenment and Divine Union as taught by the sages and mystics of the world's spiritual traditions.

Current Public Offerings

For the most current information about her public speaking schedule, see the website for Inner Pathway, a non-profit organization based on the core principles of compassion, love, joy, beauty, and truth.

Dr. Grace offers sessions on meditation and contemplative practice in the University's Meditation Room. The sessions are open to the public for free and described on the Meditation Room's website.

For academic settings, she serves as a consultant on teaching contemplative-based courses that integrate meditation into academic learning. She has published a book and numerous articles about her use of meditation in the academic context .

See also "A Semester Within: Exploring Meditation," a 50-minute documentary film about her contemplative-based courses, which have also been mentioned in local and national news sources.

For the most current information about her public speaking schedule, see the website for Inner Pathway, a non-profit organization based on the core principles of compassion, love, joy, beauty, and truth.

Although new adventures and research hold her attention, Dr. Grace still occasionally makes presentations to universities, libraries, churches and writing groups about Carry A. Nation and biographical writing. Dr. Grace spent seven years researching Nation's life, resulting in what reviewers call a "landmark" biography of the famous American saloon smasher. See 2001 the C-SPAN interview with Fran Grace on Carry Nation.

Current Courses at Redlands

REL 210: Introduction to Meditation

REL 250: Compassion

REL 290: Intermediate Meditation Practicum

REL 323: Quest of the Mystic: The Inner Path

REL 293: Healing and Wholeness: Exploring Psychology and Religion

REL 101: Issues in Modern Religion

REL 260: Getting High, Staying High - Paths to Peace and Happiness

Johnston Seminar: Sufi Path of Love

Education

  • Certification in Spiritual Direction, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, 2000

  • Ph.D. American Religious History, Princeton Theological Seminary, 1997

  • (Dissertation with honors; Ph.D. Fellowship Award every year, 1993-1997)

  • Master of Divinity (summa) Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 1992

  • M.A. Political Science (magna) University of Texas, Austin, 1991

  • Certification in Italian - Universita' di Firenze (Italy), 1988

     

  • Awards, Honors and Grants

  • Award for Innovative Teaching, 2015 (awarded by University of Redlands faculty)

  • Trust for the Meditation Process, 2012, 2013 (Co-recipient of Research Grant with Drs. Lisa Olson and Celine Ko)

  • Lens Fellowship (spatial learning and research), “Mapping Love,” 2012-2013

  • Luce Fellow in Comparative Theology and Theology of Religious Pluralism, 2010-2011 (awarded by American Academy of Religion)

  • Mortar Board “Professor of the Year,” 2007, University of Redlands (teaching award, voted on by the student body)

  • Banta Center for Ethics and Society Award, 2007 (for Seminar on Compassion course)

  • Phenomenal Woman Award, University of Redlands, 2006 and 2013 (awarded by WRW, an inter-racial student group)

  • Faculty Research Grant, University of Redlands, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014

  • Outstanding Research/Creativity Award, University of Redlands, 2002 (awarded by university faculty)

  • Lilly-Luce Teaching Workshop Fellow, 2000-2001 (awarded by American Academy of Religion)

  • Pew Faculty Fellowship, Religion & American History, 1998-99 (awarded by Yale University) 

  • Tyler Teaching Award, Pepperdine University, 1997-1998 (awarded by student body)

  • Helen Pepperdine Community Service Award, 1998 (awarded by staff-faculty committee)

  • Doctoral Fellowship Awards, 1993-1997, Princeton Theological Seminary

Publications - Books

Meditation and the Classroom, co-edited with Judith Simmer-Brown, (State University of New York Press, 2011).

Carry A. Nation: Retelling the Life, Indiana University Press, (Religion in North America series), 2001. Pbk, 2004.

Publications - Books Edited for Others

Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior, by David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.  Veritas Publishing, 2012. Author’s Official Revised Edition.

Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender,David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., Hay House, 2012.

 Publications - Book Chapters

“A Semester Within,in Learning Journeys with the Labyrinth: Creating Reflective Space in Higher Education, edited by Jan Sellers and Bernard Moss, (New York:  Palgrave MacMillan, 2015). 

“The Power of Meditation in College Learning,” in Embodied Pathways to Wisdom and Social Transformation, edited by Jing Lin, Edward Brantmeier, Rebecca Oxford, (Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2013). 

