Melissa Marley Bonnichsen, M.Div.

Director, Social Concerns Seminars
Office Phone: 
574-631-3356
Office Address: 
166 Geddes Hall

Through her position, Melissa coordinates and facilitates Social Concerns Seminars, academically focused one-credit courses that contain experiential learning components for addressing a variety of social concern topics for the 21st century. These courses being both experiential and academic, Melissa works closely with faculty, students, staff, and community partners in collaborative work for both personal and social impact. Additionally, Melissa is currently working alongside center staff to design a future CSC cohort program that will create intentional learning space around social concerns topics and responsive theories, skill-set building, and community engagement for social impact.

Prior to this position, Melissa was the assistant director for Service and Community Partnership in the Moreau Center for Service and Leadership at the University of Portland managing community partnerships, a summer intern program, The Ashoka Project: a social entrepreneurial experience for social impact, and supporting student leaders in a variety of leadership roles including immersion experiences. 

Melissa completed her MA in Theology and received her M.Div from George Fox University in Portland, Oregon. Her master's thesis examined the role of feminist liberation theology as praxis within the context of apartheid-area South Africa. Melissa earned her BA in Political Science and Youth Ministry from Gordon College and her interests include gender, race, and economic study, rust belt towns and their history and future, social entrepreneurship as a hopeful bridge to sustainable communities, community organizing and development, and the roles of innovation and student development in the 21st century.


Publications & Presentations

2016

Marley Bonnichsen, M.M (February 2016) The Role of Student Leader Development in Successful Service-Learning Experiences: How deep understandings of mutuality, agency, and impact are accomplished on immersion. Discussed student leadership development that empowers student leaders to lead peers onto rich, mutually beneficial, positive immersion experiences. Appalachian Summit on Service Learning Pedagogy & Practice 2016, Carson Newman University- Jefferson City TN.

Marley Bonnichsen, M.M (February 2016) Re-Framing Course Creation: The process of designing and implementing community and immersion based courses and how to help others in your community do likewise. Appalachian Summit on Service Learning Pedagogy & Practice 2016, Carson Newman University- Jefferson City TN.

2015

Marley Bonnichsen, M.M (February 2015) The Role of Student Leader Development in Successful Service-Learning Experiences: How deep understandings of mutuality, agency, and impact are accomplished on immersion. Discussed student leadership development that empowers student leaders to lead peers onto rich, mutually beneficial, positive immersion experiences. Appalachian Summit on Service Learning Pedagogy & Practice 2015, Carson Newman University- Jefferson City TN.

2014

Marley Bonnichsen, M.M (February 2014) Catholic Social Teaching: Finding Jesus’ Way in a Time of Uncertainty. Shared the history of CST in the church and 21st century manifestations in relation to millennials and the world we live in today. Ancilla College - Plymouth IN. 

2013

Marley Bonnichsen, M.M. (February 2013) Collaboration for Social Impact: Social Entrepreneurship and the Moreau Center for Service and Leadership. Shared the creation and founding of the UP AshokaU Social Entrepreneurship Project, a social entrepreneurial service learning initiative and a model of leveraged funding and holistic investment created to support the project. This model sees collaboration and risk as key assets to nurturing student innovation. Ashoka Exchange 2013, University of San Diego- San Diego CA.

2012

Marley Bonnichsen, M.M.  (August 2012) Feminist Liberation Theology in the 21st Century and a Way Forward. Shared the foundations and formation of FLT out of late 20th century religious pluralism and its legitimacy as a viable lens in which to see both faith and life moving forward into the future. Wild Goose NW Conference, Corvallis Oregon.

Marley Bonnichsen, M.M (April 2012) Community Organizing for Sustainable Practices. Shared the foundations of community organizing and how they can be applied to both social and environmental justice work and practice. Emphasis on bringing together stakeholders for sustainable practice. George Fox/ University of Portland - Portland Oregon.

2010

Marley, M. M. Unavoidable Presence: Contributions of feminist liberation theology as praxis in South Africa: 1985-1997. MA thesis. George Fox University, 2010.

2009

Marley, M. M. 2009. “The Boldest Meal: A Reflection on the Eucharist Theology of Denise Ackermann”, in Ragbag Theologies: Essays in Honor of Denise Ackermann, Feminist Theologian of Praxis, edited by Miranda Pillay, Sarojina Nadar, Clint Le Bruyuns, -Festschripht. Sun Press: Capetown, South Africa.