Fran Grace, Ph.D.

Emerita Professor of Religious Studies
Department of Religious Studies

Photo of Fran Grace, Ph.D.

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


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

For the Media

Contact :
Media Relations


Larsen Hall
P: 909.748.8681


Fran Grace grew up in a nature preserve on Florida's Gulf Coast. She sees her teaching and research in the field of Religious Studies as a continuing inquiry into those early experiences of solitude in nature. The first part of her career grappled with the downside of religion—its dogmatism and judgmentalism—not only within religious history but also within herself. Her current teaching and writing explore the upside of religion, mainly the "inner life"—its inspirational teachers and the various methods for compassion, spiritual development, healing, wholeness, and the paths to Self-realization as taught by the sages and mystics of the world's spiritual traditions. For the most current information about Fran Grace, see the website for Inner Pathway, a 501c3 non-profit organization that she founded in 2008. She offers a weekly virtual Loving Kindness Meditation through the University of Redlands, free and open to the public, as described on the Meditation Room's website.

Courses Taught

REL 250: CompassionREL 250: Compassion May Term (open also to older adults)REL 210: Introduction to Meditation (open also to older adults)REL 358: Psychology and ReligionREL 245: LGBTQ+ Spiritual JourneysJNST Seminar: The Sufi Path of LoveREL 323: Quest of the MysticREL 290: Meditation Practicum (open also to older adults, through SCS)URAWI-502X-ON03: Paradigms of Healing and WholenessREL 470: Depth (Jungian) PsychologyREL 670: Contemplative Pedagogy


Founding President, The Institute for Contemplative Life dba Inner Pathway, 2008 - PresentProf. of Religious Studies, University of Redlands, 1999 - PresentFounding Steward of the Meditation Room Program, 2007 - PresentAssist. Prof. of Religion, Pepperdine University, 1995 to 1999Instructor of Politics, Austin Community College, 1991-1992Teaching Assistant, Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin, 1989-1991Academic Coach for Department of Athletics, University of Texas at Austin, 1989-1992


BOOKSFran Grace. The Power of Love: A Transformed Heart Changes the World (42 photographs; 776 pp.). Inner Pathway Publishing, 2019. Benjamin Franklin Silver Book Award, ‘Best Inspirational Books’ categoryJudith Simmer-Brown and Fran Grace, eds. Meditation and the Classroom. (Albany: State University of New York Press), 2011. Pbk, 2012. (279 pp.)Fran Grace. Carry A. Nation: Retelling the Life, Religion in North America series (Bloomington: Indiana University Press), 2001. Pbk, 2004. (373 pp.) 2001 - Featured on CSPAN Booknotes Program. 2021 - Featured on the History Channel Podcast

----BOOKS – Edited and/or CompiledCompiled and edited by F. Grace. My Life with Doc, by Susan J. Hawkins. Veritas Publishing, 2022.Compiled and edited by F. Grace. The Map of Consciousness® Explained, by David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. Hay House Publishers, 2020. A primer.Edited by F. Grace. Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender, David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., Veritas Publishing, 2012, Hay House, 2013.Edited by F. Grace. 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.

