Laura Kicklighter, PhD

Assistant Professor of Humanities
Westover Honors Program

Experience/ Background

Laura Kicklighter joined the faculty of Lynchburg College in Fall 2005.

Dr. Kicklighter graduated Cum Laude from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida in 1995 with a major in religious studies and a minor in women and gender studies. She holds a Master of Theological Studies from Emory University's Candler School of Theology and a PhD in Medical Humanities from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Dr. Kicklighter's research focuses on disability and end of life care, the role of religion in public discourse, the relationship between theology and other academic disciplines, bioethics, and religious ethics. Her dissertation, Prophetic Voices: Religion's Role in the Public Sphere examines the interplay between religion and politics and the appropriate role for religious discourse in bioethics policymaking. Her presentations at national conferences have focused on disability studies, role of religion in medical education, the influence of empirical research in bioethics scholarship, and the continued importance of public theology in American intellectual life.

She also serves as adjunct faculty in Lynchburg College’s Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant programs and is on the Ethics Committee for Centra Health in Lynchburg.

In addition to her other duties, Dr. Kicklighter coaches Lynchburg College's Ethics Bowl team and is a cellist in the Lynchburg College Wind Symphony.

Degrees and Certifications

  • 2002: PhD, Medical Humanities, University of Texas Medical Branch
  • 1997: M.T.S., Emory University
  • 1995: BA, Religious Studies, Stetson University

Honors and Awards

  • 2006: Outstanding Young Alumni Award, Stetson University
  • 2002: Ransom Dissertation Award in the Medical Humanities, University of Texas Medical Branch
  • 1995: Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Stetson University

Publications and Presentations

  • Kicklighter, L.A. 2013 “Closing the Gap Between Theology and Practice: Exploring the Relationship Between Disability Theologies and Disability Ministry” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, November 23-26, 2013.
  • Kicklighter, L.A., 2012 “Global Perspectives on Bioethics and Religious Authority” Panel Moderator. American Academy of Religion 2012 Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, November 17-20, 2012.
  • Kicklighter, L.A. 2010 “Four Religious Views of Four Bioethical Issues” Panel Moderator. American Academy of Religion 2010 Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia October 30-November 1, 2010.
  • Kicklighter, L.A., 2009 “Regulating Reproductive Choices: Individual, Governmental, and Religious Responses” Panel moderator. American Academy of Religion 2009 Annual Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, November 7-10, 2009.
  • Kicklighter, L.A., “Ethics’ Empirical Turn: Lessons and Experiences from Bioethics” panel presenter and moderator.  Association of Practical and Professional Ethics 2008 Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas, February 2008.
  • “Who Is Buying Bioethics Research?” with Richard R. Sharp et al.  The American Journal of Bioethics 8(8), August 2008, p. 54-58.
  • “Religion in Public Discourse: Righting Recent Wrongs.”  Lynchburg College Magazine, June 2007.
  • “Age Control.”  U.S. News and World Report 129 (21), November 11, 2000, p. 9.
  • Kicklighter, L.A. “’Empirical Bioethics’” and the Marginalization of the Theologian.”  American Academy of Religion 2007 Annual Meeting, San Diego, California, November 17-20, 2007.
  • Kicklighter, L.A., “Religion and Spirituality in Medical Education.”  Panel presenter, creator, and moderator.  Joint meeting of American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities and Canadian Bioethics Society, Montreal, Quebec, October 23-26, 2003.
  • Kicklighter, L.A., “Liberation from the Private Sphere: Arguing for Religious Voices in National Policy.”  American Academy of Religion 2002 Annual Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, November 23-26, 2002.
  • Kicklighter, L.A., “You Can’t Say That on Capitol Hill: Analyzing the Influence of Religious Testimony Before the National Bioethics Advisory Commission.”  American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities 2002 Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, October 24-27, 2002.
  • Kicklighter, L.A., “Holy Wars: Religion and Abortion Since Roe v. Wade.”  American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities Second Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, October 28-31, 1999.

Professional Associations

  • American Academy of Religion
  • American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities
  • Association for Practical and Professional Ethics
Hall Campus Center 235