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Investigative journalist, author to speak at Westminster College

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Posted on Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Westminster College’s History Department will host Sarah Stankorb ’02 for a series of conversations about her journalism work and recently-published book “Disobedient Women: How a Small Group of Faithful Women Exposed Abuse, Brought Down Powerful Pastors, and Ignited an Evangelical Reckoning,” on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

During Stankorb’s visit, she will hold class lectures and leadership discussions throughout the day. A public event will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Dietz Sullivan Lecture Hall in the Hoyt Science Center on Westminster’s campus. The event is co-sponsored by the Westminster Chapel Office, Heinz Endowment, First-Year Program, and the Department of Philosophy and Religion. Copies of Stankorb’s book were provided to the College through a generous donation from alumni Benjamin ’06 and Dr. Christie Grewe Nelson ’06.

“Westminster College is thrilled to welcome back to campus Sarah Stankorb. Sarah has had a remarkable journey since she set foot in my classroom in 1998 and her investigative journalism work will serve as an inspiring example for students and early career professionals,” said Westminster College Professor of History Dr. Russell Martin, who also serves as the chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion.

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, the journalist, essayist and author said she often found escape in books. She studied world religion and philosophy at Westminster College, earning her undergraduate degree in 2002. A chance to study abroad in Northern Ireland and Israel further opened her eyes to how faith, and conflict, can shape people’s everyday existence. 

She earned her master’s degree from University of Chicago’s Divinity School, where she studied ethics and South Asian religion and history. Hundreds of her pieces have been featured in publications, including VICE, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Republic, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, and others. She writes about religion, politics, gender and power.

Her book, published in August, is “for and about people of faith and those who have walked away. The deeply researched work gives long-overdue recognition to the women who upturned their lives to speak out boldly, even as they were expected to submit and remain silent.” For more information about her book, visit

The evening event is free and open to the public. For more information about this event, please contact the chair of the History Department Dr. Russell Martin at


Westminster College is a leader in experiential learning rooted in the liberal arts tradition. This event will highlight career opportunities that arise from the College’s liberal arts education model, including critical thinking skills essential for investigative journalism, and provide students with networking opportunities proven to enhance experiential learning during an undergraduate’s journey. Experiential learning is a key component of the College’s Strategic Plan 2018-2027.

The Department of History is committed to providing students with a variety of experiential experiences that help unlock the fundamental value of an undergraduate degree in history. History students participate in internships, externships and research programs on and off campus. As part of broadening students’ field of view, History participates in hosting speakers, including, most recently, Katherine Blunt from the Wall Street Journal and Dr. Heim Sperber of Western Galilee University.

To help advance these objectives, the History Alumni Advisory Council (History AAC) supports the College’s History program by advising on best practices in relevant fields, supporting experiential learning programs, and developing internship and research pipelines. History AAC is led by chair Matthew V. Kerns ’07, associate dean of admissions at Widener University Commonwealth Law School and vice chair Alissa Bookwalter ’07, chief of staff for Naval Reactors, with members drawn from libraries, museums, public service, sustainable agriculture, universities and urban development. History AAC highlights the advantages of studying humanities at a liberal arts college empowered by highly-customized experiential education and research opportunities.