DI/J.E.S. Bids Farewell to Key Staff Member

Director of Programs and Grants, Dr. Julia Sheetz-Willard, left her position with the Dialogue Institute and the Journal of Ecumenical Studies to begin a new position as the Associate Director of Campus Ministry for Ecumenical and Interfaith Outreach at Villanova University, effective November 17, 2014.

Julie began work at the DI/J.E.S. as a graduate assistant while she completed her dissertation. Upon receiving her Ph.D. from Temple University's Department of Religion in 2007, she moved into a full-time position as Administrative Coordinator of both the DI and J.E.S. As the DI and its reach expanded, she took the lead in applying for our first Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) grant from the U.S. State Department, awarded in 2010. Since then, the now semi-annual SUSI programs on Religious Pluralism in the United States have become a major part of the DI’s work.

“Working with our international students in the SUSI programs has been life-changing for me," says Sheetz-Willard. "These courageous student leaders return home to situations of conflict and struggle, with a commitment to foster respectful engagement across lines of difference. They are my inspiration!”

In addition to her role as Administrative Coordinator, Julie has served as Acting Director of the DI, and most recently, as Director of Programs and Grants. “The Dialogue Institute’s mission of building bridges of understanding is desperately needed in today’s world. It has been a privilege to work among colleagues – DI/J.E.S. staff and Board, and our many stakeholders – whose vision, wisdom, and skills are helping to advance interreligious and intercultural respect in a global context.”

The position Sheetz-Willard fills at Villanova draws together her 17 years of experience as a Presbyterian pastor, along with her DI experience in ecumenical and interfaith scholarship and activism.

“Julie’s dialogue work is moving physically from Temple University to Villanova University," says Leonard Swidler, DI founder and J.E.S. co-founder, "and linking the two!” We look forward to continuing our work with her in this new context.

Click here to contact Julie at Villanova.