Lauren Winner

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Lauren Winner
Born1976 (age 46–47)
Other namesLauren Frances Winner
Griff Gatewood
(m. 2003; div. 2009)
Ecclesiastical career
ReligionChristianity (Anglican)
ChurchEpiscopal Church (United States)
Ordained2011 (priest)
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisMaterial Culture and Household Religious Practice in Colonial Virginia (2006)
Academic work
InstitutionsDuke University

Lauren Frances Winner (born 1976)[1][2] is an American historian, scholar of religion, and Episcopal priest. She is Associate Professor of Christian Spirituality at Duke Divinity School.[3] Winner writes and lectures on Christian practice, the history of Christianity in America, and Jewish–Christian relations.[4]

Winner was born to a Jewish father and a Southern Baptist mother, and was raised Jewish.[5] She converted to Orthodox Judaism in her freshman year at Columbia University,[6] and then to Christianity while doing her master's degree at Cambridge University, and one of her most popular books, Mudhouse Sabbath, is about becoming a Christian while appreciating the Jewishness of historical Christian faith. She completed her doctoral work at Columbia University in 2006.[7] Winner's fourth book, A Cheerful and Comfortable Faith: Anglican Religious Practice in the Elite Households of Colonial Virginia is based on her dissertation.[8]

Winner has worked as a book editor of Beliefnet[9] and senior editor of Christianity Today. In 2000 she wrote a column asserting that few young evangelicals took a commitment to premarital chastity seriously, using the phrase "evangelical whores".[10] Julia Duin suggests that Winner was a "fairly recent convert" at the time, and "the evangelical response to Winner was livid."[11] Duin goes on to relate that "Christianity Today quickly demoted her to a staff writer spot when people started asking why such a recent convert in her early twenties and still in grad school had managed to attain senior writer status at such a revered publication."[11]

Since 2000, Winner's writing and theology has continued to evolve. She completed a Master of Divinity degree at Duke University in 2007. She has served as a visiting fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University[7] and the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale University[12] and volunteers regularly at the Raleigh Correctional Center for Women.[13]

Her memoir, Girl Meets God has been described as "a passionate and thoroughly engaging account of a continuing spiritual journey within two profoundly different faiths."[14] A second memoir, Still: Notes on a Mid-faith Crisis, released on January 31, 2012,[15] chronicles her thoughts on God as she descends into doubt and spiritual crisis following the failure of her brief (2003–2009) marriage.[16] Christianity Today calls Still "an instant spiritual classic."[17] Her other books include Mudhouse Sabbath; Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity; and Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God (2016).

Winner was ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia on December 17, 2011.[18]


  1. ^ Baumann, Paul (24 November 2002). "A puzzling memoir about a religious conversion". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  2. ^ Shimron, Yonat (16 February 2012). "Author tackles doubt, divorce and the priesthood". USA Today. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Lauren Winner". Duke Divinity School. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  4. ^ "50 Women You Should Know". Christianity Today. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Lauren Winner". Archived from the original on 7 August 2007. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Columbia College Today". Retrieved 2022-06-12.
  7. ^ a b "Current Fellows in the Study of Religion and Religious History for 2007-2008". Princeton University. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  8. ^ Spangler, Jewel L. (2011). "A Cheerful and Comfortable Faith: Anglican Religious Practice in the Elite Households of Eighteenth-Century Virginia by Lauren F. Winner". The American Historical Review. The American Historical Association. 116 (5): 1483–4. doi:10.1086/ahr.116.5.1483. ISSN 1937-5239.
  9. ^ "Bio". Retrieved 11 December 2010. Official website.
  10. ^ Winner, Lauren F. "Sex and the Single Evangelical". Beliefnet. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  11. ^ a b Duin, Julia (2008). Quitting Church: Why the Faithful are Fleeing and What to Do about It. Grand Rapids: Baker Books. p. 34.
  12. ^ "Institute of Sacred Music". Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  13. ^ "Lauren F. Winner". Sojourners. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  14. ^ Lindbergh, Reeve (15 December 2002). "Born Again . . . and Again". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  15. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Lauren Winner". Calvin College. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  17. ^ "Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis". HarperCollins AUS. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  18. ^ [1][dead link]