----JOURNAL ARTICLES – PEER-REVIEWEDF. Grace. 2023. Video Spotlight: Meditation Program. Journal of Contemplative and Holistic Education 1:1 (April): 1. Open Access article.Ko, Celine, Fran Grace, Gilbert Chavez, Sarah Grimley, Emily Dalrymple, and Lisa Olson. Effect of Seminar on Compassion on Student Mindfulness, Self-Compassion and Well-being: Randomized Controlled Study. The Journal of American College Health 66:7 (March 2018): 537-545., S.J., Ko, C.M., Morrell, H.E.R, Grace, F., Banuelos, M.S., Bautista, B.R., Chavez, G.N., Dalrymple, E.R., Green, M., Burning, J., Heuerman, A.C., Huerta, M., Marks, M., Ov, J., Overton-Harris, P. & Olson, L.E. (2018). The need for a neutral speaking period in psychosocial stress testing. Journal of Psychophysiology.Diane Eller-Boyko and Fran Grace. "Longing for the Feminine: Love, Sexual Orientation, Individuation and the Soul," Vol. 60, No. 3 (October 2017): 289-316. Psychological Perspectives: A Quarterly Journal of Jungian Thought. Open Access article. Grace. "Unconditional Love: Applications of a Timeless Teaching," International Journal of Philosophy and Theology, December 2017, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 1-12. Open Access article.Diane Eller-Boyko and Fran Grace. Liz in September (Film Review Essay). Psychological Perspectives: A Quarterly Journal of Jungian Thought, (December 2016).Ko, C.M., Olson, L, Grace, F. (2015). An exploration of the effects of a seminar on compassion on student psychological outcomes. Annals of Behavioral Medicine.F. Grace, “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.Fran Grace, Thomas Coburn, Anne Carolyn Klein, Louis Komjathy, Harold Roth and Judith Simmer-Brown. “Contemplative Pedagogy: FAQs,” Teaching Theology and Religion, Vol. 14, No. 2 (April 2011), 167-174.F. Grace. “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. Open access article.F. Grace. Guest Editor, “Spirituality in Higher Education: Problems, Practices, and Programs” in Journal of Religion and Education, 36:2 (Summer 2009).F. Grace. “A Pedagogy of Reverence,” Journal of Religion and Education, 36:2 (Summer 2009), 102-123.F. Grace. "Breathing in Suffering, Breathing Out Compassion," UCLA Spirituality and Higher Education Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 2, May 2009, 1-10.F. Grace and Judith Simmer-Brown. “A Contemplative Response: The Part IS the Whole,” Journal of Religion and Education, 36:2 (Summer 2009), 150-152.Fran Grace and Cynthia Cornell Novak, “Same Faith, Different Fates: A Regional Explanation for the Differences in Women’s Experiences in the Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ Movements,” Leaven, 1999.F. Grace. “With Bible in One Hand and Battle-Axe in the Other: Carry A. Nation as Religious Performer,” Religion and American Culture (Winter 1999)F. Grace. "Her-Story: A History of Women's Participation in the Stone-Campbell Movement," Leaven, 4:2 (1996).

----BOOK CHAPTERSF. Grace. “Introduction,” Daily Reflections by Dr. David R. Hawkins. Hay House Publishers, 2022.F. Grace. “Introduction,” My Life with Doc, by Susan J. Hawkins. Veritas Publishing, 2022.F. Grace. “Introduction,” The Ego is Not the Real You. Hay House Publishers, 2021.F. Grace. “Introduction,” The Map of Consciousness® Explained. Hay House Publishers, 2020.F. Grace. “The Sufi Path of Love,” Snapshot/50: The Johnston Community, 1969-2019, ed. Leslie Brody, Maureen Forys, M.G. Maloney, Alisa Slaughter, (Redlands/Oakland: Ebhon Press, 2019).F. Grace. “Spirituality within Higher Education,” Spirituality and Deep Connectedness: Views on Being Fully Human, ed. Michael C. Brannigan, (New York City, NY: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), 17-31.F. Grace. “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), pp. 142-147.F. Grace. “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).F. Grace. “New Foreword,” in Power vs. Force, David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. Veritas Publishing, 2012. Author’s Official Revised Edition.F. Grace. “Foreword,” in Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender, David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. Veritas Publishing, 2012. Hay House, 2013.F. Grace. “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.F. Grace. “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.F. Grace. “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.F. Grace. “Carry Nation,” Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, ed. Douglas Foster et al., Eerdmans Press, 2005.F. Grace. “Carry Nation,” in Booknotes on American Character: People, Politics, and Conflict, (Perseus Press, 2004), edited by Brain Lamb.F. Grace. “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.F. Grace. “Temperance,” Encyclopedia of Protestantism, ed. Hans Hillerbrand, Routledge, 2004, 10 pp.F. Grace. “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.----SHORT ARTICLES IN POPULAR MAGAZINES – (BY INVITATION)F. Grace. "What Do You Get When You Take 'Panic' out of Pandemic?" Bulldog Blog, March 18, 2020.F. Grace. "Growing a Global Heart: Encounter with Belvie Rooks and Dedan Gills," Parabola, Vol. 43, No. 4 (Winter 2019), 42-49.F. Grace. "The Meaning of Life and the Story of the Beggar," Excellence Reporter, June 2017.F. Grace. "Viktor Frankl and the Search for Meaning," Parabola, Vol. 42, No. 1, (Winter 2017).F. Grace. “San Bernardino Shooting: The Power of Love and the Shadow of Hatred,” Huffington Post, Dec. 11, 2015F. Grace. “Lessons from a College Classroom” – Huffington Post, January 5, 2015F. Grace. “Measuring the Immeasurable? Compassion Under a Microscope” – Huffington Post, January 5, 2015F. Grace. “The Exultant Heart,” Science and Spirit Magazine, March 2015.

