Biography

Healing is the heart of the work that I do. And the relationships that have formed as my family has moved around the country for over twenty years have helped clarify how this call toward healing unfolds.

MMS Headshot 2015Writing, consulting, teaching, leading retreats, spiritual direction, and exploring the sources of healing and connection in God’s creation shape my vocation both inside and beyond the church and academy.

The typical career path for someone with my training is to either have a tenured faculty position in an academic institution or to be a pastor in a church.  Several cities into my families itinerant way of life, I realized that those common paths were not the way my life was taking me.  As the wife of a football coach, I have moved around the country at a sometimes rapid pace!

In 2007 my husband, John, and I decided to make some changes in our lives. We wanted a more family centered way of life and we wanted to more effectively align the work we do with our sense of call and purpose. John left the NFL for college football.  That’s when “Peace-ing Together,” a ministry of consulting, teaching, healing, and cultural competency was born for me.IMG_2333 (1)

Peace-ing Together integrates both the academic and ministerial training, skills, and experience that I have with my deepest commitments to healing, connection, and community.

Having my own consulting business allows me to connect with and support a wide-variety of people, institutions, and communities.

I grew up steeped in the cultures of the church and of the academy. My parents modeled the importance of working for justice as the fruit of belief. Service to others and to our community had the highest priority in our home. I am thankful for my heritage and for the ways my roots have kept me connected to the church and to conversations in the academy every step of my journey.

If you are interested in the details of my education and vocational history, you are welcomed to check out my Curriculum Vitae.

For most of my life I have worked on reconciliation and dialogue around difficult issues like race, political polarization, and religious differences in academic, church, and community contexts.

I am an advocate for survivors of sexual violence and often find myself drawn into conversations around how the lives of women particularly embody the complexities and possibilities of human life. My advocacy and my scholarship are grounded in my own experience as a survivor.

My book, Let the Bones Dance: Embodiment and the Body of Christ, provides a theological and spiritual framework for this sacred work around surviving and thriving for those who carry the weight of sexual violence in our world. My life as a mother also profoundly informs my work.

I am also an advocate for student-athletes. I am an active member of The Student-Athletes Human Rights Project, a network of scholars and activists dedicated to increasing the well-being of student-athletes.

Both my writing and my consulting work often address issues of race, gender, power, and justice in big-time sports. My book, Touchdowns for Jesus and Other Signs of Apocalypse: Lifting the Veil on Big Time Sports, is a big part of that effort.

For several years I was deeply engaged in the multicultural movement in the Presbyterian denomination nationally. I served for two years as the Moderator of the Board of the Presbyterian Multicultural Network (PMN) and for four years as the Moderator of the Multicultural Committee of the Presbytery of New Hope. I continue to serve the church nationally in various capacities that are described in more detail on my CV.

My newest book, co-authored with Duke Divinity School theologian, Mary McClintock-Fulkerson, addresses the tenacity of white culture and privilege in mainline churches.  A Body Broken, A Body Betrayed: Race, Memory, and Eucharist in White-Dominant Churches, released from Cascade Books November 2015.

After almost three years in West Lafayette, Indiana for another football stop, John and I decided to step away from big-time football January 2016. In an amazing unfolding of God’s mysterious and powerful ways, I accepted a call to be the Pastor/Head of Staff at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, NC. I started my work there and this new chapter of the healing ministry God calls me to on July 1, 2016. Peace-ing Together will still be alive and well–and finally able to really settle into the life of a faith community over time. I am still accepting speaking engagements and will still be doing some retreats, events, and writing as well.

– Marcia Mount Shoop