Irene’s LEAD 2018 talk in a tweet: “Public theologians & deep listeners required: an agitator finds her calling seeking new ethic of civil discourse in the messy middle of DC.”
Irene DeMaris is a theologically trained laywoman who is Wesleyan at her core. Her earliest memories revolve around Sunday school and wanting to go to church. When she was in high school she attended Exploration and discovered her calling, but working in a church was never a part of that calling. So, she did what every person called to ministry does, avoided it, got a mathematics degree and then ended up working at The Pacific Northwest Conference of The United Methodist Church as the program assistant for Youth and Young Adult Ministries. Eventually, Irene made her way to seminary where she received her Master of Divinity from Seattle University’s School of Theology. She is currently the Associate Director for the Center for Public Theology at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. She Before coming to Wesley, she worked at Faith in Public Life as an Organizing Fellow. Previously she has worked with the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. She is passionate about public theology and creating ways to amplify voices of people of faith seeking justice as well as promoting healthy dialogue. In her spare time she enjoys walking her dog, Leo, exploring DC, taking spin and yoga classes, and cooking in her tiny kitchen.