Joshua Ralston joined the faculty at Union Presbyterian Seminary as Instructor of Theology in January, 2013. His teaching and research is animated by the challenge of faithfully articulating and creatively re-thinking Christian claims about God and the world in light of Scripture, the history of Christian thought, other religious traditions (especially Islam) and the shifting socio-political landscape of the 21st Century. His doctoral dissertation, undertaken at the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University, considers how Christians might bring our commitments concerning the Law, the Gospel, and the Kingdom of God into conversation and debate with Islamic perspectives on law (Shari'a) and the political order. This commitment to Christian-Muslim dialogue has been shaped not only through study, but more profoundly through teaching theology and interfaith relations in Nigeria and Egypt and living in Israel/Palestine. Additional doctrines and themes of interest include political theology and ecclesiology, soteriology and Christology, and Arab Christianity.
Ralston is a candidate for ordination to the ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and has previously worked at churches in the San Francisco Bay Area and Atlanta; he also co-founded a New Church Development for refugees and immigrants in Clarkston, Georgia. A native Californian, he loves strong black coffee, cooking, international travel, debating Middle East politics, and the San Francisco Giants. His wife, Sarah, works in international development, and they have two young daughters.