Faculty Directory

Fran Grace

Emerita Professor of Religious Studies

Consortial Faculty

Fran Grace spent her growing-up years in the Coffeen 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 catalytic experiences of solitude and 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 examine the upside of religion, mainly the "inner life"—its inspirational teachers, 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 her public speaking schedule, see the website for Inner Pathway, a non-profit organization based on the core principles of compassion, love, joy, beauty, humor and truth. She offers sessions on meditation and contemplative practice in the University's Meditation Room. The sessions are free and open to the public, described on the Meditation Room's website.

For Dr. Grace's CV, click here.

For Dr. Grace's faculty page on the SFTS website, click here.

Degrees and Certifications

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

Research and Teaching Interests
  • Psychology and Religion
  • Meditation
  • Contemplative Life
  • Spirituality, Addiction, and Recovery
  • Spirituality and Activism
  • Mystics
  • Cultivation of Compassion, Joy, Love, Forgiveness, and Peace
Selected Publications


The Power of Love: A Transformed Heart Changes the World, October 2018: Pre-release Commemorative Edition for the 125th Parliament of the World's Religions; books available at a celebration reception on November 5, 2018, in Toronto at the Parliament.

February 2019: Public trade book release.

Meditation and the Classroom, co-edited with Judith Simmer-Brown, (State University of New York Press, 2011).

Carry A. Nation: Retelling the Life, Indiana University Press, (Religion in North America series), 2001. Pbk, 2004. Featured on C-SPAN Booknotes Program.