Shandon Klein

Graduate Student in Religious Ethics

Contact

Email: scklein@mail.smu.edu

About

Shandon C. Klein is a doctoral student in the field of Religious Ethics. Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, she gained a rich foundation in the Episcopal Church as a child by the influence of her grandmother, and her love of research bloomed at an early age with her love of the sciences. Initially pursuing her dream of becoming a pediatric cardiac surgeon and heart failure researcher, Shandon obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Biology and Chemistry with an emphasis in Biotechnology and Biochemistry from Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her Masters of Science in Biotechnology Enterprise from Johns Hopkins University. She continued as a Research Assistant in heart failure research at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas; however, after a car accident in 2011, she was forced to re-evaluate her calling to the medical field. God would lead her to a position at First United Methodist Church Richardson, where she recognized her call to ministry as an ordained elder and public theologian.
 
Shandon is currently a certified candidate for the order of elder in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church and a lay delegate to the 2022 General Conference. At Perkins School of Theology, where she received her Masters of Divinity in 2021, Shandon discovered her passion for Christian ethics and systematic theology. She also gained a burning desire to bridge the gap between the "ivory tower" of the Academy and the living out of faith in Christian communities.
 
In her doctoral work, Shandon is studying the ethic of resistance and the ethic of control along with ideologies about "God" that support or oppose them in various cultures. She is also interested in determining whether there may be a correlation between the ethic of resistance and infused virtues (known in the Christian tradition as faith, hope, and love, inspired by the Holy Spirit). Is oppression or distress necessary to embrace the ethic of resistance authentically or does spiritual receptivity also play a role? Such work has implications not only for our divisive American context but for Christian discipleship, cross-culturally.
 
In Shandon's leisure, she loves spending time with her husband Shane and her three fur babies (Harley, the 4-year-old goofy Great Dane, Jax, the 5-year-old loveable Rottweiler, and Doug, an 8-year-old tabby cat that rules the roost). She has a love of music and dance alongside a mild obsession with Enneagram studies that feed her self-professed "nerdom".

Advisor(s):  Rebekah Miles, Karen-Baker Fletcher, Steve Long

Current Fellowships: SMU Mustang Fellowship, Louisville Institute Doctoral Fellowship

Recent Awards Pertaining to Theology and Religious Studies:

2022 GBHEM Angella P. Current-Felder Women of Color Scholars

2021 The Dr. and Mrs. Glenn Flinn Senior Award - Perkin School of Theology

2021 The Charley T. and Jesse James Bible Award - Perkins School of Theology

2021 The Robert Weatherford Prize for Internship Preaching - Perkins School of Theology

2020 B’nai B’rith Award in Social Ethics - given by the Harold M. Kaufman Memorial Foundation