Who is my neighbor (and why are they so different than me?)
Christena Cleveland at Coming Together 2010
Coming Together 2010 Plenary Speaker – Dr. Christena Cleveland
Dr. Christena Cleveland has been called “an academic with a pastor’s heart.” As a social psychologist with a hopeful passion for church unity, she works to help church leaders understand why divisions in the body of Christ exist at all, why we naturally tend to congregate with similar others, why we often misperceive dissimilar others, and more. Drawing from a vast body of research, she also helps leaders develop ways to overcome these tendencies in order to restore unity.
Christena earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. from the University of California. She has conducted research on group processes for the last seven years and has written numerous scholarly articles on the subject. In addition to academic experience, Christena brings ministry experience to her efforts to build church unity. While a faculty member at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA, she served on the leadership team at her local church, consulted with pastors and church leaders on multicultural issues, and spoke regularly at churches, conferences and universities and colleges.
Christena recently relocated to the Twin Cities where she has joined the Psychology faculty at St. Catherine University, is currently writing a book on overcoming divisions within the body of Christ, and is swiftly falling in love with the beautiful lakes in the area.