“New Foreword,” in Power vs. Force,David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. Veritas Publishing, 2012. Author’s Official Revised Edition.

“Foreword,” in Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender, David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. Veritas Publishing, 2012.

“The ‘Map of Consciousness’:  A New Paradigm for Mysticism and Healing,” in June McDaniel and Thomas Cattoi, eds., Perceiving the Divine through the Human Body, (Palgrave MacMillan, 2011), 197-221.

“From Content, to Context, to Contemplation: One Professor’s Journey,” in Judith Simmer-Brown and Fran Grace, eds., Meditation and the Classroom (SUNY, 2011), 47-64

“Meditation in the Classroom:  What Do the Students Say They Learn?” in Judith Simmer-Brown and Fran Grace, eds., Meditation and the Classroom, (SUNY, 2011), 237-250.

“Carry Nation,” Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, ed. Douglas Foster et al., Eerdmans Press, 2005.

“Carry Nation,”in Booknotes on American Character: People, Politics, and Conflict, (Perseus Press, 2004), edited by Brain Lamb.

“Teaching ‘Religion and Hate’: Notes Toward a Pedagogy of Emergence/y” in Hard Travelling and Still Having a Good Time: Innovative Learning and Living at the Johnston Center of Integrative Studies, 1979-2004, (Trafford, 2004), 87-108.

“Temperance,” Encyclopedia of Protestantism, ed. Hans Hillerbrand, Routledge, 2004, 10 pp.

“The Best Show in Town: Carry Nation and the Selling of Temperance in the Urban Northeast,” in Faith in the Market: Religion and the Rise of Urban Commercial Culture, ed. Diane Winston and John Giggi (Rutgers University Press, 2002), pp. 57-73. 

Publications - Articles

"Viktor Frankl and the Search for Meaning," Parabola, Winter 2017.

Liz in September (Film Review Essay), with Diane Eller-Boyko, for Psychological Perspectives: A Quarterly Journal of Jungian Thought, (December 2016).

“San Bernardino Shooting: The Power of Love and the Shadow of Hatred,” Huffington Post, Dec. 11, 2015

“Lessons from a College Classroom” – Huffington Post, January 5, 2015

“Measuring the Immeasurable?  Compassion Under a Microscope” – Huffington Post, January 5, 2015

“The Exultant Heart,” Science and Spirit Magazine, March 2015.

Be Still and Know, by Norris Chumley, book review for Practical Matters Journal, Issue 7 (May/June 2014).

“Beyond Reason: The Certitude of the Mystic from Al-Hallaj to David R. Hawkins,” International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Vol. 1, No. 13 (September 2011), 147-156.

“Learning is a Path not a Goal: Contemplative Pedagogy – Its Principles and Practices,” Teaching Theology and Religion, Vol. 14, No. 2 (April 2011), 99-124.

“Contemplative Pedagogy: FAQs,” with Thomas Coburn, Anne Carolyn Klein, Louis Komjathy, Harold Roth and Judith Simmer-Brown, Teaching Theology and Religion, Vol. 14, No. 2 (April 2011), 167-174.

Guest Editor, “Spirituality in Higher Education:  Problems, Practices, and Programs” in Journal of Religion and Education, 36:2 (Summer 2009).

“A Pedagogy of Reverence,” Journal of Religion and Education, 36:2 (Summer 2009), 102-123.

“Breathing in Suffering, Breathing out Compassion,” UCLA Spirituality in Higher Education Newsletter, Volume 5, Issue 2(May 2009), 1-10.

“A Contemplative Response: The Part IS the Whole,” with Judith Simmer-Brown, Journal of Religion and Education, 36:2 (Summer 2009), 150-152.

“Same Faith, Different Fates: A Regional Explanation for the Differences in Women’s Experiences in the Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ Movements,” with Cynthia Cornell Novak, Leaven, 1999.

 “With Bible in One Hand and Battle-Axe in the Other: Carry A. Nation as Religious Performer,” Religion and American Culture (Winter 1999)

"Her-Story: A History of Women's Participation in the Stone-Campbell Movement," Leaven, 4:2 (1996).

Multimedia Productions

Creator and Producer, “Power of Love: Guided Meditations for the Heart,” 50-minutes guided meditation CD with music, (Inner Pathway Publishing, 2013).

