Mark Tooley

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Mark Tooley

Mark Tooley (born 1965) is an American Methodist layman and writer. He is a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, who became president of the Washington-D.C. based Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), in 2009, a conservative religious think tank noted for its opposition to religious and social liberalism.


He has worked for IRD since 1994, prior to which he worked for the CIA. His articles appear regularly in The American Spectator, The Weekly Standard,, Touchstone and elsewhere.

He is the author of Taking Back the United Methodist Church.[1] Tooley was featured in the October 10, 2009 issue of World magazine.[2]

In November 2009, Tooley signed an ecumenical statement known as the Manhattan Declaration calling on Evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox not to comply with rules and laws permitting abortion, same-sex marriage and other matters that go against their religious consciences.[3]

Tooley authored Methodism & Politics in the 20th Century: From William McKinley to 9-11 (2011), the first comprehensive overview of the political witness of what was once America's largest Protestant denomination.[4]

In 2015 Tooley's book, The Peace That Almost Was: The Forgotten Story of the 1861 Washington Peace Conference and the Final Attempt to Avert the Civil War was published by Thomas Nelson/Harper Collins.