Director of Extended Learning, Assistant Professor of Practical Theology
B.A., University at Albany, State University of New York
M.A., Boston University
Ph.D., Columbia University
Jennifer Snow received her PhD in religion from Columbia University in 2003, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California. Her first book, published in 2007, addresses the connections between Protestant missionaries and activism in support of early Asian immigrants to the United States. Studying faith-based activists inspired her to a commitment to ministries of justice, inclusion, and advocacy as the deputy director of Progressive Christians Uniting in Los Angeles, followed by a move to Chicago and then to San Francisco, where she served the Diocese of California as the associate for discipleship ministries, focused on youth and young adult communities. Committed to the congregation as a place of spiritual and justice formation, she developed curricula on environmental justice and worked with the ELCA, writing materials on mission education and immigration policy. Her work as Director of Extended Learning arises directly from her belief in the power of Christian community for spiritual and social transformation.
In addition to articles and book chapters on race, religion, and immigration policy in the United States, she is currently completing a project on church discipline and the sexual education to African converts provided by missionaries to Africa in the mid-twentieth century. This is part of a larger project examining the role of missionary teachings on the Christian home, including sexual discipline, in the creation of global ecumenical structures and the transformation of ecumenical missiology.
Jennifer lives with her spouse, the Rev. Tita Valeriano, and their son. When academy and family permit, she writes science fiction and fantasy.
Why I Teach:
We have no shortage of information today on all topics, nor any dearth of ways to access it. For me, teaching, whether through classroom interaction or writing for publication, only begins with imparting and mentally organizing information. From the basis of new information, we move into practicing discernment in interpretation, critical thinking, and practical application. We investigate and reflect through experience in our personal and local and global communities, as well as traditional text-based academic research. What we learn can activate us; we then return to reflection and critique. The joy of teaching in a faith-based community is that our reflection can also include prayer and a growing, never-stagnant sense of vocation, enabling the use of our intellectual and personal gifts in service. I enjoy encouraging understanding through the lens of my discipline of social history, in particular, because it provides us with different axis of extended time in our perception and understanding of the world, one that encourages us to deeper reflection, to patience, to seeking patterns and choosing paths of activity and community that are grounded in a strong sense of what “really is” and “really has been.”
- Protestant Missionaries, Asian Immigrants, and Ideologies of Race in America, 1850-1924. (Routledge Press, 2007).
- "Immigration and Asian American Religions," Asian American Religious Cultures (ABC-CLIO, 2015).
- “Religion and Immigration, 1924-1965,” Encyclopedia of Religion in America, (CQ Press Library, 2010).
- “From Alleged Buddhists to Unreasonable Hindus: Assessing First Amendment Jurisprudence in the Post-1965 Period.” Co-Authored with Courtney Bender. In A Nation of Religions: The Politics of Pluralism in a Multireligious America (University of North Carolina Press, 2006).
- “’The Civilization of White Men’: The Race of the Hindu in United States vs. Bhagat Singh Thind.” In Race, Religion and Identity Formation in the Americas, ed. Henry Goldschmidt and Elizabeth McAlister (Oxford
- University Press, 2004).