Dr. McGarrah Sharp focuses her teaching and research in the areas of pastoral theology and ethics. With a firm belief that both self-awareness and intercultural awareness are vital for ministry, she is especially interested in bringing resources from the interdisciplinary field of postcolonial studies into conversation with theological study and formation. In her courses, she hopes to help students develop ways of caring for the variety of needs within increasingly diverse congregations, hospitals, and other ministry contexts. In addition to the introductory courses in pastoral care and ethics, Dr. McGarrah Sharp also challenges students to think about how questions of diversity impact specific areas of care with persons, families, and congregations. She was influenced to think more critically about culture with her experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Suriname, South America. She is also trained as a hospital clinical ethics consultant.
Dr. McGarrah Sharp is working on several projects in the area of intercultural pastoral theology. Her chapter, “Are There Limitations to Multicultural Inclusion? Difficult Questions for Feminist Pastoral Theology,” co-authored with Dr. Bonnie Miller-McLemore, appears in the celebrated fourth edited volume focusing on women and pastoral theology and care, Women Out of Order: Risking Change and Creating Care in a Multicultural World (Ed. Moessner and Snorton, Augsburg Fortress Press, 2010). She has also published the study guide for In the Midst of Chaos: Caring for Children as Spiritual Practice (Bonnie Miller-McLemore, 2007), through the Practicing our Faith website: http://www.practicingourfaith.org, 2006. She has teaching experience in the areas of pastoral theology, Christian ethics, and theologies of religious pluralism both at Vanderbilt University and with the Course of Study program for licensed local pastors in the United Methodist Church.
Dr. McGarrah Sharp is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Pastoral Theology, the Society of Christian Ethics, the International Society of Clinical Ethics Consultants, and the American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities. Her recent academic paper given at the Society of Pastoral Theology in June 2010 is entitled “Intercultural Empathy? Examining Pastoral Theology’s Guiding Metaphors in Light of Complex Intercultural Realities.” She was also one of five invited speakers at the Society’s Annual Meeting representing five generations of scholars in the Society of Pastoral Theology.
Dr. McGarrah Sharp is an active lay member in the United Methodist Church. She has led workshops and courses in creativity and spiritual formation. She is trained as a leader for the Way of the Child (Wynn McGregor, 2006) curriculum for children.