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Dr. Lucia McSpadden

Coordinator of International Student Support


Dr. Lucia Ann McSpadden, Coordinator of International Student Support, is a Cultural Anthropologist and lay theologian. She has focused her research and professional work at the intersections of race, culture, politics, and social inequities. Her research topics have included pre-school education for African American children; Mexican-American elementary children’s academic performance; resettlement of Ethiopian/Eritrean refugees in the U.S; refugees, gender, and complex emergencies; the role of churches and NGOs in peace-building after armed conflict; and cross-cultural/cross-racial clergy appointments in the UMC. A major focus of much of this research has been the development of social space by marginalized persons and the challenges to the church for opening up access to social resources so as to diminish structural inequities.

Having an inter-racial family, living and working internationally and in racially diverse contexts here in the U.S. have energized and focused much Dr. McSpadden’s research and professional involvement. As Research Director of the Life & Peace Institute, Uppsala, Sweden, she developed and guided international research projects focused on religion and conflict, economic justice, peace-building, and gender.

As Director of Partners in English, she designed and led a church-based program providing ESL education to refugees and immigrants. Outside of PSR from a practical theology perspective, Dr. McSpadden has developed and led a cross-cultural/cross-racial training institute, “I-Relate” which designs and leads workshops for clergy and congregations focused on leadership skills for cross-cultural/cross-racial contexts.

Academic Credentials
Master of Arts, Biology, ABT, Boston University, 1963
Master of Arts, Cross-cultural Education, University of Nebraska, 1968
Doctorate of Philosophy, Cultural Foundations of Education, University of Utah, 1978
Doctorate of Philosophy, Cultural Anthropology, University of Utah, 1989

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