Creator and Producer, “Exploring Meditation - Introduction,” 50-minutes guided meditation CD, (Inner Pathway Publishing, 2013).

Creator and Producer, “Love is the Ultimate Law of the Universe,” screened at LOVE Lecture by Dr. David R. Hawkins, (Institute for Spiritual Research, 2011). DVD. 18 minutes.

Writer, Co-Director, and Executive Producer, “A Semester Within: Exploring Meditation,” (Inner Pathway, 2008).  Documentary feature film on meditation in higher education, (film length: 51 minutes). 

Presentations

“The Contemplative Classroom,” invited presentation at the Conference on Contemplative Studies at University of San Diego, November 20-21, 2014. 

“Mindful Teaching and Learning:  Contemplative Studies in the University Setting,” Annual National Meeting of the American Academy of Religion, San Diego, November 22-25, 2014. 

“Silence – Beyond Thinking,” invited lecture at the Riverside Center for Spiritual Living, November 2, 2014.

“Meditation as Spiritual Practice,” Conference on Spirituality and Mental Health, University of Redlands, October 2014.

Science and Spirituality Lecture VI:  “The Power of Love,” invited public lecture at the Riverside Center for Spiritual Living, February 22, 2014.

“The Power of Love,” invited public presentation at Chinmaya Mission Ashram, Hyderabad, India, October 20, 2013.

“Happiness,” invited presentation at the Casa de la Vista affordable housing complex, Redlands, CA, September and October, 2013. 

“Mystics and the Universal Message of Love,” invited public lecture at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, June 3, 2013, Sedona, Arizona.

“The Power of Love in Difficult Conditions,” invited public presentation Integral Sedona, Public Library, June 10, 2013, Sedona, Arizona.

“Happiness,” invited public presentation at the Redlands Forum, ESRI Conference Room, April 8, 2013. 

“Inner Sustainability,” invited public presentation at the Sustainability Festival, University of Redlands, March 9, 2013.

“Meditation,” invited presentation at the College Success Symposium, University of Redlands, March, 2013.

“Forgiveness,” invited presentation at CHAMPS program, March 2013. 

“Power of Love in Everyday Life,” invited presentation at the Sedona 2012 Festival, December 21, 2012. 

“Mystics and the Universal Message,” invited presentation at the Heart Shrine Buddha Relic Tour Opening Ceremony, Sedona, AZ, June, 2012.

“True Compassion,” invited public presentation for Integral Sedona, Sedona, Arizona, May 2012.

Faculty Forum – Interdisciplinary Research on Meditation, with Dr. Lisa Olson and Dr. Celine Ko, University of Redlands, March 2012.

Meditation in Higher Education, invited presentation for Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Mississippi State University, January 2012.

The Power of Love in the Christian and Sufi Mystics, invited public presentation for Integral Sedona, Sedona, Arizona, August 2011.

Exploring the Mystics, invited 8-hour seminar, St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Sedona, Arizona, December 2010.

Contemplative Studies Panel, American Academy of Religion, National Annual Meeting, Atlanta, 2010.

Exploring Compassion, invited 8-hour seminar, St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Sedona, Arizona, July 2010.

The Healing Power of Love, public presentation at the University of Redlands, April 2010. 

Meditation Mini-Course, Alumnae Weekend, University of Redlands, October 2009. 

“Contemplative Pedagogy,” discussion leader for Wabash Center’s Teaching Luncheon, American Academy of Religion, National Annual Meeting, Chicago, 2008.

Invited Respondent, panel on “I’m Not Religious – I’m a Mystic!”, Department of Religious Studies, University of California, Riverside, 2007.

“The Map of Consciousness by Dr. David R. Hawkins: A New Paradigm for Mysticism and Healing,” American Academy of Religion, National Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., 2006.

“Awakening the Self:  Contemplative Approaches to Teaching,” American Academy of Religion, Western Region, Annual Conference, Claremont, CA, 2006.

“Women’s Religious Leadership in late 19th century Protestantism”, American Historical Association/American Society of Church History, 2003.

Keynote Lecture:  “Writing the Biography of Carry Nation,” University of Wisconsin, Osh Kosh, 2002.

Keynote Lecture:  “Carry Nation: Retelling the Life” at National Prohibition Council annual meeting, Los Angeles, March 19, 2002.

