César "CJ" Baldelomar
César “CJ” Baldelomar is a third-year doctoral student in Theology and Education at Boston College. His research, teaching, and writing seek to find different ways to imagine and talk about the self, personhood, and justice in an effort to envision personal, social (including international), and educational ethical paradigms that could serve as possible sites of resistance.
He holds two law degrees: an LL.M in Intercultural Human Rights and a JD, with certificates in immigration law and international law. CJ also holds a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) and a Master of Education (Ed.M), both from Harvard. He is co-founder of Learning for Life Solutions, LLC, and a former legal intern at the Southern Poverty Law Center. For more information, visit CJ’s Boston College profile page or his Academia page.
A native of Dublin, Ireland, Carly-Anne taught middle school religion and high school theology in Corpus Christi, Texas, before moving to full-time ministry in higher education as the Catholic chaplain at Stony Brook University. Wishing to return to studies, she earned a master’s degree in religious education at Fordham University while serving as the director of religious education at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, New York City. Carly-Anne has a master’s degree in ecumenics from Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin and a master’s degree in education from the University of Notre Dame with the Alliance for Catholic Education.
She taught middle school religion and high school theology in Corpus Christi, Tex. She then moved to full-time ministry in higher education as the Catholic chaplain at Stony Brook University. Wishing to return to studies, she earned a master’s degree in religious education at Fordham University, while serving as the director of religious education at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, New York City. Carly-Anne is currently a doctoral studies student of theology and education at Boston College. She is also a Research Fellow with the Roche Center for Catholic Education, Boston College.
Elsa Kunz is a Master of Theological Studies student at Harvard Divinity School. Her research interests broadly include critical theory and the incorporation of religious studies in humanities and foreign language classrooms at the secondary level. A daughter of two educators, she feels passionately about the extraordinary potential of the classroom for freedom and transformation. Her own educational biography as a public-school student from Missouri has greatly informed how she views the potential for the academic study of religion to be a site of liberation. Following her studies, Elsa hopes to pursue a career in secondary school teaching. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, cooking, and dabbling in various creative endeavors.
Michael Shire grew up in Birmingham England and completed his BA Hons in Hebrew Literature and Jewish History at University College, London. He continued his studies at Hebrew Union College both in New York and Los Angeles completing a MA and PhD in Jewish Education. His research work, later to be published, proposed a curriculum orientation for spiritual enhancement in Jewish Educational settings. He concurrently served as Director of Education at Temple Beth Hillel, a large Reform synagogue in North Hollywood, California. On returning to Great Britain in 1988, he took up the post as National Director of the Centre of Jewish Education developing the infrastructure, day schools and professional and academic learning of Jewish Education in the UK. Following further study, he was ordained as rabbi at Leo Baeck College in 1996. In 2001, he merged the Centre of Jewish Education with the rabbinic training school, Leo Baeck College, and became its Vice-Principal for an additional eleven years. He became the Professor and Dean of the Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education in 2011 and subsequently was appointed Chief Academic Officer of Hebrew College from 2015-2020. He has been widely published in the field of Jewish Education and Spiritual Education. In addition, he has published four books of creative liturgy with medieval illuminations in association with the British and Bodleian Libraries. He is founder of the Torah Godly Play pedagogic methodology and serves as Trustee of the Pursuit of History, the Association of Institutions of Graduate Jewish Education.
A current student at Harvard Divinity School, pursuing a Master of Theological Studies, I am interested in the role religion is and can potentially play in public life, especially education. My passion for education sparked from some limited teaching experiences I had in the past year as well as the exposure to the concept and framework of religious literacy. I am eager to explore in the PEPS seminars the possibility of incorporating religious literacy in public education, in hope that the conversations may inspire my academic thinking regarding religious literacy in a comparative and global framework beyond the US.