Melissa Browning

Melissa Browning

Assistant Professor of Contextual Ministry

Ph.D. 2011, Loyola University Chicago, M.Div. 2002, George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University, B.A. 1999, Gardner-Webb University

Phone: (678) 547-6267
Fax: (678) 547-6478


Dr. Melissa Browning received her Ph.D. in Christian Ethics from Loyola University Chicago (2011). She also holds an M.Div. in Global Missions from George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University (2002) and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Gardner-Webb University (1999).

Dr. Browning's primary research focuses on community-based moral reasoning. Her first book looked at the intersection of public theology and public health through research with women living with HIV and AIDS in Mwanza, Tanzania. This book, Risky Marriage: HIV and Intimate Relationships in Tanzania, looks at the ways in which marriage has become an HIV risk factor and in response, creates space for HIV positive women to re-imagine Christian marriage as a space of safety and health. Beyond her research on HIV and AIDS, Dr. Browning has published more than 20 articles and book chapters on topics such as public health and public theology, feminist theology, bioethics, sexual ethics, migration, postcolonial theology, street children, research methodologies, ethnography, and pedagogy. Dr. Browning is currently working on a new book that uses participatory action research with congregations to articulate an ethics of solidarity and social change. 

Dr. Browning is an ordained Baptist minister with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and has experience working with faith-based non-profits, particularly in international development, community development, and community organizing. She served for two years as field personnel with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Nairobi, Kenya and also served as the Baptist clergy member of a tri-denominational church in Chicago (Church of Jesus Christ, Reconciler). 

Dr. Browning is married to Wes Browning, a filmmaker who owns a company that specializes in faith-based and non-profit work. They have a four-year old daughter named Olivia. Dr. Browning enjoys the outdoors, and when she's not thinking about theological education, you can find her rehabbing her vintage camper that she is sure will one day be roadworthy.