“Teaching ‘Religion and Hate’ Seminar: Notes Toward a Pedagogy of Emergence/y,” American Academy of Religion, National Annual Meeting, Toronto, 2002.

Keynote Lecture:  “Carry Nation: Methodist Activist” at District Annual Conference of United Methodist Women, Ontario, CA, September 2001.

“Madeline Southard:Her Search for Same-Sex Companionship and Work for the WCTU,” American Historical Association/ American Society of Church History, 2001.

“Madeline Southard: From the Kansas Plains to an International Pulpit,” American Academy of Religion (Western Region), 2000 (with Cynthia Cornell Novak).

“She, Me, We: The Feminist Experience of Bringing Voices Out of Silence Through Collaborative Editing,” National Women’s Studies Association Conference, Boston, 2000 (with Cynthia Cornell Novak).

“Carry A. Nation and Self-Reinvention in Spiritual Autobiography” at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference, Albuquerque, 1999.

“Carry Nation and the Stone-Campbell Movement” at the Restoration History Lectures at Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas, 1999.

“With Bible in One Hand and Battle-Axe in the Other: Carry Nation and the Smashing of Gender Role Stereotypes -- Literally!” American Society of Church History National Meeting, Seattle, 1998.

“Smash, Smash, Smash: Carry Nation as Western Vigilante-- A ‘New Deborah’ or ‘Motherhood Gone Wrong’”?  at the American Academy of Religion, Western Meeting in San Francisco, 1997.

"The Spiritual Journey of Carry A. Nation," at the Center for the Study of American Religion, Princeton University, October, 1996.

"From Sanctuary to Saloon: The Religious Pilgrimage of Carry A. Nation," at the American Society of Church History, Chicago, April, 1996.

“Sidney Rigdon,” at the Restoration History Colloquium, Pepperdine University, 1995.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Academy of Religion

    • Chair, 2002-2005, "Women and Religion" Program Unit, Western Region

    • Co-Chair, 2005-2008, "Teaching Religion" Program Unit, National Meeting

    • Steering Committee, 2010 - Present, "Contemplative Studies" Program Unit, National Meeting

  • Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion

    • Workshop Staff, 2008-2009

  • Editorial Board, Journal of Religion and Education, 2010 - Present

  • Institute for Contemplative Life, Founding Director

Degrees held

1986. B.A., B.S. Political Science and Public Adm., Harding University


1987. Certification in Italian, Universita' di Firenze (Florence, Italty)


1991. M.A. Government, University of Texas at Austin


1992. Master of Divinity, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary


1993. Th.M. History of Christianity, Princeton Theological Seminary


1997. Ph.D. American Religious History, Princeton Theological Seminary


2000. Certificate in Spiritual Direction, Center for Spirituality, Mount Saint Mary's College, three-year training in Christian contemplative life


Experience

Current Research and Areas of Expertise:

Meditation


Contemplative Life


Psychology and Religion


Mystics


Paths to Enlightenment


Spiritual Development and research into the "inner arts," that is, the cultivation of Compassion, Joy, Lovingness, Forgiveness, and Peace

Previous Teaching Experience:

Assistant Professor of Religion, Pepperdine University, 1995-1999


Instructor of Politics, Austin Community College, 1991-1992


Teaching Assistant, Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin, 1989-1991


Academic Coach for Department of Athletics, University of Texas at Austin, 1989-1992

Courses Offered

REL 210: Meditation


REL 250: Compassion


REL 323: Quest of the Mystic: The Inner Path


REL 293: Healing and Wholeness: Exploring Psychology and Religion


REL 101: Issues in Modern Religion

Publications

 Books:

Judith Simmer-Brown and Fran Grace, editors. (2011)Meditation and the Classroom. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Fran Grace. (2011). "The 'Map of Consciousness': A New Paradigm for Mysticism and Healing." In June McDaniel and Thomas Cattoi (Eds.), Perceiving the Divine through the Human Body. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Fran Grace. (2004). "Carry Nation". In Brian Lamb (Ed.), Booknotes on American Character: People, Politics, and Conflict (pp. 117-125). New York: Rutgers University Press.