----E-BOOKF. Grace. 2022. Love is Forever. 109 pp. Illustrated. Inner Pathway Publishing. Offered by donation to a family in need.

----MULTIMEDIA PRODUCTIONS(Fran has created/produced 150+ videos for YouTube and Vimeo, and a feature-length documentary film)Heart Matters Radio Show, produced at KDAWG station at the University of Redlands (2016-ongoing)Beyond Us vs. Them, video created out of personal interviews with civil rights activists Belvie Rooks and Dedan Gills, 2020. Co-Founders of Growing a Global Heart.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).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).Exploring the Mystics (4-disc DVD set), live lecture and workshop, (Inner Pathway Publishing, 2011).Exploring Compassion (3-disc DVD set), live lecture and workshop, (Inner Pathway Publishing, 2011).Sufi and Christian Mystics (1 DVD), 2-hour live lecture and workshop, (Inner Pathway Publishing, 2012).Interviews with Living Mystics (1 DVD), 2-hour live lecture and workshop, (Inner Pathway Publishing, 2012).----MOST RECENT BOOK REVIEWSF. Grace. Book Review: Be Still and Know, by Norris Chumley, for Practical Matters Journal, Issue 7 (May/June 2014).F. Grace. Liz in September (feature film by Fina Torres), with Diane Eller-Boyko, Psychological Perspectives: Quarterly Journal in Jungian Thought, December 2016.F. Grace. Book Review: A Buddhist in the Classroom by Sid Brown, for Journal of Religion and Education, Vol 37, Issue 1 (2010).

Awards, Honors, 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 colleagues in Biology and Psych)Lens Fellowship (spatial learning and research), “Mapping Love,” 2012-2013(awarded by University of Redlands)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, 2014Award for Outstanding Research/Creativity, 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)

Invited Presentations

CONFERENCE PAPERS / INVITED LECTURES—SelectedVirtual Presentations during the Covid Pandemic:January 2022: Junior League of RiversideAugust 2020: Unitarian-Universalist Retreat keynote speakerOctober 2020: Temple Emanuel Yom KippurDecember 2020: Dream Workshop, co-facilitated with Diane Eller-BoykoThe Power of Love – lectures and book signings, 2019-2020:Arvada, CO Public LibrarySt. Louis, MO Public LibraryAustin, TX, Unity ChurchPlano, TX, Unity ChurchSanta Fe, NM, Unity ChurchSan Anselmo, CA, SFTS campusChicago, IL, Unity ChurchRochester, NY, Nazareth CollegeRedlands, CA, ESRI REDLANDS FORUMSanta Barbara, CA, Unity ChurchAlbuquerque, NM, BookworksRedlands, CA, Smiley Library"Loving the Enemy," United Church of Christ, Redlands, CA, February 17, 2019.“Interfaith Perspectives on Love,” EmanuEl Jewish Temple, Redlands, CA, December 21, 2019."The Power of Love," Panel at Parliament of the World's Religions, Toronto, November 2018."How Meditation Cultivates the Heart" and "Contemplative Practices for the LGBTQ Community," Texas Christian University, October 2018."My Journey in the Study of Religion," Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, October 2018."Compassion, Meditation, and Medicine," presented to doctors and residents at Arrowhead Hospital, April 2018."Mindfulness for Teens," Grove School Group, September 13, 2018."Hózhó: Indigenous Spirituality and Self-Care," presented to 25 Native Students from the Cal Poly Pomona Native Summer Pipeline, July 23, 2018."Sexual Orientation, Love, and the Soul" at the Symposium of Spirituality and Mental Health - Social Justice, University of Redlands, School of Education, 2017.“The Contemplative Classroom,” 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 at 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.


Spiritual Directors International, 2000 to PresentAmerican Academy of Religion:Regional Co-Chair of Women and Religion section, Western Region, 2002-2005National Co-Chair of Academic Teaching and Study of Religion section, 2005-2008National Steering Committee, Contemplative Studies Consultation, 2010-2013Editorial Board, Journal of Religion and Education, 2010 - 2016Faculty Leadership Team, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, Workshop for Pre-Tenure Faculty, 2008-2009SUNY Press - Reviewer of ManuscriptsFounding Director, Institute for Contemplative Life, 2008; A 501c3 non-profit organization, which seeks to bring education and inspiration for the core inner principles common to all religions: love, beauty, compassion, forgiveness, and joy.