Trauma-Informed Pedagogy

Trauma-informed Classroom Teaching at Lancaster Theological Seminary” is a twelve-month, strategic initiative. Grant period spans May 2021 through May 2022. Project Director: Darryl W. Stephens. Funded by the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion.

Project Description: What skills, tools, and strategies can instructors utilize in order to optimize the classroom learning experience of students with existing and ongoing trauma histories at Lancaster Theological Seminary? This question is prompted by our growing awareness of psychological trauma, both individual and collective, within our student body and broader community, disproportionately impacting students of color. Resourced by experts in trauma and trauma-informed pedagogy, our faculty will create and implement trauma-informed practices of classroom teaching. This project promotes an understanding of trauma-informed pedagogy in the classroom, whether in-person or virtual. Faculty will be enabled to learn about trauma-informed pedagogy, including how to recognize signs of trauma, reduce the risk of re-traumatization, and to improve classroom teaching accordingly. Through a series of workshops and guidance from a consultant, our faculty will develop and implement specific trauma-informed classroom interventions and teaching strategies.

Project recap: “Trauma-Informed Pedagogy: A Journey from Classroom to Community,” blog post for the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning, January 04, 2023.


Resources from presentation, “Embodied Digital Pedagogies for Trauma-informed Teaching and Learning in Religious Contexts,” Mary Hess, Kate Ott, and Darryl W. Stephens, Religious Education Association, July 7, 2021.

“Trauma-Informed Pedagogies in the Religious Studies Classroom,” special issue of Spotlight on Teaching in Religious Studies News. March 9, 2021.

“Trauma-Informed Pedagogy for the Religious and Theological Higher Education Classroom.” Special issue Reflecting on the Possibilities of Religious Education Research. Religions 11, no. 9 (2020): 449. doi:10.3390/rel11090449.

Teaching Sexuality and Religion in Higher Education: Embodied Learning, Trauma Sensitive Pedagogy, and Perspective Transformation. Routledge Research in Religion and Education. Co-edited with Kate Ott. New York: Routledge, 2020.