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College of Liberal and Fine Arts


Mel Webb is a theological social ethicist whose work is broadly concerned with political, theological, and philosophical constructs of flourishing societies, and the diverse ways that members of those societies are expected and enabled to foster mutual well-being. They study Augustine and Augustinianisms, moral psychology, and pastoral responses to sexual and state violence. Mel has over a dozen years of teaching experience in prisons, seminaries, universities, and online classrooms and they pursue collaborative research opportunities with scholars across several different disciplines, including religious studies, political theory, cognitive psychology, sociology, and educational theory. At the University of Texas at San Antonio, Mel is Research Associate & Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Classics and Lecturer with the Honors College and the Center for Civic Engagement. 

In spring 2019, Mel launched the UTSA Philosophy and Literature Circle at Dominguez State Jail. The UTSA Philosophy and Literature Circle advances UTSA’s mission of providing access to educational excellence and preparing leaders for the global environment by fostering a collaborative learning community in which incarcerated scholars and UTSA undergraduates reflect on philosophical and literary texts as well as their own life experiences by asking, What does it mean to be human? – What is the good life? – and, How can I best contribute to the flourishing of my community? They are the recipient of the 2020 President's Distinguished Excellence in Community Engagement Award (Non-Tenure-Track).


  • Ph.D. in Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary (2016)
  • Th.M. in Theology/ Philosophy, Princeton Theological Seminary (2009)
  • M.Div., Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando) (2007)
  • B.A. in Philosophy and Religion, Covenent College (2004)

Recent Courses

2018 – 2019: Lecturer, University of Texas at San Antonio

  • “Moral Imagination and American Incarceration” (Honors College / Dept. of Philosophy & Classics)
  • “Introduction to Humanities I: The Journey Theme” (Dept. of Philosophy & Classics)
  • “Happiness” (Honors College)
  • “Engaged Learning Experience” (Center for Civic Engagement)

2017 – 2018: Visiting Assistant Professor, Villanova University

  • “Ancients: Journeys in Creation” (3 sections)
  • “The Thought of Augustine” (master’s-level seminar, Dept. of Theology and Religious Studies)
  • “Moderns: Humanity and Its Limits” (2 sections, 1 at Graterford State Correctional Institution)

2015 – 2016: Senior Teaching Fellow, Continuing Education – Garden State

  • Correctional Facility, Princeton Theological Seminary
  • “Old Testament Resources for Faith and Life”
  • “Understanding the New Testament”
  • “Forgiveness and Reconciliation”
  • “Pastoral Care and Counseling for Hope and Solutions”
  • “Theology for Faith and Life”
  • “Understanding World Christianity”

2013 – 2016: Co-Instructor, Continuing Education – Online, Princeton Theological Seminary

  • “Forgiveness and Reconciliation”
  • “Theology for Faith and Life”

2013 – 2015: Instructor, Prison Teaching Initiative, Princeton University (English, Comp. Lit.)

  • “Composition I: Thinking about Knowing” at Garden State Correctional Facility
  • “Virgil’s Aeneid and Its Influences” at A. C. Wagner Correctional Facility
  • “World Literature I: The Journey Theme” at East Jersey State Prison
  • “Preparatory Writing Through Journalism” at Garden State Correctional Facility
  • “Introduction to Literary Analysis” at Garden State Correctional Facility

2014: Co-Instructor, Princeton Theological Seminary (Theology Dept.)

  • “The Youngest Cappadocian: Gregory of Nyssa”

2014: Lecturer, Princeton University (Religion Dept.)

  • “Christian Ethics in Modern Society”

2010 – 2013: Preceptor, Princeton Theological Seminary (Theology, History)

  • “Augustine, His Confessions and His Influence”
  • “Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in Israel/Palestine,” semester-long pre-requisite for travel course
  • “Israel/Palestine Travel Course” (3 weeks)
  • “Theology of the Lord’s Supper”
  • “Introduction to Systematic Theology”

2005 – 2007: Teaching Assistant, Reformed Theological Seminary – Orlando

  • “Introduction to Pastoral and Theological Studies”
  • “History of Christianity II”
  • “History of Christianity I”

Recent Publications

  • co-authored with Vincent Lloyd, Joshua Dubler, and Charles Atkins, Jr., “Using the Language of Christian
  • Love and Charity: What Liberal Religion Has to Offer Higher Education in Prison,” in Carceral Intersections:
  • Christianity and the Crisis of Mass Incarceration, a Special Issue of Religions 2019, 10(13), edited by Douglas
  • Campbell and Sarah Jobe, https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/10/3/169.
  • co-authored with Danielle Allen, Chris Dean, Maggie Schein, Sheena Kang, and Annie Walton Doyle,
  • “Humanities & Liberal Arts Assessment White Paper,” Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of
  • Education (2016). http://www.pz.harvard.edu/resources/humanities-liberal-arts-assessment-whitepaper
  • “‘On Lucretia who slew herself’: Rape and Consolation in Augustine’s De ciuitate dei,” Augustinian Studies 44.1 (2013): 37-58.


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Main Office: MH 4.05.30

Department of Philosophy and Classics

University of Texas at San Antonio

College of Liberal and Fine Arts

One UTSA Circle

San Antonio, TX 78249-1644