Irene Elizabeth (Beth) Stroud is a graduate student in the Department of Religion at Princeton University, working on a doctorate in Religion in the Americas since 2010. Beth holds an S.T.M. from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, and an A.B. from Bryn Mawr College. She is interested in the history of liberal American Protestantism, especially the fissures and contradictions between academic theology, religious social action, and everyday lay religious practice. She also has a strong interest in religion and cities.
At Princeton, Beth is a graduate student fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion and a college teacher in the New Jersey state prison system through Princetonís Prison Teaching Initiative. While completing her S.T.M., she worked as a research assistant on Faith on the Avenue, Dr. Katie Day's study of nearly 100 congregations on a single city street in Philadelphia.
Previously, Beth worked for ten years in pastoral ministry in The United Methodist Church, six of those years as an ordained clergywoman. In 2004, she was stripped of her credentials in a church trial after coming out publicly as a lesbian in a committed relationship with a female partner. The story of Bethís church trial received national and international news coverage.