PLT Collaborator Nathan Walton Finds His New Calling at Richmond’s East End Fellowship

Nathan Walton

The Project on Lived Theology (PLT) congratulates Nathan Walton on being named co-lead pastor at East End Fellowship, a multi-ethnic, economically diverse Christian church located in Richmond, Virginia. Walton started his new position this fall.

As a doctoral student at the University of Virginia, Nathan Walton was actively involved in PLT research initiatives and public events. He began as a PLT graduate research fellow. In the summer of 2016, Walton coordinated the curriculum for a class on spiritual autobiography at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail and developed a university course around issues of mass incarceration. He received his PhD from UVA in the spring of 2019.

“It was a joy to serve as Nathan’s dissertation advisor,” said Charles Marsh, PLT director and UVA religious studies professor. “His dissertation integrated ethnographic research and theological analysis to produce an incisive study of the Prosperity Gospel and theological perspectives on wealth.”

In addition to mentoring students as part of the 2014 Summer Internship in Lived Theology, Walton participated in numerous PLT events during his doctoral studies. He most recently spoke to UVA undergraduates on “Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Witness of the Black Freedom Church” and moderated a public discussion with civil rights pioneer John M. Perkins.

Prior to his new appointment at East End Fellowship, Walton served as executive director of Abundant Life Ministries, an initiative that demonstrates “God’s love through holistic community development” in the Prospect neighborhood of Charlottesville, Virginia. Walton holds an MDiv from Duke Divinity School, and both a BA and a PhD in religious studies from UVA. 

“Nathan exemplifies the best qualities in the vocation of the engaged scholar,” added Marsh. “He is well versed in the technical skills of his discipline, charitable and compassionate in his interpretations, agile in his ability to grasp complex ideas with maximum clarity and make vital connections to critical issues in contemporary society.”

The Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia is a research initiative, whose mission is to study the social consequences of theological ideas for the sake of a more just and compassionate world.

Writer Danté Stewart to Speak on Black Identity and the White Evangelical Church

On Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 3:30 p.m. EST, writer and speaker Danté Stewart will be a guest of the Project on Lived Theology to talk about his new book, Shoutin’ in the Fire: An American Epistle (Convergent, 2021). Shoutin’ in the Fire is a coming-of-age memoir on being Black and learning to love in a loveless world.

Stewart, whose work focuses on the areas of race, religion, and politics, has been featured on CNN and in the Washington PostChristianity TodaySojournersThe Witness: A Black Christian CollectiveComment, and elsewhere. His recent essay, “How I learned that Jesus is Black” has inspired exuberant public debate weeks since it appeared in the New York Times on Monday, October 18. 

“We are delighted to welcome this dazzling young writer-activist to UVA and look forward to a generative exchange on matters that remain urgent, persistent, and confounding to us all,” says Charles Marsh, Commonwealth Professor of Religious Studies and the director of the Project on Lived Theology.

In Shoutin’ in the Fire, Danté Stewart gives breathtaking language to his reckoning with the legacy of white supremacy – both the kind that hangs over our country and the kind that is internalized on a molecular level. Stewart uses his personal experiences as a vehicle to reclaim and reimagine spiritual virtues like rage, resilience, and remembrance – and explores how these virtues might function as a work of love against an unjust, unloving world.

“Only once in a lifetime do we come across a writer like Danté Stewart, so young and yet so masterful with the pen. This work is a thing to make dungeons shake and hearts thunder.” (Robert Jones, Jr., New York Times best-selling author of The Prophets).

Stewart received his BA in sociology from Clemson University and is currently studying at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta.

The Nov. 17 event, which is free and open to the public, can be watched on Zoom at, Passcode: 546359. A question-and-answer session will follow the lecture.

The Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia is a research community funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc., commissioned to understand the social consequences of theological ideas for the sake of a more just and compassionate world.