Leonard Swidler

Founder & President, DI
Co-Founding Editor, J.E.S.

Rebecca Mays

Executive Director, DI

Nancy E. Krody

Managing Editor, J.E.S.    

Tim Emmett-Rardin

Director of Marketing & Development, DI

Leonard Swidler

Founder & President, Dialogue Institute
Co-Founding Editor, Journal of Ecumenical Studies


Leonard is a Professor of Catholic Thought and Interreligious Dialogue in the Religion Department of Temple University, where he has taught since 1966. At Temple, and as a visiting professor at universities around the world – including Graz, Austria; Tübingen, Germany; Fudan University, Shanghai; and the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur – he has mentored a generation of U.S. and international scholars in the work of interreligious dialogue. He has a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the University of Tübingen and received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin; he also holds honorary doctorates from St. Norbert’s College and LaSalle University.

Leonard has published/edited more than 200 articles and 75 books, including:   Jewish‑Christian‑Muslim Dialogue (1978); Religious Liberty and Human Rights (1986); After the Absolute: The Dialogical Future of Religious Reflection (1990); A Bridge to Buddhist-Christian Dialogue (1990); Muslims in Dialogue: The Evolution of a Dialogue over a Generation (1992); Jesus Was a Feminist (2007).

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Rebecca Mays

Executive Director, Dialogue Institute


Rebecca has been Executive Director of the Dialogue Institute since 2012. She holds a B.A. in English from Earlham College and an M.A. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania, and she completed her M.A. in Religious Studies at Temple as a Graduate Fellow and Intern at the Dialogue Institute. 

She brings strong teaching experience as a Quaker educator and professional publishing expertise, along with a longstanding passion and wisdom for interfaith encounter to her role. Prior to coming to Temple in 2008, she served as the director of a Master's program in English and Publishing at Rosemont College. She has established interfaith colleagues in teaching the Gospels and Quaker studies at Pendle Hill, a Quaker study center located near Media, PA.

Rebecca is focused on helping generate new program work for the Dialogue Institute as she completes the dissertation for the Ph.D. at Temple University in Religious Studies, with an emphasis on Interfaith Activism.

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Nancy E. Krody

Managing Editor, Journal of Ecumenical Studies


Nancy is Managing Editor of J.E.S., where she started in 1973. She has a B.A. in sociology and political science from The Ohio State University (1960), where she also did two years of graduate work in sociology, then completed two years of theological studies at Crozer Theological Seminary, in Chester, PA.

She was on the staff of the Division of Christian Education of the United Church of Christ, 1964-73, in Philadelphia, before coming to Temple University. She has served on the national boards of the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries and the Office of Church Life and Leadership of the U.C.C., as well as being a delegate to its General Synod; and she has served in several capacities in the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference and the Philadelphia Association (including Association Moderator) of the denomination. She is the clerk of her local church, which has been a union church of the U.C.C. and P.C.U.S.A. for almost forty years, whose formation she helped initiate.

Her interest in ecumenical activities began through campus ministry at Ohio State, where American Baptists and the Disciples of Christ had joint campus work, including a term as president of the O.S.U. Baptist-Disciples Student Fellowship, attending a quadrennial conference of the World Student Christian Federation in Athens, OH, and several annual gatherings of the Baptist Student Movement. One of the first open lesbians in mainline Christianity, she served as a national co-coordinator of the U.C.C. Gay Caucus in the early 1970’s. She is on the advisory board of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Religious Archives Network and of U.C.C. and interfaith LGBT organizations in the Greater Philadelphia area.

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Tim Emmett-Rardin

Director of Marketing & Development, Dialogue Institute

Tim joined the Dialogue Institute staff in November of 2014, having worked in a variety of nonprofit, religious (including interfaith), and higher education contexts over the past 20-plus years. He has extensive experience in nonprofit administration and program management, with an emphasis on work with youth and young adults. He served as a campus minister at Drexel University for seven years and has also worked at the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia in a number of different capacities.

Tim received his M.Div. from Drew Theological School in 2004 (with a focus on interfaith studies/world religions, urban ministry, and social activism), and his B.A. in English and Communication from the University of Michigan in 1994.

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