Image of Dr. Cassie Trentaz

Interim Director of Theology, Ethics & Church History, Professor of Theology, Ethics, and Church History

Division of: Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences
Phone: 503-517-1045
  • Ph.D., Theology, Ethics, and the Human Sciences; Chicago Theological Seminary
    (with courses at the University of Chicago and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago)
  • Master of Theological Studies, Professional Distinction in Theological Studies; Anderson School of Theology
  • Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude in Religious Studies with double majors in Bible/Religion and Christian Ministries, minor in Philosophy; Anderson University
Areas of Teaching:
  • Theology
  • Ethics/Social Ethics
  • Religions of the World/Comparative Religions
  • Church History
  • Spirituality and Purpose
Research Passion:

Dr. Trentaz’s academic, research, and activist passions live at the intersections of exploring how people make meaning and live those commitments in complex contexts to make a difference in the world. This includes exploring the meaning-making practices and commitments of the “Nones” and “Dones” (those outside of institutional religion) as well as people and communities of faith working to find their roots and reaching across differences to work for social change toward justice, love, life, and wholeness in their neighborhoods.


Academic Accomplishments:
  • Book: Love in a Time of Fear: Hearing Our Neighbors Across Lines that Divide Us (single-authored full-length book). Forthcoming with Wipf & Stock Publishers.
  • Book: Theology in the Age of Global AIDS & HIV: Complicity and Possibility (single-authored full-length book). New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, November 2012.
  • Article: “What Does it Mean to be an Engaged Institutional Neighbor?: A Self-Study of an Undergraduate Program in Ministry and Community Engagement,” (single-authored peer reviewed article) in Christian Higher Education, Volume 19 Numbers 1-2 (January) 2020.
  • Article: “Making Sense of Feminist Theologies Today” (peer reviewed journal article co-authored with Laurel C. Schneider), Blackwell Publishers in Religion Compass journal, 2008.
  • Chapter: “ ‘In the City, For the City’: Re-Membering Roots and Discovering What it Means to be Our Full Selves and Good Neighbors in Southeast Portland” (single-authored chapter) in Holy Imagination: Thinking about Social Holiness, edited by Nathan Crawford, Jonathan Dodrill, and David Wilson. Lexington, KY: Emeth Press, January 2015.
  • Chapter: “ ‘They Will Know Us by Our Love’: ‘Good News’ in a Postmodern, Postcolonial, Post-Christian Context” (single-authored chapter) in A Faithful Witness, Anderson, IN: Anderson School of Theology, June 2014.
  • Presentation: “Telling the Truth of Our Lives: Intersectional Coalition Building as Scholars, Educators, and Activists,” a Presidential Plenary Session at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting, (Boston, MA/virtual) November 2020.
  • Presider: “Risk, Rage, and Social Change,” a panel by the Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession for the American Academy of Religion, at the AAR annual meeting, Denver, CO, November 2018.
  • Panelist: Conversation sponsored by the Religion and Popular Culture Group around the theme “Discussing the ‘Nones’: What They Say about the Category of Religion and American Society at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Baltimore, MD, November 2013.
  • Paper: “Crossing Borders and Raising the Stakes: Bridging Higher Education and Community Organizing to Get Real Stuff Done in Real Time, a Model,” delivered for the Transformative Scholarship and Pedagogy Unit at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting, San Diego, CA, November 2019
  • Paper: “(Re)Defining Moral Injury: Using Moral Injury to Help Us Understand Immigrant Experiences in Today’s Cultural-Political Moment,” delivered for the Moral Injury Group at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Boston, MA, November 2017.
  • Paper: “Cultivating and Sustaining a Damn: Hope-mongering and Choosing What to Learn, What Not to Learn, and How to Go About It in the Grit of a 21st century Urban, Diverse, Liberal Arts Undergraduate Classroom,” delivered for the Liberation Theologies Group at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Atlanta, GA, November 2015.
  • Paper: “Complicating ‘Risk’: ‘Risk Environments,’ Religion, and HIV & AIDS” delivered for the Ethics Section at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Atlanta, GA, October 2010.
  • Paper: “ ‘A Threat to Justice Everywhere’: A Look at Personhood and the Sacred/Beloved Communities of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Age of Global HIV & AIDS,” delivered at the American Academy of Religion annual meeting, Chicago, IL, November 2008.

Professional Affiliations:

  • American Academy of Religion: Member of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession and the Sub-Committee on Contingent Faculty
  • Institutional Partner for the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) and Recipient of a Curriculum Development Grant from IFYC recognizing and supporting the work of undergraduate engagement with interfaith studies
  • Member of the Wesleyan Theological Society
  • Member of the Oregon Mediation Association
  • Neighbor-Partner with the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice

Dr. Trentaz joined the Warner Pacific faculty in 2010. She is an ordained minister with the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), is an active participant with the Interfaith Council of Greater Portland, and is committed to interfaith work and racial, gender, and immigrant justice. She came to Portland formed by and bringing what she has learned from the places she’s lived (Kansas, Indiana, Chicago, IL) and travelled (Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, England, Wales, France, Spain, India, Thailand, Uganda, South Africa, and many of the States in the U.S.). She is a partner to her artist-husband, Perry, and mother to their two children, Winston and Gretchen. Dr. Trentaz thinks that WPU students are powerful and brilliant and is grateful to work with them to make a difference in this world.

Favorite Quote:

“I believe in kindness. Also in mischief…. Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” –Mary Oliver, Evidence