Fran Grace. (2002). "The Best Show in Town: Carry A. Nation and the Selling of Temperance in the Urban Northeast". In Diane Winston and John Giggi (Eds.), Faith in the Market: Religion and the Rise of Urban Commercial Culture (pp. 57-73). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Fran Grace. (2001, paperback 2003). Carry A. Nation: Retelling the Life. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Articles:

Fran Grace. 2011. "Beyond Reason: The Certitude of the Mystic, Al-Hallaj to David R. Hawkins," International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Vol. 1, No. 13 (September), 147-156.

Fran Grace (April 2011). "Learning as a Path, not a Goal: Contemplative Pedagogy, Its Principles and Practices." Teaching Theology and Religion, Vol 14: 2, 99-124.

Thomas Coburn, Fran Grace, Anne Carolyn Klein, Louis Komjathy, Harold Roth, Judith Simmer-Brown. "Contemplative Pedagogy FAQs," Teaching Theology and Religion, Vol 14:2, 167-174.

Fran Grace. (Summer 2009). Served as Guest Editor for special issue on "Spirituality in Higher Education: Problems, Practices, and Programs."

Fran Grace. (Summer 2009). "Pedagogy of Reverence: A Narrative Account." Religion and Education, Vol 36:2, 102-123.

Fran Grace and Judith Simmer-Brown. (Summer 2009). "A Contemplative Response: The Part IS The Whole." Religion and Education, Vol 36:2, 150-152.

Fran Grace. (May 2009). "Breathing in Suffering, Breathing out Compassion." UCLA Spirituality in Higher Education Newsletter, Vol 5, Issue 2, 1-10.

Frances Grace. (1999). "With Bible in One Hand and Battle Axe in the Other: Carry A. Nation as a Religious Performer and Self-Promoter." Religion and American Culture, 30-65.

Invited Presentations

The Power of Love in the Christian and Sufi Mystics, invited presentation for Integral Sedona, Sedona, Arizona, August 2011.

Exploring the Mystics, invited 8-hour seminar, St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Sedona, Arizona, December 2010.

Contemplative Studies Panel, American Academy of Religion, National Annual Meeting, Atlanta, 2010.

Exploring Compassion, invited 8-hour seminar, St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Sedona, Arizona, July 2010.

Contemplative Pedagogy Roundtable, American Academy of Religion, National Annual Meeting, Chicago, 2008.

"I'm Not Religious - I'm a Mystic!" panel at University of California -Riverside, 2007.

"Map of Consciousness: A New Paradigm for Healing," Mysticism Session, American Academy of Religion, National Annual Meeting, D.C., 2006.

"Awakening the Self: Contemplative Approaches to Teaching," American Academy of Religion, Western Region, Annual Conference, Claremont, CA, 2006

"Women's Religious Leadership in late 19th century Protestantism," AHA/American Society of Church History, January 2003, Chicago

"Madeline Southard: Her Search for Same-Sex Companionship and Work for the WCTU," AHA/ American Society of Church History, Winter 2001, Boston (with Cynthia Cornell Novak)

"She, Me, We: The Feminist Experience of Bringing Voices Out of Silence Through Collaborative Editing," National Women's Studies Association Conference, Boston, MA, June 2000 (with Cynthia Cornell Novak)

"Carry A. Nation and Self-Reinvention in Spiritual Autobiography" at the National Women's Studies Association Conference, Albuquerque, NM, June 1999

"Carry Nation and the Stone-Campbell Movement" at the Restoration History Lectures at Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas, 1999.

The Spiritual Journey of Carry A. Nation," at the Center for the Study of American Religion, Princeton University, October, 1996

Awards, Honors, Grants

Mortar Board "Professor of the Year" 2006-07, University of Redlands
(awarded by student body)


Luce Fellow in Comparative Theology and Theology of Religious Pluralism, 2010-2011


Banta Center Award for Ethics Across the Curriculum - Compassion Seminar, 2008


Pew Faculty Fellowship, Religion and American History, 1998-99
(awarded by Yale University)


WRW (inter-racial student group) Phenomenal Womyn Award, 2006


Outstanding Research/Creativity Award, University of Redlands, 2002
(awarded by faculty review committee)


Lilly-Luce Teaching Fellow, 2000-01
(awarded by the American Academy of Religion)


Who's Who Among American Teachers and Educators, 2007


Tyler Teaching Award, Pepperdine University, 1997-1998
(awarded by student body)


Helen Pepperdine Community Service Award, 1998
(awarded by staff-faculty committee)


Doctoral Fellowship Awards, 1993-1997, Princeton Theological Seminary