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Meet Ben

Ben focused his doctoral research on higher education in active conflict zones and in other contested areas. For his dissertation is a qualitative regional case study of Palestinian higher education in Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank.

After finishing his Ph.D, Ben served Churches for Middle East Peace as the Ambassador Warren Clark Fellow where he conducted an autoethnographic reflection on settler colonial and Native space in an American suburb while reading Palestinian stories of displacement. Ben now serves CMEP as Director of Academics and Grants and directs the Network of Evangelicals for the Middle East.

Ben is working on a book about the ways American Christians conceive of the places around them, the cultural myths about land that they adopt and adapt, and the ways that Christians can recover a more faithful, historic relationship to the physical world. The book, tentatively titled Pilgrimage in Place: Every Somewhere Sacred, is due out with InterVarsity Press in 2025.

Ben worked for a political technology firm in Washington D.C. while completing his M.A. in Western Thought from St. John's College (MD). On Saturday mornings, Ben volunteered in the Smithsonian Institute workshops where he received an education in finishing techniques and had the opportunity to work on a sculpture designed by Chinese artist Xu Bing that now hangs in the Sackler Gallery. 

In 2007, Ben took a position at Bryan College (TN), where he worked with international educational partners in Europe, Africa, and Asia and developed a new course sequence in human rights with advisors from the U.S. Department of Justice and leading international NGOs. During his tenure at Bryan, Ben also taught in Politics and Government, led curriculum projects, and oversaw local community engagement programs.

After seven years at Bryan, Ben helped launch a new academic center for the study of vocational development at Wheaton College (IL) where he worked for seven years. Over the course of his career in higher education, Ben has consulted for several non-profits including International Justice Mission, The Justice Conference, and Reimagine Education World Innovation Competition

Ben's work has been published in Christianity Today, The Christian Century, Religion News Service, and Baptist News Global.

Ben lives in Glen Ellyn, IL with his wife and three children.

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