Lisa E. Dahill

Miriam Therese Winter Chair for Transformative Leadership and Spirituality, Director of the Center for Transformative Spirituality

Email: ldahill@hartfordinternational.edu

Lisa Dahill headshot


The Rev. Dr. Lisa E. Dahill is Miriam Therese Winter Professor of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality and Director of the Center for Transformative Spirituality at HIU. She holds a Ph.D. in Christian Spirituality from the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, CA), a Master of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and German from Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN).  She also studied for a year at the Eberhard-Karls-Universität in Tübingen, Germany. She is past president of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, convener of the Ecology and Liturgy Seminar of the North American Academy of Liturgy, and a rostered clergy member of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Dr. Dahill comes to HIU most recently from California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, CA, where she was Professor of Religion from 2015-2022, and co-chair of the university’s Sustainability Committee. Her previous appointments were as Associate Professor of Worship and Christian Spirituality at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH (2005-2015) and Research Associate at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Stanford, CA (2001-2005). 

Her research interests center in the expansion of spiritual, ritual, and contemplative practices to encompass place-based approaches and the inter- and multi-species relationships that comprise our human lives on Earth. She has published and lectured widely in both Christian and interreligious contexts exploring these questions and is also an internationally noted scholar of the legacy and writings of Holocaust theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Her books include Eco-Reformation: Grace and Hope for a Planet in Peril, co-edited with James Martin-Schramm, and Reading from the Underside of Selfhood: Bonhoeffer and Spiritual Formation, as well as several books on traditions of prayer. She is currently at work on two book projects: one titled Jesus in the Earth: Rewilding Christian Spirituality, attempting to open Christian liturgical and contemplative traditions into multi-species relationality, and the other a place-based interspecies reading of Bonhoeffer’s theology, titled One Reality: Reading Bonhoeffer Ecologically.

Dr. Dahill is a passionate cyclist, hiker, gardener, and eco-nerd who loves swimming and kayaking in rivers and oceans. She is probably exploring local trails and native plants right now with her pug, Tiger – if not out with friends or reading in eco-philosophy and poetry. Her programming at HIU’s Center for Transformative Spirituality centers around the conviction that restoring and re-animating human relationships with the larger wild communion of beings is the key both to deepening healthy human souls and to revisioning multi-species communities and societies able to thrive in the collapse of the extractive industrial economy. Living close to Earth and its holiness and creatures is also just a lot more fun!


  • B.A. (Gustavus Adolphus College)
  • M.Div. (Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago)
  • Ph.D. (Graduate Theological Union)

Areas of Study

  • Ecological Spiritualities
  • Place, Embodiment, and Interspecies Relationships
  • Christian Spirituality
  • Theology and Legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Ritual and Liturgy
  • Spirituality and the Arts

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