Scholar Activism

Supporting scholar-activists through convenings, peer learning, research, and networking.

Auburn convenes scholar-activists to encourage peer learning, to support their research, and to network. We understand there is strength in numbers. When we put the right people together in the right room, we know it yields positive change. Through accolades like Walter Wink Scholar-Activist Award, the CrossCurrents Research Colloquium, and additional support, Auburn continues to equip and support leaders for the multifaith movement for justice.


The CrossCurrents Research Colloquium brings together fellows (religious scholars, sociologists, clergy, activists, artists and others) who have dedicated their work on topics pertaining to faith-based social and religious justice. The Colloquium offers a unique opportunity for in-depth scholarly exploration by creating a harmonious environment conducive to research, discourse, collaboration, and reflection.

At the Colloquium, fellows pursue individual and group research for focused and facilitated discussions and seminars. Exemplary work is eligible for publication and exposure in CrossCurrents. Since 1950, CrossCurrents, is the preeminent quarterly publication for multi-denominational, faith-based participants and leaders alike.


The Walter Wink Scholar-Activist Award

To honor the legacy of Dr. Walter Wink, Auburn Seminary has established the Walter Wink Scholar-Activist Award to recognize courageous individuals who dedicate their lives to advocating for justice and peace in our world. Given annually at the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature Meetings, the largest gathering of religion scholars in the world, where Auburn hosts a reception as a dynamic gathering of like-minded, multifaith leaders igniting social change.

Dr. Walter Wink served on the faculty of Auburn Seminary for nearly 25 years as a beloved author, speaker and activist. Dr. Wink’s scholarship focused on Jesus and nonviolence, and on responding to a challenging world with love and compassion. His best-selling books include “The Powers That Be” (Doubleday 1999) and “Jesus and NonViolence” (Fortress 2003). With his partner, June Keener-Wink, Wink’s legacy includes workshops on leadership, activism and faith.



Dr. George E. “Tink” Tinker, a citizen of the Osage (wazhazhe) Nation, continues his career-spanning efforts both fighting for American Indian justice and challenging eurochristian students and communities to recognize their own history of violence on the continent. His classroom teaching and his publishing was always based on the ideal of activist scholarship. His research and publishing were never satisfied with merely advancing knowledge. Rather, he always tried to rock the boat of the status quo in order to point toward substantive change for justice.


Dr. Rebecca Todd Peters is a Professor of Religious Studies at Elon University in Elon, North Carolina. As a feminist and Christian social ethicist, Peters does galvanizing and cutting-edge work around reproductive justice, the subject of her most recent book, Trust Women. She builds on a decades-long commitment to work on poverty, inequality, globalization, and solidarity through her many modes of engagement, at Elon University and beyond, providing a compelling and vibrant example of the scholar activism.


Najeeba Syeed is associate professor of interreligious education at Claremont School of Theology and director of the Center for Global Peacebuilding. Her track record as a peacemaker and critical peace researcher has made her a sought out advisor and she has served as an on-the-ground peace interventionist in conflicts around the globe. Syeed’s peace and justice work has been the subject of news reports and documentaries, including NBC’s broadcast of “Waging Peace: Muslim and Christian Alternatives.”



Dr. Simran Jeet Singh is a 2018 Luce/ACLS Fellow for Religion, Journalism, and International Affairs and a Visiting Scholar at New York University’s Center for Religion and Media. He is also the senior religion fellow for the Sikh Coalition of America. Dr. Singh is a leading voice in the national conversation on Islamophobia, racial profiling, and hate violence.

2015 – Inaugural Award


Dr. Traci C. West is professor of ethics and African American studies at Drew University Theological School in Madison, New Jersey. She is globally recognized for her work on violence against women, racism, clergy ethics, sexuality, and other justice issues in church and society. Dr. West is an ordained elder in the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

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